You know by now that I’ve had a life-long passion for photography, and years ago, made the fateful decision to purchase a beautiful, lightly used Pentax 6 x 7 at the local drug store for a mere 450 bucks. More importantly, I made a commitment to myself to actually use it, and I did.
So now, I have more than 1,000 2-1/4″ x 2-3/4″ negatives. They are of excellent quality, and mostly in color. There are also many black and white images like this one – shot against a roll of white paper in the dining room. I have pictures of a couple dozen bands I knew in the late seventies and early eighties. I don’t even know some of the people in these photos, but I am so happy to have them. I have wedding pictures, graduation photos, pictures of ex-girlfriends, family photos and much more. The pictures capture a time and a place in my life like nothing else could. Memories flood over me.
Scanning these images is time-consuming. The negatives were developed in a sink in my basement, so they weren’t very clean to begin with. Add to that decades of less-than-optimal storage, and you wind up with a scan that requires a LOT of retouching. My old Nikon film scanner has awesome features that work only with color negative and transparency film. It’s capabilities with black and white are more limited, so scans of black and white negatives are “pure” – I can’t just click an option in the scanning software and have the scanner clean up all of the dust and scratches. It takes two to three hours to get an image like this in shape. To me the results are worth it.
I’ve been scanning one or two images a day and sending them to a mailing list of friends from the past. They comment on the images, and revive other memories. It takes time away from my blogging, but the whole scanning/retouching/e-mailing process is a labor of love.