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Restoring something approaching natural colour to a 50-year-old photograph

Filed under: photography — 2015-04-04 by Richard L. Hess — Last Edit 2015-09-06 by Richard L. Hess

My wife has been putting together a slide show for the Aurora Historical Society and I’ve been helping with some of the photo cleanup. She did the difficult part of culling a couple of hundred images out of 10,000 that are sort-of organized by different people over many years. We came across this gem.
Maher Shoe Store after the fire

A summer of archiving…

Filed under: archival practices,project notes,scanning,still images — 2013-08-13 by Richard L. Hess — Last Edit 2015-05-03 by Richard L. Hess

This summer [2013], we have completed the project we described at the end of last summer. We began the summer of 2008, with Robert working every summer to some degree since. Michael split the work with Robert in 2009. More commentary below the graphic (UPDATED 2013-08-31) after the break.

Brief report on how the new camera outfit worked after three weeks of photographing on Maui

Filed under: photography — 2015-02-11 by Richard L. Hess — Last Edit 2015-03-15 by Richard L. Hess
Thanks to all who read my previous post on rationalizing my camera system. It worked like a charm. The 70-200 f/4 and TC20Eiii converter make an excellent telephoto that focuses quickly (with the range limter, especially) and the 16-85 is a step up from the 18-200. The whole trip was a good time for Mary Beth and me to relax and I had a fantastic time with the photography. For more details and some fairly high resolution images, continue reading. _RLH1216-3


Rationalizing camera equipment — what do you need?

Filed under: photography — 2014-10-15 by Richard L. Hess — Last Edit 2014-11-10 by Richard L. Hess

I have used 35 mm single lens reflex camera systems since about 1965 when I started out with a Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic, and a 50 mm f/1.4 lens. In 1966, I added to that a Spiratone 35 mm f/2.8? wide angle lens and a Sun Zoom 70-210 mm f/4.8? telephoto. Later I added a 400 mm f/6.3 preset lens.

In 1977 I moved to Canon F-1’s and ended up with a nice system of Canon prime lenses 17 mm f/4, 28 mm f/2.8, 50 mm f/3.5 macro, 85 mm f/1.8, 135 mm f/2.8, and 200 mm f/4 and three F-1 bodies. Late in the life of that system I added a Tamron 500 mm f/8 mirror lens which was not what I had hoped it might be.

After a brief flirtation with Canon EOS, I moved to Nikon in 1990 and have been shooting Nikon ever since. I had more lenses and bodies than I ended up knowing what to do with, going from 20 mm to 500 mm f/4. Over time, I owned six Nikon film bodies, five DSLR bodies (so far), 11 prime lenses (all but one a Nikkor), 9 Nikkor zoom lenses, and 5 Nikkor teleconverters! In 2003, I bought my first D100 digital SLR and have had two of those, a D200, and now shoot with two D7100 bodies.

Thinking back on this, I spent 12 years with the Pentax/Spiratone system, 12 years with the Canon FD system, and I’ve been with Nikon for 24 years.

I was somewhat happy with the 18-200 mm lens on the D200, but it didn’t make me happy on the D7100. I suspect that the 18-200 was perhaps the limiting factor for resolution on the D200, at least at some focal lengths! (click the image for a larger view)

12-400 mm histogram (more…)

Personal Image Scanning Project

Filed under: project notes,scanning,still images — 2011-11-05 by Richard L. Hess — Last Edit 2012-10-09 by Richard L. Hess

In the 2007-2008 school year, my son Robert asked me why we did not have all our family images in the computer as there were some that he needed for a report. Since this was a project I had desired to undertake for some time (but who has the time), I responded with “I’m very glad you asked, what are you doing for a summer job?”

As of September, 2012, the bulk of the work has been completed and here are the statistics:

scanning stats 2012-09-11


Slide Storage Warning – Airequipt 2 x 2 Slide File

Filed under: archival practices,photography — 2011-08-22 by Richard L. Hess — Last Edit 2011-08-22 by Richard L. Hess

Over the years, I’ve used various methods of storing 35 mm colour transparencies. Until 1992, I used mostly metal slide boxes, but I do have about five Airequipt 2 x 2 Slide Files which are a hard plastic. One of them was sitting on a painted steel shelf and I found some oozing degradation components that were oily/greasy and rust where the paint on the shelf was scratched (probably prior to the box being placed on it).

These boxes have bubbled to the top of the priority list. The interior and slides seem to be fine…for now, and the other boxes are showing little or none of the symptoms of the one (which is probably not the oldest). The slides in this box date from 1983, but the box is almost certainly older. The Logan and Brumberger steel files are, as expected, holding up well, but I am migrating the images to hanging slide sheets from Transparent Office Products. I suspect that I’ll end up with about 2,500 sheets with probably 16 slides/sheet on average…and that will fit in seven file cabinet drawers (2′ deep). These sheets were originally sold by Franklin Distributors until Transparent took them over about half a decade ago. I bought my first sheets from them in 1991 or 1992 and they are still doing fine. Some other alleged to be archival sheets from the same time did not do as well.

We are scanning all of the images as we move them using a Nikon Coolscan 5000ED with SF-210 slide feeder.

Rechargeable battery solutions: AA and AAA

Filed under: live sound and recording,parts,photography,tools — 2009-10-16 by Richard L. Hess — Last Edit 2010-01-24 by Richard L. Hess

I wrote about rechargeable batteries back in April 2009 and while I have expanded the installation of the iPowerUS 9V batteries to three chargers and twelve batteries at the church and one charger and four batteries in my facility, I have adopted a different approach to AA and AAA cells from that outlined previously.


Rechargeable battery solutions 9V, AA, AAA

Filed under: live sound and recording,parts,photography,tools — 2009-04-27 by Richard L. Hess — Last Edit 2009-10-16 by Richard L. Hess

Battery technology continues to improve. In 2007, I bought some Sony fast-charge nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) AA cells and charger. They have worked well for digital cameras, electronic flashes, and a portable audio recorder. NiMH cells are available in major stores and some offer long-shelf-life-per-charge and come pre-charged.

Recently, I did a thorough search for 9 V rechargeable batteries for wireless microphones at church. I was pleased to discover that iPowerUS (they have a Toronto office) was able to provide lithium polymer 9 V batteries that far outperformed the available NiMH offerings. We bought one DC9V charger and eight DC9V-520mAh batteries for alternate use in four wireless transmitters that we use regularly. We expect this system to pay off in a year or less.

I also bought their GC-60 tester/charger for my NiMH AA and AAA cells which, so far, looks excellent. Both chargers come with a “wall wart” and a car cord.

See updates in this article.

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