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'Repairing' Leo Walmsley's Glass Slides

The glass slides that I've been working with are, for the most part, in very good shape. But several of the most important ones have been damaged over the years, either with cracks in the glass, or in the case of hand-painted ones, separation of the paint itself. 

It hasn't been easy to digitize them, either. Although I have a scanner that can handle both positive and negative colour and black-and-white slides, these slides can't fit into standard frames for scanners. So I had to rig up a light table, and photograph them with my iphone6. That produced excellent digital images, but dust, scratches, broken glass and cracked paint remained.

Enter Pixelmator for Mac OS X. It does what spotting with a paintbrush did for black-and-white prints, only with colour digital images. Select the 'Repair' tool, and click on any imperfection, and it does its magic! It analyzes the area surrounding the damage, and then fills in with the best approximation of what was originally there.

Here's one of the most damaged slides, the cover of Flying and Sport in Africa, originally painted by Ulric Walmsley. This is how it came to me. Not only is the glass broken, a huge chunk of the paint has been dislodged, and is resting between the river and the mountain! And you can see tiny cracks appearing in the mountain as well as in the river.

And this is what it now looks like after Pixelmator has worked its magic. If you go back and forth between the two images, you can still see feint evidence of the damage, but I'll be working on it some more, it isn't quite finished yet. And bit by bit, I'll retouch all the digitized glass slides so they are restored as best as I can to their original condition. 

Oh, and none of these repairs affect the original physical slides, they are safely returned to the boxes they came in, cracks and all.