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More old photos ... from around 1918 upwards.
Old 01-12-2011   #1
Keith
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More old photos ... from around 1918 upwards.

I was given a box of very old negatives to scan by someone who inherited them recently. It's her family's complete photographic history dating from the early nineteen hundreds and going up to somewhere around the second world war ... all 127 format from what I can tell. The film appears to be a little bit narrower than 120 and is damned difficult to scan in the Epson's 120 holders because of this.

All the negatives (400 of them) were in their original beautifully made and printed, folded in half cardboard envelopes ... some with a neat row of stitching along the top and bottom and all with wonderful logos on them along with the prices etc from the pharmacy or lab that processed them on the back. Absolutely beautiful and most in perfect condition!

Once again I'm gobsmacked at how well film retains it's information after close to 100 years ... and although many had what appeared to be a fair amount of damage from the ravages of time and indifferent handling there wasn't one that didn't produce a usable image. I didn't put any time into repairing spots and water marks etc I just adjusted contrast and exposure etc where needed ... the degradation of these images is a large part of their appeal for me so I resisted the temptation to interfere with them much at all.

This to me is the people's art and the images tell the story of suburban family life in Australia shortly after the turn of the century:

Babies on knees, dogs being washed, kids on their bicycles, women chatting over the back fence, family outings to the beach or wherever, posed portraits, washing on the line in the back yard, someone on a new motorcycle and so on ... I love them all and thanks to the Brisbane floods I was able to get this job completed in a couple of days.

I hope these selected (36) images give you as much pleasure as they gave me.

edit ... the set of thirty six can be viewed as a slideshow here.
























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Old 01-12-2011   #2
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Old 01-12-2011   #3
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Good stuff. But be careful with the negatives as they are probably Nitrate-based.
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Old 01-12-2011   #4
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Old 01-12-2011   #5
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Well done mate they are bloody wonderful ... I love old photos
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Old 01-12-2011   #6
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SUPERB Keith !!!
Eye candy Indeed
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Old 01-12-2011   #7
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Really interesting Keith. I love the shots with the motorcycles in particular.
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Old 01-12-2011   #8
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Excellent! Really interesting images.
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Old 01-12-2011   #9
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All very interesting Keith. Thanks for kicking off another great thread. IMHO there are three wonderful shots among those you've posted so far:

Photo 3 in Post 1
Photo 9 in Post 2
Photo 12 in Post 2

These are stand-out pictures for me, and with the lack of info on lens/camera combination chime in well with Mr Hicks' recent Do You Remember? Or Care? thread.

Cheers.
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Old 01-12-2011   #10
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Thanks Mick ... the photo of the women chatting over the back fence blew me away when I saw it ... the dog staring at the camera and so many other elements make it an absolute standout ... I would have that photo framed on my wall any day!

Probably my favourite from the four hundred I scanned for sure!
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Old 01-12-2011   #11
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Tremendous! thank you so much for sharing.
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Old 01-12-2011   #12
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Keep them separate from other film and in a cool dark place. Nitrate films can be quite dangerous as they deteriorate. For more information read this:

http://www.motion.kodak.com/US/en/mo...ge_nitrate.htm
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Old 01-12-2011   #13
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These are wonderful Keith. They remind me of my kinfolk.
The one of the women talking over the fence is fantastic.
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Old 01-12-2011   #14
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very nice!
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Old 01-12-2011   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
Thanks Mick ... the photo of the women chatting over the back fence blew me away when I saw it ... the dog staring at the camera and so many other elements make it an absolute standout ... I would have that photo framed on my wall any day!

Probably my favourite from the four hundred I scanned for sure!
Keith, of all of them that's the one that made my jaw drop.

The 'ice cream girls' could have inspired Diane Arbus, and I'm not sure what those two lads are up to, but there's so much vitality in that photo!

You're a lucky lad having had two sets of negs like that land in your lap, there could be a career 'developing'. Oh, sorry, wrong thread.

Incidentally, I hope you and yours are keeping dry.
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Old 01-12-2011   #16
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Fascinating photos, I especially love the bike in the 4th bike - what a gorgeous piece of machinery.
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Old 01-12-2011   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickH View Post
Keith, of all of them that's the one that made my jaw drop.

The 'ice cream girls' could have inspired Diane Arbus, and I'm not sure what those two lads are up to, but there's so much vitality in that photo!

You're a lucky lad having had two sets of negs like that land in your lap, there could be a career 'developing'. Oh, sorry, wrong thread.

Incidentally, I hope you and yours are keeping dry.

The 'ice cream girls' also made me think of Diane Arbus Mick ... it just has that feel!

The two young men are playing quoits ... one's holding one of the rope hoops and the other the pin you try to throw them over. I had this popular back yard game as a kid in New Zealand.
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Old 01-12-2011   #18
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I love the single meniscus lens. It give a real period look. Someone will probably correct my terminology but you know what I mean.
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Old 01-12-2011   #19
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Exquisite.

Almost every photo is transporting.

The ice cream girls and the two boys playing quoits are astounding.

Thanks for sharing, Keith.
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Old 01-12-2011   #20
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Great windows into the past. I impressed by the technical quality, too. Thanks for posting again.

- Charlie
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Old 01-12-2011   #21
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To me these photos portray a sense of innocence that seems so hard to capture these days. I'm not saying that it doesn't exist. Just that it's harder to find these days. Thank you for sharing Keith.

Michael
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Old 01-12-2011   #22
lynnb
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wow, Keith. Lucky you. I agree about the women talking over the back fence - my favourite and a standout!
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Old 01-12-2011   #23
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Excellent. Thanks for posting. Some real treasures!
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Old 01-12-2011   #24
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wow, Keith. Lucky you. I agree about the women talking over the back fence - my favourite and a standout!

Thanks Lynn, I find this type of thing absolutely mesmerising and once it hooks me I'm gone. When the owner of the negs asked me at a new years bash I was at it if I could scan old negatives I couldn't get her to get them to me fast enough. Probably about twenty plus hours of work all done in two days ... just couldn't tear myself away! LOL
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Old 01-12-2011   #25
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Wow. That is awesome Keith. Love the icecream girls and the couple on beach in their period togs. What an awesome find.
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Old 01-12-2011   #26
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Originally Posted by Michael Da Re View Post
To me these photos portray a sense of innocence that seems so hard to capture these days. I'm not saying that it doesn't exist. Just that it's harder to find these days. Thank you for sharing Keith.

Michael

I know what you mean about that sense of innocence Michael ... the small child sitting in the lapping waves and the young girl standing proudly beside her obviously new bicycle really 'connect' for me.

All these people are likely long passed on but there they are captured with silver halide and celluloid to be wondered at some ninety years later. It's unlikely digital imaging will ever do this sort of thing for us which is not a shot at digital ... just the reality of a changing world.

The owner of the negs was telling me she has some glass plates and wanted to know if I can scan those also ... bring them on!
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Old 01-12-2011   #27
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Wow, I just love to watch old photos. Thanks for sharing them with us.
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Old 01-12-2011   #28
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The truly wondeful thing about these pictures is that many are relatively spontaneous rather than strictly posed. So they give a sense of life and the subjects' reality that we don't always see in photos of this age. What treasures!

I loved the ice cream girls, too!

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Old 01-12-2011   #29
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I love these old photos Keith, a bit of voyeurism into another (space and) time. That's why I love sites like shorpy.com too.

Thanks for sharing them.
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