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Epson computer tips: How to rescue and restore old destroyed photo albums

What do we do with all of our oldest photo albums? You know the ones: the pages are yellow, the glue is gone, and the color of the photos has discolored beyond recognition!

The worst offenders are the style of photo albums called “Magnetic”. These were easy to use, with sticky pages ready to grab and hold onto your photos. Their big problem was that they often destroyed our photos in the process, thanks to the chemicals in the glue and also in the developer solution used years ago.

So what to do? Take action now! The longer your photos remain in those old albums, the worse they will continue to deteriorate with time. Pretty soon, you’ll not be able to make out anything in the photo.

The very least you should do immediately is to rescue those photos! Carefully remove them from their current albums and adhere the photos onto an acid free archival page. Once you stick the photo onto a new archival page, place the page into a new album. Cover with a polypropylene page sleeve. Discard the original album: its damage-causing days are now over.

The ideal thing to do, however, is not only to rescue the photos from their current harmful environment, but go one step further. Also restore the photos before placing them into their safe new home. It’s never been easier to do as it is now with the One-Touch Color Restoration featured offered with Epson scanners.

Here’s how:
• Make it easy on yourself. Don’t try to redesign the original layouts or add new embellishments. Keep the pages true to their original design. Your goal here is to simply rescue the photos and restore their original color. Copy the same layout originally used.
• Remove the plastic sleeve from the old page, and carefully lift each photo off that page.
• Remember where each photo was on the original layout, or write notes directly on the original album page.
• Save the photo file by the number you write on each page.
• This will remind you of each photo’s placement on that page so that you can put it right back in the same place.
• Now scan your photos, one at a time. Place the photo on the scanner glass. The whole process takes just a few clicks.
• First, because it is a photo you’re scanning, select the “Photo Option”.
• Next, with the photo in place, select “preview” to see what it would look like if you were to print it as it looks.
• Check off the box that says “color restoration”. Right away you can see how much better the photo will look. If these looks satisfactory to you, choose to scan this version of the photo and the program will save it. It’s done once the progress gauge reaches the end. Once it’s scanned, you can print it out.

You can do these for each photo in the album, page by page. Or one whole page at a time if you use scrapbook software to print out complete pages.
You may also want to rewrite any text that was on the original page to include in the new album. The best way to reproduce any journaling or headlines is also with your computer and printer.

Sponsor: Epson America

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