Captain’s log, stardate 201208.18

What follows are memories and photographs of my time in the Alpha Centura Star Trek group many years ago that I still think of as one of the best times of my life. It was 36 years ago as I write this, so memories have faded and I can’t put names to all the faces. But the pictures I took so long ago as the club photographer are still as clear and vivid as when I first shot them. Over the years I worked very hard to keep the photos collected and safe. Technology has advanced to the point that I felt I could successfully digitize the photos all these years later.

I cleaned the images up with a brush and compressed air before scanning, then digitally processed for dust and scratch removal during the scanning process, and then re-processed afterward with Photoshop as needed. A few of the images were in pretty rough shape and required a lot of adjustment, some required editing, while many were in near perfect condition even after all these years.

I’ve avoided editing the photos whenever possible (even cropping them). I have converted a few b/w images into “color” (see the thumbnail of Melinda and Bob above) and I think that’s been pretty successful. But a few needed some advanced help. A couple of images taken together at a convention are one example. In one shot the subject’s eyes were open, but in the next they were closed. So I took the person’s eyes that were open from the first image and added them to the second one where the eyes were closed. You can’t tell it was edited and I now have two usable shots, where 36 years ago I only had one. I also had a few color negatives where the color had shifted and they needed considerable adjustment in Photoshop. On the images I edited I tried to return them to as close to original condition and/or color correctness as I could.

I started taking photos at the meetings for fun. But when the club saw the photos I took they wanted me to start taking pictures at every meeting so they could keep a photographic record of the events. Since no one else had expressed interest in it, and I had a decent camera and the prints I made were well received, I became the de-facto club photographer.

I would take photos at the latest meeting (usually b/w) and then during the time between that meeting and the next I’d process the negatives and make 5″x7″ glossy prints of all the shots. While I could make 8″x10″ prints, they cost more so I did them only occasionally when requested. If I shot in color I’d get the prints processed at one of the local places in town and have 4″x5″ color prints made. I’d hand the club the prints at the next meeting and they would reimburse me for some of the costs involved. I wasn’t interested in making a profit, but I could not have paid for everything myself at the time. The reimbursements they gave me allowed me to continue shooting and printing the photos which I would not have been able to do otherwise.

When printing b/w I always made a few extra 5″x7″ prints for me of what I thought were the best images. I usually didn’t print all the shots I took however, so I’ve only seen many of the b/w images for the first time during scanning. When I shot in color I usually only had one set of prints made for the club. I couldn’t afford to have 2 sets of color prints made and I always figured I’d get them reprinted later. I never thought it would be 36 years later before I’d get back to it!

I came across two packages of color negatives from one of the meetings that I’d forgotten I had. I didn’t have prints from either package so I had probably given the original sets of prints to the club intending to make additional prints for me later but never did. I scanned them and for the first time since I had shot those pictures 36 years ago I was able to see them again in full color. They were from a meeting probably held at the Tomasita Elementary school gym in Albuquerque. It was a meeting that included what they used to call a “charity slave auction.” You probably couldn’t call them that now. One of the cutest photos I have of Carol is from that auction. You can see a whole story in the way she looks in that image!

At one point I think Lynne Gifford, one of the folks running the club, pointed out that there were always a lot of pictures of Carol! Well of course there were. She was the center of my attention!

Some of the meeting dates were taken from the dates I marked at the top of my negative sheet holders, and others were approximated based on the club schedule of meeting the second Saturday of each month. On sheets where I can’t read the date or the date is missing, since I have no information on actual meeting dates I made a best guess. However, all dates should be pretty close to the actual days the meetings were held.

This is a trip down memory lane. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoyed reconstructing it.

Stan Day
August 18, 2012

©1975 – 2020 Stan R. Day Alpha Centura Star Trek Group: 1976—1977