Happy to say the job of scanning Brian Smith’s negatives for the Boom Boom Blues photo book is at last complete. Brian has had most of his images scanned in the past but generally by high-street operators who didn’t really appreciate what they were doing. During work on the book, Brian collected together ALL his surviving negatives. We decided rather than just scan those earmarked for the book, we would do the LOT, and then they would be saved for posterity. The job was done in-house using a high-end Nikon negative scanner. Amazingly Nikon stopped making this expensive bit of kit a few years ago (apparently all the professionals who needed one had bought it, and sales stalled after that. We were lucky to get ours off a studio who had finished doing their own archives), and had stopped supporting the software for it even before that. For this reason the machine has to be hooked up to a vintage Macintosh which can still run this old software and is now being kept largely just for this task. Normally you pop in a strip of negatives, and leave it to work away. But Brian’s negatives were all done individually because of the poor light levels he had to work with back in the early Sixties which left some real underexposure problems on some. In a couple of cases really difficult negatives have been scanned twice at differing settings so we can combine elements. All this has taken a lot longer than anticipated and delayed the launch, but we can now crack on and finish the layout. And return the precious originals to Brian of course!
You can read more about the book, and sign up for newsletters, on the site. The really atmospheric photo above was taken by Brian of Willie Dixon during a show at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester. The bit of kit on the left is the hulking great ABC TV camera. Copyright Brian Smith / Easy On The Eye Books