Adelaide, archives, urban


August 27, 2022

Over the last month I have been upgrading my hardware for my film photography at great expense. The old (cheesegrater) Mac Pro (circa 2009) died and its system, which included an Epson V700, has been replaced with a Mac Studio, Eizo monitor, Epson V850 Pro flatbed scanner and VueScan software in addition to the Silverfast SE 8.8 software that came packaged with the Epson scanner.

Whilst engaged in upgrading I stumbled across some lost 5×7 negatives of Adelaide’s CBD that had been tucked in the sleeve of an office style leather folder. The negatives had been made whilst I was still living in the CBD and using the old Cambo 5×7 S3 monorail. I have no memory of why they were in such an odd place.

I experienced great difficulty in scanning 5x7colour negatives with the old Mac Pro system that I made whilst walking the CBD with a 5×7 monorail. If I didn’t use Newton glass when scanning the digital files had huge Newton rings that were extremely difficult to remove in Lightroom. If I did use Newton glass the files had a strong greenish caste that prevented me from restoring or recovering the colour realism. I more or less gave up, or in desperation I tried to save things by converting the colour to black and white. The box of 50 Kodak Portra 160 ASA sheet film lasted me several years as I more or less stopped walking the CBD with a 5×7 monorail.

Wakefield House, Adelaide CBD, South Australia

Today, after I’d finished finishing scanning some 5×4 colour negatives (using the SilverFast SE software) for an online exhibition hosted by View Camera Australia I decided to scan a couple of the lost/found 5×7 colour negatives of modernist architecture in Adelaide using VueScan. To my surprise and delight I obtained a workable scan of Wakefield House– something that I’d not been able to achieve previously. Sure some of the new scans are desaturated whilst others have colour tinges, but that awful green caste that I could not previously remove did not appear. That’s a rare win. Maybe I can pick up walking the CBD with a 5×7 monorail?

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  • Reply Stuart August 28, 2022 at 4:29 pm

    I’m too lazy to scan my 5×4 work, indeed my Hasselblad work too. Even so I haven’t pulled out my 5×4 for a while time being a factor lockdowns another. I’m soon to have plenty of free time, so we shall see what eventuates.

    • Reply Gary Sauer-Thompson August 29, 2022 at 6:38 pm

      Hi Stuart, I find that it is always an effort and a hassle to take the large format gear out into the field. It is much easier to leave it at home–especially a monorail. It is going to require a lot of effort and planning to start to use the 5×7 in Adelaide’s CBD again, especially now that I live on the southern coast, which is over an hours drive by car.

  • Reply Doug Spowart August 29, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    Ahh… nothing like upgrading technology and finding lost stuff…
    Do you still shoot 5×7 …
    I’ve got some neg sleeves to pass on…

    • Reply Gary Sauer-Thompson August 29, 2022 at 6:33 pm

      Doug, Yes, I still use 5×7. I have just bought a box of Porta 160 ASA. I’m in desperate need of 5×7 negative sleeves. I would gladly welcome what you have. Are you able to post them. (I’ll pay for the postage). Do you have my postal address?

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