Friday, March 09, 2018

Slides 9-1-1

It's time for another adventure in slide restoration - bringing vintage (July, 1961), terribly faded images back to their original glory (or something close to it, at least), through a mixture of sorcery, psychokinesis, and jazzercise (with leg warmers).  

Here's a pinky-brownish-orange shot, taken from the Skyway, looking down on the Matterhorn Chalet. If you've ever had pink eye, this is how everything appears.

After some color-correction, things look a little bit better. As I've mentioned in the past, one of the challenges with these particular slides is that many of them were taken as the sun was setting; which means they were already warm and rosy to begin with. I didn't want to overdo the correction and get rid of all of the warmth.

Anyway, I love the glimpse of the Motor Boat Cruise, along with the 4-car red Monorail, and even the rustic appearance of Anaheim in the distance.

Does this photo of Sleeping Beauty Castle make you want to tilt your head to the right? 

This one does too, but at least there are some blues, greens, yellows, and other colors. The procession of guests looks like the world's worst parade (they are marching to "Baroque Hoedown" played at 3X speed, in reverse). Nice shorts, gramps! At least he doesn't have knee-high black socks. 


Nanook said...


I thought you were going to keep your 'picture-healing' secrets as just that - but here you've let the cat out of the bag by revealing the inclusion of jazzercise-! I'll bet your competition never even thought of that little trick - but it surely is just what the doctor ordered.

As for the Sleeping Beauty Castle image - I barely noticed the horizon line being all cockeyed, as I always walk with my head canted towards starboard. And you're not kidding about that motley crew - why, with a little *plussing" of their wardrobes', they'd be all set to march in the Doo Dah Parade-!

Thanks, Major.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

When I did color correction, back in my litho days (1980's) I would rely heavily on Riverdance as my secret weapon. These however are quite the testament to the power of the fuzzy leg warmer! Nicely done!

Archie Bunker would be proud as you are wiping out commie pinkos (slides) left and right.

The castle does look like it could use a rotate, arbitrary, CCW 2 degrees, but that'll cost us readers a Dole Whip or a Churro for the extra effort. Thanks for your photoshop Fantasmic.

Chuck said...

I want to scream at the people in the second slide "YOU'RE GONG THE WRONG WAY!" Of course, I want to do that all the time. I should probably stop doing that. Especially in church.

PREVIOUSLY-UNNOTICED DETAIL OF THE DAY: Take a look at the upper-left-most tower in the second image. The left and right window are just false recesses, but the center one is darker, suggesting an opening. Anybody know what it's for? A speaker? A counter-sniper position? A bubble machine? Help me out here - I'd like to be able to sleep tonight.

Chuck said...

Something didn’t look quite right to me in the first photo, and it took me a while to figure out what it was - I couldn’t find the monorail spur to the maintenance facility (the current railroad/monorail “roundhouse” wouldn’t be built until 1965-66).

I eventually realized that it’s there, but the angle makes it hard to see since it’s right behind the monorail, obscured by trees, and the perspective makes it look like a road just outside the Park.

Meanwhile, while trying to (largely unsuccessfully) prove to myself that I hadn’t lost my mind, I stumbled on a 1959-61 aerial photo of the area at Daveland. I knew that the current roundhouse was preceded by an earlier, monorail-only facility that stood roughly where Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin is today (visible on the right-hand side of this image), but this photo shows an even earlier, two track shed paralleling the railroad behind the Fantasyland Station. I’d never noticed that before. That makes two previously-unnoticed details in one day. I think my work here is done.

K. Martinez said...

I like the view of the Matterhorn bullpen and control tower. Seeing the Motor Boat Cruise structure and load area is nice too! And then there's the beautiful sprinkling of color in the flower beds along the walkways between the attractions. And finally who could not love those glorious telephone poles in the backdrop. Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, ordinarily I would not reveal a secret as important as jazzercise, but, you know, for GDB… feel the burn! It’s funny you should mention the Doo Dah Parade, I wasn’t sure it was still a thing, but a friend went last year and had a great time.

Alonzo, I am very curious how color correction was achieved in the pre-Photoshop days; with PS, you can remove cyan from yellows, or increase the intensity of blues, etc, all by moving a few sliders around on the monitor. I used to be fascinated with the process of converting images to halftones, especially if they used a fancy screen (concentric circles or whatever)!

Chuck, never scream at people in church, that is just rude. Instead, do it everywhere else. The grocery store, Target, the post office parking lot… anything goes. As for the castle recesses… good golly, how in the world did you even notice?? Even now, I’m not sure if it isn’t just a trick of the light, or because it is so fuzzy at this giant size. Maybe that’s where the hot oil was poured onto the rioting masses below?

Chuck II, I never really thought about what kind of facility was used to store/maintain the Monorails before the familiar roundhouse was built. And I definitely wasn’t aware of the small building behind Fantasyland Station. I wonder if that was every used for the Viewliners too? Hey, noticing two things in one day is pretty good!

K. Martinez, it’s funny how much I miss the Motor Boat Cruise, especially since I thought it was a pretty lame ride at the time. I guess one doesn’t appreciate things until they’re gone. Or something.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Major for insights on the color correction process. Fascinating to see the side-by-side results on such fun pictures.

@Chuck, now you've got me going. I think you are right and the center recess in the tower might be different from the other two. From research on the invaluable archive Daveland database of castle photos, we find this construction photo gem.

The center opening is definitely different from the other two and the sky is visible through it since the roof is not yet built.

Using the power of the newly-added Google StreetView (which now extends to the interior walkways of Disneyland), we can view the openings from the drawbridge. The center opening does look different, darker somehow, but it's hard to say why.

So, what this opening might be is still unknown, but I'm holding out for it being some kind of window or vent.

I have seen construction details of the castle posted on-line, but nothing like floor plans or sections that might give clues about the interior or disposition of rooms. The battlement areas are walkways since protective railings were added for a while (and since removed), but I have no idea how these are accessed or for what purposes.

I'm enjoying seeing not one, but TWO motorboat ride signs, not to mention the rustic wilds of ancient and uninhabited Anaheim beyond. Dangerous places outside the walls, wild beasts roam there, to be sure.


Melissa said...

I can't tell if that shade of pink is closer to salmon or SPAM.

Man, that red Monorail train just jumps out at you from the green foliage, dunnit?

Everybody loved the Random Weirdo Parade! Each section of the band played the title theme of “The Happiest Millionaire” in it's own favorite key, while the percussionists read rhythm patterns off discarded IBM punch cards from low-level military contractors.

Nanook said...

I can't recall the exact number of times I rode on the Motor Boat Cruise, but one time, following a particularly-harrowing experience on The Teacups, Judy & I (readers may recall Judy form some of my family photos posted on this site) headed straight-over to the Motor Boat Cruise to "chill out", as it were, allowing adequate time for the 'spinning demons' in my noggin to vanish.

Chuck said...

JG, thanks for the construction photo link. I guess a window or vent is plausible, although I'm holding out for the Major's hot oil theory. I can imagine Dick Nunis up there during the Yippee riot, just waiting for an excuse.

Thanks for the info on the new Google Street View of Disneyland. Looking at the news, that capability was only released this week. Pretty neat, if you ask me (which you didn't).

Nanook said...

I just realized no one has pointed-out the complete lack of barriers surrounding either the lawn areas or the moat-! (And this was already 1961). My goodness, some poor soul could just wander off into those treacherous waters, only to be attacked by a swan.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, like you, I was thinking that it could just be a simple vent to keep moisture from building up and causing weird damage. Gotta get that airflow! A loudspeaker is not a bad idea, but it seems like an odd location to me. WHO KNOWS. Maybe it’s a great location! I’ll have to check out the Google Street View, which I had heard was coming, but I haven’t seen it yet. I wonder if the old-time locals of Anaheim hated Disneyland for “ruining” their peaceful little town? Of course, over time they would grow to love it, just like Parisians eventually loved the Eiffel Tower.

Melissa, I’d say SPAM is more accurate - salmon is more orange/red, don’t you think? Meanwhile, my grandfather worked at the Hormel plant in Austin, Minnesota… we had plenty of SPAM and other Hormel products growing up! I still like it, though I know some people despise it.

Nanook, if there was ever a ride to calm one’s jangled nerves, it would be the Motor Boat Cruise - especially with your favorite girl pal for sympathy.

Chuck, I’ve always wondered if the park played general theme music throughout various lands back in the early days, or if that was a later development? The loudspeaker idea intrigues me.

Nanook, that moat sucked them in like the La Brea Tar Pits. They would just skim off the souvenir hats (to re-sell), popcorn boxes, etc, and let the rabid swans do the rest.

Melissa said...

You could say they got weighed down upon the swanny river.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

Ouch-! [But hilarious, nonetheless].