Episode 235 - Photo Detective Maureen Taylor On Dating Pix / “Film Rescue” On Developing Half Century Old Film

podcast episode May 06, 2018

Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org.  The guys open the show talking about the discovery of a new type of DNA. What does it do? Will we be testing for it someday? The guys will fill you in. Then, it’s a landmark for our friends at FamilySearch.org. Wait until you hear what it is. David then reveals the story behind his given name, and an incredible meeting with the man he was named for. Next, a teenager has uncovered a treasure hoard dating back to the days of King “Harold Bluetooth.” (Yes, there was even a Bluetooth in the 10th century!)  David then spotlights blogger Gina Philibert-Ortega at foodfamilyephemera.blogspot.com. There, Gina will share with you her family cook books.

Fisher then visits with the Photo Detective, Maureen Taylor. The two recently had a fascinating discussion about an English man who recently purchased a $10 photo on eBay that is believed by many to be a previously unknown photo of outlaw Jesse James worth, perhaps, over $2 million! But Maureen says “Not so fast!” She’ll explain the process of dating and identifying photos that may be of great use to you in your research.

Sticking with the photo theme, Fisher’s next guest is the head of a company that Tom Perry has referred all of us to many times… “Film Rescue.”  Film Rescue is in the business of developing film that often has been sitting in a camera for over 50 years! Hear some of Greg’s stories and learn how you might rescue some of Grandpa and Grandma’s old film from that camera you found in the basement.

Then, Tom Perry, the Preservation Authority returns to answer your questions about preserving your precious materials.

That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!

Transcript of Episode 235

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 235

Fisher: And welcome America to America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. My name is Fisher. I am your Radio Roots Sleuth, your host on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. And this segment is brought to you by FamilySearch.org. This whole show today is going to be devoted largely to photography. First, coming up in about 10 minutes, we’re going to talk to the Photo Detective.  Maureen Taylor is back on the show talking about this English guy’s recent discovery of a photograph of Jesse James as a teenager. He got it on eBay for ten bucks. Experts are saying it’s worth a couple of million dollars. She’s saying, “Not so fast.” And she’ll explain to you why she doesn’t believe it’s real and how you can detect the same thing if you’re coming across historic photographs. Want to know if it’s real? Want to know if it’s fake? Maureen will explain that for you. And then later on in the show I’m going to talk to the founder and co-CEO of a company called Film Rescue. These are the people Tom Perry’s been telling you about for some time. Say, if you had an old camera left by a great aunt from back in the ‘50s, this guy Greg, he can get that film developed for you, and get you some images from half century old film. Right now, let’s check in with Boston and David Allen Lambert the Chief genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. How are you David?

David: Well, I’m doing great Fish. How about yourself? Any new discoveries in your DNA research?

Fisher: You know, it’s funny you mention that. Yes, we’ve gotten up to seventeen different matches now on some third great grandparents on my wife’s side, and so it’s really helping that whole thing come together. But, I think the cool news about DNA this past week and maybe you’ve heard about this is scientists are reporting in Nature Chemistry that they’ve discovered a new form of DNA inside humans

David: I heard that!

Fisher: Yeah, they’re calling it “i-motif” and it basically exists inside living beings. But it’s kind of different from the DNA, the autosomal and all that, because the structure is more like a “knot” than it is a ladder, a four-stranded knot according to the scientists. And the bottom line is they were able to discover this using fluorescent dye that highlights the “motif.” They don’t know though what it does for sure, but they think it may have to do with switching genes on and off. And if that is the case, it could be huge as far as medical research goes.

David: That’s great and it’s always amazing. We’re just at the tip of the iceberg with this technology.

Fisher: Yep.

David: Well, you know my first story for Family Histoire News is from FamilySearch. And Family Search’s Twitter which is @FamilySearch had really an interesting concept on there. There’s really no rules. You’re writing down your family history in order why not just put down your memories. You know how things always pop into your head?

Fisher: Yes.

David: Yeah, it’s a great idea. And to put memories of your parents, your grandparents or even family stories that are generations old, so record it as you know them or as they pop into your head.

Fisher: Well, I think it makes a lot of sense because I think there is a natural tendency to go. Well, let’s see, when I was three this happened and then when I was four I did this. I mean, let’s face it, it’s hard to write your own history because in some ways you’re always thinking, “Well, I’m not that interesting.” But, you’re going to be to somebody down the line and it’s really worth putting it down in a way that is most interesting to them and it’s not always chronological. 

David: That’s really true. Well, you have something that might be interesting to descendants. Where did you get your name from? And I don’t mean your surname, your given name.

Fisher: Right.

David: Mine is kind of interesting. I was supposed to be Darlene if I was a girl. When I was born in the late 1960s my teenage sister decided that she was going to put a name in the hat for somebody she liked from television. Yep, I was named for Davy Jones of the Monkees!

Fisher: [Laughs] And you got to meet him once too.

David: I did and it was an interesting story because I said, “I was named for you.” He told me to stick around for a second and then he asked me if he was my father!

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: I looked at him, I looked at the height comparison and I said, “No, they just liked your name.” [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] Nope. And it’s funny you mention that. My name Scott actually came from my grandfather who was Winfield Scott Hancock Fisher. And he was named for Winfield Scott Hancock who ran for president in 1880 the year grandpa was born. And Winfield Scott Hancock was a Civil War General who had been named after Winfield Scott the general from the War of 1812 and the Civil War.

David: You know, since I’m indirectly named for Davy Jones now I have to find out where he got his name from.

Fisher: [Laughs] That’s right.

David: [Laughs] Well, I tell you sometimes when you’re young you can find things on the beach and what not. A 13-year old boy out in Germany found with an amateur archaeologist what he thought was a piece of aluminum with a metal detector. And it turns out it is part of the Danish King Bluetooth hoard of treasure that’s been found. An area over 4,300 square feet has been dug up now and the Danish King Harald Gormsson known better as Harry Bluetooth reigned around AD 958 to 986. And he was the one responsible for bringing Christianity to Denmark.

Fisher: Isn’t that incredible? What a thrill for that kid.  The problem is now for him it’s all downhill from there.

David: That’s true. Everything is going to be pull tabs and bottle caps. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] Exactly.

David: Well, every week I like to spotlight a blogger and this blogger spotlight goes out to our friend and colleague Gena Philibert-Ortega who is an author and researcher instructor and focuses on genealogy and women’s history, but her blog is on family-ephemera. So, cookbooks are what you’ll find on there, old cookbooks and really fun recipes. So, her blog is FoodFamilyEphemera.blogspot.com. And this week I’m going to be in NEHGS’s conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan giving two lectures, one on World War II, another one on New England, so hope to meet some of our genies out there that are attending NEHGS and swing by the booth. By the way, don’t forget, if you’re not a NEHGS member you can save $20 by using the checkout code “Extreme.” And we all know where that comes from.

Fisher: Yes we do. Alright David, well, have a great trip to Michigan and send our best to all the genis that you come upon there.

David: I shall.

Fisher: All right my friend. And coming up next, this is going to be very fun. We’re going to talk to Greg Miller. He is the founder... he is the co-owner of a place called the Film Rescue. And if you’ve got an aunt or an uncle or a grandparent who passed away and you wound up with a camera and there’s still film in it, maybe it’s a motion picture camera, this is the guy who can restore that. And he’s been doing that for 20 years. He’s got stories you’re going to want to hear what he’s got to say and you’re going to want to hear some of the things that he’s discovered on other people’s reels. That’s all coming up in 3 minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 2 Episode 235

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Maureen Taylor

Fisher: Welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth this segment is brought to you by FamilySearch.org.  And it wasn’t that long ago we heard about the exciting headline that man buys $10 photograph on eBay, discovers its Jesse James and it’s worth over two million dollars. Boy, I wish that could happen to me. I know it’s happened to people like Ron Fox who is one of our favorite photo researchers as well. And when this story came up it was really strange because it was like the very moment I was posting the story about the Jesse James discovery, I get an email from my friend Maureen Taylor the Photo Detective and she’s going, “No, no, no, no, no, that’s not him.” And so we spent a little time on the phone discussing it and I thought, you know, this might be a conversation for all of you to listen in on and Maureen is with me on the line right now. How are you Maureen? How are things in Rhode Island?

Maureen: Things are good. How are you?

Fisher: I’m doing well. This was quite the story here. I mean, everybody was pretty excited about this guy. He’s been unemployed, I want to say since like 2003, and he’s in Britain and he enjoys stories of the old west and he found this old photo and it seemed to look really familiar to him and he went to work, and talked to some experts and they said yep, this is Jesse James it’s worth two million dollars or more. And so they’re working on Kristy’s auction right now and who knows what’s going to happen with it but you have been adamant from the beginning that this is not the guy. What’s the story?

Maureen: Oh not so fast. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs]

Maureen: That’s what I say when I see a story like that, not so fast. Okay, so, it’s a random photo on eBay. Where did that dealer buy that image?

Fisher: Right. Yeah.

Maureen: Where did he buy it? Where does it come from?

Fisher: Sure.

Maureen: What’s the history of ownership of it?

Fisher: The provenance, yes.

Maureen: Yes, provenance. Probably no one knows. So it’s a completely random image.

Fisher: Yeah, pretty much.

Maureen: If you think of it in terms of that. And then I do my sort of photo detecting proof standard, which is what format is it? Okay, it’s a tin type. Were tin types popular when Jesse James was around? Yes. Okay, so we have a yes.

Fisher: Yeah. We’ll check the box. Okay.

Maureen: We’ll check the box. But then, this guy seems to think that this is a picture of Jesse James because it looks a lot like a guy in a publication, another photo of Jesse James.

Fisher: Right.

Maureen: And supposedly the same time period.

Fisher: Well, and there are a lot of pictures out there of him supposedly, but very few that have really been authenticated.

Maureen: Well, if you do an image search on Google for Jesse James, you will come up with screen full of images.

Fisher: [Laughs] That’s right.

Maureen: So, it’s supposed to be Jesse James. So here’s the thing, Jesse James was born September 5th 1847 and dies April 3rd 1882.

Fisher: Murdered. Robert Ford. Yep.

Maureen: Murdered, right, doesn’t just die. He was murdered. So there we have him. There is a well known image supposedly of Jesse James around the time when he was a Confederate Gorilla in the Western History Collection of the Denver Public Library.

Fisher: Right.

Maureen: It’s online. Anybody can look at it. And it’s taken, I believe, in the 1860s.

Fisher: Yeah. He’s got a gun. He’s got a hat on.

Maureen: He’s got a gun.

Fisher: He looks rough and tumble. 

Maureen: He’s got those vicious eyes. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs]

Maureen: Right?

Fisher: Yeah.

Maureen: You look at him and you go ooh.

Fisher: Right. You wouldn’t want to mess with him.

Maureen: Right. So, the “experts” I’m going to put that in quotation marks.

Fisher: Yep.

Maureen: They dated that ten dollar tin type as being from the 1870s. And they said that this was a fourteen-year-old Jesse James.

Fisher: Yeah. And they were saying also that it was from the same photo session that this other teenage picture of him was allegedly taken of, but there’s nothing that dates the original photo that they’re taking that date from. I mean, it’s very confusing.

Maureen: Yeah, it’s all very confusing. So yes, when you went to a tin type studio there was a possibility of making multiple images at the same time. But its multiple images, either you sat for several sessions or you sat for one session and there were cameras with multiple lenses.

Fisher: Right.

Maureen: But here’s the thing, let’s just do the basic maths. So, this is even 1870 then how old is Jesse James born in 1847?

Fisher: Twenty three.

Maureen: Twenty three.

Fisher: Yeah.

 Maureen: He’s not a teenager any longer.

Fisher: No.

Maureen: So that alone doesn’t make sense.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs] But wait, there’s the clothing.

Maureen: And wait, there’s the clothing, right? So the clothing is 1870s and that’s what they based the date of the photo on. But you can’t have a photo of a date in the 1870s be a teenager. The date of birth, the date of the photo, they don’t really add up.

Fisher: Well, and if you take the original they were matching it to, he’s wearing a different jacket.

Maureen: He is. He is wearing a different jacket.

Fisher: Now I will say this, the guy looks just like the other picture so let’s just start with that. I mean, if the other picture is supposedly Jesse James, this guy looks just like him. There’s no doubt about it. But the “experts” were saying that he wore a different jacket but it was the same photoshoot, really? I mean, how many times have you gone to something like that and brought multiple jackets? And not only that, you pointed out in our conversation that the eyes were of different colors, which I found interesting because I’ve never thought much about old black and white or sepia tones revealing really the color of somebody’s eyes. How did you know that?

Maureen: I come from a family of blue eyed people. [Laughs] There’s lots of blue eyes in our black and white photos.

Fisher: Okay.

Maureen: But the thing is, the one at the Western History Collection at the Denver Public Library, the young guy in that picture looks like a teenager.

Fisher: Yep.

Maureen: That would make sense. And he has blue eyes. Well, he has light colored eyes.

Fisher: Okay.

Maureen: Okay. The two other pictures he does not. Now, I can’t say that photographers didn’t sometimes color in the blue because it looked better because they were so ghostly looking.

Fisher: True.

Maureen: But you can’t see any coloring in either of those pictures. Plus, didn’t you make another call?

Fisher: Yes I did. I called the Jesse James birth place because I wanted to get an idea of what their thought was on this because this story came out only a few weeks ago and I talked to a woman there who runs the place, named Elizabeth, and Elizabeth said number one, she’s all on board with you. She says no, that is not Jesse James.

Maureen: No.

Fisher: And she said secondly, that photo that they were comparing this picture to, they’re not really certain where that came from either because it’s supposedly was in a book and it was from the James family. That’s what it was attributed to. But nobody has the original. And there’s serious doubt. And when you compare to the other three really truly authenticated images of Jesse James, it really doesn’t look to be the same guy.

Maureen: Right. I mean, people have doppelgangers, lookalikes.

Fisher: Yep.

Maureen: It happens all the time. And maybe that’s just this case. So let’s just step back for a moment and just say, all right, so you think you have an image that you think might be a famous person. What should you do? I’m going to tell you what you should do. You should take a step back. Take a deep breath, because it’s like a fraction of 1% that this will actually match.

Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah but this is like genealogy, right? We find the match. We’ve broken a brick wall. We want it to be true so much and we look for the things that validate what we want it to be, right?

Maureen: Right. You do. But you have to step back and say, does the photo format work? Does the age of the person in the picture work for the timeframe of the photo?  

Fisher: Right.

Maureen: Do you have any ownership information? Do you have any documentation, like if there’s a photographers name on it and it says Iowa, let’s just say Iowa because I’m off to Iowa.

Fisher: Sure.

Maureen: And you’re trying to prove that such and such an outlaw was in Iowa. Then you need to do all the research you can to figure out if in fact it’s possible that they would even pass through that part of the state.

Fisher: Don’t you think it’s easier, Maureen, to actually disprove the authenticity of a picture than to prove the authenticity of a picture?

Maureen: Yes, it is in fact easier to disprove. And I will say that in all the years that I’ve been doing this, there are two people that came to me with cases. And I do believe that they had really strong cases for one image to be a Jesse James, and they had everything. They had all the stuff that they needed to have. And another person I believe, Billy the Kid.

Fisher: Okay.

Maureen: It was a possibility.

Fisher: Yep.

Maureen: But it’s a really minor number of people that actually find a random photo and it’s famous. Now, I did not research what happened with that. Remember Billy the Kid playing croquette?

Fisher: Yes. I do remember this.

Maureen: So they wrote about it in True West Magazine in 2016.

Fisher: Okay.

Maureen: And what it comes down to is, one of the titles is, “Provenance on Trial.”

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs] Good title.

Maureen: The fight is over the provenance.

Fisher: Yeah.

Maureen: And others disagree, you know, is the proof the real deal or not? I mean, don’t know. It’s a tiny little person in that picture. You blow it up, it does look maybe, maybe not.

Fisher: One thing we should point out though, you can have pictures of the same person where they look like different people. And I’ve certainly seen that in my own family because the lenses of the cameras were a little bit different. The angles at which they were shot, hairstyles, that type of thing, but you can have the same person look just a little bit different and it could really throw you off.

Maureen: Well, and that’s what happens with facial recognition software. In order to really judge whether or not a person in two photos is the same person, you really need them facing in the same direction.

Fisher: Yes, at virtually the same angle.

Maureen: Right. So, the Billy the Kid photos, there is one that was authenticated and you know the payout for these are huge if you actually happen to have one. It’s 2.3 million.

Fisher: Sure.

Maureen: The guy who wanted to sell the Billy the Kid playing Croquette was hoping for five million dollars.

Fisher: Yeah. Two million dollars would have been a good payday I’m thinking, especially wasn’t it like ten bucks that he bought it for?

Maureen: Some of the articles say two bucks. Some of them say ten bucks. I mean you know.

Fisher: It was nothing. It was virtually given to him. Unbelievable.

Maureen: Pretty much.

Fisher: Maureen, great segment. Thank you so much for your expertise as always. And of course you can follow Maureen Taylor at MaureenTaylor.com or PhotoDetective.com. And what are you blogging about these days Maureen?

Maureen: Oh, I’m blogging all about my new cause. It’s a nine lesson cause on identifying family photographs. How you can be the photo detective in your family.

Fisher: And I’ve gotten the pamphlet related to that. It’s absolutely incredible so I highly recommend it. Thanks again Maureen. We’ll talk to you again soon.

Maureen: Thank you.

Fisher: And coming up next, if you’re looking to get your film rescued, I mean film and cameras from the 1950s, Greg Miller from Film Rescue will tell you how, coming right up.  

Segment 3 Episode 235

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Greg Miller

Fisher: Welcome back, it is America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth and this segment is brought to you by LegacyTree.com/Genealogist. You know, over the last several years you’ve been hearing Tom Perry, our Preservation Authority, talk about various problems that people have had. One of them, “What do you do with a camera that’s been discovered that your late great aunt had in a closet and there’s still film in it and you want to get it developed if you can. What are the odds that the film still has something on it?” And he’s always been recommending to us a company called “FilmRescue.com.” And you know, I’ve heard about this so much from Tom, I figured, well why don’t we just talk to Film Rescue and find out what they do and how it works, and a little about film and discoveries and some of the stories they’ve had. And I’ve got Greg Miller the Founder and co-CEO of Film Rescue, on the line with me from Indian Head Saskatchewan in Canada. How are you Greg? Welcome to Extreme Genes.

Greg: Pretty good, Scott. You said Saskatchewan pretty close to correctly too.

Fisher: Did I? What did I miss? What did I miss? [Laughs]

Greg: [Laughs] You had a little bit of an odd emphasis on one of the syllables.

Fisher: On the catch on the syllable? I don’t know why that would be. [Laughs]

Greg: [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] When did you start this thing, Greg and what did you used to do?

Greg: I’ve been running a lab since I was 18 years old. It was a motion picture lab and we were doing a process that had some chemical in it that would allow us to process some older photographic film that required a hardener that was discontinued ten years earlier. So people just started finding me. I didn’t even realize it. The motion picture process hadn’t moved on, the more the photographic process was.

Fisher: Ha!

Greg: So they started asking me to process their old photographic film and it kind of went from there. I never imagined it would end up being a real business but it has ended up being a real business.

Fisher: [Laughs] Well, obviously because you’re in The Hague in the Netherlands. You’re in West B, Montana and right there in Indian Head. I won’t say the other word because I’ll botch it. [Laughs]

Greg: Okay. [Laughs]

Fisher: So, what kinds of people reach out to you? What are the stories you typically hear? And share with some of the things you’ve discovered on some of these rolls of film.

Greg: Ah, the typical story is, usually we’re dealing with people who just had a family member die or recently had a family member die and they’re cleaning out the estate and they’ll find some old photographic or, we do movie film as well, find some old film that’s not processed and search us out or do an internet search and end up finding us because there’s not a lot of companies that specialize in lost and found film processing.

Fisher: No. What’s the oldest film you’ve actually got something from?

Greg: From the 1920s and we get a fair bit of film from the 1920s through the 1950s. That’s some of the harder stuff to get images off of. The older it is the harder it is to get stuff off of it. The brand is also important. Kodak was the best brand out there putting more silver in their films. So, generally the Kodak films are easier to get pictures off of it.

Fisher: Yeah. Do you actually combine the chemical processing to create a print or do you combine that with digital for instance?

Greg: Yes, so it’s all in the digital step at this point that’s so important. I was dealing with negatives that what you hold them up to the lights it look like there’s nothing there at all. So, by taking it to the digital step it allows it to pull something out of virtually nothing. So we have gone digital. And we went digital fairly early back in the early 2000s.

Fisher: So once you started this whole thing obviously you got a whole lot of different pictures, lots of different images. What images that you’ve uncovered or you’ve been able to process had made everyone in your office stop and go, “Wow, look at this!”

Greg: That’s basically a weekly occurrence. [Laughs]

Fisher: Really?

Greg: We’re currently being shopped around for a reality TV show because we have so many bizarre stories.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Greg: But, specific things that come to mind, Smithsonian had sent us in a roll of film found up a remote plane crash site on grave mountaineers I think it was.

Fisher: Wow!

Greg: And that has been sitting there since the 1950s. Motion Picture film and regular 8 film and on the regular film was about 4000 images. We managed to pull seven images off of that film and it surprised the hell out of us because it was half a century old because it’s been sitting on top of a mountain for the last 60 years, so that was an exciting one.

Fisher: Now was that from a vacation or something?

Greg: Someone’s barbeque in their backyard. I don’t know who that camera belonged to. Everyone perished in that flight, so I have no idea whose pictures those were.

Fisher: I imagine you run into some you really can’t talk about too much.

Greg: We have a fair bit of celebrity work in and sometimes we signing NDAs on the celebrity work. Client confidentiality is really important to us here.

Fisher: Sure.

Greg: I mean we can’t kind of speak in bolder strokes. Another exciting job for us was a film that was sent to us by Francis Ford Coppola and that was a film that was shot as home movies on The Godfather set.

Fisher: No!

Greg: Yeah, yeah.

Fisher: Oh that’s awesome. [Laughs]

Greg: And I never got to see that stuff because at that time we didn’t have a great scanner and had to get it scanned in Burbank because they have outstanding facilities there, so I never got to see what was on that film.

Fisher: Oh!

Greg: Beyond it crawling off of the movie film processor or so, but it might have been the last newly processed film with Marlon Brando on it so that was that.

Fisher: That would make a lot of sense.

Greg: Yeah.

Fisher: Have you found a lot of younger pictures of people that were known as older people that folks were excited about?

Greg: Oh yeah, regularly. I mean, most of that I would say, the average age of the filming we get in is about 30 years old. We get as much stuff from the 1960s I think as we do from the 1980s still so we think there’s some longevity that keeps coming in. That’s part of what’s exciting about it is just to see what you looked like and what family members look like long ago.

Fisher: Back in the day. So you also probably have seen some historic footage as well to get things from say World War II.

Greg: We get stuff regularly from World War II and tons of stuff from Vietnam. We do reach out to those clients sometimes to ask to be able to show some of the stuff with varying degrees of success. There’s so much stuff and from Vietnam we thought it would be nice to do a documentary just on the stuff that we have coming in from Vietnam.

Fisher: Yeah, that would be quite a show, say for history or something like that, right?

Greg: Yeah also the story is just people are able to face the images now. And it’s not combat stuff. It’s stuff taken on the barracks and stuff taken on in Saigon and stuff like that of soldiers going out and having fun. But very un-often you get combat footage.

Fisher: When you mix the chemical side with the digital side, do you actually create a JPEG from each film image, each frame?

Greg: Yeah. What we do with the photographic film, we put everything into an online gallery and then the customer will get a link to that gallery where they can look at the pictures and then they can download a version of the picture directly from the gallery. There’s enough of a resolution to make a snapshot sized print.

Fisher: Yeah.

Greg: And it’s like an online shopping cart. If they want to add images to the cart they can do that and get high resolution versions. 

Fisher: Well, how many frames a second is there in film? I guess it depends on the type.

Greg: It depends on like super 8 with 18 frames a second. Some people shoot at 24 on regular 8 with 16 frames per second.

Fisher: So there’s a lot of photographs potentially to be taken from these. I’ve got one of these myself from a film that’s just a classic that I could have never gotten any other way, but that really excites me to think about each one being a separate JPEG.

Greg: From movie film yes, there’s thousands of pictures.

Fisher: That is absolutely amazing. You have the best job in the world, don’t you?

Greg: Someone who works for us here just asked me today how long I think I’ll be doing this before I retire.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Greg: I think I’m going to be doing it till I’m dead because I do enjoy going to work every day and we’ve been doing this as Film Rescue for 20 years and just processing film I’ve been doing since 1983. So, I kind of chose the best film processing job that anybody could have, so I want to hang onto it. [Laughs]

Fisher: Yeah, it beats working at Walmart doing this, right? Come on.

Greg: Yeah, well I never worked at Walmart so I can’t say for sure but I would suspect it would, yeah.

Fisher: There you go. Well, if you dear listeners have some film that you need developed from who knows how long ago, Greg can handle this at Film Rescue. You can check out the website FilmRescue.com. You can call them toll free at 1-800-329-8988 and they can answer all your questions about this stuff. Greg, it’s been great chatting with you. Thanks so mush, really interesting and congrats on an amazing business.

Greg: Well thanks Scott.

Fisher: And coming up next we talk preservation with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com in 3 minutes on Extreme Genes.

Segment 4 Episode 235

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: Hey, we're back at it! It’s Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com talking preservation with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority. How are you, Tom?

Tom: Super!

Fisher: Got another great email here! This one is from Bill Shipley, and it’s kind of interesting. He's an avid listener to Extreme Genes. He says he's got several older 35mm film rolls that need to be processed, so he sent them off to an online development company and got back photos that were shades of brown. And he said, "I'm sure this is due to the age of the film." but he wanted to get your advice, Tom, on what he should do with the remaining film.

Tom: Well, let's talk about the second part first. What to do with your film you haven't done anything with. I would definitely send it to Film Rescue, which we've talked about for years on the show. It’s a great company. They do awesome work.

Fisher: Yep.

Tom: They're now have a drop off point location in Montana, so you can send your stuff to Montana. They'll do all the magic stuff to it and get it back to you as best as possible. Now your other stuff that you've already done that comes brown, you didn't mentioned whether its color or black and white, because either one can come back brown depending on what kind of chemicals they used.

Fisher: Really?

Tom: I'm assuming it was probably color film and they didn't have the chemicals to do it color, because it’s probably really old film and some arcade type of chemistry was needed for it, so they used a generic one, which a lot of times when you use that, it makes color negatives come out brown. So it’s not really monochronomic, it just comes out that way. So what I would do is, take all those negatives and rescan them or the photos and rescan them. You can get into things like we've talked about before, DaVinci and color correct them or if you just want the pictures and you don't really care about the color correction, go into Photoshop and change your setting into, I think it’s called monochrome, but its right in your Photoshop settings. It will show, CMYK, RGB, how you want to save it. You want to save it like monochrome, which is basically, I don't want to say its black and white, because it’s not just black and white, its grayscale. So that way, when you do that, it will look like a normal old fashion black and white photograph. So that's going to look wonderful. Then if you want to give it a sepia tone, which is kind of a brown, but I don't think it’s the brown you're describing, you can get a sepia tone filter which makes it look like a real old picture from the 1800s.

Fisher: Sure.

Tom: So it gets rid of the ugly brown and either makes it black and white or gives it that sepia tone color, which looks like an old fashion picture, which is fun, or you can also go to our website and see it actually shows you restoring a black and white photo that's been damaged into color, which you can do if you have the time for it.

Fisher: And that's at TMCPlace.com.

Tom: Right, TMCPlace.com. You can go and see that. In fact, it’s also on Extreme Genes as one of the links I think from a few months ago where you can come and watch in a few seconds this thing that took a guy hours to do.

Fisher: Yes. [Laughs]

Tom: And it is so fun. So take these negatives and, you know, do color correction stuff on them. It’s all about how much time you have to spend or how much money you want to spend. If you want them to look like that and you don't have the money, there's a lot of people that do that kind of color correction. We do it. There's several other people out there across the country that do it. If you don't have the cash, then learn how to do it yourself, and it’s not that hard. There are so many YouTube videos out there that will take you and hold you by the hand and take you through and show you how to take black and white photos and turn them onto color. And it is a lot of fun and it’s a good family thing to do, too.

Fisher: Yes. Oh, I find a lot of really satisfying time spent on things like that and just Photoshopping in general, taking out dust specs and sharpening pictures that are a little bit out of focus. It’s really fun when you're done once you learn how to do it.

Tom: In fact, there's some software out there right now, some editing software that you can get in. It’s called Rocket Rooster, just like the chicken.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: And their website is RocketRooster.ninja, which is really funny, but they have all kinds of cool software.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: And if you order it and you said, "Hey, they talked about this on Extreme Genes." they'll give you up to a 50% discount on it.

Fisher: Nice!

Tom: Just put it in there, click the buttons and the filters will fix things for you. Like if you've ever taken pictures on a sand dune and you can't see the sand because it’s all washed out, this will go and fix the sand so you can see it, but it’s not going to blow out the people that are on the sand dune.

Fisher: And we should mention by the way, if you want to send that film to Film Rescue, you can go to FilmRescue.com or you can call them at 1-800-329-8988.

Tom: They are the people to use. I've been using them for years. They're awesome.

Fisher: All right, we're going to come back in 3 minutes with more from Tom Perry, our Preservation Authority on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 5 Episode 235

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: All right, we're talking preservation on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. We've got our Preservation Authority, Tom Perry in the house from TMCPlace.com. And Tom, we have another email. This is from Shirley Long in Quanico, Virginia and she says, "I have a whole bunch of tapes from both my mom and my dad and I'd like to copy off those segments which pertain to family members that I know. And I don't really want to copy all of the videos of their gatherings of friends. The tapes have been waiting for about twenty years and I don't even know what condition they're in." But I would think, Tom, twenty years really isn't that long, even for video, right?

Tom: Oh no, twenty years is nothing. This is a good question. We have people everyday call us or come in with this exact same question. And it seems like, "Oh yeah, we'll if I only want these pieces." it’s going to be easier to do. It’s not like you have a magazine and just tear out the pieces that you want and, throw the rest of the magazine away, because the thing is, with almost any kind of work nowadays, you're paying more for labor than you are for the technology or anything else. You're paying for this person that's learned how to become a technician to know how to do your stuff.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: And so you're paying more for labor. So in her situation, I don't know if she has audiotapes or videotapes or film or whatever, usually the best thing to do if they're video, audio tapes, it’s going to be less expensive to transfer the entire tape to an MP4 or if it’s a CD to an MP3 or to a DVD or any of these different kinds of things. And then once you've done that, which start out about $18 and go usually into the low 30s. Or if you have tapes that have tracking issues and you need a little bit of color help, because they've been worn out, sometimes they get into about $35, little bit above. And so, you pick out where you want to do this at, and then once you get the disk, then you go and buy Wondershare.

Fisher: Sure.

Tom: Which we talk about all the time and then that will go and let you clip out the pieces you want. And once you've done that, you can also format them. "Oh, I want to play these on my tablet." or "Oh, I want to play these on my Smartphone or whatever."

Fisher: Or upload it to YouTube.

Tom: Exactly. And it gives you all those options to do that. So what you're going to want to do is, unless you've got a lot of money and want to pay somebody to sit behind the desk to do all the work for you is to just go in and get the whole tape done, then take the disk or the MP4 format file or the MP3 file and then edit it from there into the devices that you want, so then it’s easier to do it that way. But so it’s basically, what do you have the most of, time or money?

Fisher: Sure. [Laughs]

Tom: If you only have time, then you want to do it that way. Now one thing that's interesting about her question, too, that we have people ask is, a lot of times people bring in tapes that are in really bad conditions, because the kids have played them over and over and over.

Fisher: That's the worst.

Tom: And the tape's almost worn out. Or they're old and they're a copy of a copy of a copy, which means they've lost 90% of their quality. So we've had people that have like literally 100s or videotapes and all different kinds of formats of tapes and what they do, they bring in their best tape and their worst tape that they know of and they have it done in our standard process, which is like about $17.95, $18 right in there. And then they also have it done in a more expensive, which tops out about $35, but then we have the technician goes in and does some color correction, does some adjusting, things like that and runs those two tapes. And that's kind of an investment. That's, you know, almost a $100 investment.

Fisher: Sure.

Tom: But then they can go and compare the two DVDs and see, "Oh, what's my end results?" which we talk about all the time. You know, "Hey, to pay twice the price, these are so much better. It’s worth it for these twenty eight tapes. But hey, the other one's going to be fine for the other ninety tapes I have."

Fisher: So you use the first one as a comparison then.

Tom: Exactly. They pay to have the worst and the best done, the two different ways and see what the big difference is between them, because everybody's tapes are going to be different. And so, even though it’s like $100 investment, then they're going to know their other 200 tapes or however many tapes they have to do, "Hey, these very special tapes, you know, I want to do for the $35, which is on the top end."

Fisher: Sure.

Tom: "But then these other ones, they look fine. I don't really need them. I just want to preserve them. We can worry about that later." and do that at the $18 rate. And you're always going to have your tapes. Don't throw your tapes away unless you're living in a condo and have no place for them.

Fisher: All right, and that's kind of the standard price anywhere, right?

Tom: Exactly. Most people should be that. You're going to find people that are more or less, and usually if they're less, you're going to get a whole lot less. And stay away from those people, because the technicians don't know what they're doing.

Fisher: I love your straightforwardness, Tom.

Tom: [Laughs]

Fisher: Always good to talk with you. All right, thank you so much. Hey, that's our show for this week, talking a lot about photos today in preservation and all kind of things relating to images such as that. Hey, we'll talk to you again next week. Thanks for joining us. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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