Looking Around

Just got the call that the last of the family slides are ready for me to pick up from the photo processor after being scanned. I have had roughly 10,000 slides scanned in the last six months. The photo processing shop loves me. You have to understand, my father was a professional photographer. I have custody of almost 60 years’ worth of slides ranging from weddings (Who has their wedding photos done as slides? It was a thing back in the 1970’s I guess.) to commissioned multi-projector programs (also a thing before PowerPoint) to the horrific holiday family photos from the late 1950’s and ‘60’s. In between there were the vacation slides.

Preparing for his favorite thing, when he had hair.

Why did I have the slides scanned? Because Pop could make the view from the campground look amazing. Fortunately for us, our vacation photos rarely included us. I have landscapes from trips to Alaska, Hawaii, the Canadian Rockies, the Outer Banks, assorted amusement parks, scout and church programs, and weekend fishing excursions.

Not all of the pictures are great. My favorites are the rejects, and there were trays labelled just that. These unfit-for-presentation photos show Pop’s interest in tinkering with light, motion, and texture. It shows a tiny bit of his process. He used a manual technique of bracketing shots to ensure the best exposure. I have what seems like dozens of the same shot, but they aren’t, if you look closely.

And that’s the main reason I had so many slides scanned. Each of these photos shows me part of Pop: his love for Mom, fishing, and making photographs. As for the first, if Mom was along for the ride, Pop took her picture. She was a striking woman before we all came along…and for a long time after until dementia took the spark from her eyes. She could read anywhere, dressed simply but fashionably, and was up for whatever we tossed her way: cooking over a campfire, ice fishing, roller coasters. Thank God Pop captured it all because I wasn’t paying attention.

The other reason I had the slides scanned is to share Pop’s vision. My hope is that at least a few photos are worthy of stock use. As vintage images, un-retouched or altered other than by scanning, I want to put some of his photographs out for others to use. I’ll find out shortly if it’s a delusion or not. I’m submitting now to see if they will be accepted. If so, I’ll let you know.

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