Monday, 31 January 2011

Watching A Cigarette Emerge In A Dish Of Developing Solution


Another week, another strip of old negatives. Stealing a quick overview of the images by holding the strip up to the light, there seems to be few connections between the pictures other than they must have been taken around the same time. But the joy of scanning comes when the scanned image appears and you can search down through the detail : it is the closest feeling I know to the delights of watching a print emerge in a dish of developing solution. Emerging today - from 42 years of slumber - are The Good Lady Wife (4 years before she became the Good Lady Wife), my mother and my father. The setting is undoubtedly Trafalgar Square in London - that is the National Gallery in the background - and the visit was made when the GLW was doing her Latin degree in London (long before she decided to become a doctor). In such pictures it is always the detail which is interesting : in this case it is the cigarette in my fathers' hand. I had almost forgotten that he used to smoke during this period of his life.

13 comments:

Chairman Bill said...

Alan - I fear I may be hallucinating.

Your blog took a little while to load, but during the hiatus before your Picture Post header materialised, I saw the faint, yet unmistakable outline of a bird. It looked either like a humming bird or a kingfisher at the top left, facing right. Ever so faint.

Is there an old ghosted image pre-loading before the new header?

Valerie said...

Following on from Bill's comment, I too have noticed a sort of negative effect of the Picture Post picture just prior to full loading. Don't recall seeing a bird though.

I like today's picture and am wondering if you were the cameraman. Now I need to know how you achieve reproduction of the negatives, is it a simple scanning method?

Rosie said...

Ah, the age of the mini skirt...I lived through that.

Alan Burnett said...

Here is the explanation of the ghost I sent to CB :

Phil,
You were not hallucinating. It is the background of the template I use. I tried to find just a plain background, but couldn't and finished up with one with a faint pattern. That pattern is usually instantly covered by the elements I have added, but if the page is slow in loading, you see the pattern first. The first time I noticed it was when the page was loading on my iPhone which, is slower, than my usual desktop.
Alan

Alan Burnett said...

Val : Scanning negatives - it depends what size negatives you are talking about. If it is 35mm (either monochrome or colour negatives or slides) the best solution is to buy a scanner which can scan strip negatives. these have both a special light source in the lid and a carrier which can handle either negative strips or individual slides. The one I use is an Epson Perfection. The current equivalent model is the Epson Perfection V330 LED Photo Scanner (4800dpi) which you can get off Amazon for £77

Valerie said...

Thanks Alan, I've made a note.

jennyfreckles said...

I guess lots of us must have an equivalent "Trafalgar Square" photo somewhere. And, ah yes, minis and Crimplene, I remember so well!

Vicki Lane said...

I enjoyed this and your previous posts! Fun to see these old pictures anew.

L. D. Burgus said...

That we can scan negatives is just a real thrill. It can bring back such wonderful photos like this. You are so lucky to have the negative and now have a way to bring back this great photo. It is wonderful to see.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Very interesting photo..your GLW has nice legs! Mine must have looked that good 42 years ago also! Her shoes..I like her shoes:)

TICKLEBEAR said...

GLW's strategically ositionned hand saved her career!! nobody wants a "sharon stone" moment...
OMG!!!!!
;D~
HUGZ

Mmm said...

I knew where it was! Ha. Love your write up here. yes, i thought there wa s bit of Alan in that chap--more so your Dad than your mum. how lovely to se your wife too. Is this the 60's as it looks like she is wearing a mini skirt!

Mmm said...

you are amazing to give such a detailed note to Val. Impressive. you really would have made a most excellent Sherlock Holmes type detective with all your discoveries.