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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    I second the advice given by Greg Davis. Since these materials have survived up to 100 years already and cannot be replaced, copy them and correct the copies. Store the originals in acid free storage containers and possibly with some desiccant material (not in contact with the photos). We came across a 100 year old print of my mother's family including her grand father. I photographed it with 4x5 film and printed on warm tone matte paper achieving a very close likeness of the original. I also scanned the new negative to make some repair corrections and to make some digital copies on heavy weight cotton fiber paper for the family. It was not difficult to produce what appeared to be an original old photograph.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Richmond, VA
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    Thanks, all, for your replies. I'm not sturdy enough of heart to rewash prints, or negs, for that matter. I'm aware of the cotton glove mentality and do follow this procedure. All of these prints came from cousins (you wouldn't believe what they have been keeping them in - including those Walmart albums that hold them in place with sticky stuff on the back, under a hinged poly cover of unknown composition). I am transferring everything to printfile pages of some size, to fit the original - or glassine folders for the larger ones, to be returned to the owners. I think I'll try the naphtha suggestion (thanks, Ian) on the negs, and maybe verrry carefully (edges first) on prints if necessary.
    These are all being scanned (really what the project is about), and I'm quite competent in Pshop, just trying to reduce the cloning, healing, etc.
    Check back, I'll post a couple.

  3. #13
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
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    Delta, British Columbia, Canada
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    Actually those Walmart albums aren't as bad as you might think.

    They keep the prints dry and away from the light, and they offer a combination of accessibility and physical protection that is far better than a lot of shoe boxes.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  4. #14

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    Oct 2009
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    Central Florida, USA
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    I have done small number of these jobs. Other than puff of air and maybe a gentle rub (almost no pressure) with clean microfiber cloth, I don't do anything. If I see any defect that's bother some, I correct them digitally post scan.

    Once I damage the original, the damage is permanent and there are no replacements.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

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