Friday, November 17, 2017

Slide Scans, 9-1-1

I recently found a bunch of Disneyland slides from the early 1960's. Most of them were perfectly fine, but about 1/3 of them (the Ektachromes) had turned very pinkish. Initially I thought I should discard the slides, but some of them appeared to be nice images - if I could restore them.

Here's what I'm talking about - this is the scan with no adjustments at all. (The images are from July, 1961, by the way).

After some futzing around in Photoshop, I wound up with this. Not too bad! Many of the images from this lot appear to have been taken around sunset, so that they probably had a warm, rosy glow - just not as rosy as the first example. It made things tricky, because I wanted to remove the red, but not all of the red.

Anyway, I think this is a beautiful shot of the old Tomorrowland, with the "Rocket to the Moon" (sans the "TWA"), the Skyway, the Space Bar, the Astro Jets, and the Yacht Bar just sneaking in at the lower left

I've noticed that slides that have turned magenta tend to look pretty grainy when enlarged, but it's a small price to pay. I wanted to point out one detail... the Yachtsmen are performing on that odd little stage near the Sub Lagoon.

Happily, our photographer went over to take a better picture of them. Here's the unadjusted version...

... and the color-corrected version! These guys really look like they just walked off of an aircraft carrier in Long Beach and decided to bring their instruments to Disneyland for a little jam session. Two sailors in the foreground feel right at home.

Incidentally, I recently received a special comment on an old blog post... here it is:

Hi. This is Kevin Shipman of The Yachtsmen. I am doing fine as are Carl and Mickey. We have lost Jay, Bill and Scotty. I miss them every day. We were all great friends. If you want to hear and see a bit more of our history you might check this out:

Very neat to hear from an actual Yachtsmen! Thank you Kevin, I hope you see today's post.

I saved the red versions of all of the scans from this bunch; do you guys like seeing them in comparison with the corrected versions? Or have you already had enough of those? Let me know!


Nanook said...


Once again - the skills of the Photoshop "operator" which 'is the gift that keeps on giving'-! That first shot showing both the Space Bar & a nice glimpse of The Yacht Bar. And then The Yachtsmen singing and strumming-away. Oh, what good times were had.

Thanks, Major.

Graffer said...

I like to see the before & after pics as I am currently scanning, correcting & documenting several thousand old family pics (some from as far back as the 19-teens) - but nothing as bad as you have dealt with. I just wish people had taken the time to write names and dates on the back side. I feel a little guilty throwing out pics in which I do not recognize anyone. I would keep them if they were my relatives, but there is no one left to tell me who the unknown people were.

Scott Lane said...

I like the before-and-after comparisons, too. Great work at restoring these images!

Pegleg Pete said...

Great restoration work, Major. That first photograph really is packed full of fascinating details. I had somehow never quite realized that the early round skyway buckets had a side-by-side seat configuration.

Steve DeGaetano said...

I like the side-by-side comparisons, mostly because I enjoy being stunned by the results!

Gnometrek said...

Major thank you for the painstaking care with which you entertain and educate us daily. You deserve a doctorate in Photoshop!

DrGoat said...

Champion effort transforming that image. Like the view of the Yachtsmen from the Skyway. Also, thanks for the post on them. I do remember watching them with the folks, in between running around and going on rides.
Great job Major.

Irene said...

I would also be a yes vote for showing us the before pictures. I'm always surprised at how technology (and hard work) can bring a picture back from the dead! Years ago, those type of slides would just be tossed as hopeless.

Tom said...

Wow! Amazing! I do not have a sufficient quantity of superlatives in my thesaurus for today's post!

Magical slide restoration? Tremendous! Tomorrowland goodness including both the space bar and the yacht bar? Glorious! A great shot of the Yachtsmen performing? Phenomenal! And a bonus note and audio link? Incomparable!

Excellent post today! Thanks again as always.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I really do love that first shot especially. So much going on! It makes me wish I had been there, though li’l Major Pepperidge hadn’t quite made the scene just yet.

Graffer, sounds like you have the same sort of family “archives” as my family. Boxes upon boxes upon boxes. And I agree, I have found so many photos in my grandparents stuff showing smiling people who are completely unfamiliar to me. Since we just don’t have the room to keep them all, we’ve tossed them I guess I should at least save them and see if anyone on eBay would be interested…

Scott Lane, thanks!

Pegleg Pete, I think the side-by-side configuration was the only way two people could really fit in those buckets… there’s not enough leg room to sit across from one another.

Steve DeGaetano, cool, thank you.

Gnometrek, sometimes I feel like I know Photoshop pretty well - until I watch a YouTube video of somebody who knows 1000 times more than me! “What? I didn’t know you could do that!”.

DrGoat, the YouTube video of the Yachtsmen is kind of nice, it looks like the fellows had a lot of fun making music together and enjoying a certain level of celebrity. My dad used to listen to the Kingston Trio and the Chad Mitchell Trio, so this kind of music is very appealing.

Irene, alrighty, I will definitely keep showing the “before” examples! I might have tossed these if they hadn’t been such good photos - it was worth the effort.

Tom, gee, thank you! I hope these made your Friday extra nice.

Chuck said...

Wait - there's a difference between the "before" and "after?" I don't see the - oh. There's the problem - these rose-colored glasses. Give me a second to take them off.

Holy Toledo - the differences are pretty spectacular...although suddenly my outlook on life has taken a nose dove...

Melissa said...


Seriously, Maj, this post is a real mouseterpiece. Multiple slides brought back from the Pink Oblivion! My beloved olive-and-toothpick Tomorrowland streetlights! The ultramodern architecture of Rocket to the Moon and the Space Bar! Commentary and video from an actual, factual Yachtsman! A peek at the recipe for depinkification! All in all, a great way to start the weekend.

Picture #5 blows my theory about how kids didn’t climb the railings in the good old days. Does this mean I have to stop being a curmudgeon and take the onion off my belt?

@Chuck - at first, I thought somebody had replaced the beer in my beer goggles with wine coolers.

Oh, and just to get it out of the way, hellooooooooooo, sailors!

Anonymous said...

Nice work, Major. I'm a fan of before and after.

Re: The Yachtsmen, I've always thought that GDB and Daveland in particular provide a genuine public service in posting solid documentation of Old Disneyland. It's a deep well of "crowd-sourced" information.

Tip of the space helmet to the Major.


Melissa said...

I just watched the Yachtsmen video. I didn't know anyone outside of New York State ever heard or sang “The E-RI-E!” I grew up practically on the banks of the canal, so we sang it in school all the time. And when I was in college in Buffalo, my university choir sang a fancypants a cappella arrangement of it.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, now I feel bad - you need to wear those rose-colored glasses all the time. Do you happen to have an extra pair for me? (Also please say hello to your nose dove). Did you notice the servicemen in their brown uniforms (down and to the left of the base of the Moonliner)?

Melissa, thanks for your nice comment. I thought you might enjoy those babushkas. Kids were still kids in the 60’s… they just like to climb on stuff. I do love that crazy 1950’s “architecture of Tomorrow”, and I bet it will be covered in the new Don Hahn book (“Yesterday’s Tomorrow”). Meanwhile, I had never heard the concept of beer goggles until I saw an episode of “The Simpsons”. I don’t get out much.

JG, how can I turn this invaluable public service into a million dollar a year source of revenue??

Melissa, I was not familiar with that song at all, though I remember singing the song about the Erie Canal when I was a kid. “We’ve hauled some barges in our day, filled with lumber, coal and hay, and we know every inch of the way - from Albany, to Buffalooooooooo….”.

Bill Cotter said...

VERY nice job on the restorations!!