Monday, February 12, 2007

New scanner blasts from the past

Well, the saga of my new Nikon Coolscan V ED came to an surprising end and a bright new beginning. I learned this morning that my new scanner was on a truck and would be delivered today, a full two days early than they had promised. After making backup copies of the software, I proceded to install the scanner's applications and see what this puppy could do.
I've had 40 slides already picked out and I selected the following five to practice on. It seems that I'm going to need the practice, as the scans did not completely capture the vividness of the original Kodachrome slides.
This first one is from sometime during the early 90's, taken at Bear River Canyon on the Eldorado National Forest's Amador Ranger District. I stood on the edge of this huge rugged canyon, teetering on the brink, trying to compose this shot just right. There just was no way to take the shot without standing and looking through the viewfinder at the same time.

This next picture is also from the Eldorado National Forest in the early 90's but was taken from within the Desolation Wilderness. Twin Lakes is west of Mt Price, which I had climbed earlier that day. Usually, taking pictures into the sun results in exposure problems. Luckily, my subject was not the lake or the land but, the sparkling ripples of the windblown surface. Years ago, when I was in a camera club, this photo earned me a "Picture of the Month".

This long exposure of Oregon's Multnomah Falls is even older than the first two pictures. I was experimenting with my then-new tripod and seeing if I could duplicate the smooth water effects of other long exposure photos I had seen before. It took me a bit to set up, right in the middle of the stream but, as soon as I clicked open the shutter, I noticed that there were a father and son in the picture. I sighed, resigning myself to have to wait until they left in order to get a picture with no people in it at this popular tourist attraction. It turned out that this picture is a better storyteller than any of the other shots I took that day.

Whenever I go on a mountain trip with my good buddy Euell, I ALWAYS get good conditions and great pictures on those trips. This trip in the early 90's to Yosemite's Grant Lake was a very memorable one. The late afternoon light was electric and the calm of the lake was magical. Alas, the scanner did not capture the vividness of the light reflected off both the rocks and the lake.

This last picture is one of my treasures. It was again, sometime in the early 90's when I took a hike up the Snow Creek Trail leading out of Tenaya Canyon in Yosemite. The warm spring day was melting snow at a fantastic rate. I had heard and seen (and even captured) snow avalanches during the day. After a full day of climbing up to the snowline, I was on my way back down the trail and stopped for rest and refreshment. I had just loaded my last roll of film and was relaxing in the warm afternoon sun when I heard another rumble. With my camera around my neck, I looked up to see another small avalanche falling alongside the flank of the mighty Half Dome. I grabbed my camera, taking a split second to conciously compose the right shot and then clicked the shutter, hoping I had done everything right.

Yes, it turned out that I had done well with the lighting and the framing of both Half Dome and the avalanche. Unfortunately, there was a jet's contrail across the upper lefthand corner of the picture. In scanning the slide today, I cropped out a majority of it but, couldn't eliminate it completely. I then experimented with trying to digitally remove the rest of it. I used the "clone tool" to paint over the jet trail with the same sky color. Can you tell where it was??

I can tell that I'm going to be having "flashbacks" while scanning photos from my now-distant past. Except for having to clean the dust off all my slides, this is going to be fun!

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Blogger Mrs.ZigZagMan said...

I love coming here. The pictures are amazing. I so want to jump in the car and see all the places you have seen. Tell me something? Do you remember them all or take really good notes?

5:10 PM  
Blogger Backcut said...

I don't take ANY notes. Some of the slides have readable dates on them. Usually, just looking at the slide brings back memories.

And some of those memories can't be repeated here, either....HA!

Just like your camping trips, MrsZig

7:39 PM  

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