Why you shouldn’t throw away those negatives

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Recently, I visited my parents in Ohio and began the task of digitizing my mom’s heaps o’ photos. A couple of my sisters helped me sort them by decade and then I started in scanning the earliest ones first. 1495 images later, I think I’m mid-way through the seventies.

My mom saved all her negatives. She had a darkroom as a hobby when she lived in Germany, and I guess she realized how valuable they are. She has two boxes of them.

I also found some negatives of images taken by one of her aunts in the 1950’s. I wanted to post one here along with the one print I found from the same negative. These are completely unedited or fixed. Just straight scans, converted to jpg and sized for the web.

Isn’t it interesting how much detail is preserved in the negative when they are both the same age? In the print, aside from the cracking of the paper, the buttons of the woman’s dress blend right in so you can’t see them!

For those who have asked me about my project, I am using an Epson Perfection V600 scanner. It can scan multiple images and has an attachment and settings for negative scanning. It’s a very good scanner for the price. If I were just doing negatives, though, I’d have chosen Wolverine’s excellent negative digitizer, which uses an internal camera to capture the image.

Feel free to ask me questions. I was a little intimidated at first and had a hard time tracking down information and how-tos on scanning prints for archiving and printing purposes.

***This post was originally written on a former blog in 2011, but I thought it might still be helpful to some people.***

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    Hi, I'm Jaime!

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