I have encountered clear film impacting photos and negatives several times in recent months, working with client materials and with my own. If you have albums and negatives from the 1990s, make time to examine them. Take action now if clear film from that decade is beginning to ripple and adhere to your negatives and prints.
In recent months, I have worked on two client projects to digitize 35mm slides. Both involve 1980s slides that benefit from color restoration and occasional backlight correction. Both involve family events, holidays, and trips. One client limited her slide scanning to 133 images. Another client has elected to scan over 900 slides so far.
I do like projects with variety. One recently completed photo organization project offered plenty:
- 1,200 prints (including 4×6, panoramic, 8×10, wallet, and other sizes)
- 175 loose negative strips
- 3 CDs with mystery images
- 70 prints stuck to each other (also a mystery)
- 200 prints stuck to film in an album
- 3 Kodak Advantix film canisters with more mystery images
I recently had a client with 175 negative strips as part of her photo collection. Some were grouped in plastic sleeves from the developer (Rite Aid, Eckerd). Some had white handling tabs attached to them. And many were just…loose. How was I going to tackle the sorting of the loose strips? My ultimate goal was to recreate the film rolls of which they were a part (so that I could match them to existing prints or to contact sheets).
There is much advice on the internet regarding how to address prints stuck to stuff. How one should proceed depends on the age of the photos, what they are stuck to, whether they are the only record, and how precious they are. If they are stuck, they are already damaged. The goal will be to minimize any further damage as they are separated from whatever they are attached to.
After a trip, I am eager to capture memories in a photo book, before I forget many of the details that make a trip unique. To proceed quickly, the question becomes: how to allocate 100 or more photos throughout a 20-page photo book, plus leave some for the front cover and the back cover.
We used to have just one camera on our vacations; all images on one device, in the order taken. Not anymore. We used three devices on our trip in August. The two iPhones adjusted automatically from Eastern Daylight Time to Mountain Daylight Time. The camera required a manual adjustment, which I did not consider until a couple of days into the trip. Continue reading
The Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) recently shared this radio conversation about digital preservation from St. Louis Public Radio. The conversation is 30 minutes long and includes input from librarians, archivists and digital media managers; there is an accompanying article that addresses the highlights. Continue reading
In June 2017, I heard Enrique Martinez Celaya interviewed by Krista Tippett on On Being; they discussed “The Whisper of the Order of Things.” He is a painter who trained as a physicist. The 50-minute interview addressed many topics, but I was most intrigued by his comments on photography.
Krista Tippett asked him about a comment he made previously: “Photographs whisper that to look at them is to lose or overhear something.” She then invited him to elaborate on how much more is going on in pictures than what we attribute now. Continue reading
If you are digitizing old media (Hi8, VHS, and VHS-C tapes), take the opportunity to separate unrelated clips that were previously stored on a single tape or cassette. Digitization is also the ideal time to document, improve audio and color, and remove irrelevant footage.