Hallelujah light

12 12 2009

“Fingers of God” light (and a curtain of rain, I think!) over mountains near Aspen, Colorado (solo trip) and in sunset near Arches National Park, Utah (road trip with my friend Cammie). 35mm slides scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


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ScanCafe delivers early!

11 12 2009

ScanCafe continues to impress me! I received an e-mail this morning at 8:21 a.m. stating that my order was ready for review. They were seven days early from their original date of December 18. They allow for up to 50% of your scans to be “deleted” and you’re not charged for those, believe it or not! I reviewed the files and decided not to delete any. I paid the remaining balance and less than 30 minutes later, I had a link to go download the .sit file with all the images. A DVD with the images will be sent with my original slides shortly. It took me a little over an hour to download a compressed file with 400 images—thank goodness for high speed Internet access.

Now begins the (most pleasant!) task of going through the images, processing in Photoshop (still have to teach myself Lightroom 2, though), and determining which ones are worthy of blog exposure. Some of these slides date back to the late 70s—obviously non-digital days—shot with various SLR film cameras ranging from my father’s Yashica (model unknown; he loaned it to me to shoot a high school football game and never got it back!), graduating to a Pentax K1000 purchased at Sears as a present from my dad, then on to my first Nikon—a Nikon N2020, then moving up to a Nikon N90s (followed by another N90s backup body), and ending with my ultimate dream camera (at the time)—a Nikon F5, which I still own.

Yes, I will still be shooting new stuff as my schedule permits and assignments arise, but I hope you’ll enjoy this nostalgic trip (with no particular chronological order) into the world of Kodachrome, Ektachrome and Fuji Velvia!

Photo note: I believe I shot this image of (Greater Flamingoes?) at the Gladys Porter Zoo in McAllen, Texas. I’ve always loved this composition, and it was one of my first images I selected to sent to ScanCafe. I did a 24×36 pastel/conté drawing of this image for my sister, Debbie, as a gift one Christmas many years ago. In fact, that drawing is still hanging in her foyer—unfortunately, it’s framed in an in-vogue-at-the-time (but certainly not now) shiny and modern metal frame—in hot pink (to match the flamingo legs, of course). Yowza! I should also mention that it is on the wall behind the front door when you enter, so it can’t easily gather a flock of admirers around it. Hey, I know it’s still there. Good on ya, Deboo.

LATE-BREAKING NEWS: In his recent comment, my father reminded me that I didn’t include one more film camera that was in my repertoire—my medium format Mamiya 645! Dad bought me this camera while I was still living in Texas, shooting portraits and weddings for extra cash. I had it for several years, then sold it when I moved to the Washington, D.C. area so I could buy my Nikon 2020 and various lenses to get back into shooting 35mm. I put an ad in the Washington Post and sold it for about $900, to the best of my recollection. Many years later, during one of my jaunts to Infinite Color (a local lab) to get slides processed, I started chatting with a photo techie guy who was manning the front counter that morning. One thing led to another and I discovered that he was the guy I had sold the camera to (about 8-9 years earlier). He was still using it at the time and loved it. He waxed rhapsodic over its virtues and I left the lab wishing I had kept the camera! I wonder if ScanCafe does medium 2-1/4 negatives and slides…hmmm…I sense a future project coming on!





From my 35mm slide archives: Southwest images

1 12 2009

After reading glowing reviews (by professional photographers, no less…and from my favorite graphic design guru, Chuck Green) about the scanning services of www.scancafe.com, I thought I’d give them a try. While I own a really nice Nikon Coolscan dedicated slide scanner, the thought of (eventually) scanning thousands of my old slides is daunting. I also wasn’t happy with the results I’ve been getting lately from random slide scans. Although it takes awhile to get the images scanned with this service (they outsource overseas), the price is phenomenal. I took advantage of their recent quicker turnaround and 25% off special this weekend and expect to have an online review of the images around the 18th of December. They return the slides with a DVD of the final scans. What’s really neat is—you can reject up to 50% of the images you send in. How they can profit from that, I don’t know, but it was enticement enough for me.

Photo 1: one of my favorite places in Arizona—Canyon de Chelly, in Chinle, Arizona. After a lengthy hike to the bottom of the canyon with my father, I photographed the White House Ruin (Photo 2). The White House Ruin was made famous (photographically) by Ansel Adams in his beautiful black and white image here.

Photo 3: Hovenweep National Monument, archeological site near the Utah-Colorado border. Remind me someday to tell you a funny story about how my dad and I discovered Hovenweep.

Photo 4: Kodachrome Basin State Park, near Cannonville, Utah. My cousin Bill and I stopped at this park on our Vegas-to-Lake-Powell adventure. How could I not stop at a park with the word “Kodachrome” in it? (Never mind that I shot almost exclusively with Fuji Velvia at the time!)

Photo 5: Petrified Forest National Park in the Painted Desert, Arizona. While we’re on the subject of the Petrified Forest, I just stumbled across an instant message discussion on AOL that I had with my dad after that road trip so many years ago.

Me: Remember how beautiful the light was when we visited Petrified Forest? Those stormy clouds coming in over the bright blue sky?

Dad: I remember it.

Me: And how you wanted to steal a piece of petrified wood but I told you that it wouldn’t look too swell for a U.S. Customs officer to get arrested for something like that?

Dad: So we bought some at the rip-off gift shop. Guess where they got ’em!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.