Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mama Don't Take My Kodachrome Away

In the 50's & 60's my father and grandfather shot a lot of slide film. I actually did, too, when I first started taking pictures with my little Instamatic at about age 9. Consequently I have boxes of slides that I really can't conveniently look at. I don't know if we ever had a slide projector. We just used a slide viewer which only allows you to look at one slide at a time. So it's been years and years since I've looked at them.

While Christmas shopping I came across this little thing, Ion Slides 2 PC , a slide and negative scanner at Staples for about $70. On a whim I picked it up. First of all, you get what you pay for, it was pretty cheap and it's not that great. But it did what I wanted, it allowed me to digitize the slides and begin to finally enjoy them. The one disappointing thing is that my father started having his slides developed into a 2 x 2 format and the only scanner I've found that handles that size is out of my price range, for now anyway.

I happened to be in a camera store soon after I bought the scanner and mentioned it to the owner. Despite my admission that I bought the scanner in Staples, this is exactly why I prefer to shop locally rather than in those big box stores where you end up speaking with a clerk who's selling cameras this week and vacuum cleaners next. Gerry in the camera shop actually knew what he was talking about having sold cameras for 30+ years.

Back to my point, Gerry asked how old the slides are. I told him some are 50+ years, and he said, "Don't wait. Scan them ASAP." He went on to explain that Ektachrome only had a lifespan of 35 years as opposed to Kodachrome which was 75 years. As soon as I got home I checked and ack....most of the oldest are Ektachrome! Sure enough, when I began to scan them, I realized they have deteriorated quite badly. I did them all anyway. Despite the poor quality of some, it was wonderful and a bit sad to see all those long-gone faces. So here are a few for your viewing pleasure, I hope!

Mom & Dad and Guess Who? After I scanned this one, I realized you need to defuzz the slides first.


Not just a Day at the Beach!



This was a family reunion in 1956, I'm in the yellow diaper being carried by my great-uncle. I especially love this photo because my great grandmother is there on the left.



I think this is Christmas 1957. Sleepy girl.







Family reunion 1961. Everyone is there, mom, grandparents, great grandmother; everyone but Dad who, no doubt, was behind the camera.



Catskill Game Farm in upstate New York.



A little out of order, this is Story Land on Cape Cod. Whose idea was this?? Hello, Child Services?





I still have this pencil drawing being done at Story Land.



Easter Sunday with my cousins, Don and Dave. Could someone please tell the little girl to put her knees together?



Happy Birthday to me!




19 comments:

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Oh, it's so much fun looking at old slides. My dad took a ton that I am starting to go through. I just got a slide scanner for Christmas. I'm a bit disappointed that the software connected with it doesn't seem to work, but I can edit them in my Kodak software. At least I can them on the computer now. I'll be using them in some posts from time to time.

Wanda said...

I love viewing old photos, the items in the background are often just as interesting...lampshades, ashtrays, skinny little trikes, the packaging of toy dishes, and old card tables!

mama-face said...

Awesome. I must ask my parents if they still have old slides. hm. I love technology.

Your Christmas mornings photos are too cute.

Anita said...

I love these. Our family had slides too. My dad bought a pricey scanner and then his vision got worse he threw away the instructions and some cords or something,leaving it useless. The slides are sill waiting to be converted! I have so many memories of setting up the screen and turning down the lights and watching those old slides!

Blackberry Jam Cafe said...

These are so fun to look at! I have some of the same type of memories from the 50's and 60's - I think I remember seeing that same goat ;) I'm going to live vicariously through your memories today! Thanks for sharing!

Just Breathe said...

I just adore the old pictures from the past. That was so much fun, thank you for sharing. My dad had all his movies and slides put on VHS years ago. I might even have them on Beta. So I need to get those converted! Great job.

Chris said...

I just pulled our old home movies off of VHS. I have to get the slides from my brother and do them next. So much fun. Those are nice pictures of your family.

randomblogette said...

That is so amazing having those old slides available so that you can digitize them. My family never took slides or video or even many pictures when I was younger and they were younger. I promised myself that I will make sure to take tons of pictures so that future generations can see us when we were younger! Thanks for sharing your pictures!

Paloma said...

Awesome pictures! Thanks for sharing them!!!

It's great how technology has advanced and the great pictures we can take nowadays with the digital cameras, etc.... but there is something really artistic and special about the old ones! I just love them!

Paloma

Vodka Logic said...

Oh what fun those pictures are and what fun it must be to have your life open up again in front of your eyes.

Belated Happy Sits day xx

Pam said...

Those pictures are so fun! I love the one of you having your picture drawn. And it's fun to see you mom as a young woman.

Shauna said...

What a gift that you have these old photos!

Marshmallow Circus said...

These are great! Glad you get to enjoy them again.

tattytiara said...

That shot with the tea set got a giggle out of me - what wonderful photos! Glad I read this post - I have a ton of my father's old slides that I'd better get attending to. Thanks for the info!

LadyFi said...

Oh, I love those old shots!

Robin said...

The Catskill Game Farm?!? My parents grew up not too far from there - in fact, selling animal food at the Catskill Game Farm was my father's first summer job. I have great memories of visiting there as a child too.

What a treasure those old slides are. My father is scanning his now too, I love seeing his new/old discoveries.

alice said...

What a treasure you have. Thanks for sharing I really enjoyed looking in the past.
smiles, alice

mooneyequalsmc2 said...

oh how much FUN to look back at old photos. It is one of my favorite things, even if they are slides of people I do not know..there is so much to be learned just by studying and old photo. The little details that gets swept away sometimes...I miss that.

Badass Geek said...

My great grandfather had boxes and boxes of slides he had taken over the years, and when he passed, someone in my family took them. I almost weep when I think of them gathering dust somewhere because they don't know what to do with them.

 

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