Retroscans: my restoration of other people’s slides from the 1940s to the 1970s.


Slides accumulated
Slides scanned & cataloged


Over the years, I’ve managed to accumulate a growing collection of other people’s slides. Some are given to me, and others I pick up whenever I happen by a box o’ slides someone’s trying to get rid of. And others are from my relatives.

Recently I’ve been hoarding old slides by the thousands that show up in various estate sales and auctions. After sorting them, cleaning them, and scanning them, I catalog everything into an organized Lightroom catalog with dates, locations, and keyword tags. From here, I’m beginning to find near collisions of location and time where two unrelated photographers have crossed paths with their 35mm cameras snapping away. Most of what I’m saving spans the 1940s through the 1970s. I’m trying to focus on San Francisco but the slides I come across span just about every country in the world.

As things come together, I will share some of these never-before-published gems with the world, rather than let them quietly find their way to the landfill.

Many of the slides I have are in bad shape, covered in dirt and with scratches everywhere. I set up a workflow to clean the slides, apply infrared scratch detection separate scan mask, and then finish the restoration work in Photoshop.

This project also marks the first time I’ve posted someone else’s photos on my own website, but why not?