One Way to Breathe Life into Aging Digital Photos

When I first dove into digital photography 17 years ago, I relished the freedom from film and physical storage that this then-young medium had to offer. I thought I was free from worrying that they’d get lost or disintegrate with age. It didn’t take me long to learn that digital photos are also vulnerable to loss and aging. Files can be lost due to hardware failure and the like. As for aging, I can’t count the times I wish I could time travel and retake old pictures with a higher resolution camera than I had whenever I took the original. There are so many subjects that can’t be recaptured in the same setting again.

This week I revisited the picture I love most of my all-time favorite cat Puff:

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I had the goal of cleaning up and brightening this photo to get a proper print made. I then entertained the potential of doing something a bit more imaginative since Puff is worthy of flights of fancy.

There are several free and/or low-cost photo editors available online. Two I’ve used recently are Aviary and BeFunky. The second service has cool free features, but I tried a short-term paid membership to take advantage of their artsy presets. So far I’m having a tremendous amount of fun with BeFunky’s Photo-to-Art filters.

There’s an ocean of editing and printing services available online. Lots of them could be used to honor some of your digital moments. In the case of Puff’s photo, I was delighted with the options available through BeFunky for editing and RedBubble for printing. You may be delighted at how simple it can be to create something you’ll be proud to carry with you or display in your home.

I first took that photo of Puff and used the Cartoonizer DLX preset on BeFunky. With just the push of a button, his iconic nature became more evident in the image:

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Next I raised the color temperature to add some contrast and saturation to the eventual printed output:

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At this point, the image could have been printed at home, or a photo print could have been ordered. I uploaded this image to RedBubble to see how it might look on a textile item. Btw, aspirations of sales aren’t necessary for using artist-centered printing services like RedBubble and Cafe Press. Anyone can upload their images and create interesting stuff on sites that like. RedBubble has the option of private images, meaning that you’d be the only one who might order items imprinted with them. I’m not sure about the audience options of the other services.

I really liked look of the throw pillow and tote bag. I find it amusing how you can see mock-up photos of the items in a generic, too-clean-to-be true setting. I ordered the tote bag. I’d be delighted to carry some books and a tablet in a Puff bag, but I have a feeling that my daughter is going to claim this one as her own.

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