Using Tools To Preserve Family Photos

One of my passions is the preservation of the photos that I have from my parent’s collection and my own. Because I have been given my parent’s collection, I feel it’s my responsibility to preserve them the best way I can.

With some photos, you want to use all the tools that you have at your disposal so you can preserve the photo as well as preserve the story.

One of those photos is this one. This is a photo of the Beaton family. I think that William Beaton must have been the person taking the picture because he’s the only one that’s not in the photo. On the left is Gordon Beaton, then my great grandmother, Maria Beaton nee Kottmann, sitting in the carriage on the left next to her my grandmother; Mary Middlebrough nee Kottmann, then her older sister; Violet and finally William Beaton Jr. standing on the back of the wagon.

As you can see this photo has seen better days. But I’m not a “PhotoShop” expert and I don’t want to spend tons of time fixing photos because I have lots of photos to look after. So what to do?

One of the tools that I have is FOREVER Historian. FOREVER Historian is a program that you can use on your computer to store all your photos. (There is a free version you can download to try. Click HERE.) You can put your photos in albums and tag them, and you can do some restoration as well. I’ve used the restoration part of the program before but not for quite some time. But I thought I’d give it a try.

Restored with FOREVER Historian

I think it turned out pretty good. Now let’s see what else we can do with this photo. Well, I have the Vivid-Pix RESTORE program and so let’s see if there is something more we can do with RESTORE.

After choosing the photo from my computer, the RESTORE program provides the nine up view, and out of those, I picked the one below. I then decide to make it black and white because some of the sepia was a bit blotchy.

Now it’s really looking good .. I think. But what else can I do?

Well, let’s take it over to MyHeritage and see. MyHeritage introduced two new features on their site where you can enhance and colorize your photos. *MyHeritage In Color — colorizes black and white photos to bring your family history to life *MyHeritage PhotoEnhancer — brings faces in any photo into sharp focus and improves their resolution  *Also, MyHeritage has an offer of MyHeritage Photo Enhancer and MyHeritage In Color™ –Now Free for a Whole Month! (until September 10, 2020)

You need to create an account at MyHeritage in order to use the software but that’s easy to do. You can do it HERE. Once you’ve created your account you can enhance a few photos for free but after that, you’ll have to purchase a subscription.

Here’s what happened when I enhanced it and then colorized.

I’m not sure it’s better because you can see where I’d used the blur tool.
Here’s an example after it was colorized. Again you can see a bit of my blurring tool work.

Here are a few other photos that I’ve worked with at MyHeritage. Now, these photos were not repaired so they worked a bit better.

Here’s an example of an enhanced photo from MyHeritage of my grandfather; Harold Alfred Thompson with his girlfriend; Nellie and my great grandmother, Lily in the background. (wow was she watching them).

Quite a bit better I’m thinking and to then see him colorized and close up.. Wow.

Finally, after I’ve gotten my improvements and fixes completely finished I’ll add them to my FOREVER account and tag and share them with my family. It gives me such peace of mind to know that they will be there not just for my lifetime, but 100 years more.

I hope you found this helpful. There are tools you can use to enhance your photos and to protect them for years to come so I know that I’ve done my job as the keeper of the family photos.

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