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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Great technology

I’m working my way through dad’s slides, scanning them.  I’ve accumulated small expertise in scanners  the last couple of years I’ve used them.  No depth of understanding, only a trial and error accumulation of what mouse clicks perform which part of the job.  For manipulating scans I had Photoshop on my last computer, version 2000.  As in eleven years ago.  I gave Picasa a go when I got the new computer, and quickly declared it way over my head.  I ended up with Windows live photo gallery.  The logo looks like an askew marigold. As my mother said about so many things, it’s built for comfort, not for speed.  Even does things my eleven year old Photoshop couldn’t envision.  I like it.

Two hundred of the four hundred odd slides I selected are scanned and edited.  I continue to admire my dad’s camera skills.  He encountered pictures in the army; he spliced together aerial photos to make reconnaissance maps.  This was the 1920’s; I’m sure the maps all were of Georgia.  He acquired cameras I saw him use when I was a child.  There were a couple of large format cameras, some bellows Kodak’s.  A tripod.  Light meters, of course.  In 1953, just before he went on an assignment to England, he bought a Kodak 35mm camera that he used for the next twenty odd years.  He only used color positive film—slides—and his choice was Kodachrome 24 or 48 ASA.  Forty and fifty years later the slides look like the first day out of the box.

I think how impressed my dad would be with the scanner, and even more with the editing tools.  He didn’t leave me any red eye to deal with, but there are many pictures I know he’s pleased I have cropped to feature his subject.  And I’m happy I didn’t give up on the scanner I thought was about ten inches square, but arrived in a small suitcase with the usual absent instruction manual.  I don’t do well with on-line, I need to keep my finger under the line of instruction I am following until it’s in my head.  Oh, well.  I’ve got it down now.

Here is the oldest slide in the box, my sister Janice in 1954.

And here is a slide from 1968, my Aunt Ruth and her Aunt Eva.  Aunt Ruth is dad’s next to youngest sister and Aunt Eva is Eveline Cecelia Hogue, a younger sister of dad’s mother.  I got rid of a lot of the laundry, dad, but I’m not good enough to turn the remaining sheets into something else.

One last confession.  I bought a new camera last year.  It only takes eight pictures, which really irritates me, but I’ve worked around it in the little bit I’ve used the camera since I bought it.  I’m going to Wisconsin next week and want to take the camera so I decided to spring for a bigger memory card than the original equipment.  I found a person at Office Max who knew which card would fit into my little Kodak, and even upgraded myself from the 4GB she recommended to 8GB, only ten dollars more.  “Would you like me to put it in for you?”  “That would be so nice!  Wait a minute, there’s a card in there, though,” as she was sliding the new card into the slot.  “No there’s not.  It’s empty.”  An ahha moment—no wonder the screen says internal memory full after eight pictures.  Can you believe I can actually scan and crop slides.


  1. It's a learning process......I'm still trying to figure out how to take night shots.

  2. Ah, the life of us electronically challenged! Whenever I have anything go wrong, I hit the reset button, then holler 'Steve'! My son-in-law keeps me going . . .