Thursday, September 23, 2010

Great Aunt Blanche's Big Adventure

I picked up a new scanner for the express purpose of archiving Mom and Dad's collection of old slide photos. It works pretty well for most slides newer than late 70s vintage, but some of the older slides in their collection don't have the standard frame size of later 35 mm slides. I ran into this problem back when I took some slides in to London Drugs for scanning; their scanners returned photos with chopped off heads and all kinds of other problems. Their equipment just wasn't made to handle older slides.

My home scanner does a much better job, although sometimes I have to align the slides vertically instead of horizontally to ensure that the full image is captured. But with some slides, not even that will ensure the whole image is captured. For this slide of my Great Aunt Blanche - she's at the lower right - I had to scan the original slide twice at different angles, then combine the two images in Photoshop. At this rate, it's going to take me years to archive the hundreds of slides in Mom and Dad's collection, but I think it's a job worth doing - not only for the sake of family history, but because I find old photos inherently fascinating.

When I first glanced at the slide, I thought perhaps Great Aunt Blanche had attended an Apollo rocket launch, based on the tropical foliage and the late-sixties fashions. But as you can see, the slide itself is labelled "At Sun City - Jan." (Presumably January, though what year, I wonder...) Was Great Aunt Blanche taking in a concert in Sun City, South Africa? Or are the people on the hill watching some kind of sporting event?
Great Aunt Blanche died a few years ago at a very ripe old age, so I can't ask her. I'll have to ask my parents if they remember.

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