What does this have to do with photography?

I bought an air compressor last week. It was to replace a small nitrogen cylinder that I had purchased a month earlier. What does this have to do with pictures? Kind of a long story that I’ll start here and finish in later posts.

I shot 35mm color transparencies for most of my magazine assignments, stock shoots and personal trips overseas. In my case that means that I now have six 4-drawer file cabinets and about 10 bankers boxes full of sheeted up slides. It totals around 225,000 slides. Most of it should be discarded but getting to the keepers in a long editing process. Once I have the few thousand images that I’d like to keep they need to be scanned so I can get them into Lightroom and start using them. I have a pair of 35mm Nikon scanners but the scan times are very long so I decided to build a rapid scanner using a DSLR and hacked Kodak Ektagraphic projector.

Part of the design is to have high pressure clean, dry air dust off each slide in the projector gate and then keep low pressure air flowing across the film while the exposure is being made. I wanted to use compressed nitrogen but my usage was higher than planned and frequent trips to the welding supply shop for refills was going to be a lot of trouble. Enter the air compressor. If you’ve every owned one you know that most of them vibrate loudly enough to wake the dead in the next room. I shopped hard and found this one. It’s really pretty quiet and I’ll likely build a ventilated enclosure to quiet it down even more.