• Welcome to this forum . We are a worldwide group with a common interest in Birmingham and its history. While here, please follow a few simple rules. We ask that you respect other members, thank those who have helped you and please keep your contributions on-topic with the thread.

    We do hope you enjoy your visit. BHF Admin Team

Scans of miscellaneous negatives from Mr WH Foxhall

jacook_uk

Brummie babby
Not that I know to Pam :(
Almost 16 years, after I made the first post, I have mastered the technology to scan some of the old negatives in. However, they are of all over the country, and not well labeled - so I am struggling to work out which are of Birmingham. The original photographer was Mr WH Foxhall of Somerset Road Handsworth Wood, and they have been digitalised by me 100 years later. First up will be the Kings Visit to Birmingham which has a date etched onto one of the negatives of 20-08-1919.
 

jacook_uk

Brummie babby
Kings Visit to Birmingham - 20 August 1919. Photographs by WH Foxhall, Somerset Rd, Handsworth Wood. Ditialised by JA Cook, in 2019
 

Attachments

jacook_uk

Brummie babby
Mr WH Foxhall was a fellow of the Royal Geographical society so traveled widely. However, three of the photographs here are of the old Somerset Road Methodist Church which was across the road from his home. The others here are ones we suspect are nearby but can't quite place! My mother in law recollects that the Foxhall family ran a dairy, and some of the photos awaiting scanning have horses and dairy carts.
 

Attachments

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
I have had some good success with scanning slides and negatives from the 1960s but not as old as the ones above. What scanner did you use?

Regards Pedro.
 

jacook_uk

Brummie babby
It's complicated. I used a normal flatbed scanner with the lid open. I shone a narrow beam of light from about 4 foot above the scanner onto the negative whilst scanning the negative. I then used software to turn the negative into a positive and to reverse any that I'd scanned in as a mirror image by putting the negative onto the scanner upside down. For some negatives the height of the beam of light needs to be adjusted.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
I have a Canon flat bed which has facilities to scan negatives with a light behind. Unfortunately I am in Reading and not near you. I congratulate you on your efforts to obtain your scans
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
I have a scanner that is specially for negatives and slides, but it is limited by the size of the negatives. I have some negatives from the 50s that are smaller than the average negative and had a quick try to scan. They turned out quite well, but I would think that your negatives would be quite large?
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
Firstly, congratulation on managing to scan some of these negatives, there are some very interesting images there. I hope you will post some more. I am in no doubt that the members here will quickly identify the unknown locations.

Scanning negatives is not the easiest thing to do, even with a dedicated scanner. At least you have the negatives so I would focus on firstly taking good care of them. Then as your skills or access to equipment improved, you can always do them again.
 

jacook_uk

Brummie babby
Of course these were amateur photographs taken in 1919 on 5x4 sheets of camera film. The photographer only had one chance to get the image right. Any slight movement or mis-judgement of the light conditions would result in the image being too dark or too light - or blurred. Access to film and chemicals might have been affected by the war, and the quality is also affected by the grain on the film and the passage of time. My experimenting has identified certain things I can do in time to enhance the quality, but they can't make up for the limitations of amateur photography technology in 1919 .
20 years ago, I had four of the negatives printed by the Dubarry studios in Birmingham, but they struggled to get the quality any better too.
 
Last edited:

oldMohawk

master brummie
This might be of interest ....
In the 1970s I took hundreds of 35mm slide photos and also had negative 35mm films. Some years ago when I had a decent digital camera with a macro mode down to 2" I fixed it on a jig to which I also fixed a light behind the translucent screen from a slide viewer. With a slide in place I carefully photographed it. A resulting image can be seen on the forum here
https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/index.php?threads/old-car-snaps.22355/post-217118
With the 35mm negatives I simply inverted the image with a photo editor. With larger size negatives the problem might be getting an even light behind a translucent screen.
I've just noticed I had mentioned this before in a post here ... :rolleyes:
 
Top