I love finding slides at the car boot sale, as more often than not, I’ll find a whole collection - spanning years of travel, holidays and events, people seem more willing to let go of slides, than they are photographs.
Last Summer I set about documenting them, I bought a cheap slide scanner from eBay and began cataloguing. I didn’t get very far, as the ‘slide scanner’ was a glorified cheap digital camera with a light behind it, you couldn’t control exposure, contrast, sharpness, and the results I got were bleached out and unusable. (comparison shot in bottom right hand corner).
Being 1-part-resourceful and 1-part-skinflint, I decided to come up with a better way of capturing them, using equipment I already owned. I had previously just held them up to the light and taken a photograph with my DSLR, which wasn’t such a bad method, but with a collection of close to 1000 slides, I needed something slightly better.
I made a slide holder out of cardboard, so that I could easily slip the slide in-and-out, hold it in the light, and take the photograph. I then used a piece of plain paper to reflect the light (daylight) behind the slide, with my DSLR pointed at the slide on the other side on a tripod.
I used a close-up lens filter to be able to get in really close to the slide, and my remote control to trigger the shutter - to avoid wobbling the camera whilst taking the shot. I could adjust the camera settings to give the right exposure, and then get into a rhythm: put slide in, focus, shoot, remove slide - repeat 1000 times.
The results were pretty good, and with a bit of further cropping and colour correction in Photoshop, I am pleased with the results.