Friday, November 26, 2010

From the past

Recently, Geoff from down under issued a challenge to post some embarrasing photos from the past. As a result I dusted off my un-used scanner to find that the supplied software did not work. It was outdated and I presume it kept locking up because of my new laptop and Windows 7. I promptly went to the Epson website and downloaded the latest drivers but I didn't like their interface, it was too complicated. My scanner came with a lite version of Silverfast with Digital ICE. It was now 4 versions outdated and I am only allowed to upgrade ONE release forward. I was going to give up but . . .


with Geoff's encouraging words I decided to first try to obtain a scanner program GRATIS to make sure the scanner was working. It took a few days but in the end no one had what I wanted so I had to resort to going to the Silverfast website to download the demo. I did a few scans to make sure all was in order as they state they give no refunds after you order and pay. My first real test was a scan of an E-6 panorama taken with my Horizon 202 rotating lens panorama camera. On the demo version the company plasters their company watermark across the face of the output and it took me a while using photoshop to get rid of them .


This was taken over 10 years ago on a photo expedition outing with my camera club. We took the train to Squamish, had lunch and returned via boat which passed under the Lion's Gate Bridge. Once I registered and purchased the program and entered the serial number, the watermarks disappeared. Now I don't have to use the clone tool anymore

Now it takes time to learn a new skill. I tried to make this machine work before and gave up, so I have a mental block which prevents me from working on this project quickly. Some of you think this is a stall tactic . . .


Now I notice that BlueKat is giving me a few nudges and Geoff is starting to get impatient. I guess that's what happens to you when you are retired and have nothing else to do. He's even accusing me of stalling and inferring that I had no intent of digging out my old photos.


I have thousands of negatives and things scattered everywhere. I'm having trouble locating the really old stuff and it was not where I thought it was, so it's taking more time . . .

In the meantime, in an act of good faith, please accept these (for now).


This was takon on July 7th, 1956 because that is what is written on the back of the photo. It was probably a contact print from our family camera which I remember was a black box with a lever on the side. There was a square window on the top which you looked down and tried to frame your picture, and of course the image was reversed. After you took the photo you wound to the next number looking through the red window on the back.

The following is an older image taken around 1949 with my Grandmother and I was wearing my cowboy outfit.


I really am trying to find more but we have few pictures from this early period


  1. Bob, I don't know whether the goading worked but I am utterly and completely proud of you! That photo of you at aged 8 or 9 is social history. Lovely photo of you but those buses.... simply incredible.

    What a wonderful cowboy outfit. I can remember having a toy 6 gun and even a Davy Crockett hat, but never the full outfit. I did have an Indian outfit though!

    I stuck with just bike-oriented photos first time up but depending on what you publish, I do have some old excrutiating school photos!

    Well done mate

  2. Nicely done, Bobskoot! I agree, the first photo is great and the buses are fantastic! You should try and recovery some of that one in Photoshop - it's a classic!

    I had a Daniel Boone coonskin cap and a Daisy pop gun. I guess that makes us roughly the same vintage! Let's see more photos - keep that scanner hummin'.

  3. Bob

    What an amazing split screen bus!

    When did you start wearing pink unmentionable (tm) footwear?

    Best wishes from frozen Britain, N

  4. Wow, above and beyond. I thought Geoff's challenge was for just bike-oriented photos. I was very happy that I had none. Now, you are changing the challenge...


  5. Nice! Digging into history and finding so many cool memories. Love that bus. Geoff is right, social history.

    And you are willing to dig further? :)


  6. Looking great in the Cowboy outfit. If the scanning is not too much of a pain in the butt I would say keep it coming.

  7. Prop the photo up away from a direct source of light. Point a digital camera at it and take a digital picture. Voila. No other equipment needed.

  8. Good stuff. I like seeing old photos, even if I have no idea what's going on. It makes you think about the scene and what was happening at the time. I'm glad you put them up.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  9. Hi Uncle Bob,

    Love the old B&W photos of your early years, do have one of you and Abraham Lincoln together??



  10. Geoff: Not many, or perhaps NONE of any bikes even though I have owned around 14 bikes during my riding career. Can't wait to see more school photos

    Mike: can't wait to view your Daniel Boone outfit. I had a BB gun too, and later had a .177 pellet rifle. Even as late as during the mid 70's we used to go down to the river with my Webley .177 pellet pistol, which I still have (for the crows).

    Nikos: during the 70's I had a two tone red/brown saddle shoes

    RichardM: Keep those non bike related photos coming . . .

  11. Charlie6: Thanks


    Well, it's your turn

    SonjaM: the scanning is more or less automated. You just have to set target output size, adjust contrast, define crop area and "click"

    Mr Conchscooter: If only it were that easy. Mostly I have negatives or slides, just a handful of already printed photos. A good scan can be over 50 megs. I tried to do a macro of a B&W negative but you need a corrected light source shining from behind to make it work. Then you have to reverse the negative . . . Colour negatives are harder because of the red cast built-into the negatives.

  12. Brady: I can barely remember that day, it was so long ago but I also like to look at old and historic photos. Thanks for stopping by

    Uncle Dave: It's been a while since I've seen Abe. Too bad I forgot my tripod

  13. Dear Bobscoot:

    It's hard to believe there was a time when the western world built busses like object's d'art. I have a model bus just like that one sitting on a flatcar on my layout downstairs. I will print out this picture of you and hang it up in my train room.

    I know for a fact that you still have that cowboy outfit and wear it around the house. The pink crocs are only one symptom.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  14. Interestingly, in the Photoshop class I'm taking we have been working on scanning and repairing old photos from slides and negatives.

    Have you noticed that I'm trying to stay under the radar on this old embarrassing photo thing? You can have my share of the attention!