A few weeks ago I found an old negative, 2¼ x 3¼ inches, among some old papers. I could tell there were three people and a tractor in the photo. In the past I have sent negatives away to have them digitized but I wondered if I could do this one myself. I decided to give it a try.
I scanned the negative with my Flip Pal portable scanner and then transferred that digital image to my laptop.
I opened the image of the negative with my photo program and in the editing section I selected Negative—Invert Image (all channels).
It worked! I got a fairly good digital image from the negative I scanned. It is a little scratched up but the negative was dull and scratched to begin with.
This experiment worked with this size negative but a smaller negative may not work. I use a free photo program called IrfanView, which I downloaded from the Internet. It suits my needs and is user-friendly.
The photo was taken in the barnyard just east of the old Miller farmhouse. My grandpa Carl Miller is sitting on the John Deere tractor. Two of his sons, my uncle Vernie and my uncle Kenny are standing nearby with Spot the family dog. My dad was probably in the Army at the time the photo was taken, likely around 1944-45.
My uncle Kenny mentioned that they had a tractor with metal wheels, similar to a McCormick Deering 10-20, before they had this John Deere tractor. Before that they used horses to pull wagons and other farm machinery.
I tried the same procedure with a 35mm slide but the results were not good. It ended up looking like a very poor quality photo.