Believe it or not, this is one of the tamer images that's just passed through my scanner. This is, I believe, the QMW Students Union Rag Orgy in 1994. So, it was all in a good cause, if not in good taste…
I've been scanning again. One of my redundancy resolutions has been to use my sudden increase in available free time to catch up on some projects, including the digitisation of my own negatives and old family photos.
The image to the right comes from a set of negatives I shot as a university student – probably in the spring of 1993, although exact dating is hard. I'm not quite sure who took the photo of me above – but I do know they took it with my camera.
The thing that has really struck me about this film in particular is how darn grainy it is. Honestly, I'm not sure if that's an inherent characteristic of the film – Ilford HP5 Plus – or some poor darkroom discipline on my part, effectively "push processing" shots that didn't need it.
Or, am I now so used to using digital photography (which I've been doing since late 2001) that I've forgotten how much grain was an inherent quality of silver halide photos? I suspect the coming weeks of scanning will answer that question one way or another.
The other thought that occured to me was that, as these photos from the student magazine office remind me, I'm not involved in the production of a journalistic periodical in any way for the first time since probably 1987. School magazines, student newspapers, my professional journalistic career… It's been over two decades of continuous involvement brought to an abrupt end by redundancy.
And you know what? I'm amazed by how little it's affected me. Perhaps sometime in the last year I passed the point where I'm truly more a blogger – an online content afficicnado – than a journalist.
Where does that take me next?
A random photo from my scanning of old family negatives. This is Dollar, my childhood neighbourhood, in the midst of winter snow. This was taken sometime in the late 1980s – probably 87 or 88, I'd guess, and was the work of my Mum.
As autumn starts to get a grip on 2011, this picture makes me nostalgic for my childhood in Scotland…
I'm back in scanning mode, this time working through some negatives from 2000. These are from the very first weekend away I took with Lorna, and I was on the verge of discarding them as a bit rubbish, when I thought that they might look quite good in black & white. And they do, don't they?
This catches the mood of the weekend a bit better, though: