A tale of two images

Within the course of less than 12 hours I received two surprise images through the Internet.

The first one arrived via twitter and was an illustration to go along with a blog entry from a couple of days ago. The artist is an old Internet buddy I have followed since my Sidekick days. What a treat! I’ve added it to the Owl-Focals entry. Now I think I understand my story better.

Dona reading with her owl-focals. Image by Mike Popovic

The second was from a stranger via a comment on this blog:

Dad’s photo. Before and after it was Photoshopped.

Hi Dona…..I was searching Google for some old photos in need of restoration to hone my Photoshop skills. I came across the one of your father and thought it a perfect candidate. Not only was it in desperate shape, but he seemed to embody the mettle of a generation unlike we will ever see again.
Needless to say, I wanted to share the picture with you and yours. That generation is leaving us all too quickly and it was an honor for me to get this sailor ready for inspection. I hope you enjoy the picture as much as I enjoyed restoring it.



It most certainly looks better. However, the Photoshopping took away the twinkle in Dad’s eye and the smart-ass grin that is just about ready to appear on his face. I know that look — he’s about to tell an off-color joke. When I remember my dad it’s the twinkle and the grin I remember most.

4 thoughts on “A tale of two images

  1. I’m on a mission now, Dona……I’m a displaced native Bostonian, which means I’m half-Irish, half-Smart Ass. I’m going to restore that sh-t eating grin and stick a twinkle or two back into those peepers!

    That was only my second foray into the restoration bit, so it wasn’t bad for a noob. However, my ADD hyperfocus is perfect for this type of task. Look out! 😉


  2. I want to thank you for being honest regarding your dad’s photo in saying what was lost in translation to Photoshop. Just starting out in this hobby, I was fortunate to get your honest feedback. You taught me what will probably be the most important lesson I will learn in this business.

    When dealing with photos of strangers, I think many Photoshoppers strive for digital perfection. I mean that’s all we’re inundated with day in and day out. Hide the moles, blur the scars, eradicate the acne, and come up with a finished product that would have the Ford Agency beating down the door.

    However, one of the things I love most about the old photos is their authenticity. They are real people, usually captured in those bare-ass naked moments of being themselves, in a “no do-overs” photographic situation. They didn’t get to see the pictures until they were developed.

    Your dad’s smirk is the first thing that caught my eye when I was searching for subject matter. With the original having been gouged, bent, ripped, and whatever else over the past 70 years, I wasn’t sure if it was actually him or the gouging causing that smirk, but as you confirmed with your feedback, I should have trusted my instincts.

    The lesson I will take away from this is to always remember that my subjects, even if they’re total strangers, have people who love them and, in most cases, miss them greatly. From this point forward, I will always take great care to look at a photo for those subtleties and personality traits and do my best to retain them in my restorations.

    After all, it’s those imperfections that make us “perfect” in the eyes of our loved ones.

    Thanks again, Dona.


    P.S. Here are links to the “before and after” pics for your readers.


  3. Gary — thanks for the comments and for half the reason for this post. It was fun! The new images certainly do give dad his twinkle back!


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