Photo Protection

How to protect your photos

Photo protection is extremely important and no serious photographer would ever run the risk of losing their precious digital photo files and neither should you. Whether it is from file corruption, computer failure or theft and unsanctioned usage you can and should prepare for the worst to happen. 
 It's not however just digital photo files that can be lost stolen or deteriorate, how about your old physical photographs? In many ways they are even more at risk than digital files. They can scratch, rip, tear, become lost, get stolen, have something spilt over them or even just fade over time. So what can and should you do to protect your old physical photos and your digital photo files? 

Photo protection for your old physical photos or 35mm film

Protecting old physical photos or 35 mm film is a two step process. First you need to turn them into digital photo files and then restore them or improve them with image manipulation software such as paint shop Pro or Photoshop. Editing such as  removing scratches, restoring lost colour and adding special effects are all possible with modern day software packages. Once transformed into digital and edited you can then reprint the photos again onto photographic paper..

Get a quality scanner

A photo scanner
You will need a good quality scanner with a minimum optical resolution of 3200, a bit depth of at least 24 bit and a dynamic range of around 3.3 to capture all of the fine detail in your original photos. These are the minimum requirements particularly if you are scanning a 35mm film. Ensure that both the scanner bed and the photograph or film to be scanned are clean and grease free (a delicate wipe with methylated spirit on lint or soft cotton pad will ensure that your media is clean). Place the photo onto the scanner bed close the lid and scan the photograph into your computer saving the file as a tiff file. Tiff files are more suited to being worked on by manipulation software as they do not lose data during the manipulation process whereas JPEG files will lose data. 

Photo protection for digital photo files

Place all the image files in your collection into a master folder and then back the folder up in two different places. The first place you should back up to should be an external hard disk. This should then be stored somewhere seperate from your computer. You should endeavour to copy your master photo files onto the external hard drive often and at regular intervals. This will protect your files if your computer catches a virus or your computers hard disk fails. What though if disaster strikes and you lose both your computer and external hard disk to theft or a fire? Unlikely I know but do you really want to take the chance? You should look for a second secure backup. If you have a fast internet connection capable of uploading large files quickly then an online cloud based storage such as Dropbox would be ideal but may Incur costs. 

Preventing unauthorized use of your photos

Taking a great photo and having someone else use it without your permission is a very annoying and frustrating thing to have happen to you. Therefore good photo protection in the form of watermarking or copyrighting your photos is essential. We cover these subjects more fully on our  watermarking photos  and  copyrighting photos  pages.


For a quotation to have your old photos professionally restored navigate to