40,000 racing images digitized!
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. After eight years of constant scanner hum in the background my office tonight falls silent.
I have finally scanned in the last of my approximate 40,000 racing images.
The “Larry Lawrence Collection” is fully digitized and in “The Cloud”, which means that hopefully my images will at least have a chance to provide some sort of legacy well after I leave this earth.
My biggest fear used to be that a tornado, fire or something would come through and wipe out years of work. I can rest easier now that my precious images are now safely tucked away digitally speaking.
I bought my first film scanner somewhere around 2004. I don’t recall the details of that first scanner, but I remember it was slow and cumbersome to use and I quickly got rid of it without doing much scanning. In 2005 I purchased a very nice Nikon Coolscan V and really got to work digitizing my motorcycle racing collection. Later I got a Canon scanner that greatly increased my production.
On and off since 2005 I’ve been chipping away at my closest full of large three-ring binders of negatives and massive boxes of slides dating from about 1982 to 1995.
In the early days of this project, in my mind I had set that I would make all these photos available online to purchase and was going to have a comfy retirement to look forward to. Reality in the value of old motorcycle racing photos hit me hard when in 2008 I spent hundreds of hours editing and posting hundreds of photos I’d scanned on a web-based photo sales site only to sell very few images.
It was an underwhelming and disappointing response to say the least. I think after a year I’d sold only just enough photos to cover the cost of hosting the images on the site. Instead of retiring to a beach in the Bahamas, it looked like I would spend my golden years dipping my feet in a plastic baby pool on my back porch.
With the sales flop – what to do with my growing cache of digitized images?
That’s when it hit me to feature them on my own blog and Rider Files was born.
While I’m happy to have my scanning done, there will be at least one downside.
If I had one of those days where I didn’t manage to get any writing done, I could always take some solace that the day wasn’t completely wasted because I more than likely at least scanned some photos. I won’t have that crutch to lean on any longer.
My hope is to someday put all of the photos online sorted by year, race and rider number. It’s not that inconceivable now that the scanning is done.
My wife was searching through our family photos this morning and found one last box of Kodachrome slides from Daytona 1987. I scanned them today and that was it. The distinction of the rider on the image of my final scan goes to 1980s AMA Superbike racer Ottis Lance. I scanned a photo of Ottis going through the dogleg at Daytona International Speedway on his Kosar Racing Suzuki GSXR750. It was likely shot with a Canon A-1 body with a Soligor 200mm f/2.8 lens.
So I start a brave new world tomorrow. No photos to scan, no slightly perceivable hum in the background, no easy way to say I at least got something done on a bad day.
I may eventually be pleading to Rider Files readers to send me their images to keep me from being totally discombobulated. – Larry Lawrence