Today is Thanksgiving

I went in for a lumbar L3-4 Fusion, Instrumentation and Cages, Allograft on Saturday morning and was discharged late on Wednesday.  I didn’t think I could possible make it home that quickly (five days).  The doctor said that I must have been in severe pain as the nerve was being pinched from both and jagged arthritic joint on top and bulging disk from below.  I was well taken care of.  The spine sergeant did an amazing job, the hospital was state of the art, all the care givers were wonderful and I had great support from family and friends.

The five post-surgical days were the worst five day imaginable.  After three hours of surgery my spine was fixed and the rest of my body now needed to recover from the trauma.   My bodies’ circulatory system was transporting an unbelievable combination of prescriptions drugs.  The combined side effects are debilitating.  The simple act of peeing and pooping was like being born again.

From the time I entered the recovery room until now has been a multi faced mega journey.  It’s almost midnight.  For now I will put down the key board and find time later to post my experience.


Preservation and restoration of vintage photographs

A closer look at the before and after areas of the restoration. Restoration done from a digital scan of the glass negative.

Before and after of the restoration. Restoration done from a digital scan of the glass negative.

A closer look at the before and after areas of the restoration. Restoration done from a digital scan of the glass negative.

A closer look at the before and after areas of the restoration. Restoration done from a digital scan of the glass negative.

The majority of the photographs on have been digitally edited. A few of the images needed a lot of help, with the horse in meadow being one of them. Per Jen Marek, the glass negative appears to have been unevenly developed, as seen in the sky and into the tree line on the left. If you compare the tree line of the before and after images, you can see the alteration. I asked Jen to make that alteration. Before starting, we discussed what level of editing is acceptable. I’m ok with this level of editing as it hasn’t altered the main subject of the photo. The goal of the editing was to remove the damage done by time and not to alter the main subject.  Comments are welcome.

The tropical village – the Armadillo collection.


The tropical village – the Armadillo collection.

Family history is passed down from generation to generation.  Often the younger generation does not see the significance of preserving their family history and artifacts are sold and forgotten.  Perhaps that is how I came across the Tropical Village collection.  In any case, these amazing photos are now my responsibility to have restored.  I wish I knew their history.

Golden Gate Bridge & Elvis


These two photos are composite photos.  The image of the Golden Gate Bridge is composed of about 8 images stitched together. I mounted my camera to a tripod and took a photo, adjusted the camera’s slightly (keeping it in the same horizontal plane) and took another photo and so no.  Photoshop magically stitched the photos together.  It was very easy to do.


The second image is composed of two photos: one with Elvis in focus and the second with the background in focus.

Scott Pruitt’s car at the 1986 Long Beach 500

Scott Pruitt’s car at the 1986 Long Beach 500

Scott Pruitt’s car at the 1986 Long Beach 500

This is my favorite photo that I took.

The cost of photography was expensive before digital technology emerged. As a young adult, I got my first taste of professional equipment at the 1986 Long Beach 500.  After two days and 1000 miles of racing, I ended up with just one photo that I loved. Notice how the fence disappears as the photo captures Scott Pruitt’s car speeding by.

Look Photo Fair – The Beginning

On October 20, 2014, I came across a video posted on YouTube entitled “Navy Martin PBM-5 ‘Mariner’ VP-48.” As I played the video, I was surprised to see my father make an appearance. My father, LTJG Wayne E. Bancroft, was killed in action on December 26, 1952, and I was born in April of 1953. The video was one of the many vintage films hosted on The Office of Image Archaeology’s website and YouTube site. What was amazing about this video is that it was the first time I saw my father’s image in something other than a black and white photograph. I contacted George to let him know of my findings, and along the way, we became good friends.

George Mihal created the website, The Office of Image Archaeology.  The Office of Image Archaeology is a repository of vintage digitized photographs, photo albums, 35mm slides, and negatives, as well as 8 and 16mm film. This website is dedicated to the preservation and free access of this material. George helped me to get Look Photo Fair started. I found I needed more help and contacted the Photography Department of the College of DuPage. They referred Jen Marek, who has been a tremendous help. She is a professional photographer freelance photographer who specializes in photo preservation, photo restoration, and photo digitization. Jen’s photographic work can be seen here: Jen Marek Photography (Website)  and Jen Marek Photography’s Museum Without Walls (Blog)

Screen Shot from video (Wayne Bancroft, Sr.) (Screen Shot of Wayne Bancroft, Sr. from video on Office of Image Archaeology)

In the video on George’s site, my father turns his head and smiles into the camera. It was as if he was smiling upon this venture and me.

Preserving and Restoring Vintage Negatives

Look Photo Fair’s Mission

There is something special about vintage black and white photographs from the 1960’s and earlier. They represent moments of our history frozen in time and connect us to the past.

Once these negatives are damaged, their images cannot be recreated for others to enjoy and appreciate. Our mission is to preserve vintage black and white images and make them available others to appreciate.

Tropical Village in Central America in 1917Island Band