Magazine article Sunset

A Wall of Family Photographs

Magazine article Sunset

A Wall of Family Photographs

Article excerpt

Old family photographs aren't just an important link to bygone generations; they remind us of our own beginnings and of milestones in our children's lives. Recent pictures of a baby or grandparent, for example-can be equally evocative. Old or new, however, these pictures can give little satisfaction if they're stashed away.

Whether you're the designated family historian or simply have an interesting collection of snapshots, think about displaying photos for all to enjoy. The trick is finding inexpensive framing and a wall where photographs won't be exposed to the damaging effects of sunlight.

If you don't have a protected wall or are concerned about preserving a valuable photograph, you can have a photo store create a negative of the print, then make a new print for display. Because most of the cost goes toward producing a negative (a one-time expense), consider ordering extra prints as holiday gifts.

Reproducing those nostalgic prints

Reproducing an old black-and-white picture can yield startlingly good results, especially if the original isn't too faded and exhibits a broad range of gray tones between white and black.

The first step is creating a negative. Since the quality of the new prints depends in part on the size of the negative (the larger the better), consider making an investment in a 4-by-5 negative $7.50 to $14.50). Plan on spending $4 to $5 for a 35mm negative. Cost of prints runs $6 to $8 for a 5-by-7, $8 to 11 for an 8-by-10. (TO save you money, some labs will "gang shoot" three or four wallet-size originals on one 4-by-5 negative and then print each image individually.)

Printing from negatives

If you already have a negative for a black-and-white or color photograph, making prints is easy. …

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