“Old Photos to New,” Ensign, July 1997, 67
If you own old photos of relatives and want to send them to family members to identify, you may not want to mail the originals for fear they might be mishandled or lost in the mail. The solution is to copy them. Copying photos used to be complicated and technical, but cameras with through-the-lens focusing and modern lenses make it an easy task.
First mount the photograph on an easel. A cork bulletin board works well, or a piece of stiff cardboard, plasterboard, or plywood will do also.
Support the camera on a tripod, books, or another stable base. A cable release ensures against moving the camera as the shutter is tripped. I use the 10-second delay feature on my camera to do the same thing. It takes me about an hour to shoot a 24-picture roll of film.
I use a macro-zoom lens that focuses to four and a half inches, which gives me the capability of cropping some of the pictures to the desired portion of the photograph.
When sending the copies I have made to relatives who might be able to identify people and places in the photos, I put index numbers on the back of the photos and the same number on the negatives that I keep. I use one number for the roll of film and circle another number identifying the frame of the negative.
I am putting together a small album for each of my children with a brief history of the people in each photo and where the pictures were taken. I feel this has been a great aid to my family history research.—Richard C. Wiles, Provo, Utah