Until Azriel Knight developed the film in his darkroom, no one had ever seen these photographs, or hundreds of others like them, dating back decades and showing everything from mundane life to the historically fascinating. “It’s easier than throwing the film away — I come across them by happenstance, by buying old cameras,” said Knight. “In the photos, a lot of the time the people seem really happy, so I figure they would probably like to have them back.” Like a voyeuristic Indiana Jones, Knight is an archeological treasure hunter, sifting through forgotten rolls of film for clues as to who lost them, and when and where they were taken.
Knight’s website, Mysterious Developments (http://mysteriousdev.com), contains 61 documented cases of lost film so far, presented both as still pictures and as narrated video episodes, explaining what’s known so far.
The Getty Research Institute has just added more than 77,000 high-resolution images to the Open Content Program from two of its most often-used collections.
The largest part of the new open content release—more than 72,000 photographs—comes from the collection Foto Arte Minore: Max Hutzel photographs of art and architecture in Italy. Foto Arte Minore represents the life’s work of photographer and scholar Max Hutzel (1911–1988), who photographed the art and architecture of Italy for 30 years. In recent years, the interdisciplinary use of these photographs has exposed their historiographic significance and their unrealized research potential.
With a bit of elbow grease and a DSLR, a few large-format-film-buff hackers have built a rig to scan in photos at a much higher resolution than your average desktop scanner.
The DIY DSLR lightbox has been around for a few years, but only for traditional 35mm film, the dominant format for film and still photography. This new model is specifically for large-format film, from the popular 4″x5″ format (which is 16 times the size of a 35mm frame–and thus has 16 times the resolution) up to 8″x10″, after which it reaches “ultra large” format resolution.