G. David Thayer, Heritage Photo Specialist
G. David Thayer, yearbook photo. 1957 Coloradan, University of Colorado, Boulder
David Thayer has been working with computers since June of 1957, when he started work as a mathematician and computer programmer for the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder, Colorado. He began programming microcomputers in 1981 and developed a number of vertical applications (computer program systems for a single corporation) in the 1980s. David took up desktop publishing in 1991, which soon occupied so much of his time that he abandoned further programming efforts in 1995 to devote full time to this relatively new field. In 1997 he began researching the genealogy of his family and shortly afterward purchased a flatbed scanner in order to digitize the many old photographs of ancestors that were coming into his possession.
These three fields coalesced in the early twenty-first century. In 2002, David began work on a comprehensive family history titled The Tie That Binds, which he finished in 2010: an eight-year project culminating in a 1400+ page, two-volume set that was published in hardcover and distributed to family members in 2012.
G. David Thayer, 2014, Sarasota, Florida
Of these three technologies, the one that is at the same time the most fun and the most challenging is that of digital photograph editing. In his opinion, there are few thrills that can compare with seeing an old photo, possibly faded, color-shifted, badly exposed, blurred with age, distorted, damaged with spots and creases, or some combination of these, “come to life” and look like a picture that was taken last week.
David has worked on developing the skills necessary to repair compromised photographs for the better part of the past fourteen years. During that period, the hardware (scanners, etc.) and software (e.g., Photoshop) for processing photographs has advanced so radically that the old can hardly be compared with the new. The skill set necessary to utilize these tools has increased almost in the same proportion.
Like Alice in Through the Looking Glass, we have to run as fast as we can just to stay in the same place and twice that fast in order to get somewhere. Nevertheless, David stands ready and able to accept new and exciting digital editing jobs.