The (long-winded) process

Here are the steps that I go through to convert a single slide into one of the images that you see on the slideshows.

Scanning

  1. Scan it at 14mp. The scanner has an option to go higher at 22mp, but it’s just extra artifacts that appear on the slide (due to their age) and they, at some point, will need to cleaned up. So I stick to the lower resolution. The files are already 4mb each when scanned at 14mp.
  2. Do a batch of x slides, based on having 3 separate trays which can hold 4 slides per tray.
  3. Once a batch of, say 50, have been done, I’ll then copy the images from the slide scanner’s SD card onto the PC.
  4. Each scan is checked quickly to make sure there aren’t any major scanning errors and/or hairs on the slides that I can try and remove and redo the scan.
  5. I then use Picasa to go through each of the fresh slide scans. The first fix is to ensure that the landscape ones are rotated by 90 degrees and that all of the slides no longer appear to be at dodgy angles by using Picasa’s Straighten option.
  6. For the simple fixes, I use Picasa’s Retouch option to remove any stray hairs or dust. Those that prove too difficult are cleaned with a lens cloth and scanned in again.
  7. Any cropping that is required is also done to the images. This is usually a last resort option for the occasions when there are artefacts showing up in the border areas.
  8. The changes are saved and then I start on the task of renaming each file.

Image Filenames

  1. Luckily for me the original photographer wrote on every slide. Each one has, as a minimum, the area of the country or town, the year (and sometimes the month) and then a brief description.
  2. Using the above information, each file is renamed (i.e. Area – Date – Description).
  3. When a batch is done, they are put into a sub-folder ready for processing.

Image Processing

  1. Each image is opened up in Paint.NET and I use the Adjustments > Auto Level option. This needs to be done as some of the images have ‘lost their colour’ over the last 40 years. Most of the time it works very well and the old colours shine through once more – greens return to being a proper green.
  2. The images are now backed up so that I have decent ‘master copies’ to go back to.
  3. The next step is to resize each image by 50% using Paint.NET. This is purely to save space on the website, as well as to lower the amount of processing time per image when I upload it to Tinyjpg.com.
  4. Once each image has been processed and resized via Paint.NET, tweaked via TinyJPG.com and downloaded. These become the source files to upload to the website.

Note: Some images (mostly the commercial ones) have to be converted to black & white images because their colours have all faded to a shade of red. This is the downside to preserving old slides and one of the reasons why this site exists.

Image Uploading

  1. The images are placed into separate folders first using Media Library Folders Pro (MLFPro) plugin. I then have to create an empty album in the MaxGalleria album plugin.
  2. I then go back to the MLFPro plugin and associate the files with the newly created MaxGalleria album.
  3. For each image, because of the filenames I have used, I then edit the caption setting for *every* image so that when they are displayed on their relevant page, the MaxGalleria ImageSlider option shows the full text (area / year / description) as you scroll through. I haven’t found any easier method (so far) of doing this 🙁
  4. Find any websites which cover the attractions or locations in each slide. This might be for a National Trust website, or just a Wikipedia page. If I can find a website, it’s linked to the image so you can click on the image and jump to the other website.

And that’s it!

The above is what I have done for every one of the images that you see on this site. However, not every image that is scanned in is uploaded as some were just too blurred to fix. Back in the days of when the original photographer was taking these pictures, there wasn’t the option to view a picture and, if too bad, delete it and then take another one!