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                   Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - 10:15PM CDT

New scans of old slides and negatives

By DAN ROBINSON
Editor/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Observing
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As I mentioned previously, I ordered some high-res scans of some of my old lightning negatives and slides for digital archiving purposes. I got those back today - here are the results:

Greentree (Pittsburgh) PA double close lightning strikes - July 24, 1995 (Kodak 100ASA negative):

Double close lightning strikes
Click to enlarge

Hurricane, WV lightning and storm clouds at twilight, August 9, 2001 (Fuji Sensia 100 slide):

Hurricane, WV twilight lightning
Click to enlarge

Close lightning with 'ribbon effect' (wind-blown return strokes) over Dunbar HS football field, Dunbar, WV, June 8, 1994 (Kodak 100ASA negative):

Dunbar, WV ribbon lightning
Click to enlarge

Cropped closeup:

Dunbar, WV ribbon lightning
Click to enlarge

Lightning illuminating a hillside in the Windsor Highlands subdivision along Route 136 east of Washington, PA, July 21, 1993 (Kodak 400ASA negative). This was my first true 'chase':

Washington, PA lightning
Click to enlarge

This batch was the last of the remaining 'valuable' older shots (at least they are among my favorites) that had not yet been digitally archived - that is, scanned at a high enough resolution that I would never need the actual slide or negative again to get large prints done (or license out to a commercial buyer, in that absolute rarest case). I still have dozens of unscanned negatives/slides (at least not at high-res levels) that I'm on the fence regarding having them done also. They will likely never sell or otherwise recoup the scanning cost, so it's a matter of how bad I want to preserve a digital 'backup' copy should the film ever be lost or degraded.

As I mentioned before, film's drawback is the grain, which becomes rather prominent at higher resolution/DPI scans. My 12MP DSLR vastly outperforms the old film stock when it comes to grain, when comparing two equally-sized images. As a result, there's not much practical reason to go through the trouble of digitizing the rest of the film-based shots - simply because in the past 3 years of shooting digital, I've accumulated enough images similar to the unscanned film ones that, sad to say, are much better in quality all-around. So, if I do go ahead with scanning the old film frames, it will be for primarily 'sentimental' reasons.

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The following comments were posted before this site switched to a new comment system on August 27, 2016:

Great shots, even better for the age. It's like once you take a valid interest in photography, you kick yourself for missing countless opportunities prior to doing so. If they would just hurry up and develop technology that can print from our brains :)
- Posted by Paul from sillinois
Thanks! I will probably end up scanning the rest of my old negatives, just because there is just something about those older shots. They aren't much from a 'wow' factor standpoint, but they have great memories attached!
- Posted by Dan R. from New Baden, IL

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