When I first became interested in photography, the usual image format available for cash-strapped amateurs was a 6″x4″ black and white photo taken using a Box Brownie. A roll of 8 shots was taken to the local pharmacist, and picked up a week or so later.
If we were lucky, we got back 8 fairly average photos, with an occasional processing fault, a certain amount of light fogging from clumsy film loading, and the odd double exposure.
By the time I could afford to indulge in a bit of regular 35mm photography, the Minilab had arrived, bringing overnight processing of colour film – later to become one hour processing. The Minilab also allowed photographic fashions to change – white bordered prints or borderless, gloss or silk-finish, round or square-cornered. And now, we can dig out those old memories, scan them into our computers and inflict them on the Internet.
Ironically, the easiest photos to scan are the old Box Brownie black and whites. With a bit of a tweak to the brightness and contrast, they are ready to go. But those 35mm colour shots… Colours fade and change in unexpected ways, and even though a gloss print still scans in cleanly enough, those silk prints with their fancy round corners are a pain to reproduce digitally.
So here’s the latest effort – my friend Ron off-road near Villawood, in Sydney. Another discoloured, round cornered silk print after half a dozen editing attempts using Irfanview and Paint Shop Pro. I’m not particularly happy with the result, but it’ll have to do. For now.