A photo on film, “scanned” with a new method

Zuleikha and her class have been to Eastern Germany lately, to Weimar and Erfurt. And before she went she asked if she could use my film camera for the trip, and I said yes of course, and also bought her some additional rolls of film (that Kodak Gold 200 is less than 8€ for 3 rolls, so really not that expensive).

When giving her films back for development, Zuleikha opted for the cheaper of two available papers which was ok – the prints look really nice. But what she couldn’t opt for with this method were CDs with scans, so she got back just the negatives together with the prints (including an index print). So I “scanned” some of her negatives with taking pictures of them again. Can’t show you the ones with people in them, so let me show you one of the music school in Weimar instead:

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Musikschule Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Weimar 2019

About my new method: I used the Google Nexus 5 mobile phone as a background light, first placing the negatives right onto it. But that made the structure of the LED light grid show as a result, so the negatives had to get a bit of distance to that surface. For that distance I used (borrowed) 2 pencils on which I laid the film stripes. To get them flat I put a small glass plate on top. My camera was mounted on my tripod reversed (with its center column pointing down instead of up), and I had my macro lens mounted on my Olympus E-M10 Mark 2 digital camera. I took a custom white balance of the background light, set the lens to f/4 to not get that background light grid sharp again, and used a timer to get rid of any camera shake through my touching it.

And that’s about it. I made a template in RawTherapee for the conversion to positives and for a bit of level adjustments, and now I can make a batch of these conversions quite fast. So tomorrow I’ll ask her which ones she’ll need for further distribution, or for making more (most probably postcard-sized) prints to give them to some friends or so.

Oh, and she did a really good job. Her photos are stunningly beautiful, and once more I’m very proud of our “small one” (who is taller than her mum since a while) 🙂 And I’ll also take some more film photos next time. It’s really quite different, and I like the results a lot, this time even in colour.

As always, thanks for reading.