Developing Negatives In The Modern Age
A recent BBC article highlighted the mystique of old photographic negatives. When a few century-old glass negatives were purchased at a flea market, scanned and posted on twitter they were shared by over 20M people within two days. Kind of makes you curious to find out what might be in your old family collections doesn’t it?
If this seems like something suited only to a photo geek with high-end scanners and photoshop wizardry, think again. Sure, the person in the story fits that description and admits that he first tried scanning them and inverting in Photoshop. But he couldn’t use them. The files were too big and since the original negatives were made of glass, he encountered other problems when trying to place them on a glass scanner. So he turned to the same tool you would. His iPhone.
He taped them to a window and snapped a photo. After a quick search for an app to invert the negative image to positive, he was posting them on Twitter. Now that’s wizardry.
The moral of the story? Old negatives are big. Some as big as 4×5 or even 8×10 inches. Even not-so-old negatives from the 40’s and 50’s are commonly three to four inches across. That’ big enough to capture without special scanning equipment. So if you’re lucky enough to have that kind of heritage in your possession, and you also happen to own a futuristic pocket-sized image inversion tool that may or may not also make phone calls, you are a very powerful wizard.
Metal Has Made It
Aluminum ain’t just for Apple anymore. Here’s why metal prints have caught on as the new
medium of choice for paper warry photo printers.
1. Bonded to be bold.
The dye sublimation process fuses pigment directly into the surface of coated metal, creating
depth and intense color saturation. Archival inks heated to over 400 degrees are chemically
bonded to the surface so there is no adhesive or ink overlay to separate over time. Metal prints
are as archival as the finest silver- and ink-based photographs.
2. Aluminum is easy.
Because they’re aluminum, they’re only 1mm thick, yet very rigid. That makes small prints great
for any shelf or desktop display where they can be leaned or set in a slatted base.
Medium sizes like 12×12 and 20×20 look right at home as-is, on a mantle or shelf without any
additional finishing. And larger prints can be floated off the wall, mounted to other substrates, or
framed for stunning glass-less presentations that weight barely more than a mounted paper
3. Variety = versatility.
Metal prints fit every environment. The large and custom size options are well suited for
commercial applications like offices and corporate boardrooms. They’re the first choice for
medical or industrial environments that require sterility or infallibility in cold, hot, or humid
environments. And the tough, durable properties of aluminum make them particularly applicable
to tamper-proof and touch-friendly installations like museums and municipalities.
All this in a print with fine-art quality and long life. What will you make with metal?