Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Computer, I salute you!

It may have come to your notice that I am rather keen on old photos.  

I suppose because all my grandparents (and most of my relatives) were in South America during my childhood, my parents took quite a lot of photos of me and my sister and brother when we were young.  But as many of the photos were then sent of to the far-flung family members, we don't have copies ourselves.

So a while back I bought my wonderful slide and negative scanner (you can read about it here).  This was great, especially for the slides.  

But we have heaps of black and white negatives that are about 5cm square and these do not fit in the scanner.  I looked on the internet to see if you can buy a scanner for this size of negative, but they are prohibitively expensive, so I wanted to find another solution.

And I have found it!

It was simply a case of using my ordinary scanner to scan in the negative on 'Greyscale' setting.  Then I pasted the image into 'Paint' (you can use other programs like Photoshop, I believe, but I haven't tried that out yet) and went to the 'Image' button and selected 'Invert Colors'.

I then copied it back into a photo editing program and adjusted the contrast and brightness.  Although the images are not as good as I'd like, it is a start, and I can now have a play around with different methods, to see if I can get better results.  And even if these are as good as it gets, they are still enough to get the memories flowing...

A day out to visit relatives in Oxford.  I think we went to an art shop and got new blocks of colour for our watercolour sets.  Strange the things you remember.
Sitting on the log at the end of the garden.  The garden backed onto the New River, which was built in the early 1600s to bring fresh drinking water to London.
We were given this swing by our cousins' grandparents, I think.  I loved it throughout my childhood, spending hours swooping away on it.  I had solid metal instead of chains, so you couldn't waste time lying on your tummy and twirling yourself round on it - you had to get on and do what it was intended for!

Aren't computers great?


  1. Hello Alix:
    We are also keen to hold on to and display old photographs. It is, as you say, surprising what memories are triggered by them and,they are so wonderfully decorative too when framed.

    How clever you are to have been able to 'resurrect' these old negatives. And, the results are very impressive from what we can see. So, if no further improvement is possible, then at least your efforts thus far have produced an excellent result.

  2. Fabulous ! My parents took photos for a slide projector during the sixties when we lived in Singapore & after we came home. We loved having side shows with a white sheet hung on the wall as a screen. I've had some photos made up from the slides & the colours are fantastic !

  3. Thats fantastic that you figured that out! well done you..... the last photo is totally gorgeous a completely happy moment from your childhood captured and frozen in time,. I too love old photographs with a passion xx

  4. what lovely pictures, gllad i 'found' you! x

  5. Oh what precious photos ~ especially the last one!! How wonderful that you were able to figure out a way to reproduce the slides, and thank you for the valuable tip! There's just something about old photos, isn't there?! I could sit for hours just looking through them ~ so thank you for sharing yours! Love Brenda

  6. That last photo is just lovely! I also love looking at old photos - thanks for telling us how you managed to find an easy way to reproduce your negatives. Will give it a try.

  7. That's brilliant. I'm the family historian and I'm trying to get as many old family photos as I can to put into a family tree program I have.

  8. Ah...that photo on the swing is priceless. It deserves to be blown up and framed and hung in pride of place! I am an old fashioned girl but love that computers bring us together and help us save memories.

    Hugs from Holland ~

  9. just popped back to say ' You've been Tagged ' over at my place xx

  10. Well done - how lovely to have the photos to look at properly. I love the one on the swing! I scanned a lot of my parents' photo albums so I could use the pictures for making scrapbook pages - yes, computers are great!
    Helen x

  11. Hi Alix
    I have passed on my Versatile Blogger award to you if you'd like it????!!!!
    Love Sophie xx

  12. What lovely photographs, especially the last one!
    So sweet.
    Have a great weekend

  13. That's wonderful! I love old photos also...xxxxxxx