May 7, 2020

Restoration and Reclamation

My first Thanksgiving

Squirreled away in my elderly mother’s house are dozens, if not hundreds, of 3×5 prints, negatives and slides of family memories dating back almost 70 years. I’ve always known they were there. Growing up, I never thought much of these old photos, but as I got older, I got reintroduced to them.

When I turned 50 my mother sent me a 49 year old snapshot of three same-age cousins and me in a playpen at a family gathering. When my mom turned 80, five years ago, I borrowed a snapshot of her at age 30 to anchor a poster for her birthday party.

Fast forward to today, my siblings and I are doing some renovation work on my mom’s house. As part of the process we rediscovered this old photos, negatives and slides. I thought it was time to do something with them.

I decided to restore the photos and reclaim the memories. OK, maybe “rediscover the memories” is more accurate, but it doesn’t flow as well. I’m sticking with “reclaim”.

This “Restoration and Reclamation” project will involve going through dozens, if not hundreds, or negatives over the next few months, photographing them in high resolution and restoring many (many, many) of them digitally.

Along the way, I’ll publish the best finds here. Along the way, I’ll also provide details of my process. (Spoiler alert: It does not involve a scanner!)

To kick it off, here is Thanksgiving, 1958. The negative is below.

Negative: Thanksgiving 1958

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