Category Archives: Close-ups

A Fishing Family

Usually vernacular slide photography is all birthday parties, travel and glamour so a collection of pics taken locally in SA by a fishing family is something different. This group of snapshots were dirty and blurry but the grit seemed to go with the subject and I like how they look with an added dry texture. The snapshot quality and rough composition of the originals (which I have kept) are wonderful as little paintings.


Fishing7 Fishing3

Fishing1  Fishing2

Fishing5 Fishing6


Posted by on July 9, 2016 in Boats, Close-ups, Harbour

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Asleep on a train

I love the irony of this wonderful 1960s snapshot. When in the moment we seldom think of the journey a photo can take in the world. Both photographer and sleeper had no idea that the Internet would one day exist and that this image would be shared – and enjoyed – in digital form by a wide audience!


Before and after

Its fabulous in a tinted black and white.



Posted by on January 21, 2015 in America, Close-ups, Man, People

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John O’Groats Post Office

Looks cute and cottagey doesn’t it? Conjures up cobbled village streets, quaint pubs, nodding roses, fragrant heaths and such doesn’t it?! Well, I’ve just read up about the town of John O’Groats (pop. 300) on the extreme north east tip of Scotland and cute it is not. Lonely planet called it a “seedy tourist trap” and Urban Realm magazine gave it a Carbunkle Award for ‘Scotland’s Most Dismal Town’. This is why I prefer armchair travel.


It is interesting to reflect on how individual travelers perpetuate cultural stereotypes by framing pics that fit a mold. Hopefully the ‘major redevelopment work’ happening in John O’Groats now will rescue it.

Before and after




Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Close-ups, Europe, Rural life

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Beautiful windows Near Eastern

Interior with decorated windows. Both of these images come from a collection of travels in the Near or Middle East circa 1968-1978. Both really beautiful, they feel almost timeless. I love the pink, yellow and green together with the deep browns. Both also have the blurred edge of a person just entering the frame, which adds a subliminal human element.

Window of a bus


Stained glass windows, mirrors and glass chandeliers


Restoring these images involved paying a lot of attention to color, overall tone, and shadow and highlight. They were both a little flawed with areas of glare, which I managed to reduce.

Before and after



Click for big



Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Close-ups, Interiors, Middle East

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Boat People

An enduring favorite of mine. I don’t know who they are, where or when this was taken, but the intimacy of the moment, the sense of fun and companionship draws me right in and makes me feel like I’m right there with my boating buddies.

Straightening the horizon and then selectively recoloring parts of the image brought it back to life.

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Boats, Close-ups, People

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Dreams and Books

Do dreams come from books or do books come from dreams? This idyllic childhood snooze is from the late 1950’s. Can one still get patterned upholstery fabric like that?

I was a little in love with the ruined pink and yellow colors of this old slide but it didn’t shape up well when I tried to recover realistic color information so I converted it to black and white. After a series of tweaks I was more than happy with the results.

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Children, Close-ups, Domestic scene

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Siamese On My Shoulder

Stunning photo of a gorgeous animal. Its possibly less appealing than a toddler holding a kitten, nonetheless this image of an older man holding his beloved, prize cat is very compelling. I like the composition in which his face is hidden.

This didn’t need much work, mainly color correction and a subtle blur here and there.

Before and after. Click for big.


Posted by on October 15, 2012 in Close-ups, Pets

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Koppie Koffie

Taken on a school camping trip in the early 1970’s. A cup of coffee – oh so welcome before setting off on the day’s hike. Nowadays we’re so used to people photographing their food with their mobile phones that it pays to stop and remember that people didn’t really do this back in the day. Its testament to the way in which camping and the great outdoors can bring you ‘into the moment’ and help you to appreciate simple pleasures.

Before and after – I really tried to bring out the feel of the early morning light.

Before and after – click for big.



Posted by on October 9, 2012 in Camping, Close-ups

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