Why Scan Now?
Why Scan Now?
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Why Scan Now?

By Dillon Wallace

Act now. Enjoy forever.

Your collection of old photos, video tapesfilm reels and cassette tapes is a ticking time bomb. Only the detonation won’t go off with a bang – more like a whisper.

You see, over time all those old cherish-able memories you’ve hoarded get one step closer to becoming perishable. Given enough time and improper storage, the color and quality of your photos and videos will change and start to fade away.

But, there is a solution to deactivate that ticking time bomb – digitization!

With digital conversion, your collection of nostalgia is ensured to live on in today’s (and tomorrow’s) digital world. And, in case you still aren’t sold on why digitally scanning your memories is paramount, maybe this will help spark that fuse.

Lifespan of analog

The average lifespan of your VHS tapes and cassette tapes is around 15-30 years. And guess what? Your time is up. Sure, your tapes might still play (if you even have a functional VCR or cassette deck to play them on), but the chances of the picture quality and sound looking nearly as sharp or sounding half as crisp as when they were first new is lower than low. Part of it is simply old age, the other part of that 30-year obituary is bad storage habits.


Color shift

You may think that keeping your old photo albums and video tapes in the attic or basement is good enough, but we’re here to tell you it’s not. Your old media needs a place that’s not so climately temperamental. Direct sunlight will fade your photos and film quicker than you can even say “digitization,” and throwing them in complete darkness isn’t the solution either. The color in your photos and negative prints are likely to shift to a yellowish haze, like pollution shrouding your image. We could go into the science of the chromogenic process and light, but simply put – direct sunlight and complete darkness aren’t good.

Temperamental temperature

Your old media is just as fickle as you. Too hot? It’ll accelerate their breakdown. Too cold? Same thing. Too dry? You know the drill. Too moist? Take a guess. The ideal storage for your past photos and film is like Goldilocks finding her “just right” bed. It needs to be cool, but not cold. Humid, but not moist. The result is a storage environment that’s around 68 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity between 30–50%.

Fragile film

Remember how delicately you had to handle your photos and film negatives when you first had them developed? Well, imagine that delicacy with 30-50 years layered on top. Film can become increasingly delicate and prone to scratches, normal wear and tear, oil damage from fingerprints and more.

For video tapes, it’s a similar story. The technology behind the film in all your VHS copies was composed of magnetic tape. Over time, that magnetic tape just starts to deteriorate. As if this process couldn’t get any worse, it does. Poor storage, improper handling and age will all increase the speed of decay.

So why scan? More like, why wouldn’t you?!

Digitally scanning your photos can not only save them from deterioration, but it can improve damage and image quality issues that have already been done. If you’ve got a dusty photo album full of Polaroids with yellow hazes, professional scanning can help rescue the image and restore the colors as close as possible back to the original. It’s the magic of digital editing and it can do leaps and bounds for preserving your past.

With a new digital DVD, thumb drive or download of your old media, you can rest assured knowing that your nostalgic moments aren’t going anywhere but where they rightfully belong – your memory.

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