The Online Darkroom Store

Monday, December 23

And another great thing about film...

the online darkroom

This is a photo I took of my mum on her 83rd birthday on Saturday. It's a D700 digital file. I wanted a colour shot, hence the DSLR. I don't use colour print film and I don't think I'd even be able to buy any locally. I should have planned ahead and ordered a roll of colour negative online but I'm not that organised. If I get some prints done from the D700 file and distribute them around the family there's a chance this photograph will still be in existence for future generations to enjoy. I can almost guarantee that the digital file itself will be long gone by then.

Below are a few scans of quarter plate glass negatives that came in a lot I won at a local auction and which show an unknown family. The plates are probably getting on for 100-years-old. A century. Yet they're still here. I can still make a print from them or scan them. Had they been taken on a Victorian or Edwardian digital camera then they, too, would never have made it.

Christmas is a time for families. If you want your family memories to last, film is the way to go. Your descendants will thank you for it.



Silvertooth said...

The most amazing thing about the scans to me--other than the plates are 100 years old, is the quality of the photographs. The photos match or surpass much of what people are doing on their modern equipment. Thank you for sharing these and your thoughts on a regular basis. I am one of those silent readers. Please, keep up the good work!


It's all down to negative size. Quarter plate is just a bit less than 5x4 so you're almost guarantee nice sharp results. Having said that, whoever took these glass plates knew what he/she was doing. I've seen glass plates in the past where the photographer obviously didn't realise you had to focus.

Glad you took the time to comment. Please feel free to do so again. I quite enjoy writing the blog so I've no plans to stop.

morris1800 said...

Great plates , I hope I have fixed my negs properly to stand the test of time. Love the third plate with the three guys wonder what the story is maybe? What a difference in the quality of the suits the guys are wearing.So true on losing digitally recorded images ,I did read that the raw data of the census in the 1970's is lost as the computer technology is not available to read the data from the media of that period.

Nasir Hamid said...

I'm all about looking back at photography many years from now and constantly think about what I will leave behind. I tell people the same as you've mentioned in this post but is a sad thing that a lot of people nowadays just don't care - which is why they use their phones instead of a camera.

I recently got a bunch of glass plates in an auction lot but I haven't had time to look at them yet. Included in the lot was a notebook that a photographer had kept back in the 1960's where he kept a record of every film and where he sent it for processing. Some of the ones listed are E4 process. I had no idea there was such a thing.

Season's Greetings to you and yours.

marty said...

I fully agree, film is the way to send our world and feelings to posterity in a reliable manner, specially black & white film. Color materials seem to have inferior durability, but still far more than digital files, I reckon.
Happy Christmas !!

Anonymous said...

Professional astronomers discovered the limits of electronic capture a long time ago. When they first started replacing film with CCD's they found that in just a few years the files either were corrupted or the software to read the files was not supported any longer. Meanwhile glass plates taken in the 1880's to 1900 were still yielding useful information. By now I would imagine they take much better care to archive obsrevation photos.