Photography: Rescued Memories


by Bellamy /

2 min read
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Photography: Rescued Memories
Recently I have been buying up lots of old film photography memorabilia, and one of the consequences of this is that you often find rolls of old film, sitting around maybe for decades. So far I have found about 50 or more rolls of film, almost all from the USA in the 1950’s. Some of it is half frame. A lot of it is in pretty poor shape. There are also a load of undeveloped rolls, but sadly they are Kodachrome, so they will never reveal their contents. But the ones that are revealing theirs, are fascinating.

Whilst I was going through this stuff I thought it might be a nice project to scan a few of these rolls, and I quickly discovered that I wanted to try and do them all. So, I had to cut them and try to flatten them out a bit, which looks like it is going to be impossible. There are so many different types of film I cannot really tell what is what, but they all seem to be from the same era so far. There are a lot of really weird images too. A lot of the images are out of focus or poorly exposed, but many of them came out. For some reason many of the family portraits have had the eyes blurred out. Particularly the ones with kids.

It is really interesting to have a peek back into a life that seems so familiar, yet is now so very different from our own. The way people awkwardly pose for the camera, suggesting that getting your picture taken was more of an event than it is now.
I can see that at least a couple of these rolls belonged to a glassblower of sorts, who seems to be making the neon signs that were popular in the 50’s.

I am going to keep on scanning these as often as I can find the time to do so, but it is extremely time consuming, as the negatives have not been stored well in many cases and some of them are fragile. The ones that aren’t are a bunch of curled, unruly beasts as well. So this is going to be something I update periodically.

Who knows, maybe someone will see a relative or someone they know from a long time ago. That would be pretty cool. As right now I have a bunch of very interesting images, but nothing about who and what is in them. Still, it looks like whoever was in them had a lot of fun.

I hope you enjoy the images and please come and comment. I hope I can get some more prepared for you soon.

8 comments on “Photography: Rescued Memories”

    John Lockwood June 8, 2015 at 1:53 am / Reply

    Find yourself a Pakon F135 Plus. No need to cut or flatten film. It sucks in one side and spits out the other, producing 6MP files.

    As long as you continue shooting 35mm film, you will enjoy this scanner.

    Paul Schofield June 8, 2015 at 3:15 am / Reply

    I think Ag-Photo Lab in the UK still process Kodachrome but the images come out in black and white.

    Honorio Braga June 8, 2015 at 9:49 am / Reply

    A beautiful job. I wish I could find pictures that I know exited. I think this should be an obligation to all professional photographers. I’m just an amateur. Thanks.

    Jacqueline Segura June 8, 2015 at 11:27 am / Reply

    Looking forward to seeing more. I collect vintage color snapshots. I never pass up homemade vhs tapes at thrift stores, used film and photo disks. Would love to see a group shot of the undeveloped film (if you took one). Very cool!

    greuh June 8, 2015 at 5:04 pm / Reply

    Please note that Kodachrome *CAN* be developed, albeit in B&W.
    See :

    Barry-John Theobald June 9, 2015 at 4:57 am / Reply

    This looks like a great project. Like you, I love seeing these photos of a bygone era. I look forward to seeing more.

    fixed position July 8, 2015 at 8:50 pm / Reply

    I loved reading your thoughts on found film, I agree with your sentiments. I too have found several rolls of old developed film (and a box of 4×5 negatives also) over the years and am amazed and intrigued by the images they reveal. I occasionally post a found image on my tumblr feed along with how I came across the image or what the frame makes me think of. Click on the page titled “found” if you’re interested. Thanks for the post.

    Ben Krohn July 19, 2015 at 10:34 am / Reply

    I don’t know if you are familiar with The Rescued Film Project, but he shares your curiosity with passion. Here is a link to a really amazing find.!the-wwii-soldier/ccxj

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