Family Archive

It is been several years that I have a deep interest in archiving my family’s old pictures with a digital backup. This has gone through many stages and progresses. I have struggled convincing everyone to grant me the permission to have their pictures. Apparently, my family granted me the permission to my father’s pictures (Kamal Mukerji), then my aunt also granted me the permission of her own pictures (Shukriya Mukerji).

I was always keen on my uncles countless pictures, because he used to take many photos back in his life until his death on 1st June 2017. I always tried to convince him to give me his pictures. He was happy to help me archiving these pictures, but his pictures were with my uncle (Bahadin Faraj), he refused to give me a single picture. I had to beg every older man in my family to talk with him so he give me my uncle’s archive that he already permitted me to use them. Until lately, few months ago, my uncle (Taha Faraj) asked his younger brother Bahadin to return his archive to him and he did, then I was officially granted. But sadly, my uncle Taha died two days after I took over his archive. So I started scanning the pictures, however this may take long, because his archive is pretty huge.

Slowly slowly, I’m becoming an expert in archiving old pictures. And I’m happy that my understanding for old pictures and the proper way of its preservation is spanning.

Definitely, I cannot publish every single picture on my website, for some of them contain very private situations of my relatives and other people. For example; last year I spent hours fixing colors and details of one of my father’s pictures, the persons shown in the pictures were some relatives . I have achieved a masterpiece editing that was almost impossible, so I shared this on my personal account on Facebook. The relatives of the persons shown in the pictures made a big deal out of this publishing picture and they made me delete the post on Facebook.

I can’t tell enough about the importance of archiving these old photos. But I will indicate some reasons.

  1. All of these pictures are a witness of our life back in the days.
  2. By studying these pictures you may learn a lot more about photography and once it comes to color pictures that most of them are ruined now, it helps the skills of editors to fix them.
  3. You never appreciate our new camera technology until you spend hours looking at these pictures, the amount of details we can have now from a digital SLR or any cameras out there including your phone’s camera is incomparable with these old photos. I mean, if you have a picture way out of focus, you still have lots of details compared to these old photos.
  4. Imagine, if I want to make a film about Kurdistan back in 1950s and 1960s, these pictures are priceless sources for any production designers, costume designers and hair stylists.

I warn everyone, none of these pictures are in public domain, and I hold their entire rights . So you can’t reuse them until you have a written permission directly from me, for that matter you can contact me directly here on nawa.net and most probably I will grant permissions for any creative and useful reuse. But please don’t steal it and publish it under your name, because that will be a violation of rights. Since I’m willing to help anyone, I expect some appreciation and respect in return. I put no signatures, no any text on any of the pictures because I know that you will appreciate it and won’t steal them from me.

I want you to acknowledge some technical aspects; I have scanned each photo with TIF format, with uncompressed 1200dpi. Most of the pictures are originals. However I already fixed some pictures and corrected the colors of some of them. But on June 2017 I have decided to down sampled every single picture on my website because my website was not easily loading pictures. No any picture in my entire website exceeds the limit of 650kb per picture and every single picture is at least 1920px in either height or length dimension. But I still hold every single picture in their original TIFF uncompressed 1200dpi file that are huge files. Their average size is about 76MB per picture. And this is not practical in the world of web. So, you only see the down sampled pictures here. But if you need the originals, I may gladly give them to you if you request for them stating your needs for them.

Perhaps the hardest aspect of archiving old photos is the metadata. That is too hard to achieve. Comparing my father and my uncle’s archive, my father had lesser pictures than my uncle, but my father took pictures far more seriously. He has lots of labelled pictures, perhaps 65% of my father’s pictures are labelled with exact date of the picture, the place and persons shown. My uncle on the other hand, has way less labelled pictures. This made the archiving far easier than archiving my father’s. Because the only thing I had to do was to scan a bunch of them and cropping into individual pictures in post.

If you think that you can help captioning the pictures and bringing some info back to those unlabelled images, please do and help me out by commenting on the pictures and I will do my best to put the info into the picture’s metadata.

Note: if you see CC on any picture, this means the colors were corrected and processed in editing.

Note: I have set a milestone to put 250 pictures here, the last day of the project will be July 13th 2017. untill that day, this archive keep on updating. here are the current available pictures. Enjoy!