Images From The Past

June 4, 2012


I had almost forgotten how much I loved it when digital cameras were invented!  Let’s face it…I am not photographer by any means.  I can certainly churn out an occasional good snapshot…but there’s no epic artwork coming out of my cameras!  Still, I appreciate those good snapshots when I get them because, well, I so dislike the ordinary ones.  And that whole f-stop/shutter speed thing is a snooze for me.  I don’t want to think about taking the picture and what to set this or that to in order to achieve it.  I just want to get a good pic…and so I guess I should have a photographer at my side all the while I do anything that might be worthy of photographing for posterity!  Automatic is a pretty good mode for me…or aperture priority or shutter priority.  But manual is not a happening thing.  And that’s ok.  Most times.  It’s hard to get the DOF I want…but it can be done…and like my ear for stereo sound, my eye ain’t all that well developed either.  Sad but true.

Mike used to love to take pictures.  When he went off to the Navy and found himself overseas he bought a Minolta and a lens.  That was in the days long before digital pics…and even preceded automatic modes in film cameras.  He was heavily into that whole engineering type Fstop/shutter speed noise.  Not that anybody ever knew what he took pictures of.  He developed everything as slides.  And never dragged out (or maybe even got) a projector.  So we’ve had boxes and boxes of slides for the 32 years we are married.  Most precede our marriage by about 10 years too.

I decided, recently, it might be fun to convert those slides to digital images to see if they sparked his memory.  I priced conversion…and said WHOA!  I bought an HP scanner so I could scan/convert them myself.  And last weekend set out to do that with the first two boxes I came across.  It was easy to do…but most of the slides are in very poor condition.

The first box was loaded with photos from his 1971 WestPac cruise on the USS Vancouver.  There’s shots from when the ship docked in DaNang and Cam Ranh Bay harbors.  From Singapore and the PI.  From Taiwan. From Hong Kong.  And from on the ship.  Some of Mike when he was a young kid (21 in 1971) and had loads of hair.  Some guys on the ship…who he recognized and said he wished he could name them but the names escape him…locked away in his brain, a victim of the brain injury.  The second deck of slides was from the period on the Piedmont when he was in Europe.  He took a train tour of Europe and has tons and tons of photos of Europe.  Unfortunately, because he was still trying to figure out Fstops and shutter speeds, many of those photos are just bad.  Blobs.  And that is why digitals are so near and dear to my heart!  Not only is it hard to really screw up a shot…but if you do, you can have immediate feedback and you get a do over.  When will we ever get to tour Europe on a train for 30 days ever again so we could do over those shots he missed the first time around?  Uhhhh….never is a safe guess.

So, today I am grateful for digital cameras and the do over you get from them.  And I’m relishing those images I converted from slide to digital.  I posted them to flickr so if you want, they’re public and you’re welcome to view them.  Who knows, some of the guys who served with him on the ship might recognize themselves and let me know…and I’ll send them a copy!  Just scroll on down to the bottom of the homepage to the Flickr widget and you can check them out.



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