Friday, February 22, 2008

In Praise of Patient Sons

When my husband and I made our quick trip to western PA last weekend, we stayed overnight (on very short notice) with our son.

While my husband went to the viewing, I sat down with my laptop to do some editing with Photoshop on some of the old slides I had scanned. For whatever reasons--old film, the actual color tendency of the slides when taken, too much light, too little light--some of the slides don't have the "trueness" of color and lighting that my current photos do.

So I was fiddling around, trying to adjust some of these photos when my son sat down next to me. Now, perhaps it helps to know that he is a "Senior Software Engineer" (I think I got that right) in his employment. So, I was not surprised that he knew more than I where computers and programs are concerned. What did surprise me (a bit) was that Photoshop was one of the programs he has mastered. He might not claim mastery--but, trust me, compared to my knowledge, he has mastered it.




We were trying to adjust this photo. First day home for our daughter--this photo was taken on a brilliant sunshiny fall day--the sun was streaming in the window, so when the men in my life sat down with the new little girl in my life, I closed the drapes. The result? Their faces are in the dark, and light keeps on streaming in the window. And the overall cast of the photo was yellow.

So, my son began tinkering with Photoshop--showing me new tricks all along the way. We used layers (didn't know how to do that); we used the magic tool wand, selecting portions of the photo; we used increasing and decreasing color.

Here's where the patience part comes in--the trick to doing any of this successfully is to do a little, check it, keep it or not, then do a little bit more. Back and forth, back and forth. This tedious but productive process is something that my son excels at. It's part of what makes him a good "computer" guy.

And I do understand his approach--it is very akin to my approach in editing this blog, for example. I want the font just so. I want the spacing just right. And I want the photo placements just here. So I go back and forth. I probably edit EACH blog I write three or four times at a minimum. And if I find a spelling or grammatical mistake--oh, oh. Must. . . fix. . . it. . . now. (It is this insistence on presenting a document perfectly that I apply to my students' papers, and as a result drive them crazy.)




But I am most grateful for the Photoshop lesson--after all, I have several more boxes (that's right--BOXES) of slides to go in the basement.

11 comments:

Anvilcloud said...

I'm a little overboard in both Photoshop and writing. Although I don't rewrite posts, I do re-read and make alterations.

egretsnest said...

Those pictures are well worth the effort. My husband's family has a bunch of slides. That may be a summer project of mine one year . . . go through them, scan them, and make them usable again. Next step, put them on DVD so you can watch them on TV! :)

Beverly said...

Those photos are a treasure. You are motivating me to figure out why I can't make my scanner work right. I have the capability to scan slides. That's why I bought the scanner I have. Must be the user.

KGMom said...

Well, Beverly--maybe not. Depends on the kind of scanner you have. The first one I got was an absolute bust--I got a little tower like contraption that you had to push the slides through. The software just refused to work on my computer. So I sent it back to place of purchase.
I waited, did some research, then marched off to St*ples and bought an HP scanner. It does photos, slides and paper. It turns pics into digital format, and turns documents into PDFs.

Ginnie said...

What sweet pictures. I love to see the older children in awe of the new baby.

CrystalChick said...

Hello,
I came upon your blog by way of 'Pictures at an Exhibition', Mussorgsky being one of my fav composers. I envy your Photoshop lessons! I have a Canon program, Picasa from Google, AND Photoshop but am certainly master of none. I fiddle around and get things looking how I like them but others with talent must look and see the horrors. LOL
Just stopping by to say hello, and wishing you a nice weekend. :)

Mary said...

Your son is a blessing. I'd love to have a computer guru in my family.

Those photos are wonderful - so old but new. Lovely.

Editing the blog? I usually have to sign in a few times after I publish to fix errors and then I don't catch them all! Always rushing...

JeanMac said...

I love your pics - it must be so nice to go thru old pictures and be able to post them.

Cathy said...

Precious photos, Donna. How sweet that the little boy is now the talented man sitting patiently at your side helping to revivify the glow of the past.

Denise said...

Precious, precious pictures!!

RuthieJ said...

Those are sweet pictures! And what an improvement in color from one session with your Photoshop tutor!