A few years ago our children bought me a high-end Epson scanner. It comes with holders in which you put slides or negatives. I scanned a lifetime of colour slides years ago but then found a loose-leaf album with old black and white negatives. These were photos I had not seen before, probably because black-and-white prints were expensive in the old days. Although I had a darkroom, printing was also costly and time-consuming. Last year I started to scan these negatives, most of which yielded discoveries so wonderful that I kept going despite the time it took. But i was hooked: driven partly by my curiosity and also because the ‘children’ (ages circa 50) loved most of the results as did I.
The scanner with film holder on top
And worth it because I am retired and presumably have time on my hands. And time in abundance is what is needed because the scanning is fiddly: you slide each negative strip into the holder, attach a thing to hold them in place, run a preview, choose the ones you want, and then look at each for possible editing. This whole process takes about 20 minutes, even at a low (800) resolution.
After nearly a year of off and on scanning I had nearly completed the album. Then came the shocker. As housecleaning continued I discovered a box with 6 (!) more albums including a gigantic one with triple the number of pages. What to do?
Clearly, I shall continue. The upside is the many new revelations that lie ahead. The downside is that I estimate I may have to live until I am 117 years old to complete the task. Below I share one of the lovely photos and the looming challenge of the monster in the box!