Sunday, April 24, 2016

A personal ANZAC story

Over the last few years I have scanned  First World War photos, memorabilia and diaries for others. These are very special family items.  Today I want to share my own personal ANZAC story.....

Auckland Public Library Collection
Scanned print from family collection
Like many New Zealanders I had family who went to Gallipoli as young men.  My Grandfather returned, sadly his older brother Guy did not. I was prompted to start research into my Great Uncle's story by a trip my son took to Europe, where he saw Guy's grave at Gallipolli.

My family held papers showing the location of his grave and a photo which I digitized and restored. I found information from the Auckland Museum Cenotaph database and obtained his war records from Archives NZ. My Great Uncle served with the Auckland Mounted Rifles. I found another photo of Guy in the Auckland Public library photographic collection that was similar to our family one.  As this photo was only partially identified, I was able to give the library his details.  

More recently I uncovered additional family information including his First World War diary, which ends the day before his death (less than a month after his landing at Gallipoli) and a Scrapbook of condolence letters and telegrams sent to his family following his death.                                      

I have digitized and produced facsimile copies of both the diary and the condolence book and photos. Digitization has enabled me to share these items within the family. Recently our family shared these at a commemorative service that was held at the local church my Great Uncle and his family belonged to. Following the service, descendants of the original letter writers were a able to view the letters in the scrapbook.  These items have given our family some understanding of the devastating impact that this had on Guy's family back in NZ

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A brief history of Portrait Photography

Recently DigitalRev published an interesting little video which summaries the history of portrait photography in 90 seconds - see the following link:

Friday, December 4, 2015

More on photo editing before Photoshop

In a number of posts I have talked about photo editing in pre-photoshop times.  A recent article in PetaPixel talks about how editing was done - quoting an early photographer...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Photo manipulation before Photoshop at the Met

A couple of years ago I read a really interesting book called "Faking it: Manipulated photography before photoshop" by Mia Fineman which also was the basis for a Photography exhibition held at the Met. I was reminded about this when I saw a recent post in

"Faking it" describes the art of photographic manipulation before Photoshop and shows that photographic manipulation started very early on in the development of Photography.  

 Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop

Mia talks about seven different types of photo manipulation which are designed to:
1. correct faults in the original photograph and to compensate for the limitations of photography (the example in the article below from PetaPixel falls in this category)
2. create "art" photographs
3. persuade people - for political and ideological reasons
4. amuse and entertain - "novelty" photographs
5. represent images for print
6. create surreal dreamlike images and
7. deliberately change the photographic image (using modern manipulations and composites pre-Photoshop) - she calls - Protoshop....
Its a fascinating read and shows that photographic retouching and manipulation is not new - its a real skill the requires a eye for detail and understanding of proportion, composition and anatomy and patience to re-create reality, its just the tools have changed .....

For those of us who live down-under the Met has put the entire exhibition online at: 

Copyright Carterworks NZ

Friday, February 20, 2015

Why not all scanned images are created equal

Recently I was reading the magazine section of a newspaper and was surprised by the poor quality of some of the images in an article I was reading.  The images were blurred in parts and had lost resolution and information, I suspect due to the fact that they were never scanned properly in the first place, that is, the resolution they were scanned at was not sufficient for publication.

A lot of people think that scanning an image just involves putting it in a scanner and pushing a button - easy-peasy - so why pay someone?

The answer is its not just a matter of having good scanning equipment - its knowing how to get the best out of your equipment, the right settings and the right resolution for the purpose.

Before I scan I analyse the image to gauge things like its detail and also damage.

I ask:

  • What do you want to use your images for?
  • Do you think you might want to print them in the future?

I also consider:
  • What is the best digital format. If they are colour images for example, I want to try and capture as much of the colour as possible
  • If they are damaged.  I want to give people the option of being able to fix them, if not now  - maybe in the future.
Scanning is also about knowing the best format to save your digital images for the future.  So if you have a collection of slides, negatives or photos call me because I can help you with your scanning needs.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Ashwini Chaskar and the Craft Gallery

Another local Wellington artist I have had the privilege of working with is Ashwini Chaskar. Ashwini produces beautiful digital water and batik effect images as well as detailed black and white ink works.  Ashwini  approached me to print these for her when she sells her images on the Craft Gallery - a new online Gallery featuring works of Australian and New Zealand artists.

See more of Ashwinis work at:

And on facebook 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Organising those summer snapshots

Source :wikipedia
So you are back from the Christmas holidays with a pile of snaps....

Hopefully you have downloaded them onto your computer and backed them up in the cloud or elsewhere.   And you filed them so you can easily find them?  Maybe you haven't? Are they still sitting on the camera?.


Well its the new year, there is no time like the present to get organised!

There are many different ways of organising your digitized images. Our personal collection of digitized images consists of scanned negatives,slides and photos as well as digital photos, videos, and movies plus we have music sound recordings. We chose to place our digital data into folders based on the date they were taken/ recorded, then into sub-folders based on subject. The date folders are named based on the year and month they were taken. Our file folder notations look like this:-

2014 indicates the year and the suffix  01, 02 and 03 indicates the month - January, February, March etc.Using a number based system like this means that the files will automatically sort in chronological order.

Within each date folder individual images, recordings and movies are sorted into sub-folders which are given topic or event names based on their subject matter, for example: Johns birthday, Beach trip, Flowers in the garden.

This system allows us to continue to add to it using the same notation. As we scan older images they can slot in at earlier dates....newer images under later dates....

How do you organize your digital images and data?  Share your ideas under comments....