Like many families, off in some corner, crammed in boxes, are hundreds of little celluloid family slides. I can vividly remember talking dad into watching slides for hours on weekend evenings.
After much labor of putting up the screen, clearing a table to prop the camera on and then fishing through slides one at a time to display, up would pop old memories. The photos even then always seemed a bit yellow splashed on that white flimsy screen. It was fun.
Every trip home to Pennsylvania I have looked at the boxes of slides my grandfather and father had taken packed onto a shelf in my old bedroom and wondered what in the world we would do with them, until the other day. My Bed, Bath and Beyond flyer showed up and in it was this VuPoint slide scanner for $99.99. BB&B are great at sending out 20% off coupons at regular intervals and sure enough I had one that was still good. I did a bit of research and found really mixed reviews on the product. There were a lot of complaints about the scanner software and some concerning the quality of the scan. Some people raved about it and the cost savings. The one thing that I did find mentioned was that the drivers were compatible with my Adobe Photoshop program. I figured I could do color correction in the program if they scanned in that bad. For $80 it would get those memories stored safely, even if they weren’t professionally done at a much greater expense.
We ran out and bought one. I figured I had a full evening ahead of me with fighting to get it to work. I opened the box and looked in the documentation for installation directions to use with Photoshop and didn’t see them. I slipped the dvd in to load the drivers. The menu was set up so that you loaded the drivers and the scan software separately. I loaded the drivers and then plugged in the device. Windows recognized it as a new device and started looking for the drivers; I pointed the wizard at the installation dvd. Once that was complete I started my Photoshop program and went to file > Import and found the VuPoint Scanner listed. I couldn’t find any slides lying around so I inserted a negative strip. The image displayed, I copied it and then copied another after pushing the slide through to the next section in the strip.
It copies the negatives, as negative, so the next step was to select Image > Adjustments > Invert in Photoshop, for the positive version. I was pleasantly surprised how well they turned out. Some needed more color correction than others, but I think that was how it would have been originally.
To speed things up once I get the slides in August I ordered another set of slide and negative holders, which should make the scanning go a lot faster. I am planning on developing a quick slide show for the family reunion in Pennsylvania in August. With mom’s help and dad’s old slides I think we can create a quick digital display of old photos to run on my laptop. I am anxious to see what ancestors are hidden in all of those old boxes of slides.