Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Revisiting Some Instamatics

Our mutual friend Mr. X recently discovered some negatives in a drawer, and it just so happens that they are from photos that I've shared on GDB in the past (2013, in case you were wondering) - except that I only had the photo prints to scan back then. I thought it might be interesting to compare them.

Here we are, "below decks" in the venerable Columbia sailing ship. There are carpenter's tools aplenty - you never knew when you might have to fix a hole in the hull or repair a broken spar. I wonder if these were genuine antique tools? There are also grapnels and ropes because sailors liked to play "Batman". I don't blame them.

There's usually an element of guesswork involved in scanning negatives, and that is certainly the case here. Frankly I'm surprised that the old photo prints look as good as they do. We can see a bit more sharp detail in this second scan, and it doesn't have that overall orange color cast, but the old Photomat did a pretty decent job.

This is the buffeteria, where sailors could go to the salad bar, or get all-you-can-eat shrimp and chicken nuggets, have macaroni and cheese, or even go to the soft-serve ice cream machine. I always wanted one of those! They could wash it all down with a basil-raspberry tea, or a Coke 15 (they hadn't invented Coke Zero yet).

Once again, the difference between the photos is not as dramatic as I expected. But you do still get a little more fine detail, and it's a little bit less blown-out. Was it worth the effort? Only you can decide.

Some of the Instamatic negatives are images that are new to all of us, so that will be fun. I'm super grateful to Mr. X for providing so many wonderful photos that I can share with you guys!


Nanook said...

I believe the first time I heard the word 'buffeteria' was at Disneyland. I Was always a bit suspicious of the word, but I see here Disneyland merely "borrowed" an old naval term. Boy, those sailors had it good.

Thanks, Major for the additional clean-up work.

TokyoMagic! said...

I believe that one of the tools in that first photo, was used "to scrape the barnacles off her hull."

Personally, I think the the re-scans were worth it! Thank you, Major and Mr. X!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, I like the colors better in the new scans. In the second set of pictures, there's quite a difference in the coloring. In one, the floor and light/lamp-shades look dark green and, in the other, they look like a deep blue. The wood is even a nicer shade, too. Nicer colors all around, in your new pics. Thanks for taking the time to post these!

TM! I love Lucy! (You snuck that in.) ;)


Nanook said...

@ TM! & Sue-

Yep - nothing gets past you two. Sorry Major... everything seems to have an I Love Lucy connection-!

Andrew said...

Mr. X had quite the foresight to take so many pictures of such minor details at the park! This area "below decks" is one of the things at Disneyland that just looks so realistic while adding a nice touch of history at the same time. I wouldn't be surprised if those tools are genuine antiques!

Stu29573 said...

I, too, like the re-scans better! The detail and contrast pops better, IMO. Too bad he didn't get a shot of the torpedo tubes or the Polaris missile launchers. Oh well...

JC Shannon said...

Avast me hearties, nuggets and soft serve be great, but when do we get our grog? Arrgh! Sorry, I love old pirate movies. Major, you do a splendid job scanning and depinkifying. Lets all raise a glass to Major. I was just watching an old episode of I Love Lucy, and it is still better than anything on TV today."Lucy, you got some 'splainin to do!"

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I don’t consider myself a germaphobe, but I have a bit of an issue with cafeteria/buffeteria-style restaurants, especially when you see photos on Reddit showing people drinking soup directly from a ladle, or eating pasta right from the buffet tray. YARG.

TokyoMagic!, again with the barnacles?! ;-) I’m glad you like the rescans.

Lou and Sue, the old photo prints definitely have a yellow cast, it’s always nice to get rid of that. I’m always happy when Mr. X (or anybody) finds a stash of vintage negatives, the results are so much better.

Nanook, it does seem that way…

Andrew, it helped that Mr. X is such a die-hard fan, he had an interest in things that only somebody like that would care about. I agree about the antiques, they might not have even been that expensive when they were acquired for the 1964 “below decks” addition.

Stu29573, it would have been especially interesting to see those early Polaris missiles when they were made out of birch bark!

Jonathan, at some point I learned that grog was not just a fun way for pirates to get their drink on, but they also put lime juice in it so that they didn’t get scurvy. Two birds with one stone, so to speak!

Anonymous said...

The Navy always has the best food of all the services.

The softserve ice cream and similar sweets were, IIRC, called a "geedunk". Which term's origin is shrouded in mystery, but every sailor will know it.

Thanks for revisiting these pictures, Major. They bring back good memories in both incarnations.


Melissa said...

It's that level of detail that raised Disneyland above the level of "amusement park." I can remember being a kid at WDW in the old days and finding it so easy to leave today behind and just slip into another place and time in my mind that you just couldn't find anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

I always liked going below decks of the Columbia while working on it. Attention to detail...so much of it never seen by guests who lined the deck above for 'better views' on their voyage. KS

Melissa said...

There's a character in HMS Pinafore called Bob Becket, the Carpenter's Mate. He's basically a chorister with a solo line in the trio of "A British Tar." When I was directing a production, the guy playing him was an amazing singer who hadn't had a part with a name before, and he got all excited and did an amazing amount of research on 19th century ships' carpenters, which we unfortunately couldn't use in the show. (Yes, Gilbert and Sullivan's famous "Barnacle-Scraping Chorus" had to be cut for time.)
This post is bringing back lots of fond memories of of that show.

Chuck said...

Took my then-5-year-old below decks on my last visit in '09 and noticed something that had never stood out to me on previous voyages - it can get really hot and stuffy down there. He wanted to see everything, so we did the complete loop, but we were the only guests that ventured below decks on the entire voyage.

Thanks for the rescans!