Tom Hutchison Free Flight Picture Gallery - Details and technical info

With the exception of the picture on the main page, the remainder of the 499 pictures in this gallery were taken by the late Tom Hutchison using film cameras. Tom is the one on the right and someone else took the picture.  The picture was taken at the 1973 Pierre Trebod contest in France which was held right after the 73 World Championships .  The others in the photo are yet to be identified.  So many other times Tom was at the other end of the camera as evidenced by this collection of his photos.  Thanks Tom, for your great camera work!  We miss you!

NOTE: If anyone has a picture of Tom by himself, preferably holding an airplane, please let me know,  I would like to use use it here in this gallery as a tribute to Tom.  Even if it is a point to a magazine article, like perhaps his Ultimate Dragmaster, just let me know the publication name, date, etc and I can scan it.  Anything is appreciated.  Thanks, contact info is the email address below

 The pictures were taken at free flight events attended by Tom during the 1970's. These events were mostly FAI free flight events including several world championships. Some of the pictures were also taken at local west coast meets and gatherings.  You may recognize a few of these pictures, as some of them have been previously printed in various model publications of that era, in articles that Tom wrote. But many have never been published before, until now!  Enjoy! 

Here is the process by which brought this gallery about:

1. Tom took the pictures!  This was the first and most important step.  He also saved the negatives.  Many thanks to his wife who passed them along for this project.  Without these negatives, none of these pictures could have been captured into digital format. 

2. Tom's original negatives were professionally scanned in 2009 into digital format. The full-size originals are approximately 4100 x 2700 pixels in resolution, the result of the professional scanning process. The original scans were saved in their raw form in a lostless TIFF format. These TIFF files are about 40 MB each. The entire collection in this form is about 18 GB.

3. There was only one touch-up pass made to the scans, this was done by the professional scanning service.  This pass was mostly to remove imperfections in the negatives the result of the storage and aging of the negatives over the years.  No attempt has been made to brighten or darken them at this time. For the most part, a picture can only be toned up or down within limits.  Quite simply, if a picture is too light or too dark the information is not there to recover. Often attempts to do so yield mixed results. With that in mind, many of the pictures appear close to their best form as scanned. While this is true, some of them can be manually toned up or down a bit and improve there appearance.  This is laborious process and must be done individually to each picture in need.  This may may happen at a later date as my time permits.  These first pass touch-up files were also then also saved in TIFF format and they are about 33 MB each.  The slight reduction in file size the result of some of the smoothing and filtering done in the first pass touch-up. 

4. The TIFF files were then saved in a low compression JPEG-10 format with each file being about 6 MB each.  Finally, for presentation here, the files were then further compressed into a higher JPEG-5 format and are on the order of only 1 MB each. 

5. Next the thumbnails were created. These are the clickable pictures on the main page.  They are sized to 200 x 200 pixels.  By clicking on each thumbnail, you can view a full-size version of each picture. Your browser may then resize the picture to fit the screen, if this happens, simply click on the resized picture and the full-size 4100 x 2700 pixel picture will reappear. You can toggle back and forth between the resized picture and the full-size one by clicking on the picture again.  You can also scroll around and look at details by using the scroll bars with the full-size picture.

6. Finally the thumbnails and full-sized pictures were put together into a webpage and uploaded to my server.

7 I modified the above a bit by reducing the resolution by about half,  This makes for a perception that the pictures are clearer and they load a tad bit faster for those not running a very high speed line.  They now have a maximum pixel width of 2000 with whatever fall out dimension in the shorter axis.  This seems to work well

These techniques allow the full resolution pictures to be used on this website, well within the limits of today's internet capabilities.. 

Notes on the organization and file naming of the pictures:

1. The negatives as they came to me were in various containers: sheets, sleeves and envelopes.  The majority of them were taken with a 35mm camera with a aspect ratio of 1.5  The scanning process yielded the approximate 4100 x 2700 pixel pictures mentioned above,  There were also 10 negatives that were taken with a medium format camera, which has a aspect ratio of 1.0 and a larger physical film size.  These medium format negatives yielded digital pictures of about 6400 x 6400 pixels.

2. While some of the containers had a few notes on them as to the date and meet the pics were taken, many either did not or they had abbreviated labels that probably meant something to Tom.  I made no attempt to organize them in any order other that the the alphabetical order that fell out of the file naming I adopted during the scanning process which is detailed below.

3. File naming convention:  I used the following format:  th-cc-xx-yyy.jpg  where:
     th stands for Tom Hutchison, who took the pictures
     cc is the 2 letter code for the container the negatives were in as noted above and detailed below
       mf=medium format camera in sheets
       yyy-numerical number of the negative within each container

Further plans for this gallery:

As mentioned above, some of the pictures could stand to be toned up or down a bit.  I will probably do that someday, but maybe not till "next winter"

Also as mentioned above, there is no real order to the pictures, nor is there any identification of the subject or the date and event.  I believe I have enough information to go back and re-organize the pictures into better order, at a minimum of date and event.  I also recognize quite a few flyers, however, there are many I do not.  This too will be a "next winter's project"  If anyone wants to take this task on, let me know, I will get you all the info I have (I can scan the notes on the negative containers) and provide you with a spreadsheet to facilitate the logging of the info that I will use to reconstruct the gallery in a better order.

send me an email with any questions or requests for a complete set of the full-size pictures (about 663 MB in one single ZIP file)