Thursday, April 19, 2012

The End of an Era

It's not fair. Slides have become passe. And getting slides converted to prints is almost impossible to
get done. I checked with a large number of mainline drug stores and the machines they have only work with computer media. Checking stores like Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Best Buy, and Meijers were just as bad. It seems that the only way to get old slides converted is to work with a major photography store (and I'm not even sure about that) or to buy a slide converter that puts the slides in digital form.

I guess that much of traditional photography has passed its prime. My uncle Ralph, back in the thirties and forties, was a really good photographer. He would take pictures with classic German cameras and process the film in trays in his apartment bathroom. It was all black and white pictures. Later, in Missouri I bought a classic Speed Graphic press camera and did my own processing as well.

In 1941 my father bought an Argus c-3 35millimeter slide camera which he used a lot during our family vacation trip from New York to California. A few of those slides still exist, believe it or not, some which show my brother and I wearing honest to goodness 10-gallon cowboy hats in the image of Tom Mix and his Ralston Straight Shooters, (For those who might never have heard of Tom Mix, he was a movie cowboy in the 1930's also was a featured star in a children's quarter hour afternoon radio serial. I wanted a Stetson because it seemed more western than a tall cowboy hat but I had to deal with what I had.

As time passed I got still and movie cameras well before the days of digital. I can't remember all the cameras I went through but almost all of the cameras were used to take slides, especially of the family.That's the problem I have gotten into - a zillion slides and no way to make prints of them. In the picture above you may get some idea of the pictures I took back in the fifties and sixties. These slides are treasures but without a projector it's hard to look at them, and slides don't go well in scrapbooks.

So with no way to convert the slides to prints it became a real challenge in trying to copy do it commercially. More than challenging, it was nigh on to impossible. And so one more gadget is
added to a computer room (some might call it a man-cave) that Joyce would love to see cleaned
up. It took a bit of experimenting to get the device to work (I needed to learn the proper switch positions) but I finally succeeded. So I think I will make the technology available to friends and members of the family who are faced with old pictures that technology has tried to consume to
the waste of the world. But I have finally come up with a better idea. So there, all you super-stores who move with technology but forget there are a lot of people who some old-timey service

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