Friday, November 30, 2007

Souvenir Slide

I found a group of older souvenir slides, apparently dating from around 1961 or '62 (this was before the ubiquitous Pana-Vue slides). They had turned to a distracting magenta, but I decided to roll up my sleeves, rev up Photoshop, and try to restore this spectacular shot of the Flying Saucers. The results were better than I had hoped for!

This is a pretty exciting scene, but soon the TWA Rocket would be repainted with the Douglas design. It's not very common to see the Saucers and the TWA rocket together in one photo (by 1967, the rocket was entirely -and sadly- removed and the attraction it once fronted would be known as "Flight to the Moon").

Here's what it looked like before any restoration. Amazingly, there was still the remnants of some of the original color information hidden inside all of that redness. I'll have to try working on some of the other ones when I have a little spare time (whatever that is).


Anonymous said...

Seriously, this is a beautiful restoration, and an excellent original composition. I "play" with photoshop, but wouldn't even think of attempting this sophisticated.

How long did this one take to bring back?

Katella Gate

outsidetheberm said...

Amazing! You want to come work over here?
You've got some serious talent. Thanks for the effort, it's appreciated.

Stub Winged Bilge Rat said...

Wow! Nice work Major! Bringing that much color back without creating a contrast mess is a real trick. That must have taken a talented hand but also a great deal of patience. Keep up the great work.
We are headed down to Disneyland tomorrow for a week at the park. Really looking forward to it.

Hannibal8 said...

Hello Major. Well that was a fun exercise. After seeing your results, I had to try my hand at it. I used levels in Photoshop and played with the saturation. As soon as I pulled the reds down, the blue of the Saucer deck just popped. Who would have guessed it was still there? I have to admit, you did a better job on the clouds. Good stuff. Talk to you soon.

Progressland said...

Very nice work! And a fun scene, to boot.

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Great job Major. This really is a very rare shot. Note that the rocket does not have TWA markings on it. I would say that within a week or so of this shot, it will have been painted in Douglas blue.

Merlinsguy said...

Only mistake: in 1962 the Orange County skies were green with smog.

Anonymous said...


I will date myself with this one I remember this ride as a kid.It sat were space mountain sits at this day. I can rember when this ride would break down on our visits. Seemed like it was never working did not last long at the park.


Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks for the nice comments, folks! Hannibal8, I figured somebody out there might like to try their hand at adjusting the scene. I just tried doing one of the other slides, and it didn't come out quite as nice.

And Viewliner, you could only see the letters "TWA" from certain angles, I have a lot of photos in which they were not visible.

Matterhorn1959 said...

Nice work on the magenta slides. I know what a pain in the behind they can be...I have some I am looking at posting and correcting but am not sure if I am up to the challenge.

Biblioadonis aka George said...

Good job...the difference is amazing.

This is one of those rides that I wistfully wish I could've experienced.

Peter VINCENT said...

Xcellent retouching. What a great picture!

CoxPilot said...

Major: My 2 cents ... Great job on the restoration. Did this kinda work for year at Hughes Aircraft in Fullerton, and it does require patience. To Anonymous: I grew up in Calif, and at the Flight Circle just to the left in the far background, and we had many a beautiful day just like this one. They usually happened just after a good rain when the weather was colder. Notice the sweaters and jackets on the people, and the leaves on the trees. This was probably end of summer or early fall. Also, the tarp on HobbyLand (at the left) says to it a probably weekday and after a rain. Those were the BEST days to work outside at the Park. As to the TWA logo; it HAS been painted out. It used to be on that side, and the other, just below the top row of portholes. Check Daveland for these views.

CoxPilot said...

Correction my last comment: The TWA logo was ABOVE the top row of portholes.

Major Pepperidge said...

Coxpilot, thanks for your info...I realized that any photos I have of the logo-less Rocket to the Moon were from after it must have been painted out as you indicated.

Here is a good one of mine to look at for the logo:

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Neat stuff, it makes a GREAT Wallpaper for my desktop! Novice question here, are those color's still in the faded slide? Do you have to tell the software that the "sky is blue"... I am so curious how this works, and WOW, you sure got it to work great! THANKS!

Major Pepperidge said...

vintage diz tix, thanks for the nice words. Yes, those colors are (believe it or not) still hidden behind all that magenta. There is no single formula that works for every slide, there are some that I just haven't been able to fix no matter what, my efforts just turn them a green or gray. That's why I said I was surprised that this one came out so good! Photoshop has quite a few color correction tools (curves, "selective color", levels, hue/saturation, etc.). The blue sky required some tricky adjustments and enhancements. Now that I look at it, I should have removed a bit more yellow from the neutral colors. If you think you will be trying to adjust a LOT of slides, you might consider buying Kodak's "Digital ROC" Photoshop plugin. It doesn't always work, but on occasions it can be almost miraculous.

Chris Merritt said...

Amazing shot - and even more amazing results with the color restoration. Great job!

CoxPilot said...

Major: Curious to know if your platform is PC or Mac, and if your using separation layers. Also; do you find using 4 color will give you more options? Sorry. This has nothing to do with Disney.

Major Pepperidge said...

coxpilot, I am using a Mac, and I work in RGB rather than CMYK (since I scanned these with the web in mind rather than printing). I have used Photoshop on a PC, though it isn't very different.

Since I don't use CMYK, I do not edit color via the channels, although I am told that you can do useful things with them.

Stub Winged Bilge Rat said...

Major, are you using a Nikon transparency scanner? I sure have loved my Coolscan 9000, but I'm always on the lookout to find something better if it comes around.

Major Pepperidge said...

I am using a Canon "CanoScan 9950F", which I am very happy with (had it about a year). I know that Nikon Coolscans are supposed to be very nice, isn't that what Daveland uses? During my research, I had narrowed it down to the Canon and an Epson (don't remember which one). The Epson was a bit cheaper, and I saw it did excellent slide scans...but I had had two Epsons over the years and wanted to try something new.

Davelandweb said...

Great idea of showing the before & after Major - photoshop definitely has saved many a slide of mine that looked like it was from the Pink Elephant scene in Dumbo. EXCELLENT Flying Saucer image!

SundayNight said...

Digital photo restoration is one of my hobbies. Thank you for posting the "before" shot. I know what a challenge it is to pull out a color shot like that from a slide that's turned red. Beautiful job! I will definitely try my hand at a restoration. But it’s gonna be difficult coming up to the “Major” standard!

And what a beautiful shot! That photographer must have used some sort of sky filter to pull in those clouds like that.

And thanks for often giving us a "full frame" scan. We want all the details we can get!

Todd Franklin said...

Wow, nice work!

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