Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Home Made Negative Digitizer

I recently saw a video on Facebook on how to digitize your old negatives. It called for a shoebox and a few other materials. Here, have a look.

So since I'm on vacation I thought I'd give it a shot. Unfortunately I don't have a shoebox, but I do have an animation light table. So using paper, glue, paint, tape and a piece of cardboard I made my own negative holder.

I found some old black and white negatives, slid a strip of six in the holder and rested the whole thing on the peg bar. The video says to use a digital camera. Well, the digital camera I have is over ten years old and it wasn't able to focus properly. So I decided to try the camera on my Motorola Droid Maxx. This is what it looks like through the tube.

And here it is zoomed in.

And using the filters and functions of the phone's picture editor I was able to rotate, invert, crop and adjust the negative. And here is the result.

This is my great grandfather on my father's side. The photo was taken by my father in 1972. Not too bad, eh? Somehow these negatives ended up in my house in a file folder, in a plastic box, under a small table in a corner of my studio. How they ever got here, we have no idea. But they still look great.

I'm having some issues with color negatives. I think it's because they're a bit old. They have a blue haze over them that I can't seem to get rid of. I tried adjusting the levels in Photoshop but they're still not coming out right. I'll keep trying until I figure it out.

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