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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Another Sunday Frittered Away

Hurrah! Have finally begun converting old family slides to digital. I bought a small slide scanner - no larger than a pint of cream. The scanner is not only small but it has only a couple of button controls. To start with, it would only take photos that converted normal slides into negatives. Below is a negative of my brother Juan.

The next digital, is how the same slide appeared in the digital converter, AFTER I read instructions. Duh. For the record, this photo was taken by my father, the first & only time he took Juan and myself horseback riding at some stable in the Bronx. I think I was 9 yrs old, which makes Juan 15 yrs old here.

Juan's horse had a cool McClellan cavalry saddle
probably just like one William Miller rode on in the Spanish American War

Only took 7 years to find, but here's a pic of me on the same day. Check out the knock knees (on 'moi') not on the horse.

Here's the thing - I can copy slides as either a negative or a normal slide. My happy accident was I discovered that a negative, switched to 'normal' by Photo Shop, reverts to colors the slide lost to old age. Doesn't make any sense but who cares about sense, right? Here, let me explain the happy accident like this. This next picture of my mother is how an ancient (50 something year old) slide looks if you just hold it up: washed out, blue, color tones missing.

My Mother around 30 yrs old; in Canada

This next photo does not exist as a slide. To get it, I copied the blue-ish above as a negative, then using Photo Shop, converted back to normal. But look how the converted side picked up all the color hues that are missing above! The blue tones disappate and the green grass and terra cotta take on more natural tones.

So 'positive' to 'negative' and back
again, restores lost slide element, but washes out detail

Content of wonderful photos aside, both photos kind of suck. The top photo has more details of my mother's face, but everything is blue toned. The bottom photo picks up more natural coloration, but then my mother's face loses detail and is too bright. I think the actual solution to this puzzlement is to take a Photo Shop Class and learn what tricks there are to correct both of those photos.

Sad thing is the old family slides are way past their sell-by date; dirty, dusty and many are spider-webbed with fungus. Good news is I can do some repair on the slides for myself. For example, here is a slide of my Mother and Father in Canada. The slide was wiped with special dry cloth, which did no flippin' good at all; slide is still filthy. To get the full effect of the dirt & lack there-of, you need to click on each slide for a closer examination.

Voila! Same photo, not quite done yet, but
getting there. Glitches were removed via Photo Shop

Okay! Photo Class is over. You did well, so for a treat, here are a few more newly digitized slides. For the most part they are raw, meaning I haven't digitally cleaned them up yet; that's another Sunday!

My Sister Dolores, friend Begi, and Cousin Cynthia - Brooklyn NY

John W. Brown High School Freshman Juan
lookin' sharp in his school uniform

I have no idea why this slide of my Father went all green!
I converted one to B&W but at the cost of all contrast

Easter Sunday on the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral, NYC
My Mother, Aunt Elaine, Juan and myself

My Father in his beloved white-walled, Studebaker circa 1951


  1. Claire--I love the fashionable clothes your parents were wearing..the one of your dad in solo all spoofed up looks like he was posing for some film shot...

  2. no, that not your sister and her friends thats is your sister and cousin cynthia and begi is a family friend

  3. I recognized Cynthia but for the life of me couldn't remember who she was! *embarassed*. I remember hearing about Begi a lot, but don't even know if I ever met her. Probably did when I was an ensie brat.