In ‘Face Painting’, I featured a fete in Devon that we attended in 1985. Among the photographs published there are some of Sam having his face painted. My favourite series from that day are those of Louisa undergoing the same experience. I had been unable to include them because I had framed the Louisa images in a set that has been lost. Nor could I find the negatives from that event, so I had scanned the remaining prints.
I am happy to say that I have now found the negatives and was able to reproduce Louisa’s courageous effort from those.
She began with a certain amount of trusting uncertainty.
Soon, she was getting a bit cross;
but responded to persuasion
with stoic patience, until…..
Wow!. The mirror bestowed delight.
When working with old negatives or slides, especially those that have strayed from my dedicated storage systems, there is always a risk of blemishes caused by deterioration or damage. This set suffered more than most.
What was required was a considerable amount of retouching. For those not familiar with the process I will briefly describe the editing facility in the iMac. The scanned images are placed in Photos. Clicking on Edit gives various options, one of which is Retouch. This is essential to remove stray spots, faults, and hairs that have blemished the original material.
Using the mouse the icon is placed on the damaged area, positioning a circle the size of which can be adjusted. Clicking or dragging on the circle transfers pigment pixels from the surrounding areas. I’m sure this isn’t a particularly technical explanation, but hopefully it conveys how painstaking one has to be to
transform this image into the third one above. An enlargement will clarify the problems. This shot has by no means the most blemishes, but it does have some of each. Sometimes I use cropping to save me doing all this. Thus, I could have removed the artist’s hair, but that would have ruined the context.
Even as I was closing what I thought was my final edit, I noticed that I had left, beneath Louisa’s ear in the first picture, a circular white lump larger than the blotchy one in the above original.
This evening we dined on Salmon Fillet & Spinach, and Cod Fillet & Sweet Potato, fishcakes topped with cheddar cheese; chips; and peas. I drank Doom Bar and Jackie drank fruit juice.