Everything I know about Photoshop (not much!) I learned by trial and error. Basically, someone asked me to help do something, so I started Googling and reading and watching tutorials until I figured out how to do it. It's sad how much this program can do that I know nothing about, but it's fun to add a new little skill or tool to my arsenal.

Nana and I are working on a little project and she asked if I could "fix" some old family portraits. First she had to learn how to scan in the pictures and email me high resolution TIF files. Then I had to learn a little something about photo restoration in Photoshop.

This is my great, great, great grandfather Lewis Elmer. This picture was taken in 1888 when he was one of the 20 founding members of the Natural History Society in New Bedford, Mass. This picture ran in the newspaper on the Society's 25th anniversary and was then probably photocopied, so it's particularly bad. But I was able to lighten the background a bit so Lewis Elmer stands out from the gray.

This is my great, great grandmother Frances. She was born in 1874 and seems to be a young woman here, so maybe 1890s? She was in pretty good shape, but along the way there had been some ink transfer to the picture, so I cleaned it up.

This is a family portrait of my great, great grandparents (Newt in the overalls and Alice sitting down) with six of their ten children that survived taken around 1916. My great grandmother, Edna, is the twin with the puppy on the left with darker hair. There were some scratches and stains on this picture--including a really unfortunate one in the middle of Newt's forehead--but I was able to get most of them out.

Wonder how big of a deal it was to have a family portrait taken in 1916? Probably a pretty big deal. And yet no one put the broom on the porch away.