I admit it. I created a monster. A Photoshop monster.

My father-in-law retired from being a professor of limnology at the University of Minnesota a year or so ago. He begged me for a copy of Photoshop. So like any good son-in-law looking to score points with the ‘rents, I obliged.

That’s where it all started. Now it’s grown into a small cottage industry.

I think the original intent was to work with photomicrographs. (see my post about Photoshop @ Work: Scientists and healthcare professionals)

Seeing the power of his new ‘toy,’ he thought it’d be fun to restore old photographs. He’s got drawers and drawers of old film and slides, some of it 35mm, some medium format, some even on glass slides. OK, we need to get him a slide scanner. Say $500. No, he needs one that does medium format. It’s gotta be Nikon. (Did I mention he’s a Nikon zealot?) Make that $3000.

Now that he’s working with larger files, the old PC just isn’t up to the task. No problem. New Mac, new Cinema display. Roughly $3000.

This is so much fun! It’d be great to replace the old Nikon SLR with a brand new DSLR. Throw in some new lenses and other gadgets. Let’s call it $4500.

Whoop-dee-doo. Now he wants to print some of these images out. Enter a new Epson printer and reams of paper. Now we need more ink!

At this point: father-in-law = happy, mother-in-law = what’s the opposite of happy?

Actually she’s not really mad, but she does give me a little grief. But hey, it keeps him off the streets, right?

To his credit, he’s really doing a lot with the application. He’s restoring beautiful pictures he took with his Rollie on a scientific expedition to Iran in the early 60’s. He also has amazing photos from Glacier State Park in Montana he took in the 50s. Many of the slides were awash in yellow. Seeing the old guy work with the tools to pull color out of these ancient images nearly brought a tear to my eye.

He’s also uses his new digital camera voraciously during his winter long stay in Mexico.

Did I mention he takes a lot of pictures?

Excuse me, I have to order some bigger hard-drives…

6 Responses to Monster-In-Law

  1. Kevin says:

    Sounds like a very nice retirment hobby!BTW, its Rollei, not Rollie ;)Kevin

  2. Kevin, I knew someone would bust me on spelling someday! I should know how to spell it. I just sold a 2.8f I used all through college. I figure if I ever get nostalgic, I’ll pick up one of these MiniDigi. Sure, it’s a toy, but it sure does look cool!

  3. eric says:

    BTW, it’s Glacier National Park. Beautiful place. You should go! :-)I have a photographer friend who lives just outside the boundry. Does video and stills. He’s been in the park every week for something like 40 years. He’s got so many great photos it’s unbelievable.And he’s never had a problem with a bear in all that time. Though he does tell a story about the National Park Ranger telling people how to avoid bears. “You just wear bells and the noise will let them know you’re around and they’ll avoid you.”Later during the tour he says “there is some bear scat, so we know this is an area they frequent.” One of the people asks “How do you know it’s bear scat?” His reply: “It has bells in it.”

  4. neojp says:

    Damn.. you are a really good son-in-law..

  5. Eric, you’re absolutely right. It’s “Glacier National Park.” And I do need to get out there for a visit! Do you have a link to your friend’s work?

  6. debh says:

    I wish I had the time and money to do exactly what your FIL is doing. I have LOADS of photos taken years ago with my SLR that would be fun to play with on Photoshop. AAHH…the wishing goes on………