While recently revisiting and scanning some old black and white negatives, I remembered something I’d read years ago back in my darkroom days.
If I remember correctly it was Eddie Ephraums who wrote something to this effect, ‘producing a print in the darkroom should be more than just a technical exercise. To produce a print that has emotional impact it helps to be in the time and place, in your mind, that you were in when you took the photograph.’
I thought this very good advice and tried to put it into practice while doing this recent scanning and post production. It took quite some effort though. Scanning black and white negs is certainly a different beast to working in the darkroom! I used to think I was meticulous with taking care of my negatives, but the amount of dust and scratches scanning shows up certainly put that myth to rest.
Still, the amount of time spent cloning out dust and scratch marks (and trying to minimise digital noise) was worth the effort.
I am glad to say that I was taken back to the time and place where the photographs were taken (listening to the right music certainly helps). Some very fond memories!
I hope to self publish a book of some of my favourite black and white (film) images in the near future.