That is, I wish I wasn’t a cretin when I was a child.
I have an archive of hundreds of photos that I took as a child on various single-use cameras. I’ve scanned in the 6″x4″ prints over the past few weeks and they’ve come out as well as can be expected for grubby, well-handled photos with an inexpensive flatbed scanner.
But last month I bought a 35mm scanner, mainly to scan in new negatives that I will be taking with my 35mm SLR. I’ve also used it to scan in the old negatives. Trouble is, as a cretinous child I had no idea how to look after negatives and I didn’t realise the significance of preserving them. In 1990, who’d have thought that almost two decades later I would want to scan them in?
The negatives are extremely scratched and fingerprinted. The scratches are too wide for infrared scratch removal to be of much assistance. Shame, as it is now impossible for me to have a perfect digital copy of the photos I took all those years ago.
Having said that, the scratches don’t ruin the photos for me. If a stranger were to look at the scans, the first thing they would notice would be the appalling condition. But for me, the photos still conjure up memories of family holidays, weddings and school trips past – regardless of the scratches. In that way, they are still doing their job perfectly. 🙂