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digital SCRAPBOOKNG magazine

Gear & Gadgets: Disappearing Memories
by Lynda Angelastro

Whether your seldom-viewed but irreplaceable videos are of holidays past or baby's first tottering steps, the clock is ticking on footage saved to aging analog tapes. This year, resolve to preserve and share this stored legacy—digitally. Here are ways to make it easy.

Burn Tapes to DVD
As another year flies by, time is also disappearing for your stash of aging VHS or analog video camera tapes. Industry experts range in their assessment of storage life, but generally agree the tapes should last at least 15 years if stored at constant temperature and humidity. That's not much comfort, given that in the average home most tapes are stowed in entertainment center cupboards, have been exposed to less-than-optimal conditions and are now close to or beyond their 15-year shelf life. If you're the family memory keeper, it's time to restore and revitalize those priceless memories by burning them to DVD.

Roxio can help. Their small and easy-to-use gadget—the Roxio Easy VHS to DVD (MRSP $59)—connects a video tape player or analog-style camcorder directly to your computer for fast and easy digital capture.

Send Tapes Away
If you have shoeboxes full of old camera tapes or movie reels, YesDVD is a service that will convert a variety of image formats to DVDs. Send in any VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS, Hi-8, Digital 8, MiniDV, 8 mm videotape and BetaMax camcorder or videotapes; 8 mm, Super 8, or 16 mm movie reels; 35 mm slides in plastic or cardboard mounts or photos from 2 x 2 to 8 x 12 and YesDVD will make them into DVDs. The service is available on the web or through local stores such as Walgreens and Costco.

Translate Pixels to Page
Stills captured from most videotapes are screen resolution and , while priceless, are not usually print worthy. Experiment with your digital scrapbooking tools and find ways to incorporate these images into your printed pages. To replicate the painterly style shown here in both the background and focal image, use the artistic filters offered in Photoshop Elements. With your image selected, go to Filters > Artistic > Dry Brush. Try other filters or applications that mimic fine art and you'll find that lower resolution often enhances these effects.

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