I have been compulsively collecting mid-century vernacular slide photographs – specifically 35mm slides – since 1999. I feel a deep satisfaction and sense of excitement looking at the world as it was in the 1950s through 1970s. I see the everyday culture I was born into and received through my family. The connectedness I feel to my own history and to all humanity is important to me and I can safely plug into these feelings with old, discarded family photographs.
My mission is to rescue, digitally restore and revive old 35mm slides – all taken by ordinary South Africans – all amateur photographers – both at home and on their travels. Those travels were to places now out of vogue, ruined by war, changed, yet still familiar. Slides are no longer convenient for people to watch and they often fall by the wayside when households go through change. Often the ‘project’ to digitize the family slides is too big and can’t find an agent or an audience. This is where I step in. My collection consists of snapshot moments that would otherwise have been tossed on the scrap heap.
Unlike a photograph from the same era, a slide is more likely to retain its quality. So, despite their inconvenience, they are jewel-like treasures, rich in pixel data, and well worth dipping into for historical, cultural and aesthetic material. I want to share the everyday world as it was in the middle of the last century, for the benefit of those who are curious today.
There are many beautiful images and, as time moves on, this material, becomes more and more valuable. I aim to share these images as a live stream so that we can appreciate what has gone before.
Film quality, storage conditions and the passage of time all effect the condition of the original slide and none of the images you see here started out looking this good. I love to restore and enhance them and feel as if I am working magic.
I’ve done photo restoration professionally and still respond to requests for work, however this blog reflects a labor of love associated with my calling to do heritage work.