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  1. #1

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    A Puzzle: What do I do with all these found negatives

    Here's the problem: I got to have the contents of a long-abandoned darkroom recently (small 35mm enlarger, msc amateur-level equipment, nothing special) and among the stuff was the negatives of the previous occupant.

    Nope: Not another Vivian Mayer. Lots of head shots, family vacation shots, cat shots, christmas tree shots, Stuff like that. Dead normal life in America in the 70s, 80s and so on and so forth. NO good shots of historic buildings, famous folk(that I can tell) or anything else.

    No clue who anyone is, or where or when shot, or anything.

    Negatives are rolled into film cans that he bought bulk film or scotch-taped (gad!) onto bound sheets of paper.

    I got these from the guy cleaning out the house that had stood empty for ten years after the old couple left for the long pastures. Their kids, I am assured, have no interest in any of it, didn't want to come down and be involved in the cleaning out. What the cleaner did with the old photo albums, I have no idea, but I hope he sent them to the kids, or at least offered them.

    But here are the negs, which I grabbed because I knew they'd be tossed, but I'm damned if I can think of what to do with them besides toss them myself. And I work in a museum, where we hate to toss anything!

    So, ideas? Anyone out there want them? Might make an addition to one of those art projects that salvage old pictures, or something.

    I dunno. I need to clear out. Someday my own negs may end up with this same fate (sadly, while I think my stuff is good, who else will?).

    So there we are.

    Ideas?

  2. #2
    APUGuser19's Avatar
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    This world is laid waste of, by death. It's a shame, but that's the way it is. If it's enough film to interest a silver reclaimer, then great. Otherwise, I'm afraid it's just more of the waste by death. Stinks, huh?

  3. #3

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    Yeah. Sadly, not even enough to interest a silver reclaimer. Probably equals a coupla hundred feet of film.

    sigh.

  4. #4

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    I hate to say this, but how much do you want for them? I may put them into an art project. My mother in law threw out the negs of my father in law, whom I only met once (before we were married), and I cringe every time I think about them.
    // I am a Hybrid Photographer, using 4x5, Hasselblad, Leica etc. with digital post-processing workflow.
    http://richardmanphoto.com http://facebook.com/richardmanphoto

  5. #5

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    If there isn't much in the way of space taken up, just hang on to them. Who knows, maybe some time in the future the family of the person who took them will want them.
    I hate when people ask me what I see myself doing in 5 years...... I don't have 2020 vision!

  6. #6
    jnanian's Avatar
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    call a local historical society or public library
    tell them they are photographs of local life
    and they might have some interest in them ..

    sometimes local historical societies libraries &c will love to take them ...

    i was gifted hundreds of sheets of film, photo albums &c from a local photographer
    who died, had no family and his executor was going to dumpster everything .. someone
    knew i was local ( from apug ) contacted me and put me in touch ... its all in 2 boxes in my garage
    i have no use for any of it .. but at least it is saved from the dump.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by didjiman View Post
    I hate to say this, but how much do you want for them? I may put them into an art project. My mother in law threw out the negs of my father in law, whom I only met once (before we were married), and I cringe every time I think about them.
    How much? I dunno -- your promise that you will donate $10 to the red cross at the earliest opportunity. I can put them in a small box and ship it off.

    PM me a mailing address and cross your heart and promise.

    As to the suggestion that i contact a historical society -- I AM a local historical society -- that's why I grabbed them. I volunteer at the local museum (www.theunionstation.org) and I can't see anything in these that is of historical interest, at least not to me. With no names, no places, no nothing, it's hard to justify sorting through them.

    I think I'll check with the guy who gave them to me, see if he has a contact for family to double check with first, but beyond that there's not much I can do.

  8. #8
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by didjiman View Post
    I hate to say this, but how much do you want for them? I may put them into an art project. My mother in law threw out the negs of my father in law, whom I only met once (before we were married), and I cringe every time I think about them.
    Quote Originally Posted by summicron1 View Post
    How much? I dunno -- your promise that you will donate $10 to the red cross at the earliest opportunity. I can put them in a small box and ship it off.
    This is heartwarming... I was going to suggest printing them as a kind of a project...

  9. #9
    APUGuser19's Avatar
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    Summicron, you're a decent man.And right below it is Bill Burk. How can you not like a guy with a mug like that?

  10. #10
    bsdunek's Avatar
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    Glad someone wants to save them. Might not be worth anything dollar wise, but they should be interesting to some. Too bad you don't know the name of the guy that took them, or maybe you do. I was thinking a show of some sort. After all, some of the photography of the 60's and 70's looked pretty ordinary, but is considered important. Harry Callahan comes to mind.
    Bruce

    Moma don't take my Kodachrome away!
    Oops, Kodak, of all people, did!
    .


    BruceCSdunekPhotography.zenfolio.com

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