Why My Father is still a Blessing
There is nothing quite like a photograph or a video to trigger memories. My father, Clyde William Lynn Winquist, was a man who wore many hats. Now, in reflection, I see that he was a man of wisdom and desired to use his life not just for his own benefit, but for the benefit of others. The way he led his four children was evidence of his love and care. He was available. He knew how to teach us how to work and how to balance work with appropriate fun activities. He also made certain we had a foundation for eternity by choosing a church that preached the gospel.
Now that I am looking through old 8mm movies he took and have started using SlideScan to scan his slides from sixty years ago, I realize his interest in photography is a unique blessing. He didn’t just take pictures of places and things. He took pictures of people. These images trigger memories. At the end of this chapter I will give you some tips for using SlideScan if you have family memories on slides you would like to digitize.
Like Grandpa Like Grandson
One of the images Dad captured was of his stepfather, my Grandpa Winquist. I did not know that Grandpa took pictures. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Grandpa fished, and my dad learned to fish from him. Grandpa was good with tools, especially in woodworking. Dad also was creative and talented. He used a table saw, a homemade bandsaw and other tools like planes and chisels to create useful things for the home.
He also made stilts from wood for me and my brother Russell. What my grandfather did he shared with my dad. My dad shared it with me. I enjoy making things from wood, including birdhouses, small furniture items and practical jigs like the one featured at the end of this post. Our son has carried on the tradition of using skillful hands to make things better and beautiful. We encouraged that because one of the first things we bought our son was a toolbox and a hammer.
Wayne’s First Camera
As far as I know, my first camera was a gift from my father. It was a simple box camera. Shortly after I received the camera, I started taking pictures of family, neighborhood friends and other things I thought were interesting. For example, I took a picture of our two-car garage at 36 Oakwood Drive in Naperville. There are no people in the picture. Someday, when our daughter is sifting through my old black and white photos, she will find that picture and throw it out. I understand. It has no real value now that I look at it as an adult. Let this be a lesson to those of you who are taking pictures. Think about people and take pictures of them. It would also be good if you labeled them.
The Next Generations of Cameras
When Polaroid created a camera that developed the pictures in the camera, I owned one of those as well. Over time I graduated to a 35MM camera and then to various digital cameras as well, including a nice one by Kodak. Now, as you might imagine, I use my iPhone for 99% of the pictures I take. I have seen quite the transformation in photography and the ability to manipulate pictures as well.
Don’t be Camera Shy
Might I also suggest that you need to be a helpful participant when someone is taking pictures. If someone in your family is taking pictures, don’t grudgingly humor them and submit. Please don’t hide your face. Let them have the joy of capturing the image. Some day you and others in your family will be delighted. It isn’t necessary to look your best. Be who God made you. And fathers, be mindful of the things you are doing with your children. They are watching and learning. Many of the things will be good tools for them in their futures. I’m grateful that my dad shared his photography, fishing, and wood-working skills and interests with me.
The remainder of this post isn’t about memories. It is some helpful tips that you might want to consider if you have old slides to scan. First of all, the SlideScan app is easy to use. You don’t need anything other than your iPhone and a computer screen behind the slide you are capturing. This image shows the app and some of the slides I have scanned. You can hold the slide and snap the picture. It takes about three seconds.
They provide a link to a website to give you a backlit screen. This is the light source the app uses to read the slide. It does the trick.
The app scans the image, crops it appropriately and even seems to clean it up a bit. Their site says this: “The app’s smart algorithm will automatically crop, rotate, enhance, and save the slide as a digital photo in the app.” It does indeed! The first few slide scans are free. For unlimited scanning, consider purchasing the optional subscription (in-app purchase). I did the purchase because I have hundreds of slides to scan. This includes the 127 slides and 35mm slides.
As I have experimented with the app, I decided I wanted to have a consistent angle for taking the image from the slide. To make this possible I built a simple jig out of some scrap wood to hold the slide – just like my father would have done. This next image shows how I accomplished this simple solution.
Finally, I recently learned that the app has voice recognition. That makes it simple to hold the slide, hold the iPhone and snap the picture by saying “Go!”
The Next Chapter
Life is more than pictures. Make memories that will live in the minds of your children. That is what my grandfather did and what my father did. Cindie and I tried to do the same with our children and are working to do the same in the lives of our grandchildren.
We have only a handful of pictures from previous generations…Our family wished for more. I guess that was one motive for me to have one and use it at all our family gatherings. It’s worth the extra time, effort and expense and pays dividends to future generations I think. I found 500+ pictures spanning 11 years on dad’s SD card which he didn’t know how to download. What a treasure. kind of. Dad didn’t know how to shoot good pictures.
We found some CD’s my father-in-law created of digital pictures he took. It was nice to have those instead of having to scan hundreds of individual pictures. He often took pictures of places he visited. We only wish he had focused more on the people and activities and less on the places and things that caught his eye. Even today, when I look at pictures we took of our grandchildren at the zoo or on an adventure, we look for the pictures where we can see them. I’m also working to date and name my digital pictures so that they have meaning for at least a few who might wonder “who and when was that?”