Back in the eighties when I was a boy my Dad used to get out the slide projector and screen every once in a while and the family would gather on the settee for a wee slideshow. All sounds very cosy indeed but I really did look forward to these occasions. Something about slides has always fascinated me and as a kid everything from the carousel loading mechanism on the projector to the beam of dusty light had me totally enthralled.

So recently I decided to dig out my Dad’s old slides for a nosy and to see if I could convert them to digital. I never realised what a goldmine it would turn out to be, I must have found at least 1,500 slides so far. Obviously for me it’s a nice little nostalgic trip but the ones I’ve been most interested in so far are the shots from before I was born during the sixties and seventies. Some of the colours from the film that he was using then are incredible.

Of course it turns out digital conversion of slides is no simple task. I was under the impression that scanning them would probably achieve reasonable results but in practice the quality seemed to be better with that of a macro photograph taken on a light box (this may be down to the quality of my not-so-high-budget scanner). It may not produce as accurate a representation of the original as a high-res scan but I felt you could be a bit more creative with this method and also get some nice vignetting. However, it is a rather more complicated operation. You’ve got loads of issues with things like reflection from the camera body on the slide surface, bulb filament coming through, external light sources and white balance. One of the main problems I had was trying to establish an efficient procedure to get through the large volume of slides. I’m not even halfway through the ones I’ve found yet, but I do have the production line down to a T now.

I’ve edited a selection of them in Photoshop, mainly playing around with colours, levels, curves and saturation. You can see the ones I’ve done so far here and will keep updating the set as I get through the rest of them.

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