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Puzzle Time! 

Our first post from the Living Archive photo division.

By Shloime Morosow

Okay, organizing the negatives is literally like a puzzle – and boy, I like puzzles! So putting all sentimental value aside, this thing is fun.

Let’s not let ourselves get carried away with excitement, because negatives require proper handling and storing. In order to prevent skin oils from damaging negatives, handling must be done with clean cotton gloves, and even when so, touching the negatives has to be kept to a minimum because any immediate contact will scratch these delicate negatives to some degree.

How It Works?

So, I receive a box which looks as shown in the picture to the left, and I have to organize it into new binders and negative sleeves as shown in the picture below, and then document everything we have, all in preparation to be sent to a negative scanning laboratory to be digitized and then stored and accessed in the new beautiful digital “Living Archive.”



Why Puzzle?

Although generally speaking most of the stuff is quite organized; but some rolls will have at least one strip (of 4-5 pictures) extra or missing, so finding their proper location might be quite challenging like some tough puzzle

Precious photos

The difference between shots taken those days (film) and today (digital) is: today you have at least one 16 GB memory card which was is a one-time investment and you can take as many pictures as you’d like and delete whatever you don’t, plus you can look immediately on the screen to see if the picture came out the way you wanted it to, and if not you will take it again to get the perfect shot. In those days, on the other hand, every roll of film cost about 10 dollars and consisted of 24 to 36 pictures. Then to develop them you had to pay the same amount as the roll itself cost, but the bigger issues were:

  1. You couldn’t view what you took to know if you got the shot you wanted – only once you’ve finished the roll and developed it. Obviously, in most cases, that would be too late to retake the shot. In some cases it was only developed a few weeks after it was taken (can you imagine the anticipation and suspense the photographers had “in those days?!”)
  2. You couldn’t delete the bad shots (when you knew them) to save space and developing money.

So with all that: you can just imagine how much thought and meticulosity was taken in each shot.


That said: when I have a roll of 24 photos it is a roll of 24 solid, quality photos and to miss one strip (of 4-5 photos) is really upsetting, but when I find the missing strip in the extras of the other rolls and put the strips side by side to see if they match by numbers… it’s a great feeling to complete the roll.

Shloime Morosow handles archival materials at The Living Archive

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Reader Comments (6)

Gevaldik, Hatzlocho rabbah!

Put the pictures out already!!!
Ad Matai! Dekel?!

March 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAN

Shloimie -- thank you for all your doing! Please keep the pictures coming out. We're all looking forward to seeing them on the mymomentwiththerebbe site soon.

March 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChaim

Just curious where do you get the boxes of negatives from?
Keep up the good work!

March 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYankel

Great job Dekel,
But we want to see results.

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSM

What collection is this? where did you get it from? how did you get it?

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMendel

Great job, Shloime! Keep it up :)

April 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterD

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