This is a small version of our video that has been showing on the giant screen at Local & Live 2017 in Calverley Grounds, Tunbridge Wells. An annual event to showcase young artists in and around the Tunbridge Wells area we were lucky to be given the opportunity to have our video showing during the Festival.
I know, I’m sorry for mentioning the “Ch” word at this time of year but it is important that if you are thinking of giving someone an unusual present; a family history perhaps, you give me plenty of time to research and prepare it for you.
An initial review is FREE, that’s right, it’s free so that I can check the records and see if I can find the ancestors in question. Click for a Free evaluation and I can get back to you with an assessment of what I can do. There is a price list HERE which gives you a rough idea of what sort of costs are involved.
Of course, if you cannot get some basic details to me in time, how about giving an unlockmypast.com Gift Certificate? They are available from £5 to £500 and can be accessed from the bottom of each website service page, there’s one at the bottom of the Family History Page.
It is far too early to wish you a Merry Christmas (of course) but if you feel that you might like to give the unusual present of a Family History, including tree, written pedigree and other historical facts perhaps from a Census or Certificate, do please get in touch with us. You can use our Free Discovery Lite evaluation or contact us directly by email or give us a call on 0333 011 8514 (calls are charged at local rates).
The BBC has reported “RIP VHS” that this month will see the last videocassette recorder (VCR) produced in Japan. It’s the end of an era for those of us who grew up, setting up recording schedules and coming home to find out that you had not put a tape in the unit! There was always the chance that someone would tape over your favourite show see my Family Guy post for what not to do to your wedding video!
Now might be a good time to think about moving all those old images off of VCR and onto DVD or Blu-ray as VHS tapes are getting on a bit and deteriorating sitting in their cupboards lost and forgotten. VHS Tapes have a limited shelf life and if you remember recording something back in 1990 it’s already 26 years ago! The more you play a VHS tape the more likely it is to degrade and loose quality so it may well be a good idea to move the images off whilst they are still recognisable.
We were recently able to help a lady to find her husband’s service records with the Royal Corps of Signals, Middlesex Yeomanry and to then obtain copies of his various unit’s War Diaries so that a complete picture of his service throughout the Second World War could be built up. He fought through Africa and the Middle East, up through Sicily and Italy and went on to land in D-Day, fighting right the way through to Germany. Whilst it is unusual to find servicemen mentioned in the diaries he had been mentioned a number of times and so we were able to construct his entire service record from enlisting through to being de-mobbed in 1946. The War Diaries themselves were photographed at the National Archives and presented in a series of electronic picture files.
You can apply for a Service Record if you are a member of the family of the Service man or woman, you don’t necessarily have to have their Service number although this does make searching and returning your query faster. Here is a link to the relevant Government guidance.
If you would like us to assist in researching a loved one’s Service / Military Records, please drop us a line.
What Do You Do when You Only Have One Photograph Of Someone and you want to make a portrait from it? It sounds unusual but perhaps you have a relative or friend who you’d like to make a portrait of but you don’t have a photo of them on their own. We were recently commissioned to produce a portrait from a photograph that had the subject lady on as well as another person. Unlock My Past was approached to see if we could help.
Here is the Before Photograph:
Our brief was to isolate the lady and make a portrait photo of her. This involved cutting the lady out and changing her position, drawing in her right arm which is missing from the first photograph as it is behind the male subject and produce a picture of her sitting in a chair. At this point the photograph looks like this.
The lady has been cut out from the background of the original photograph and she has been straightened up and her right arm drawn in and blended with her clothing. Now we needed to find a chair to sit her on. We took an old colour family photograph and adapted it turning it black and white and inverting it.
The final result is a testament to our specialist, you can’t see the join. Note the shadowing added to the wall behind the subject.
Our customer was delighted with the result. We produced two photographs. This one as a square photograph and one in portrait format.
Paul presents a superb series of candlelit showcases of the local area’s finest soloists and acoustic bands. With four acts on the bill at each show representing a multitude of musical styles and genres, audiences are treated to an exceptional night of local music culture, song writing and musicianship.
Dan Clews providing a great supporting set.
I’ve just had the pleasure of delivering a number of transferred VHS videos to a customer. What was nice was to hear that the only moving pictures of his late sister were on one of the videos we transferred and he would now, once again, be able to see her. A while back we were delivering a project where we had transferred some old cine film to DVD. We sat through the “première” and suddenly our customer said that there were pictures of his dad, young and thin as he remembered him. He hadn’t seen the film for perhaps 40 or more years.
It really makes our work turn from “just work” to being a privilege when you can bring back these memories to share again from old cine films, videos or still photographs.
VHS tapes can easily be damaged and as we’ve discussed in an early post, they have a limited shelf life. If you are sitting on any old VHS or Camcorder tapes perhaps now is the time to consider getting the images transferred to DVD or Blu-ray?
Enquiries are free, so fill in our easy to use form for a no obligation quote.
Good question. In terms of cost, it is quicker and therefore cheaper to scan photographs than negatives. The scanners we use are batch scanners but photos, for us, are a lot quicker and simpler to scan. It’s easy to see which way up they should be when they are photos and we can scan both sides which is important if the reverse has dates, names and location on. Negatives need much more careful handling (we use air blowers, gloves and plastic tweezers – it sounds like a surgical operation doesn’t it?) and they need to be inserted into jigs the right way up so that the emulsion and dull sides are in the jig properly.
Negatives are scanned at a much higher definition than photographs as well and hence there is a difference in the price we charge starting at 25p per photograph and negatives are 35p each. Larger quantities reduce the price significantly. Our prices and services are shown on the photo scanning page of our web site.
In many ways we have found that negative scanning is superior to photograph scanning except where the negatives are damaged. We see much better quality and there are advantages in terms of sharpness which may be lost in photographs when they are developed. Generally negatives show sharpness and true colour in greater quality than photographs which can be faded and washed out over time.
Here is an article I came across that describes this in greater detail and thanks must go for a nicely written and laid out article with plenty of comparison photographs to look at. One of the big differences is shown here and that is that often photographs are cropped where negatives still hold the full detail of what was captured by the photographer.
As in many things in life it comes down to a case of budget versus quality and what you are looking for from digitising your collection. Photographs provide the greater return on investment and generally you can sort out which ones you want to scan and those you may prefer not to. It is a bit more difficult with negatives. They are by definition negatives of what you would see on a finished photograph and it isn’t always obvious what you are looking at or what the final result may be. Often there are far more negatives than the photos that were produced from them so there may well be many “hidden” masterpieces or photographs you just didn’t know you had.
We would recommend negatives as they are less bulky, give good results and often present you with hidden gems and surprises you just never knew you had. Prints are faster to scan but bulkier in terms of posting and packing but in terms of digitising a collection and speed of turnaround as well as you being able to choose what you actually want scanned work out a little cheaper overall.
If you have records or cassettes that are not available on CD or MP3 then we can help you transfer them to CD, MP3 or a format of your choosing. A typical price to record, undertake click, pop and hiss removal and provide an Audio CD (breaking down the tracks and tagging etc.) starts from £20.00. We can provide these as MP3 tracks and/or Audio CD. You can have both of course.
We have recently helped a DJ to recover all his old jingles and some of his old shows copied onto cassette back in the 1970s. Tapes are getting old and deteriorating and so it’s a good idea to convert these. Perhaps you have audio histories from your family members and these too need to be converted before problems arise. As with all tapes (VHS and Cassette as well as Reel to Reel) age takes its toll on the magnetic covering and as we discussed in our article about VHS tapes and their shelf life, the longer you leave it the worse it will get so now is the time to consider taking action.
Copyright, please note, we are able to digitally transfer your (original) vinyl record or cassette onto CD where there is no identical re-released recording on a CD/MP3 format. It is on the understanding the CD we create is for your own personal, private listening pleasure and will not be sold, leased, hired or used in any public broadcast. You should retain the original vinyl or cassette recording as proof of ownership
How easy is it to find your ancestors? Why not take advantage of our Discovery Lite free review to see if we can quickly find any connections?
We undertake a free review of the information you give us (the more detailed and accurate it is, the better results). We investigate the records and research a number of sources to see whether we can find your ancestors and then present that back to you together with a brief report on what we can find, how far we think we can go back and a series of options for you to take to research your family.