5 January 2011


My old blogging buddy, Ian at "Shooting Parrots", wondered how my Christmas scanner would cope with colour negatives. I know that one or two other visitors are interested in scanning old slides and negatives. So I dipped into my old shoebox - stuffed full with negatives from long ago. I felt angry at my younger self for not labelling the packs but to be fair that guy never anticipated that one day we'd be able to buy little scanners like my newest little friend. So for Ian and others, here's our two children posing mischievously for daddy about sixteen years ago - created from a colour negative:-
And here's O'Brian's Tower near the village of Doolin in West Clare, Ireland. I took this picture back in the summer of 1985:-
What I am finding is that some negatives have deteriorated a little more than others so that colour is not as true as you might hope. However some of those colour issues can easily be addressed with the editing facilities available both with the scanner and in Picasa or HP ImageZone.

I could quite easily spend the next week scanning my negatives but there's one particular negative I'd really like to unearth - it's of a young woman called Michaela. In the early nineties I was her form tutor in secondary school. I photographed her when I went to visit her at her work experience placement - a hairdressing salon in Hillsborough. She was a sparkly girl and I liked her.

I taught her older sister and her younger brother. Little did I know that less than ten years later she'd be a prostitute plying her trade in Sheffield's red light area. On Bonfire Night, 2001, as rockets cascaded in the sky, she was cruelly murdered by a bad man who, to this day, remains at large.


  1. That's answered my question then! I have quite a few negatives tucked away in the back of photo albums that I'd like to try out, so it's over to Maplins for me.

  2. How sad about Michalea. I hope you can find her photo.

  3. I have our family's collection of old photos, going back 150 years. I often marvel at the quality of those old black and white photos and how well they have survived the years. In comparison, the Polaroids my mom took in the 1960s are almost gone, the colors deteriorated. I have a slide and film scanner that I've not had time to use yet, so I'm interested in the results you're getting. The thing that concerns me is that I'll spend a lot of time scanning and putting things on CDs or DVDs and within 10 years that technology will be obsolete. I'm not sure we actually have a better way of preserving photos than our ancestors had.

  4. SHOOTING BUDGIES I think Maplins require a signed affidavit that you will NOT scan the kind of negatives that you are referring to! By the way there are several other similar scanners on the market.
    PAT - Yes - very sad. In our city newspaper they always use the same old photo of her - slightly blurred and though my photo was taken ten years before she died, it's clearly still her. How sad also to be the parent of someone who not only ended up as a prostitute but was also cruelly murdered. Those are not the sort of aspirations you have for your children.
    MADAME JAN I'm sure you're right about technology's changeability but it would be nice for you to bring some old memories back to life - it may be especially interesting for Bob to see mom in her cheerleader's uniform! Once you have the scanner it costs nothing but time.


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