Thursday, March 3, 2011

40 Years of Photos in My Creative Space

For months we've been sorting through all our belongings in the treasure bus. We're trying to reduce our possessions to just necessities. There are several reasons for this, some practical, the shear fact we are fed up with moving stuff; some philosophical, why do we have or need so much stuff; some financial, if we sell something it helps pay the bills, some selfish, we want to travel again, and are looking for way to achieve that.

In my creative space today, we now have boxes and boxes of photographs piled in my studio; I am shocked at the sheer number of them, so I'm reaching out to my blog friends to see what ideas they might have on what to do with these. I finally found the photo of the Mexican Federale and I standing on the dock in Cabo San Lucas in 1974. There are photos taken in Golden Gate Park like the swans photo below, ghost town photos from all over the Southwest, landscape and floral photos from all over the country, vintage cars and trucks, cityscapes, Gary's Vietnam photos and films, jeep and motorcycle photos, camping photos, travel photos, and so much more - so much history.

I'm wondering how to consolidate all this photographic history into a space saving format. How can I consolidate slides, photos, prints into a digital format? Do you know or have experience with changing slides, films, photos into digital format? Please let me know I'd love to hear about your experience in this area. We're talking 35 mm slides, 35 mm negatives, prints, 8 mm films and so on.

Look at all these photos, there must be a use for them? We have seven boxes full of photos, slides, and prints. I hate to have them just sit in the folders collecting dust. Maybe I could put together a traveling photo show. These photos are a documentation and history of our travels and our love of photography, of our love of America's back roads, deserts, mountains, and countrysides.

The second photo above took honorable mention in a show in Carmichael California years ago. I entered that photo and one of Gary's. Gary won first place, his is the first photo in this post. The photo of the rustic window and door I took in Cambria, California and it received honorable mention at a Sierra Foothill art show.

Here's how it usually goes. I prepare Gary's and my photos in the format acceptable to the particular show requirements, usually a black frame with a white mat, sometimes photos mounted on canvas are acceptable. Remember Gary said he doesn't have an artistic bone in his body. After I submit the paperwork and photos to shows, Gary usually takes first place and I usually get an honorable mention. Anyway we both have a ton of photos we want to share with the world and generate a little income along the way.

But I'm wondering is there a way? Is there a need, is there a desire in others to see the world from my eye, from Gary's eye? And, will someone purchase that work which will enable us to keep photographing, traveling and documenting. What do you think? By the way, the photos you see here are quick digital photos I took of actual photos in frames under glass, so there are reflections and the quality isn't how they look in person, but I've shown them here as examples.

OK, now I'll be frank, can I somehow generate income from all these photographs? Can I sell photos or prints of photos and to whom and where? There's etsy, but with thousands and thousands of pieces of art, what are the chances anyone would notice Gary's and my photos, even in prints at a reasonable price, in such a cavernous sea of art?

There's a lot of good stories behind most of these photos too. The next post will be one such story, so please come back to hear about another one of my adventures. Thanks for stopping by and reading. I really appreciate your comments, so please let me know if you've any thoughts about photographic art or prints. Oh gee, I can't believe this, I just had an idea and I already have the materials, more later, so stay tuned.


  1. I smell a book in the making :)

  2. You might want to check out We've had them do some batches of our old film and they do a good job. They even scan everything, then you can go online and remove any you don't like, blurry shots, etc, and you only pay for what you keep.

  3. When my Mom passed away we digitized all her family photos with a flatbed scanner.Worked fine,didn't take too long, and we were able to photoshop the faded ones and improve them.

  4. Do you have a scanner? I use one to scan my old photos into the computer. Haven't learned yet how to put them on disks but it is possible.
    The great thing is once in the computer, you can enhance the photos bringing them back to almost new.
    Good luck.

  5. If you need to scan film, we saw a pretty nice little film scanner at the Brookstone store, or I'm sure a local camera shop would have one. I remember when we first got a computer, Gerry used to have to scan all of his negatives with a film scanner, back before the digital camera. There are also places that will do it for you, I think Kinkos makes DVDs for photos. As far as your photos, why not make packets of note cards and sell them at craft fairs with your pottery. I was beside a lady during a holiday show that sold a ton of note cards that day. Love the photos!

  6. hi linda, sometimes i wish i was a photo person back then, i have thousands of pics since sofia was born but not all that many before then... i guess part of it was the expense. anyway, i have slides of sculpture work from college and you can send them in to places online and get high res digital versions sent back. i didn't do it yet but there are many. i think i remember it being 20 cents per slide which could run you some big bucks with all those slides you have. you would probably have to go through them and cull out the absolute "keepers"

  7. Hi Kathy, thanks, I looked into writing a book but the upfront money needed is a lot, and with photos it would be very expensive. I am researching a self publishing option.

    Hi Brian, thanks for the info on scansafe. I knew others must have done this before I just never have and I didn't want to leave my photos some place unless it's a reputable lab.

    Hi Dennis, thanks, I have a small scanner I'll will see how they turn out on that.

    Hi Patti, thanks, I do have a scanner I just didn't know I could do that, cool.

    HI Tracey, thanks, we did't even think of going to a camera store yet, thanks for the tip, Gary's relative are coming today and we had to stop our photo looking for now. I have made notecards with my garden photos and forgot about that I'll make up some more, car photos and old ghost towns are really popular I'm make up some of those. Before the holidays is a good time to sell I think. thanks again.

    Hi Jim, thanks, I worked at Brooks Camera in San Francisco after I got out of college so got my cameras, film, and developing at a discount and then I was hooked after that. I would need high resolution digitals for some but others I might be able to scan myself. It was an expensive to get good quality prints back then for sure. I worked in color so sent my work out to photo labs, did sme black and white but got out of it. thanks.

  8. First of all, your photos are great. If the rest of them are as good as the ones you posted, you have quite a collection on your hands.
    Second, I would agree with Tracey. If you are looking to make money off them I would think selling note cards or some similar item would be your best bet.
    Regarding how to store them, I would agree with Kings Creek. I personally prefer books to photo albums or anything like that, and they do not have to be terribly expensive to make. Check out sites like You can upload your photos (once you have them digitized) and arrange them in a book format. You can even sell your book through their website. And I would definetely include stories. Part of the appeal of photos (for me at least) is hearing the story behind them.

  9. I admire your perseverance for getting this accomplished. I am in the same state with mine, although, not sooo many photos as your collection :),and it is a daunting task. Keep us posted on the progress. I think a scanner is a super idea to start.

  10. Wonderful photos and dedication...

  11. i LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the second photo of the car! Gary's is cool too but there is something about those cars with winged fenders. having them scanned is the best option to reduce storage space, but there is something so lovely about seeing photographs printed, matted and framed. you have a tough job ahead of you...
    i think Tracey had a great idea about notecards if you need to make some extra cash.

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  13. Hi Linda

    I love your retro-flavored photos! They are very nice! Love the first and the third(windows)ones, particularly!! I hope you'll find a good way to preserve your photos. Personally, I've made up my mind to discard most of my photos except a couple of small albums before I say good-bye to this world. That might be a very Japanese way, though.

  14. Hi Rob, thanks so much, you've given me some great advice. I'll check out the sites you mentioned.

    Hi Salsa, thanks, and I appreciate your commenting and for stopping by.

    Hi Michele, thanks, I love those fins too and the color of that Buick is beautiful. We can only display so many photos on our walls though. Yeah my work cut out for me for sure. Just like I need another project.

    Hi Sapphire, thanks so much. So sad to hear you say you will discard your photos you have so many wonderful ones, life is a fleeting thing I guess that is the Japanese way as you say. As time goes by the old photographs fade in beauty as they deteriorate like the memories often fade away.

  15. You could start a website to sell your art (well, photos are art!). I really love that last picture - and I think that there is always room for a little history shared. :)

  16. Linda, I agree with what everyone has said about scanning, etc. Selling notecards is a good way to go...but you have to find an outlet besides the internet, so you will be easier to find in a sea of folks selling photos. How about checking out what art fairs are in your neck of the woods. Show some of your framed photos, and get into a juried show for the holidays. At least around here, I see folks buying framed photos at most of the art fairs. Of course you have to factor in the cost to participate in these.
    I love the vintage car photos!

  17. Linda, I agree with what everyone has said about scanning, etc. Selling notecards is a good way to go...but you have to find an outlet besides the internet, so you will be easier to find in a sea of folks selling photos. How about checking out what art fairs are in your neck of the woods. Show some of your framed photos, and get into a juried show for the holidays. At least around here, I see folks buying framed photos at most of the art fairs. Of course you have to factor in the cost to participate in these.
    I love the vintage car photos!

  18. Hi Seaweed and Raine, thanks for stopping by, I thinking of a way to incorpirate history and the photos.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, yes the internet is inundated with art especially etsy, I'm researching local shops now and have a few ideas of how to creatively use the photos.


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