November 5, 2009

Spirit Of St Louis

This is the Spirit of St Louis being refueled in Eastern Washington. That's my grandfather refueling the plane.

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February 19, 2009

Snapshot Art

A customer came to me with a 3½ inch, 48 year old snapshot.

He wanted a 5x7 print for a gift. A 5x7 of the scanned image looked terrible but with the help of some Photoshop plugins and some retouching the nice image below was delivered. Note that the shadow from the camera flash was eliminated.

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Plugins used:

Virtual Photographer


August 28, 2008

Archived Color

Color photography did not really become widespread until the late 30's when Kodak started producing Kodachrome and Kodacolor and Agfacolor from Agfa. There had been color photos however since the Lumière brothers patented the Autochrome process in 1903. I have always loved the almost mystical quality of Autochromes and have in fact tried to duplicate the appearance without much success. There are many Autochromes still in existence including a wonderful collection of photos from World War One which can be found here.
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July 3, 2008

4th of July

4th of July - Berkley, CA - 1975

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May 26, 2008

Remembering Bud Beasley

It's been almost six years since my father died. He was a WWII veteran serving over three years in India and Burma in the Army Air Corp. He is the second one from the left. He was awarded a Bronze Star although I was never clear for exactly what.

He was also a survivor of the dust bowl and Great Depression. This is a picture of his father and him with his two younger brothers taken in Oklahoma circa 1930. He was self employed during most of his life owning a couple of grocery stores and later in commercial real estate. He never got rich but he never did anything to be ashamed of either and perhaps that's why.

He wasn't perfect. He opposed the Vietnam War but I often wondered if that was because I was of draft age. He was a Democrat until the late 60s but switched to Republican. He always said it was because of Johnson and the war but I think the Civil Rights Act may have played a part.

He was the product of his times and past but still one of the finest people I will ever know. He would often surprise me. He was a Bush supporter when he died but that was six years ago and I'm not sure he still would be. Could he bring himself to vote for Barack Obama? Probably not but as I said he was full of surprises.

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March 30, 2008

Tintype Restoration

I discussed tintypes below and this is another example from my own collection. This is a tintype of my great grandmother as a child. The tintype was scanned and then the contrast and brightness were adjusted to obtain a good image. As you can see there were major condition issues - large portions of the image were missing and there were many marks and scratches. Below you will see the finished restoration after about two hours of work. Two hours well spent to capture this bit of my family history.

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March 24, 2008

Art and Restoration

There are times when an old photo has simply too many condition problems or simply was not that good to begin with to do a standard restoration. That doesn't mean you can't create something you could display. The picture on the left is of great historical significance to my family. It is a picture of the original family home in Idaho taken about 1907. The original is small and has some condition problems. The first thing I did was to separate the structure from the rest of the picture. I added a sky for some drama and used PhotoShop's dry brush filter on the foreground. The result below makes a nice 11 x 14 that I proudly display.

In addition to have pictures of family members this photo taken around 1905 is also a fine work of art. It reminds me of a Maxfield Parish painting. The original had too many condition issues to make a "straight" restoration possible. I first did as much retouching as I could. Next I used the Photo Shop dry brush filter to smooth the image. I then had added a vignette. The result below also made a wonderful 11 x 14 image that could be displayed with pride.

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