The term ‘slide’ commonly refers to a 35 mm photographic positive image held inside a plastic, card or mount. Without this mount, the transparent film material would not be able to ‘slide’ from one image to another inside a carousel or magazine when projected. In contrast to negative-based film, reversal film is photo-chemically processed as a positive image. A slide is a high-resolution positive photograph that is exemplary in its accurate colour reproduction and versatility. A 35 mm slide can be magnified by a factor of 100 (from 35 mm to 3,500 mm) and still maintain a crisp and detailed projected image.
Kodak’s commercial slogan during the 1950s was: ‘For sparkling pictures big as life … Kodak 35mm colour slides’. During the 35 years of their popularity, from 1960s to the mid-1990s, 35 mm slides were a cheap and easy way to create high-quality projected images in a technological environment that offered few, if any, viable alternatives.
Even if money were no object, no other medium could compete with the ability of slides to produce large-scale projected images of comparable excellence. In its heyday processing costs for slides were relatively low and they were widely used in contexts ranging from domestic to commercial applications such as advertising, fashion and industry as well as academia and the arts.
Home slide shows were a relatively common phenomenon in many homes during the 1950s and 1960s. If there was an enthusiast in the family, any visit from relatives or the arrival of a new batch of slides from the film processing service provided an excuse to bring out the entire collection of 35 mm slides, set up the slide projector and the screen, turn out the lights, then test the endurance of the assembled audience with a marathon of old holiday photos and pictures taken at weddings, birthdays and other family events, all accompanied by live commentary.
We love what we do and relish any opportunity to share our passion for salvaged images from 35mm slides. A few months ago we were approached by a local Primary School and asked if we would come and talk to a group of 9 and 10 year olds about photography as an art form.
A little reluctantly we agreed, but are so pleased we did. The children were fascinated
by the slides and out of 32 children, only 3 said they had ever seen a slide before, one depressingly informing me his Grandad had them in the olden days…….in 1992!
Discussing photography with them was such an eye-opener, clearly we know the massive advancements in the area even in their lifetime, but all their references of taking pictures related to camera phones, iPads, watches and even drones – not one owned a camera. For me one child hit the nail on the head in saying that the slide in his hand was a moment in history. With so many of today’s images rarely making a frame, never mind an album, it does say a lot about how we view photos nowadays.
Photos were once considered precious and recorded for history as opposed to today when we take picture after picture and delete anything that we don’t believe to be perfect.
Looking at our vast collection, the majority would probably never have made the light of day if taken today.
Poor lighting or a strange, less than flattering expression, and yet these are some of our favourites that make it in to our collection and that our customers tell us they love.
The children spent time looking at prints and guessing when, where and why the images might have been taken. We introduced literary and numeracy in to the exercise and the two hour session encouraged group work and discussion. It was a pleasure to do and amazing to see our familiar prints through fresh eyes. As a follow on exercise the children visited a local Stately Home and took photographs considering things we discussed – portraits, landscapes, abstract images etc.
We were then sent the images, had the task of choosing a winner and then had the absolute pleasure of turning the winning image in to a print for the school, and also printed some cards to help fundraising for an art installation.
So many memories in a lifetime, and yet one set that seems to evoke nostalgia and emotion in our customers is Christmas. Many of the collections of slides that we salvage contain Christmas gatherings, telling many a tale…..the good, the bad and the ugly!
The festive period is traditionally a time when the camera comes out and memories are captured and relived in family slide shows. It was certainly the case in our house. The annual hum of the projector, the dusty beam and a review of the past year in 100 images. Today sadly a lost tradition, and yet one that really does make you treasure photographs, as opposed to todays memories captured and lost by technology.
We have the pleasure of looking through hundreds of old slides every week. Our first Christmas Cards collection is a varied selection of kitsch, passions, misery and fun. From spaniel obsessed dog owners to sour faced aunts, from Christmas slippers through to snow that went up to your waist. We hope you love the images as much as we do. The feedback from our customers and stockists has been amazing and we hope to add to this initial range year on year. The full Christmas Card range is available singularly or as part of a multi pack. For local stockists, trade and wholesale just drop us a line.