Monday, August 4, 2008


Alternate title: Why do I always get myself into these situations.

They decided at work that we need pictures of our former Directors/Commanders. This is great; I think they should have been there all along. The only problem was that it is sometimes hard to find pictures of someone who came and went nigh on thirty years ago.

Enter my direct supervisor, M, who was executive secretary for twenty some-odd years before being promoted to her current position about 2 years ago. As executive secretary, she kept a small snapshot of each of her "boys," as she calls them. They are all taped onto a paper with their names and hang right above her desk. For four of the Colonels, those were the only pictures available. Three of those came out pretty good: a little grainy and blurred, but what do you expect when you blow a 3 inch snapshot up to an 8x10 portrait? And they are between 15 and 30 years old anyway.

Then there was Col. Wilson:

The original 1.5 inch photograph was given a rough chop, then stuck to a sticky note which bore a large logo across it's center. This was scanned in exactly as it was, blown up to 8x10, matted, framed, and sent to us to hang on our wall-of-fame.
Oh, there was one more touch in that version which is lacking in my scan above. The photo was left on the main paper, which is crowded, so above the Colonel's left shoulder was a vertical bar of dark blue with large, sharply focused white stars - the edge of the next photo.

M and I looked at that and said something along the lines of "they can't possibly expect us to hang that on a wall of USMC former base directors." And then I said, "I have photoshop at home, if you'll give me your original there, I'll take it home and see if I can fix it." Maybe one day I'll learn to keep my mouth shut.

Four hours later I had this

A digital image, it took another whole afternoon of fighting the computer tooth and nail to make it print a nice glossy photograph.

It's an improvement though. Not the best I've ever seen, but good enough that it won't jump out and horrify me ever time I walk past that wall (which is fairly often).

I spent most of this morning affixing little brass plates with their names and dates of service to the bottom of the matting for each Colonel, and sticking more little brass plates to a nice black sheet of metal for the ones who are so old that there are no photos.

I am eager to see the final results when they get the rails hung and the whole shebang on display. I think it is going to look quite nice overall, and I'll be able to walk past it without having the horror above jumping out at me. Even if people walk past it and shudder at the awfulness, I'll know how much worse it could have been and that I did my best, and I'll be content.

I suppose that is why I always get myself into these situations.

P.S. I won one of the bloggy giveaways. I'll post more when I have it in my hot little hands.


Blessed said...

not bad!

The Apron Queen said...

Great job! Photoshop does wonderful things. Sooo time consuming though! :)

Confessions of an Apron Queen

Dancing said...

Awesome! So what did you win? (lol I know you said you would post more later, but my curiousity is getting the best of me.) LOL

Damselfly said...

You did an excellent job! I know how time-consuming those photo touch-ups can be. Good for you. Someone should salute you.

The Random Muse said...

Thank you.

The Apron Queen,
It does do wonderful things, but it takes so much memory that our poor computer is overwhelmed making it approximately 16 times more time consuming.

You'll just have to wait.
Okay, I can't make you wait: it's soap nuts.

Thank you.

Lawrence said...

I think its nice that he is getting his picture up there like that, and congrats on winning something