April 8th, 2004

fishy wishy

Enlarged in permanent carbon...

I've often commented, to those who'll listen, that one of the interesting differences between europeans and the US (or any immigrant culture) is they way it treats its ancestors. They are much more tied up in the where and the culture, than the who and the what. We know the where, its the same damn place for the most part.

However this doesn't mean I'm not interested in the past.

When my gran died she left behind, amongst other things, a lot of old photos. These photos date form somewhere in the 1820's to up to 1920 or so. Its fascinating to me, because I don't really know much about my family in that respect. Like many people I know, we don't really pay that much attention to the past.

Our damn country is riddled with the stuff.

Anyhow, these photos are not only a fascinating glimpse of people I'm related to, but history, photographic records, and typographic curiosities. Hot damn... my inner geek cried.

Anyhow, I decided to archive all these photos, for they have seen better days. I'm scanning them all at 300dpi and saving them as 24bit PNG's (lossless, but still small(ish) files). This way they'll always be around. However, not only that.. but I'm restoring them as I go along, one original copy, one restored copy.

The first I finished earlier today, its of E.G. Gregg, my... great-grand-uncle if I remember correctly. Who looks quite a bit like me (though not so much in this photo), here's a comparison image for you, much smaller than the size I'm working with:

E.G. Gregg, circa 1900 or later
In this image he's probably about my age, standing in the pub he used to work at. He obviously liked the dandy look, and I can appreciate that. If I had the money I would wear that outfit. I am in love with the coat as it is...

Its wierd to think that this man was born about 100 years before me, give or take one or two years. He probably had seen motorcars at this stage, but they'd have hardly been common. Computers? Not even thought about, certainly not in any way more than simple adding machines.

And yet here he is, being cleaned up for the digital age.

I decided to keep its sepia tone, as I like the warmth that sepia has. However, as you can see I removed the scratches, much of the dirt, and basically made it more visible and crisp. There are limits to what you can do though with a photo this age and quality. What do you think?

I'll post some more as I go on, they fascinate me in many varied ways. I'll also talk more about my family history.
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