Drawing from a provocative type of creativity available only from being in a digital form, those who seek after it discover new ways to share, connect, keep and protect the past, like time in a bottle.
Becoming a digital image family memberTo be a digital image can arise from two basic origins. First, the image can be born digital. These are images taken using a digital camera or created via an electronic device, such as a computer. The other way is to be a scanned image originally in the form of photographic prints, slides, or negatives.
Provocative creativity on steroidsPerhaps one of the best examples of transforming digital imaging power into provocative creativity in order to preserve, connect and share is the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
NARA is the nation's record keeper and as so, has many very talented individuals doing a lot of forward thinking. In fact, as the rise of Electronic Records Management (ERM) began to peer over the horizon as an up and coming key component of preservation, NARA put its think-tank like capacity upon understanding the swelling of technological capabilities in the digital photography and photo scanning domain.
A guideline for both professionals & individuals to sit up and take noticeThe end result was the establishment of guidelines for the transferring of digital images as permanent electronic records. They published their guidelines in 36 CFR 1228.270 and a supplement entitled: Expanding Acceptable Transfer Requirements: Transfer Instructions for Permanent Electronic Records, Digital Photographic Records, Issued November 12, 2003.
These guidelines serve to offer both professional photo scanning services and individuals scanning their own photos as a minimum benchmark by which scanned photos can are considered acceptable by organizations, such as NARA, to be transferred into a permanent electronic record.
Inside look at NARA photo scanning guidelinesHere is a brief excerpt from the NARA photo scanning guidelines. Notice how NARA looked to establish standards based upon the minimum quality levels they used for still photography seeking 3000 pixels across the long dimension of the image.:
"22.214.171.124 ...Records conforming to these guidelines will be comparable in quality to 35-mm film photographs, which is the minimum quality level for still pictures currently accepted by NARA [see 36 CFR 1228.266(b)].
Scan an 8" x 10" original (print, slide or negative) at 300 dpi to produce a file that is 2,400 x 3,000 pixels.
Scan a 4" x 5" original (print, slide or negative) at 600 dpi to produce a file that is 2,400 x 3,000 pixels.
Scan a 35-mm original (print, slide or negative) at 2100 dpi to produce a file that is 2,000 x 3,000 pixels."