At the moment I am the care-taker of my mother's old photo album. When my sister asked to borrow it (twice!), I told her I wasn't finished with it yet. Last week I decided to scan the photos I want to save and print, or use for this blog. And then I decided it would be good to scan every page to have as a reference. When I'm finished and I see her again, I'll give it into my sister's care for a while.
I think the cover of the album is beautiful with its rich, dark green color, the embossed decoration, and the gold lettering. The album is also attractive for its size, 10" by 7", and the cord that ties on the side.
From the time I was a child I thought my mother was very, very particular about things. Perhaps that wasn't so if this album is evidence. I was surprised to see the haphazard way in which the photos were put in the album, some askew, others hodge-podge on the pages. Perhaps she had to hurry to finish a page or two because a toddler had just awoken from a nap....
The paper of old black pages has not held up well through the years. As I turn the leaves to look at the photos I find specks and crumbs and dust and flakes of black on the table and on my hands. I think the photos need to be ever-so-carefully removed (if that's possible because of the glue that attaches them to the pages), new pages cut, and the photos reattached in some non-destructive method. I didn't think I should undertake the job without the approval of my sister and possibly my brother, and especially without researching options. Perhaps we will agree that it should be done. Or perhaps research will suggest that it shouldn't be done. I'll think about that problem later.
My current predicament, though, is this: probably a third or more of the photos in this dear old album are out of focus. They look like this:
Some of the blurry photos I don't give a wit about, but there are others.... For instance, the photo of the lady and child on the above, left page. That's my mother with a smile! A smile! And my brother, on the right, is also smiling.
On the pages in the middle and on the right are "twin" photos: my father on the left, perhaps taken by my mother; and my mother on the right, perhaps taken by my father. Same location, doing the same thing. Twins. Maybe it was a new camera and they were trying to get the hang of holding it still.
Again, on the middle page, left side, that's my father's cousin, Evie McClelland - the only photo I have of her that's almost not a photo at all - putting a curtain on a curtain stretcher. Why exactly anyone would want to take that particular photo, I don't know. But now that we have it, I do certainly wish it were in focus!
What to do about these photos? Of course the originals will stay where they are (unless we decide to change the paper). But what about copies? Make copies and lay them aside since (as far as I know) there's no way to fix them? Or forget I ever saw them?
Did your family save out-of-focus photographs or did they throw them away? If you have blurry photos, what do you do with them?
Copyright © 2010 by Nancy Messier.