My Aunt took these photos near and around Mount Katahdin located in Millinocket, Maine. I used a combination of different software to make them into hand painted works, these included Photoshop, Luminar, Filter Forge, Alien Skin Snap Art, Procreate, and Lightroom. Click on the photo to see the Art being created on YouTube or click Here.
The Story behind the Paintings
I dedicate this Gallery to my Aunt Barbara for her masterful and beautiful photography, and to my Uncle Edwin who saved and stored the slides.
I came into possession of the slides in 2013 not long after the untimely death of my Uncle Edwin. Unfortunately I was not close to my Uncle or Aunt and hadn’t known of our common passions for photography, computers, gardening and many others but through doing this project I feel like I’ve grown to know them more personally and on a spiritual level.
When my uncle passed away in December of 2012 I was in the beginnings of a long divorce battle, living alone in a one bedroom apartment with my cat Leo. My dad who was eighty one at the time, asked me to help him with his brother’s things and if I’d be willing to live in his mobile home while we were doing so. I thought it was better than living in my little apartment and I also wanted to help my dad because my Uncle had A-LOT of stuff ! Little did I know how much I was like my Uncle, he was into computers, photography, and music which are all passions of mine! As I dug through closets dressers and cupboards I learned more and more how like minded we both were because I found a huge hoard of photographs and slides along with software and books on photo restoration. I also found my Uncles brand new Nikon Digital camera equipment. I could deduce that he was in the process of learning how to restore photos of his sisters photographs and specifically her slides. I found a large plastic tub full of slides and photography equipment, all of which were from my Aunt Barbara. I never knew that she was a photographer until I found this container and it was quite a surprise.
Of course all the photography equipment from my Aunt was vintage but still cool to look at but my Uncle’s equipment was top notch; a Nikon DSLR, several great lenses, batteries, memory cards and a great case. I don’t believe my uncle had this equipment very long because there were’t a lot of photographs using it. I decided that this was all too big of a coincidence to ignore, especially since most of the photos from my aunt and uncle were very similar to my own ! There were literally over one thousand slides, 1754 to be exact.
This looked to be a very daunting task, especially since it’s difficult to see what’s on the slides and scanning slides is not the easiest process. I had a flatbed scanner that had a slide attachment and it worked great, but it was extremely slow. The scanner could only hold five slides at a time and it took about 5-10 minutes per run, so I thought I could do something better. I ended up creating a device so the Nikon DSLR could take a photo of each slide as quick as I could load them in. It still took several days to photograph the entire lot but all of them were uploaded to my computer for a very very long editing session. Every single slide needed to cropped, cleaned, corrected in most cases, and categorized, this ended up taking several months to complete.
The photos were a super surprise, my aunt was very good at composing scenes and believe it or not but the images came out very good in most cases. At this point I was stuck, what do I do with all of these photos now? I thought about a photo book or putting them online, but as with most things, the project slowly faded from my memory. Over the years since I scanned the photos, I’ve played around with a lot of them, correcting the images with newer software has been very impressive, especially with the newer AI enhancements to Photoshop, Lightroom, and Luminar. I found quite a large number that looked very good as photos but I thought they looked even better as paintings. I put some of the paintings on my website and a few videos on Youtube showing me doing the work but I still wanted to display them in a better way.
It wasn’t until late 2022 when I bought my Oculus VR goggles that I got the Idea of creating a virtual gallery to house the art. So, in February of 2023 I decided to design my virtual museum and gallery. I’ve selected some of my favorite paintings and plan on rotating new art in as I create more, so stop by often as the gallery will be changing over time.