Friday, October 18, 2013

Fhoto Friday

--50th Anniversary Photo Comparison
--Cropping for Face Views Photos

50th Anniversary Photo Comparison

I thought it would be interesting to compare the photos of my paternal grandparents with Joanne and me.  It isn't exactly a balanced comparison, because my grandfather was 85 and my grandmother was 73; whereas, I was 72 and Joanne 71.

Alonzo & Grace's 50th Anniversary--1952
Back row center--my father, Delbert B. Ritchhart
His sisters flank Alonzo and Grace in front row and his brothers
are in the back row.

Joanne and I in Hawaii--2009

There is an obvious contrast, the age of my grandfather being a big one.  Our photo being in color with a beautiful backdrop also makes some difference; but I think a big contributing factor was probably the times we lived in.  Our grandparents had a tougher life, medical care wasn't what it is today.  They were homesteaders on land miles from town with poor transportation.  When my father's youngest sister was an infant and took sick, my dad's oldest brother had to ride his horse to the nearest ranch to ask them to drive my grandmother and her child to town, as they didn't own an automobile.  The child died, possibly because of their isolation and poor transportation.  In fact, they never owned an auto their entire life.

In the winter months, when their wasn't much to be done on the homestead, my grandfather worked and lived in town, rarely making the trip on horseback back to the homestead.  This left the older boys and my grandmother to care for themselves.

My grandmother died of arteriosclerosis less than a month after they celebrated their anniversary.  My grandfather lived to the age of 92.

Cropping to Provide Individual Facial Views

There are many times we as genealogists like to have individual facial views or portrait style photos to attach to our family trees.  However, I have encountered the problem many times that I have group photos; but not individual portraits.  

The common solution is to take the best group photo we have and crop out the faces of those individuals of interest.  The example that I show as follows, is probably a worst case situation.  The group photo isn't very clear; but it was the best photo I had to work with.  It is a photo taken at my wife's parent's wedding and includes both sets of parents as well as Joanne's parents.

The below photo is shown just as it appeared when I scanned it at 300 dpi (dots per inch).  If my scanner had a higher resolution I would have used it; but that is the highest resolution it provides.  Always be careful when you crop the total photo that you don't cut out the name of the photography studio or other identifying information which could be helpful in dating or determining the location of the photo.

McConnell Schmidt Wedding (uncropped)
McConnell Schmidt Wedding (cropped)

The photos below of three of the parents are, admittedly, not very clear, but they are better than having nothing.  I have purposely not enlarged them, because they start to become much more "fuzzy" because of the lack of resolution.  

Mary Dye McConnell

Mary Bolla Schmidt

Russell McConnell

 Keep in mind these are very near "worst case" situation and you can still get a readable image from them.  Thus, if you have better quality photos to start with, or scan at a higher resolution, you should get better results.

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