You may have a pile of old VHS tapes, sitting in a closet collecting dust. Next to them, may be a couple of shoeboxes filled with old childhood and family photos. All this old media holds decades of precious memories, but you just don’t know what to do with it all.
In an environment like Hong Kong, finding safe ways to store media can be quite challenging. With a very humid climate and people not having much space, it’s hard to know what to do with old photos and tapes. It would be devastating to lose all those moments, especially if they succumbed to water damage, fading or just general wear and tear.
When thinking about where to store photos remember that they are sensitive to:
- Temperature – the cooler the better! Any temperatures above 24 degrees can cause the photos to discolour
- Moisture – humidity levels above 50% and potential flooding or leaks can severely damage photos, so storing them in a waterproof container is important
- Lighting – constant exposure to light can cause photos to fade, so storing them in a dark place is best
We have three simple tips on how best to deal with your old media and make sure that you can preserve your memories for generations to come.
This is quite a simple way to protect your old pictures from humidity and water damage. Many people will have desiccant packets lying around from shopping and it is easy to put them into a box with your pictures.
When buying handbags or new shoes, we normally throw out the ‘DO NOT EAT’ packets without giving them a second thought. However, these little bags can be very useful. They are filled with small non-toxic silica balls which are really good at absorbing excess moisture, which would serve very well in Hong Kong’s humidity. Storing photographs in a secure box, in a cool, dry place will help to significantly prolong their lives and make sure that they don’t deteriorate quickly or aren’t damaged by water and humidity.
As they are so small, they can easily be slipped into photo boxes or even between the pages of photo albums. That way, if any excess moisture happens to get onto your photos, it’ll be absorbed by the desiccant – limiting water damage. If you have a large collection, you can also purchase long lasting desiccants online. However, you do have to remember to keep switching out the bags as they don’t last forever and desiccant won’t protect pictures from long term damage or loss.
There is still the question of whether or not you have enough space for storage, given how small Hong Kong’s apartment spaces are!
An effective way to store, display and easily access pictures.
Photo albums have been around since the 1860s. They’re a great way to display your photos as they’re easily accessible and you can keep them out on a table for a quick flick through whenever you’re feeling nostalgic. Photo albums can help you keep photos organised in themes – such as events, dates or places, making it easier to quickly find the pictures you’re looking for.
However, to properly store your photos, it is important to make sure you find an album with acid-free plastic sleeves and try not to stack your pictures in an album. Over time, the acid that plastic sleeves give off can cause discolouration and stains on photos, turning them yellow and pictures can stick together.
The downside to photo albums is that they can take up quite a lot of space depending on the type of album you have. This means you will still need to find sufficient storage space to keep the albums, which may be an issue in some apartments.
This is hands down the best way to protect your old media.
We’re not saying this just because we’re a digitisation company (although we are very good at what we do and will make high quality digitisation of your media), but because it is probably the best way to bring your old photos and videos into the modern age.
It takes away the stress of storing photos and VCR tapes, meaning you don’t have to worry about any kind of damage. All your media will be safely stored online, ready for you to access anytime, anywhere. With no chance of discolouration or deterioration, you can share your memories with family for generations to come.
If you use Capture’s digitisation service, we will upload all your photos directly to Google Photo, providing seamless access to all your media between all devices. You can easily share your media with friends and family around the world, giving them access to numerous photo albums that they can view from anywhere. Furthermore, you can now print as many physical copies of your photos as you like and not worry about losing the original.
So what are you waiting for? All those old photos need looking after!
*This article is brought to you by Capture HK.
Capture HK is the premier analogue media digitisation company in Hong Kong.
Capture HK's business covers photographs, photo album digitisation, videotapes digitisation, including VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS-C Hi-8, Video8, Digital8, DV, DVCAM, MiniDV, DVC and digital media digitisation, including Secure Digital (SD), Smart Media (SM), MultiMediaCard (MMC) Compact Flash (CF), xD-Picture Card, Memory Stick, USB Drive, CDROM, DVD.
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