April 27, 2021 | 2344 Views | By matthewjordansmith
Nothing is more important than family. In March of this year, I took an emergency flight to the United States to see my younger sister, Donna. She was entering hospice care for colorectal cancer and I wanted to be by her side to support her. I live in Tokyo and this was my first time flying back to the States since the pandemic began.
Seeing my family after such a long absence was wonderful, but my focus was documenting every moment of Donna’s life while I was there. As a kid, I remember my father taking pictures of family gatherings, dinners, birthdays and more. Back then, he used Kodachrome color slide film and after having the film processed, my family would sit together and look at the images on my father’s slide projector.
Those were great days and I wondered if my parents still had their old transparencies. When I asked my mother, she remembered exactly where they were. As I began to look through the old slides, I discovered images of both my sisters and I when we were kids growing up in Brooklyn, NY. I knew right way that I had to breathe new life into these old photographs and digitize them. Learn my techniques and process in the upcoming webinar.
I traveled to the States with a Nikon Z6II, a Nikon Z7II, and a Profoto A1x strobe light. For lenses, I packed my Nikkor 35mm f/1.4, a Nikkor 24-70mm f/4.0, the Nikkor 105mm f/ 1.4, and a Nikkor 60mm f/2,8 micro. I love doing closeup portraits with the Nikkor 60mm lens, but this lens is also great for doing closeups of objects, like color slides. If I was back in Tokyo, I would use my Nikon ES-2 film digitizing adapter set. However, I was 7 thousand miles away in South Carolina and I had to think about the best way to photograph my father’s old slides. I ran to Best Buy, purchased a small, inexpensive Digipower light and made a make-shift light box using a glass cup, and Kleenex tissue.
During the day, I would spend every moment photographing Donna. In the evenings, I began the process of digitizing all my father’s slides using my makeshift lighting kit. Each night my father watched in amazement as I showed him how to breathe new life into old pictures. After I photographed the images, I enhance them with ON1 Photo Raw and showed them to my sister the next day. She loved seeing our old family photographs, and my entire family loved seeing Donna smile.
If your curious to learn the process for digitizing your old slides, come and join me on May 4th for a LIVE webinar in which I will show you my step-by-step process, including my post processing steps using ON1 Photo Raw 2021.5.