Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sepia Saturday 282: 6 June 2015


Alan Burnett of Sepia Saturday says:


You might need to give a good deal of thought this week to the theme image before making your move and posting your post .....The man in the photograph is a famous musician, so you can put the games away and get the concertina out if you so wish. Whatever you decide to go with it will be a gambit we all look forward to examining.

I enjoy participating in this blogging meme when I am able.  I do put a lot of thought into it and embarrassed how long it takes to put a post together.  I have blogged about chess before because I remember my maternal grandfather Tom McLoughlin liked to play chess quite a bit.  You can read my previous post here.

Today I will post what I think is a new photo though.  Probably self-consciousness has prevented me from posting it in the past.

Here I am playing chess with my grandfather.


Alex and Tom playing chess at Nungara Street circa 1970 scanned at 600dpi

I thought I would conduct a bit of a scanning exercise and see the difference in clarity if I scanned this photo on the Epson flat bed scanner in Robbie's study as opposed to my lazy way of scanning stuff on my marvellous Flip Pal scanner. This is the result with the flatbed scanner.


Alex and Tom at 1200dpi



Of course Picasa gives you various tools to play around with your picture to try and improve it.  We're wrestling here really with this one as it is shot against the light of the dining room window so what we are essentially dealing with is trying to make shadows look better.  But we can boost the fill light which is on the 2nd tab along of the toolbox set on the left of the Picasa work screen.






This is the result when we increase the fill light....



Yep - that's pretty good...but for some reason - in an anti-sepia-establishment mood I prefer the heat map effect for this particular photo....which you can find on the fourth tab of the Picasa toolbox set. What do you think?



Perhaps I like this better because the sad fact of the matter is that I never really like chess.  I'm just not smart enough or that way inclined.  Maths and I are were bad partners and as for spatial intelligence well...that was something I never inherited from my grandfather unfortunately.  So whilst I might look as though I'm thinking in this photo - really I am just panicking.  My grandfather was very sweet and patient though.  This was probably taken around Christmas time.  Here is a transcription of a letter from him to me before Christmas in 1970.  It's written from 5 Samuel Street Wiley Park (his sister-in-law, Isabel Grace Wingfield's home as per the 1972 electoral roll) on 20 December.

Dear Alex
I am very pleased with the fine letter you have written me.  I must apologise for not answering your last letter.  I was waiting for one copy (no. 6) which the newsagent somehow neglected to save for me. He kept saying "next week" but it was nineteen weeks before "next week" came.  I am looking forward to meeting Matilda but must remember not to rush her too soon.  I have found that cats and girls prefer to study one from a distance before making up their minds about accepting one.  I hope you had as good a time as you expected on your visit to your friend's place.  I have two more "Heritages" which I intent bringing to you next Thursday.  It is very hot here today and I think I'll do some tossing about in bed to-night.  I'll have to face it though so will say "Goodnight".  See you on Thursday.  
Love Grandad 

Grandad loved history, Reader's Digest and anything else that was like a subscription.  I did inherit my love of reading and history from him.  He had subscribed to a set of magazines called "Heritage" which was about Australian history.  You can buy a whole set of them online here at eBay (no they are not mine!)

Matilda was our new grey persian pussy cat.  



This is what my mother said in a letter to her father, my Grandad, three months later:

The night before New Year's eve I found Sooty (our first black cat) dead on the road outside the house.  i was just climbing into bed when it occurred to me that he hadn't been in for a couple of hours, and I suddenly felt anxious.  Jim fetched him in and i didn't see him again, because after I saw him on the road, I'm afraid I didn't behave very well, and upset Jim and Alex with my distress.  Tilly (Matilda), by that time, had begun to think Sooty was pretty terrific and the next morning she was pathetic to watch searching for him.  This didn't help an already wretched atmosphere.  It rapidly became obvious that we needed a replacement, as much for me as for her.  Within two days we had a black kitten, indescribably difficult to get at the time, believe it or not.  I spent two mornings canning papers packed with advertisements for eerything but black cats, visiting house after house, and several calls to the animal refuge in vain.  Eventually, my hairdresser tracked one down for me, and after a stormy beginning, she is part of the family.  She is black, but ninety per cent Siamese in shape, so Oriental in fact, that she earned herself the name of Yum-Yum.  ...I am so glad we got Yum-Yum before I started full-time working, because I am sure it would be positively cruel to leave one cat alone all day, particularly a cat like Tilly, who is the biggest sook ever created.  They are totally different in temperament, utterly fascinating as ever, and very wrapped up in each other..

There is more but I'm sure you've had enough....

What are you thinking about this morning?  To see what others are thinking about go here.


Sources:
Ancestry.com. Australia, Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.Original data: Australian Electoral Commission. [Electoral roll].

20 comments:

Kristin said...

I like the photo before you lightened it up. guess I prefer the contrast. Your grandfather looks pretty pleased with whatever is happening on the board and you are putting up a good front of thinking about your next move :)

Brett Payne said...

No need for self-consciousness at Sepia Saturday, you're amongst friends. ;-)

Barbara Fisher said...

I spend days thinking about each Sepia Saturday post then usually manage to miss the deadline! That’s why my contributions are few and far between. I do enjoy it though and look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with.

Your ‘heat map effect’ sent me scrabbling around the Internet trying to discover what it reminded me of – I just found it – Andy Warhol - self-portrait - the colours are so similar. Just think you might become as famous as him just because of blogging!

Lorraine Phelan said...

I like the first scan best.
You are so lucky that someone took the photo that you can now treasure.

violet s said...

I can waste hours playing around with my photos and checking out various effects!
Maths and I were never a match, either, which may explain my total lack of interest in chess.

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Violet. Your Google + profile looks beautiful with all those lovely postcards.

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Kristin. He was a very kind man.

Alex Daw said...

Ah Brett - yes indeed. :)

Alex Daw said...

Ha Ha Barbara - my 15 seconds of fame me thinks :)

Alex Daw said...

Dear Lorraine - it's funny isn't it. My mother used to drive us all mad with the camera but in hindsight, it is just as well she did :)

Barbara Fisher said...

Absolutely! :-)

La Nightingail said...

I liked the first photo the best and I love your knee socks! How old were you then? I know how your Mom felt watching the one cat waiting for the other who would never come round again. We had an older cat (Emily) when we took in a stray kitten (Molly). They got along well eventually & Molly - too small to be let outdoors - would wait by the front door in the late afternoon for Emily to come home. Then came the afternoon Emily didn't come home. We found her later curled up under a bush - gone to her maker. But there was no way to explain to little Molly that Emily wasn't ever coming home again & for the next couple of weeks she sat patiently by the door, waiting. It broke my heart but we had to let nature take its course. In time Molly gave up her vigil & life went on. We never meant to take Molly in, in the first place, but I'm glad we did. Perhaps 'something else' was at work there? Who knows . . .

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

Loved the letters. Nothing like having these historical records. The photo of you and Tilly is charming.

Sean Bentley said...

When I retouch old B&Ws, I find that darkening the middle tones about 10% usually produces the best effects, with perhaps a slight boost to the highlights. But of course it depends on the original exposure.

Wendy said...

That was fun playing around with various features and scanning options. If I say which one I prefer, you'll know immediately that I have no business commenting on the quality of a photo. I feel like I can see your grandfather best in the lightened photo, but I'm sure the photographers in our bunch will complain that it is washed out. Oh well. So much for me ~

Jo Featherston said...

A perfect photo for the topic, and another 'purrfect' photo to go with it - I seem to have made a similar comment on someone else's blog as well this week 😀 Funny that your 1970 photographs are already sepia toned, or did you create that effect intentionally?

Maria Gagliano said...

Such an awesome photo no matter how you light it. I thoroughly enjoyed your post especially the letter from your grandad and mom. So interesting to read. Have a great day and thanks for visiting my Sepia

Barbara Rogers said...

Nice photos, and I enjoyed the letters especially. They are so matter of fact about the comforts of life and their feelings.

Tattered and Lost said...

Psychedelic chess! Didn't see that coming.

Queen of the Tea Cosies said...

funny to pop in here right at Barbara's letter about the pussy cats !