Damaged Negatives

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by madgardener, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    I was developing some Black and White film and when hanging it to dry, one of my cats decided that it would make a good toy and ripped 2 rolls down. Being the emulsion was still very wet, the negatives were severely scratched. Is there a way to repair 35mm negatives (Legacy Pro 400 film) or possibly can I get some tips on how to fix them digitally on Gimp? I can't afford Photo Shop. I tried using my scanner and it did very little to take out the scratched (HP scanjet G4050 with Vuescan). Help??
     
  2. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Very fine scratches can sometimes be hidden by wet-mounting the negative when printing. This is fairly messy and I've never tried it myself but apparently it can work. But in your case it sounds like major damage in which case I'd say the negatives are ruined for analog purposes. Perhaps you could work some serious digital magic on them but that's totally beyond my area of knowledge.
     
  3. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Its possible that a restoration of a print and a new negative could be made. It would be very expensive however, you could possibly do some of the work yourself. You would start by making a large enlargement, say 16x20, and have find a local artist to retouch the photo, then make a new copy negative, then could make good prints.

    I remember one that I worked on that the photo was both torn in half right across a persons face and had water damage from a flooded basement. When the process was complete, you could not tell anything ever happened. I did the photography, my wife, who is a restoration artist, did the painting.

    Try posting a photo of the damage, others may have ideas. Good Luck.
     
  4. amsp

    amsp Member

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    Maybe if you use a scanner with digital ICE?
     
  5. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    digital ice won't work with B&W film or kodachrome. Wetting them for the enlarger or scanner will fill in the scratches for a better but not great print or scan. Wet it with something that won't dry immediately or run; mineral oil or wire lube and clean it off afterwards with alcohol or soapy water.

    The bandaid tool works pretty good in gimp. If that can't do it, the clone tool can. Either benefits from a wider nozzle and some experimenting with opacity.
     
  6. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Had this happen before. It's usually the sheer amount of embedded dust that makes things infeasible. Ditch the negs and learn from it.
     
  7. edge-t

    edge-t Member

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    I use photoshop for most of my touch ups. In gimp, there should be a similar tool called 'clone'. It should be in the shape of a stamp. Use that.

    1. Hold down either alt or ctrl. In photoshop, its alt. Click on an area you wish to sample.
    2. Release alt/ctrl, clone the area with the scratches.

    that's the short of it. Hope it helps. Google gimp clone tool, there should be some tutorials for that tool.
     
  8. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Aaaaaaarrrrrrggggggghghghhhhhhhhh
     
  9. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Many things you can do. You can contact print to film, then enlarge to paper negs and touch those up on the backside in a perfectly analogue way. You can scan, fix problems, and have LVTs made, if some of the negs are really precious. Etc.
     
  10. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Shouldn't that be ditch the cat and negs and learn from it:D Only kidding

    pentaxuser
     
  11. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    In future try not to lock the cat inside your drying cabinet. They can cause havoc when confined in a small space.
     
  12. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    I hang my negatives in the shower so that they can dry. I also keep the shower door closed so the kitty is unable to reach them. She LOVES things that are hanging and will swing when struck by a little paw.

    m
     
  13. amsp

    amsp Member

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    You're right, I guess I read through the original post a little too quickly.
     
  14. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    Here is the link to the negatives.

    This link didn't work, try the one lower down

    As for ditching the cats, I doubt SWMBO would allow that. Though the shower is a good idea, I had been hanging them in the bathroom, next to the shower, but in the shower would protect them better. Thanks! That will prevent future problems.

    The scan was done on a HP scanjet 4050 with (demo version) Vuescan. I intend to get a license on payday next week, so please be understanding of the watermarks. The software that came with the scanner is horrible.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2012
  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i wish i could see your film, but i don't have a google account and it requires a password/user name to view your images.

    i have digitally remastered totally trashed scratched bent up and destroyed tintypes and prints from years ago, it can be done with PS but it will take
    a long time to get it right, you would have to do huge scans so your retouching isn't evident, low res manipulation looks like .. low res manipulation ..
    i wouldn't bother with it ... then again, it is a good skill to have and if you can do these things the analog way
    it is much easier to do them using a computer ...

    if your negatives are totally scratched up, i would enlarge them using a cold light head ( or put diffusion glass between your condensers and negative )
    rub the back of your ear and get a little oil on your finger and swirl it around on your negative on the scratches ( this will diffuse the light hitting the film )
    then enlarge them to the size you want them to be .. and make a print, and then a contact print off of that, so you have a large paper negative to work with.
    as keith suggested it isn't all that hard to retouch a paper negative with pencil ..
    get water colors or retouching fluid, or use a pencil on the back of the print and then make another contact print from that.
    get some of the cellophane that covers boxes of tea and when you make your positive print, boost the contrast a little bit with pc filters
    and pass the cellophane between the lens and paper .. not alot, it will really diffuse your print ...

    if the positive print you made doesn't look the way you want it to look retouch it a little more.

    you could always do something "artsy" with the film. get some gause, or hose and enlarge through it.
    or take fine grit sand paper and selectively scratch up the rest of your film or print through fluid, or take a sheet of film ( a different, clear piece )
    pass it over a burning candle to get soot on it ( cigarette/cigar smoke works best but who smokes these days ? ),
    and make a hole through the film with a match head and make a print through that ...


    years ago i used to do commercialprinting for a portrait photographer. i wasn't too swift and dropped a 5x7 negative on the darkroom floor ( concrete + dirty )
    to make matters worse it was a full portrait of the state's governor that i was supposed to make 250 5x7 glossy prints for his re-election campaign .
    the ear-oil trick worked pretty well ... he was re-elected and i think he went to jail .. luckily my prints had nothing to do with it.

    good luck !
    john
     
  16. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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  17. Pat Erson

    Pat Erson Member

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    My cat is true animal (at night he sometimes brings back a mose from the garden and he eats it on my bed while I'm asleep...)
    but fortunately he never found drying negs interesting... pfew!

    I'd go the digital route to restore your wounded films.
     
  18. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Also, when I say "this has happened to me" I was referring to actual cats pulling my drying film down and playing with it on carpet for a few hours. After rewashing, dust was still embedded in the gelatin and I would not save such shots again unless they were really valuable.
     
  19. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Are you SURE those are scratches? Almost all the marks are rendered WHITE and either lint or dust like. You've digitally inverted the image correct? True scratches on the emulsion side will remove the coating which will cause it to let the light go through. That will render BLACK when printed or inverted. Is it possible that you could re-soak this film, rewash this film, and only if absolutely necessary, GENTLY rub it with your bare fingers, re-photo-flow it, then dry?
     
  20. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    Looks like much of it is dust, try rinsing very well (maybe washing it with some washing aid?) and hang up again.
    Some dust may be dried into the emulsion though, so they may be stuck in there.

    As for removing, i always use the patch/healing tool in Photoshop, (gimp equivalent tutorial here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeNstnmXRgw ) , it's a much better tool than clone, because it samples from nearby areas and blends better.

    Too bad you are not using Photoshop, I made an action for removing large amounts of dust when I used contaminated fixer once, was just too much crap on the negatives to sit and do manual removal, worked pretty well.
     
  21. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    No, I am not sure they are scratches. I figured that since they were drug around on the floor by my cat with the emulsion still very wet, that they were scratched. I am more than willing to rewash them.

    To rewash them, I assume that I use just warm water?

    Unfortunately, I can't afford Photoshop, this is a shoe string operation. Unemployment will do that, unfortunately. :sad:

    Thank you everybody for your help! I greatly appreciate it.
     
  22. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    To rewash, put the film back on the reel and soak for 30 minutes or so first. Then use running water for a while. Hopefully, most particles will come off. If not, you could try GENTLY rubbing with your fingers but you do risk further damaging your film. At this point, I am not sure if there's that much to lose....

    I wouldn't use warm water, especially if you intend to rub it with your fingers.

    I'd try the gentler method first.
     
  23. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    Thank you for all the advice! I will carefully wash them tomorrow and see what happens. When dry, I'll rescan and post to let you all know how it went. Again, thank you!
     
  24. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    great advice !