Photo Blog

Beth Kafka’s “Children of Darkness”

  • March 10, 2017

Once upon a time, when I was 18, a girl named Beth brought me a photo slide. Scratched on it, was an art project she had, I’m guessing, assigned and she wanted a digital copy.

It was a “typical” artist request as she said, “I decided to send this, too. I did this last year and have since decided that it’s crap. But you might like it… (not an insult) 🙂 Presenting… ‘The Children of Darkness’”

Quite the introduction, to be sure. But I could/can relate and read between the lines.

The REAL “Digital Divide”

See, when she and I were in high school, it was a challenge for “common folk” to convert something physical to its digital counterpart. Sure. It made dick pics harder to produce but, in a bigger way, annoyed artists because you had to know someone with a digital camera, which was likely a 2 megapixel piece of garbage, or a flatbed scanner (enter the Shoffy). See, as was typical of the time, and left mostly unchanged today, I was motivated by the desire to please people.

Though, I didn’t go to the Eden Host Resort computer show to buy a scanner for anyone but me (my intention was to scan White Wolf roleplaying source books and mix my words with their art to create the ULTIMATE Vampire: The Masquerade Chronicle Sourcebook. *cough* I lost my virginity on my 14th birthday… just sayin’… you can be a vampire nerd and still touch boobies. Not something I’ve found to hold true today………… but I’m optimistic.)

Anyway… Beth asked me to do this thing for her and I felt the weight/responsibility of the request (no booby bounty required).

Flattery Will Get You Everywhere!

Not only did she ask (which I still struggle to do myself) but she sweetened the deal with some custom, more human than human, Shoffy-centric, ego satisfying art on the mailing envelope. I mean… c’mon… who else could make the title of “Mr. Gothic Himself” more appealing?

She handed me something OF her to create a digital facsimile. A physical, irreplaceable, bit of matter that I accepted responsibility for with little to no regard for its significance. (Be glad you didn’t me know me at 18) A responsibility I took soooo seriously………… I didn’t do anything with it for almost 20 years.

Uhhh… yeah… (At best, I’m proud I always knew where to find in the event I decided to fulfill my promise or, more likely, she asked to have her work returned.)

But… tonight… while amidst a self-serving quest for an Alienware laptop I needed to dig out of storage, I encountered Beth’s “children”.

Immediately, I lamented not finding the machine I was confident could produce at least 35 H/s! Instead, here’s Beth’s creepy kids! The Halloween Horror Night loving mother of a son and wife to a glorious, gout suffering, saint named Steve. “HI STEVE!”

Enough is Enough!

I guess 20 years is the statute of limitations for my personal bullshit because I finally got to work.

I’d hoped I could do a couple quick scans and move on. NOPE.

Sure, the envelope she designed was great!

Mailing Envelope Front

Mail Envelope Back

But the slide… it proved more difficult.

The issue is my scanner’s bulb isn’t very bright. It records an image but doesn’t provide the detail I wanted. Even at 7200 dpi.

After an hour or so of fail after fail trying to stretch the histogram…

I did what any reasonable adult would do and went old school Tim Taylor and found MORE POWER!

Then It Hit Me

At that moment. I had an apostrophe (I do believe you mean an epiphany.)

It was like… lightening… struck my brain (I bet that hurt.)

I realized, if I wanted to produce something similar to what I saw when I held the slide to the light. I needed to hold the slide to the light. (Holy shit Shoffy… call the Daily Record… what did you just say?)

The Result…

I proudly present to you… Beth Kafka’s… “Children of Darkness” (1998).

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