Chances are that you are reading this blog for the pictures. The technical aspects are merely curiosities and my diatribes on photo technique are too much; just get to the picture. After all my photo magazine subscriptions ended, I began reading online. Here is a recent article right up my alley:
1. Covid and all those unscanned slides? Sure! Go ahead and scan your old slides.
2. Software – The Nikon scanner software just disappeared. Vuescan or Silverfast. Silverfast is clunky hard to use. Aha! Right!
Honest! I didn’t do this. My cat jumped into the basket and fit himself into the cramped space. He was perfectly content to nestle in and just stare back at me. Don’t ask me which twin this would be. Whatever I say would be trouble for me. Colleen will correct me and I always listen to her. Always….
No, probably not…. Hey! It’s my blog. Ha ha! So, there was glitch in the Nikon scanner. Long story short, you wouldn’t likely care for the details, it needed a couple replacement motors. I just love it when they give me the parts they removed. It’s a nice touch. Now, I have something more – to never throw away.It works again. Dust! Cat hair! They are the bane of clean scanning. You don’t want it in your scanned image. Nope! Not! Ha ha! Try and avoid it. I have an overhead ceiling fan. Ray, the cat, stepped on the remote and turned it one. In a testament to my cleaning skill, the room looked like snow was falling, a blizzard!! It was cat hair and dust from the blades, The visual alone is worth a laugh. I was shocked; Colleen giggled.
At long last 117k slides give or take….have been scanned. You may not even know what a slide is. It was a long and tedious task. I got unbearable sciatica sitting. It’s better (my sciatica)! The task was completed. I ended up with two scanners going full on. That certainly shortened my task. But it was long….!! I had scanned 28k in 2018… and about 89k this time around. Hey! It all adds up. Am I happy? It is a legacy task. Maybe someone will look through – my kids? – and scratch their heads over this motley collection one day. Oh, yes, there’s a database to track people, places, and dates. It’s a sketchy description that will leave folks wondering who some folks are. I had two sets of drawers full of slides – 32 in the first, and 14 in the second. You’re looking at one large drawer of near 4000 slides. Yeah, two of everything. Nuts. It just turned out that way. It’s all neat and put away. And, I am sitting up relaxing and staying off my sciatic nerve. We won’t be doing this again anytime soon. We? Yup! The cats and my dear wife missed me from August to December. I’m back!! … and the dishes are still in the sink waiting for me….
It’s the emulsion stupid. Polaroid made instant slide film for a short while. Thank goodness I only used it a few times. Scanning it on a film scanner is hell. The developer/author of Vuescan told me it was grain and “user error.” Nice. Indeed, no one seemed to remember the film nor how to scan it. ICE – it’s software to remove dust magically during the scan process. It uses an infrared scan simultaneously to “map” dust and mark it for removal. Aha! Turn off ICE. You can do it. And the result is remarkable. Second, reduce grain. Problem improved. It ain’t great. The Polaroid film itself was not a good film. Thankfully, I only shot a few rolls. Probably, it’s why the film never took hold. I solved the problem by letting the solution percolate slowly in the background of my mind as I did other tasks. Ha ha! Brilliant! I’ve solved other problems that way. It’s remarkable what the background processor in my head will come up with. The great and wonderful internet did not have an answer for my problem. So, as a public service to you few who care, here’s the solution. Ha! An original answer.
I’m scanning old slides. Mostly it’s sentimental – family shots. An aside – I thought I was a pretty good photographer. Boy! What experience teaches you about life!. My scanner does its job according to calculated algorithms. Sometimes good, sometimes not. I glanced at the preview just as it made an adjustment leaving the image washed out. I quickly processed the image rescuing my imagination. Under any other circumstance the potential of this slide would have been lost in a mass edit. Gee, I was not so bad as I feared.
I have embarked on insanity. I am scanning my slide collection again. It’s a long story. And there are a lot of slides. A lot! Don’t ask. A lot! I have a “real” scanner. It’s merely a matter of time and timing. Let’s say thousands… it could take months at minimum. It’s scanning all day every day. I have them stored in drawers. I never assembled the cabinet after my last move… another hanging project. This way everything will be on a portable (multiple) hard drive. Meanwhile, I have dedicated a laptop to the task. And, slide by slide, drawer by drawer… it’s good to have an understanding wife who puts up with my obsessions. Yes, I did say – again. Don’t ask. 🙂