Want to Digitize your Old 35mm Slides or Negatives? Here’s a great Solution!

I have THOUSANDS of old Kodachrome 64 and Ektachrome slides and other negatives that I haven’t been able to look at for years. The dilemma of how to digitize them has always been what prevented me from taking on this daunting task. I have tried scanners built for this purpose, but unless you purchase a really high quality one (aka expensive), you won’t get great results. Plus the process is agonizingly slow and impractical if you have over 10,000 images to be scanned (my situation). And any services that do the scanning for you can be really expensive if you are digitizing this many images, plus you have to ship the images to them, and there is always the risk that a shipment could be lost or damaged, and you could lose photographs that may be priceless to you.

I finally found a solution that is incredibly good! It’s a slide and film digitizer that attaches to the front of your lens where you can attach filters. The JJC Photo Slide and Film Digitizer Converter comes with a wide variety of adapters, all included in the box. Even though it says it is for “Select Canon Nikon Sony Macro Lenses”, I found it works FINE with my Tamron 90mm Macro Lens attached to my Canon R5. I wasn’t sure if it would work, based on the product description, but upon purchasing it and trying it on my macro lens and camera, I found it worked perfectly!

What a fantastic solution it is! It comes with the white light source behind the slide/negative, and all you have to do is slip in the slide/negative, make sure it is focused and exposure is set properly, and press the shutter button! Then on to the next image. This is MUCH faster than using a dedicated scanner.

I can’t begin to say how thrilled I am to have found this great product. I am finally scanning my old images. In some cases, I am seeing images that I literally have not even seen in over 40 years! It’s like opening a time capsule into the past.

SO, if you have this similar problem of needing a way to scan your old slides/negatives, you might want to check it out! Of course, it will depend on whether you have a macro lens, and what camera you’re using, but it’s definitely worth a try since this solution is under $100, and they offer free returns so you can try it for yourself.

Here’s the product on Amazon: JJC Photo Slide and Film Digitizer Converter 

Here’s the setup attached to my Tamron 90mm Macro Lens attached to my Canon R5:

Here’s an example image, scanned from a Kodachrome 64 slide, from 1979:


Topaz Photo AI to the Rescue!

If you ever have a photo that has a little too much digital noise or wasn’t quite sharp enough, Topaz Photo AI has the solution for you!

I continue to be a cheerleader for Topaz Labs! They make some great software! Topaz Photo AI has the combined ability of using AI technology to remove digital noise and increase sharpness in your photos!

Topaz Photo AI is a tool I find very useful. It isn’t perfect for every image, but you can make adjustments on how much noise reduction or sharpening you want it to do. I am so totally impressed.

Here’s an example image:

Shot at ISO 4000, this image has a bit of digital noise and could be a little sharper.
Here’s the image after running it through Topaz Photo AI.

Let’s take a closer look!

Before Topaz Photo AI
Cleaned up in Topaz Photo AI

The proof is in the results! Topaz Photo AI is a winner!

Need more proof? Check out this example!

Before Topaz Photo AI
After using Topaz Photo AI

Nice work Topaz!


I am so totally impressed with Topaz Labs!

Topaz Labs makes some outstanding software for removing digital noise and sharpening images. I highly recommend their products!

They have several products including Topaz Denoise AI, Topaz Sharpen AI, Topaz Photo AI, and Gigapixel.

Don’t let the name “Denoise AI” fool you. It is not about just reducing digital noise. It also does an outstanding job enhancing fine details as well! Rather than me going on and on with TALK about what their software does, let me just show you. Their software is well worth purchasing! Go HERE for more info on their website!

My personal favorite is their Denoise AI product! Well worth the price. Even though the latest version of Adobe Lightroom Classic now has a much-enhanced Denoise feature, Topaz Labs’ software is still worth having in your arsenal of photo enhancing tools. It truly is a game changer!

Check out this photo shot with a Canon 6D at ISO 12,800, so it has a lot of digital noise:

Original Image:

After running Topaz Denoise AI on it:

OR even better, let’s look at it up close.

Before applying Denoise AI:

After applying Denoise AI:

The proof is in the results!

Go purchase it and use it! 🙂



Keeping your lens clean

This one small tip has big consequences! Keep the front of your lens clean (or if you have a filter on the front, keep THAT clean)! This is especially important when you point your camera toward the sun, as this can cause distracting flare and highlights or dark fuzzy spots.

I use a lens pen to keep the front of my lens clean. There are different varieties of these on the market, but they all work basically the same way. They are very effective and safe to use on all lenses, plus they are compact and portable. I always have one in my camera bag!


Auto ISO – A Great Feature!

One camera feature that is sometimes overlooked by photographers is Auto ISO! This is a mode where the ISO setting is adjusted by your camera to a setting that the camera predicts as a useful choice without you having to manually adjust the ISO all the time.

This is an especially perfect option when shooting handheld. When your camera is in Aperture Priority Exposure Mode, the camera is “thinking” about what ISO would be right to ensure the shutter speed is fast enough for handheld photography, minimizing the effect of motion blur caused by hand movement. It also takes into account the focal length you are using, and it does a great job at making a good choice for the ISO value to be used. It raises it automatically in lower light scenarios, but then brings it back down to lower values in brighter circumstances. That is exactly what you would want it to do!

One small distinction is with regard to Nikon cameras: Nikons have something called ISO Auto Sensitivity Mode. Rather than totally surrendering control of the ISO to the camera, as other brands do, Nikons allow you to still set the ISO value, and then when you enable ISO Auto Sensitivity Mode (in your menus), it will automatically will override your ISO choice if it thinks your choice is too low for handheld photography when in Aperture Priority Mode. That’s still a great feature! You could just set your camera to ISO 100 or 200 and just let the camera raise it automatically as needed.

Also, Auto ISO is quite useful in Manual Exposure Mode! In this mode, you then take control of both the aperture AND shutter speed, and the camera will try to choose the right ISO value that will work for that aperture/shutter combination (at least within the limits of your camera’s capabilities).

SO if you have never used Auto ISO before, I encourage you to check your user manual and try it out!


Sharpen your photography skills!

Make your plans NOW to improve your photography skills by taking some of our upcoming classes!

So many great opportunities!

Several of these classes have Early Registration Discounts ending soon! Sign Up Today!

Photographers Weekend Boot Camp

Photography 101

Private Instruction

2023 Texas Hill Country Spring Photography Retreat

Lightroom Classic Workshop

Photoshop for Photographers Workshop

Flash / Speedlight Photography Workshop

Student Comment: “I signed up for his basic course after thinking that I probably need to pick up a hobby to fill my time during retirement. From day 1, Kevin was very responsive and sent reminders about locations and class days. He is an amazing teacher that used stories and analogies to get his points across. After so many courses in the military, I didn’t know how to react when faced with an instructor that genuinely cares about teaching and just wants the world to enjoy the beauty of photography. I enjoyed every session and plan on signing up for another class with him to learn about lighting.”


Truly – Happy Holidays

Many of you are familiar with the classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Lots of people watch it during the holidays each year. If you remember in the final scene, George Bailey reads this note left for him by Clarence the angel:

I have never really sought to grow my business by seeking popularity or fame or slick marketing or any of the other ways that are mostly considered “best practices” for success as a professional photographer.

Instead, I have simply strived toward excellence in my photography and in teaching others, but really more than anything else, my business is about the people I serve: you.

I so totally relate to this quote by Annie Liebovitz: “A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.”

I think that really sums up how I feel. I was not afraid to fall in love with all of you. I guess, in many ways, I measure my success in terms of all of you, my friends.

During these holidays, I have been thinking about that a lot. I am just so grateful for the past 18 years with all of you who have gone on my workshops or hikes or other adventures, or activities at my studio. And I am grateful for all of the opportunities to involve many of you in activities to help make this community a better place.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

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I am also so grateful for Gail, my wife and sidekick on this great adventure of life. I could not have done this without her.

Thank you for supporting local small businesses like mine. I hope to see you soon in my studio or in one of my workshops, or let’s just get together for a cup of coffee or a beer. 🙂

Kevin Gourley


Gift Ideas for Photographers!

We are down to our final shopping week for Christmas. Check out my website for a wide range of upcoming photography classes, AND if you register soon, you can take advantage of some great early registration discounts!

Student Comment: “For years I have wanted to take a photography class, but was reluctant because I thought it would be too overwhelming and didn’t have the confidence to do it. Kevin is very thorough and made me feel very comfortable about asking any questions I had. I am so glad I finally decided to take a class and came across Kevin Gourley Photography Workshops.” – Tiffany Dewald

Student Comment: “I have attended several classes with several teachers -all talented photographers. But Kevin is the best of all of them. Great and talented photographer PLUS great teacher.”


Our Rocky Mountain Fall Photography Workshop is About to Begin!

We’re looking forward to a fun week of photographic adventures in beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park! Waterfalls, lakes, mountains, wildlife and a great group of people who love photography! It all starts this evening! Our 2022 and 2023 Rocky Mountain Workshops are totally sold out! If you’d like to join us in 2023, let us know and we can add you to our waiting list, in case there is a cancellation!


Kevin Gourley Photography Workshops, Austin, TX – Austin Photography Classes