Pictures are memories preserved for the future

A project which has been on hold for a decade or so is finally under way.  Scanning to digital storage thousands of 35mm slides, printed pictures, negatives and assorted other forms of pictures has started.  Mine go back at about sixty-five years. 

A scanner which can do the work is a necessity.  I used to have one, but that was in 1999 or 2000 and it is long gone.  At the time many scanners came with holders for slides and negatives, but as the digital photographic grew, the need to scan film decreased.  I bought one of the few scanners available today.

So many memories are captured in those slides and negatives.  Many very good memories waiting to be visited.  And, those pictures are so important to revive long ago views.


Author: Blue Bronc

Born in Detroit when Truman was president, survived the rest of them. Early on I learned that FDR was the greatest president, which has withstood all attempts to change that image. Democratic Party, flaming liberal, Progressive, equality for all and a believer in we are all human and deserve respect and understanding. College educated, a couple of degrees, a lot of world experience and tons of fun. US Air Force (pre-MRE days). Oil and gas fields, computer rooms and stuff beyond anything I can talk about. It has been quite a life so far. The future is making my retirement boat my home. Dogs, cats and other critters fill my life with happiness. Work pays the bills.

62 thoughts on “Pictures are memories preserved for the future”

  1. BB, thanks for the nostalgia nudge. 

    one question about “memories preserved for the future”: whose future – specific memory of past you for the future you or could that also be a about long-gone pristine countryside for the collective future us?

  2. speaking of depictions of how it was in other times

    daily beast recaps john oliver’s rage against faux & tucker in re dr. seuss last night:

    … the comic began the program with the congressional testimony of FBI Director Christopher Wray, who told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the attack of the Capitol on Jan. 6 was carried out by right-wing militia groups and white supremacists, and that they “have not to date seen any evidence of anarchist violent extremists or people subscribing to antifa in connection with the sixth.”
    “Now, that testimony was pretty newsworthy. But while some networks took the hearings live, Fox barely covered it. In fact, across conservative media you would hardly know the hearing had happened, because they were too busy with this,” argued Oliver.
    The political satirist then threw to a montage of Fox News hosts complaining about six Dr. Seuss books going out of print, with their army of pundits blaming a woke “mob” for the act. Right-wing radio host Glenn Beck even cited it as evidence of “fascism.”
    “The books weren’t banned. Dr. Seuss Enterprises decided to stop printing six of them, and a company deciding which of its own books it will or won’t print is an example of free enterprise, not fascism,” argued Oliver, adding, “And given how strongly all those commentators were defending those books, it is worth knowing what exactly they are defending.”
    The obvious racist imagery might explain why Fox News, for the most, withheld the offending racial caricatures from their viewers, instead putting forward arguments like this gem from Tucker Carlson: “What they’re really trying to eliminate is a very specific kind of mid-century American culture. A culture that championed meritocracy and colorblindness.”
    “OK, first: shut the fuck up, Tucker, you fearmongering lacrosse injury,” exclaimed Oliver. “And second, it’s a little weird to claim that mid-century American culture championed colorblindness when signs from the times explicitly demanded the opposite,” offered Oliver, before throwing to a photo of a Black man sipping out of a water fountain with the sign “COLORED” over it.
    “It’s not hard to see why Tucker would be so anxious to talk about Dr. Seuss this week, because if he talked about Christopher Wray’s testimony about white supremacists participating in the attack on the Capitol, it would have contradicted what he’s been telling his viewers for weeks now, like, ‘There is no evidence that white supremacists were responsible for what happened on January 6. That’s a lie,’” explained Oliver. “So instead, Tucker and conservative media fell back on their classic playbook of distracting from important issues with bullshit culture wars. It’s incredibly lazy and depressingly effective.”

  3. That one above is me looking over a park in Colorado circa 1973.  Check out that haircut at a time of long hair.  We we stood out back then.  This one is me 2007,  The memories that flood could be intense.  Twelve slides at a time, box after box, in no particular order, each reviewed to confirm the scan was good.  There was the “how young we were” along with “I do miss her” for those who had died.  The pictures of my children as babies and growing up were so wonderful.   Pictures lock those memories for the future.   Compared to the pictures of my grandparents and parents, the black and white and posed, almost all my work was in color and many in action not posed.   It adds to the memories of “I remember we were doing . . .” or “that was a wonderful vacation” or “oh yeah that time was difficult”.  But, the pictures of those I love and are no longer part of my life had the hardest kick.  But, so many memories.  We take pictures of the good times, looking at them fifty or sixty years later brings those times back.

  4. I like the “I remember when we took that picture” moments.  Digital photography has made picture-taking much less precious.  The expense of film, flash cubes and development meant that you didn’t just go clicking your brains out.

    With my digital camera, I started taking too many shots during the day and then curating in the evening or at the end of a vacation.

    Vacations. Remember those?

    Now, I have about 30,000 pictures (or screenshots of recipes, etc.) and I tell myself that I will go through them, write down info that I want to remember, and, delete all but the one best picture of that squirrel or flower.

    BB – It’s nice that you have a way to digitally preserve your pictures before time takes its toll on the prints.

    I have a few, vanishing Polaroids. I should take screenshots of them.

  5. Correction: 35,200 

    I took a lot of pictures of my Dad’s pictures when I visited him in 2019. A lot of stuff I hadn’t seen. I got to hear the stories, too. If you have stories that go with the pictures, write it down now.

  6. Imagine the photographic power of digital instantaneousness on January 6th.  All of the idiots taking selfies of themselves committing crimes.  It’s also pretty important when the police are brutalizing someone.   Almost everyone has a camera with a phone in it. Heck, even streetlights and doorbells have cameras. Everyone and everything is watching and capturing the moment.  

    You would think that this would lead to better behavior.

  7. Those older pictures are also a truer record of reality.  No filters.  Folks don’t even look like they actually look anymore. Turn on the beauty filter.   Sky not blue enough? You can fix that later. 

  8. bId – I do most of my daily fun with digital video or photos I am back into film.  My Nikon went into service a couple years ago.  Last year I bought a 4X5 field camera and I just acquired a 4X5 pin hole camera.  No instant gratification, except for the Fujifilm instant camera.  I am going to use that film in my 4×5 like a Polaroid, a cool hack. 

  9. When I first began “Picture This” my idea was that everyone would put up a picture during the day, and perhaps even take turns putting up the main post picture.  Didn’t turn out that way but it was still fun for a time and was overall a nice experience, as I’ve been a photo-nut since I could hold up a camera. All “snapshots” never serious photography in depth. 

  10. BB yes, like that, or even old snapshots, etc. like the one you put up this morning……

  11. Sturg – That would be fun.  I’ve always been told my file is too big when I’ve tried  to post a pic.  I think Pogo had that issue, as well.  I especially enjoyed pics of the venues where you played music. My dad is a musician and I have a feeling that he played some of those places, too. Although, he also played a lot of the Holiday Inn lounges in the Midwest, and those all look the same. You don’t need a filter if everything looks the same, anyway.


  12. sturge & BB, nothing’s stopping us from doing that everyday.   a trail candid camera moment now and then might be entertaining.

  13. Maybe  “Picture This”  needs a re-launch with a new understanding of your idea.

  14. Where were you? What were you thinking? Why were you there? Who were you with? Who took the photo? Why did you choose this pic for your post?

    No, I don’t actually expect answers, but pictures are incomplete records of events. They focus on one moment and then the viewer gets to fill in the gaps and assign importance.   

  15. BB, back to the real question behind the last part of my original question, what does that beautiful view look like now some decades later?  are there now highways, structures,  tourists and litter or has it been protected?

  16. from axios interview:

    Sen. Lindsey Graham told “Axios on HBO” that Donald Trump has a “dark side” but he tries to “harness the magic” because he succeeded where Republican candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney failed.
    “What I’m tryin’ to do is just harness the magic,” Graham told Axios’ Jonathan Swan. “To me, Donald Trump is sort of a cross between Jesse Helms, Ronald Reagan and P.T. Barnum.”
    “He could make the Republican Party something that nobody else I know can make it. He can make it bigger. He can make it stronger. He can make it more diverse. And he also could destroy it,” Graham said.

    you can watch (only if you have nothing else better to do) lindsey tap dance here to try to stay relevant

  17. I have hours and hours of old home and travel movies I once had transferred from Super 8 to VHS, which is obsolete, don’t even have a player. Now I need to figure out how to digitize them for the modern world. What a project that’ll be, even if I get the right equipment.

  18. patd – I have not been there in over thirty years. Most likely a lot of it was destroyed by pine beetle and it is possible the forest fires hit it last year.  Because it was federal property (like much of the west) it would not be developed.  I would like to visit Colorado and Wyoming sometime in the future, the same as Michigan.  Something of a tour of memories.

  19. This might be the best we can get, better than nothing. Do love the idea of Grassley having to sleep on a cot.

    NYT: Manchin  said he would support a “talking filibuster — requiring any senator objecting to ending debate to remain on the floor and speak for the entire time. That could make filibusters far less frequent, and give Democrats far more opportunities to pass legislation on party-line votes, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaker.” Manchin: “If you want to make it a little bit more painful, make him stand there and talk, I’m willing to look at any way we can.”

  20. might work if the entire senate also is required to be in attendance and attentive as well as the filibuster-er having to orate continuously. only potty breaks allowed, no going off to cloakroom for naps. i would add that it all has to be televised and accessible to networks  

  21. On line recently my father’s family published pictures of the men over several generations among the cousins both near and removed going back to the late 1800s and three different continents.  The long term genetics of the line were very interesting in that majority of the men had the high forehead and long narrow face.  

  22. While the publisher had every right to take the action, I truly think they should have found some way to keep the first Seuss book “And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street).  It was the very first book I read totally by myself and definitely cherished.  You would think there should have been some way to keep it in context.  The supposedly offending image does have a Chinese man who is definitely yellow and wearing a queue with dress similar to a rickshaw puller while the book is a tribute to a child’s imagination.

    Admittedly Seuss isn’t Mark Twain, but Huckleberry Finn is definitely the same issue.



  23. So I watched entire Meghan/Harry interview but no idea whose side I’m on, other than reinforcing why monarchies are ridiculous.

    Prince Phillip is my prime suspect for the racist remark.

  24. Craig

    Phillip was the first who came to mind for me as well.  I definitely know the British media was very hard on Meghan in very different slants on similar actions by both Meghan and Kate that were treated very differently in the press.

    As to the future once the Queen leaves the scene, I wouldn’t be surprised by an abdication (age/health etc) by Charles, elevation of William and limiting the monarchy as a taxpayer supported charity, commonwealth economic asset & tourist attraction of only William/Kate.  Everyone else gets totally off the public teat.  They are all wealthy enough.


  25. BBronc…  great topic!  I’ve tried to post pictures here…  it always says the file is too big.
    I know some here won’t go near FaceBook.  I have relatives from Canada and I love staying in touch with them via FB.  One cousin moved from New Brunswick to northern Newfoundland.  While going through her stuff to see what to take and what to toss to her new home…  she came across a trunk that she was given from her mother (my aunt…  my mother’s sister).  She found my mother’s high school picture.  She sent it to me.  I very much value it!

  26. RR – an easy, sort of, method to reduce the file size is to use the Windows Paint editor.  Highlight a picture, right click, click on edit (only the plain word edit), it will open in Windows Paint, click on resize, click on pixels, I usually enter 2000 in Horizontal box, make sure the keep aspect ratio is checked, click on OK.  It will appear very large and distorted, do not be concerned.  Upper left corner, click on File, click on save as, click on JPG, it will open file explorer, make sure the directory is where you want to save it to, enter the name you want it to be, click save.  Open that location and then right click on the picture you just saved.  Click on Properties, click on Details, at the bottom click on Remove Properties and Personal Information, a box opens, click on okay, a copy will be saved without all the personal details.  Use that copy as the one to post.

  27. Sometimes a pic won’t post……I take a screen shot of the pic and the screen shot will post right up.
    I not know.

  28. Best comment on Harry and Megan and the Firm, imo

    Best of all: it’s somebody else’s country.
    To be sure there are major issues at play, but they don’t pose an existential threat to us. This time, it is not our constitution that is under siege. It’s not our institutions crumbling before our eyes.
    And that’s a relief, isn’t it?
    We can care deeply about the story, but this is some other country’s history, and therefore entertaining without being exhausting. The best analogy is sports: we can be passionately engaged, precisely because the stakes are so low. However much we care about our favorite teams, it is not a matter of life and death. They provide a catharsis in a relatively safe place.
    So it is with with the royals. Beautiful (and not so beautiful) famous rich people wrestling with the burdens of titles, castles, duties, race, family, and fashion.
    But, ultimately SEP (Somebody Else’s Problem). Which makes it perfect.

  29. In amongst the stuff Mrs Jack collected through her life is a photo album pictures of people from the late nineteenth century early twentieth. Nobody from her family just something she picked up at an estate sale/flea market. Upper middle class folks from California. Mrs Jack bought it because she liked  old timy look.
    with digital that all disappears as soon as somebody looses interest. 
    We and our parents generation may be the best historically recorded generation. Those that follow may take more pictures but who will know as they disappear from the cloud as technology changes.

  30. I have some pictures taken when my Grandparents were young. A bunch of different women, I don’t know who they are, so I just labeled them Granddads girl friends and put them in a frame.
    Changing history one picture at a time

  31. Craig – You can take VHS to Walgreens, among other places, to put them on DVDs.  That tape is decaying by the moment.

    I didn’t watch the interview. The wedding, yes, for the clothes, etc., but that is the end of my interest. For a couple who want their privacy, they sure like media attention. My feeling is that she is a manipulative, narcissistic actress who has cut off her husband from his family, as cult leaders tend to do. Harry is in a cult of one. Take all of the money and titles out of it, and that’s the vibe I get every time the couple (she) makes another well-devised peep.

    The interview was impossible to ignore even without seeing it. I don’t have cable and have no idea where it was even aired, but the headlines on the news outlets seemed to have forgotten about covid victims and bad politicians, because this was shinier.

    By the way, her hubby wore a Nazi uniform to a party, so…

  32. Jack – you are so correct.  The digital age has a distinct loss point when the devices go obsolete and are no longer sold, or the code to read them is no longer in use or no longer functions on the machines.  A photographic print can last hundreds of years.  Developed film can be stable for many years, even longer if frozen.  I just created accounts for certain family members on my photographic server so they can copy and save what they want on their machines (computers).  The physical photographic material is stored away to be found after I am gone, I need to look in my will to see who I tasked with it.
    Early photographs were limited and took a long time to finish, so in the 1800’s our ancestors were staged and stiff.  As the 20th century and movies marched on the films became wonderful and varied.  Photography and movies became recorders of events.  I am always upset when I see some print or film clip which is all garbaged up with dust and streaks.  The originals looked much better and should be shown.  Even if showing a crummy print someone should run it through  modern digital editing and clean it up. 

  33. All of the really old, family photos going back to 1920 have one thing in common. Nobody was smiling. 
    When did “say cheese” become a thing?

  34. BBronc…  thanks for the info.  It looks complicated.  And I’m on a Mac…  don’t know if it even has Windows Paint.
    As far as “The Royals” goes…  IMO… they are just whiny privileged bitches.  Didn’t watch one second of it.  They say they want their privacy….  well shut the fuck up already!

  35. We had a glass negative of my great-grandparents and all of their children in a kitchen cabinet when I was a kid.  My great-uncle finally got pictures made from it and sent one to everybody.  No idea what happened to the glass negative.

    Yes, the rich family of historical significance is trying to remain so. What is England without them, though? They are quite a draw for tourists. I guess one could still tour the castles. I don’t think any of the successors will have the support of the people in the way Queen Elizabeth has had. She made a much-needed speeches over the past year. She’s been at the center of so much of historical significance. I do think the times have changed and the course has been run, though.

  36. Question for Lindsey Graham:  How do you harness a sack of sh/+?   It must get messy. 

  37. RR

    Two of the photographs I love are my graduation picture along with my mother’s graduation picture 1935 age 17.

    Above is my mom.  Below is me.  Couldn’t get both to post on same message



  38. This is Shermanesque for sure, but Schumer is a persuasive dude. “To all that are asking: Thank you to the many who have said kind things,” Claire McCaskill tweeted. “But I will never run for office again. Nope. Not gonna happen. Never. I am so happy I feel guilty sometimes.”

  39. BBronc… once again….  thanks for the info!
    Jamie…  you look just like your mother.
    Hey Claire McCaskill…   good on you for knowing what you want and don’t want!

  40. There are firms that will convert all your stuff to a variety of formats.    Not too expensive. Especially if you would have to buy equipment.

  41. My opinion, if Brit Royals salvageable, and I don’t care either way, Prince William should step up, push his miserable father aside, make amends with his brother, reform how they do things, and get the Queen on board. 

  42. Yeah, I ain’t got any “shoulds” for the Brits and their royalties…..I reckon if there was a chance of my being one, I might have to look into it but my fambly long ago fell on the Rebel side of that dust-up;  I figure that scene is not my circus and not my monkeys, and lucky I am to have the luxury of feeling so……It is always nice, though,  to see one of ’em step up and show some fineness of action human-wise like Harry seems to have.   And hell, Chuck ain’t no Edward, by any stretch.

    William v. Charles………..CAGE MATCH!

  43. As for Ms Claire McCatskill, let’s see…….get paid TV money, come on it now and then to talk about a bunch of politicians, and hang out close to the house——versus—— Run for Office, Beg for Money, Answer reporters’ dumbass questions all the time, get deaf trets from half of your constituents, Catch shit no matter how you vote……
    Yeah, no.

  44. Sturg, well then I reckon I ain’t holdin my mouf jus rat.

    I just read over the CDC Guidelines for what fully vaccinated people should be able to do safely.  Nothing much will be changing in my life anytime soon  – maybe other than wearing a somewhat smug look behind my mask suggesting I’m not concerned about becoming infected.  I don’t have grandkids, my kid is 350 miles away, and I don’t plan to spend any more time in public settings than I have over the past year. And I’ll continue to wash my hands more often than I used to.  We may go up to see LP again, but NYC without plays, music venues and restaurants – hardly seems worth the trip, but at least the traffic is no big deal now, and that’s something for NYC. Maybe I’ll step out on the edge and go out to eat when Mrs. P gets 2 weeks past shot No. 2. Other than that … really nothing.  Now if someone would open a decent BBQ place around here I might have a different thought – good BBQ can change your (my) life.

  45. We were in Vegas when Claire was running in 2006.   A million years ago, it seems. 

  46. Breaking:  The Queen said to be appalled at new baby’s lack of inbreeding.
    –The Onion

  47. There are alternatives that wouldn’t necessarily occur to you, me…  For media conversions try Musicians Friend or B&H Photo in NYC. They have interesting media products. Also, a media player that has a USB output to allow you to save it to your computer and then drop it onto a thumb drive or something like that can take a step or two out of the process.

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