Found negatives

Discussion in 'photography, graphics & art' started by Squidgyman, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. Squidgyman

    Squidgyman New Member

    I've just moved into a new property and found an old dark room built into the loft that predates the previous occupiers of the house, who lived there about 40years.

    Apart from an old dark room light, I have found some old negatives stuffed at the back of a drawer in there. Looking at them it seems to show building work taking place in the house and garden and the people who may have been here. The packaging dates the photographs to over 46yrs old.

    I'm curious about the full content. Is there any legal reason I can't get these photographs developed for my own interest?
  2. Vintage Paw

    Vintage Paw dead stare and computer glare

    I would have thought they are fully your property now since you've bought the house and its contents. Copyright would only become a murky issue if you intended to claim you took them and use them for commercial gain. It's like finding a Rembrandt in your loft: it's yours now, but you wouldn't claim you painted it.
    Squidgyman likes this.
  3. ffsear

    ffsear Well-Known Member

    You found it? didn't come up in the survey?
  4. Gromit

    Gromit International Man of Misery

    This is going to end with Cuthulu devouring his soul.

    /end of Lovecraftian intro.
    Lazy Llama likes this.
  5. Squidgyman

    Squidgyman New Member

    Ridiculous isn't it. They looked up into the loft through the hatch to check for damp and other leaky problems, but you had to actually go up into the loft and around the chimney column then there's the small room. Hooked up.with a heater, extractor fan and lights. Wired up very DIY style and well dodgy. We're pulling it out as signs there is mould around the wooden panels and don't want a health issue. Had the electrics made safe today.
  6. Squidgyman

    Squidgyman New Member

    There is a sink and work bench in there fully covered in plastic sheeting. It's very American Psycho
    weltweit and Chemical needs like this.
  7. Squidgyman

    Squidgyman New Member

    Thank you, this is what I hoped.
  8. Chemical needs

    Chemical needs stirring

    Can we have a look when you get them developed? :)
    Vintage Paw likes this.
  9. pengaleng

    pengaleng Lil' J Pengele PhD. The Angel of Sesh

    I bet it's porn. thats the only old skool reason you'd need a darkroom in yer house.
    ffsear likes this.
  10. Vintage Paw

    Vintage Paw dead stare and computer glare

    I'm not a legal person, so don't base any future endeavours solely on my postulating!
  11. Silas Loom

    Silas Loom The people have spoken, the bastards.

    I would. I'd probably send it into Take Hart's gallery.
  12. Gromit

    Gromit International Man of Misery

    Calling the old gods gets messy. Fact.
  13. Squidgyman

    Squidgyman New Member

    Yeah I'll post them, looks like some building work or renovations and someone camping in a tent in the garden!
    quimcunx likes this.
  14. Squidgyman

    Squidgyman New Member

  15. astral

    astral author unknown

    That's so cool. Did you take any pictures of the set up before you took it to pieces?
  16. Stanley Edwards

    Stanley Edwards 1967 Maserati Mistral.

    They are yours regardless. Even if you want to profit from them, they are your negatives, your property. They aren't going to be worth anything in monetary terms, but they could be very interesting. Get them scanned before they start to corrode. It won't cost you much. If you value them as an archive, store them properly.
  17. 8115

    8115 sitting down is bad for you

    There's no law against getting other people's negatives developed, no. It's not even immoral.
    Squidgyman likes this.
  18. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Copyright of the work is retained by the photographer unless e.g. they've died and whatever the time period of validity is has expired.

    But in terms of the physical objects, abandoned on the property, you are into the realms of bailors/bailees and can do what you like with them, up until copyright becomes important.

    In reality it's been 40+ years and unless you've stumbled across some of Ansel Adams' work, it's very unlikely anyone is going to care.
    Squidgyman likes this.
  19. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat lumpen proletaricat

    can't see why not

    dunno - fairly sure you can sell slides / negatives with the copyright. the position with negatives that someone left behind 40+ years ago might be less clear.

    Personally, I'd be inclined to get them developed and see what's there.

    Not quite clear from the opening post whether the people you've bought the place from, or the people who left the negatives, are the ones who lived there for 40+ years.

    Do you have any info on the people who (probably) left the negatives there? In your position I'd think about trying to trace them - or their descendants if they are no longer with us. If it's family pictures, they are probably going to be of some interest to the family.

    Local papers will often run a story about this sort of thing which may help trace people.

    Although if this is right -

    you may not want to bother...

    Alternatively, if it's things like local street scenes, then the local library service will have some sort of local archive collection, and they would probably be interested.
  20. Squidgyman

    Squidgyman New Member

    Yes :) 20170928_081518.jpg 20170928_081427.jpg
    quimcunx likes this.
  21. Squidgyman

    Squidgyman New Member

    The lady I bought from lived here about 40 years. Apparently she never went up there so to be assumed these are the people before. No idea who they are, but by the weird and wonderful handmade things we are finding around the house they were a talented joiner. The negatives seem to show house renovation and someone camping with a tent in the garden
  22. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    cost/benefit ratio says that if you pay to get them developed you may well be disappointed ;)

    if they're negs you can at least select frames for printing with a lightbox/loupe, but finding someone to print them is pretty much guaranteed to be more pricey than you expect...

    eta: what format are the negs? 35mm is the one you should still be able to print but there may be issues with printing single frames vs whole reels. i have sooooo many films i've never had printed, and i had a reason to take the pics in the first place ...
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
  23. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat lumpen proletaricat

    just a thought - depending on how many there are, it may be cheaper to scan them. some scanners have a negative / slide scanning facility (depending on where you are, some urbanite might be able to lend you one)


    do you have a name or anything to go on for the previous people? alternatively, if you have a forwarding address for the people you bought from, may be worth telling them what you've found and see if they have any ideas.
  24. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    scanning is cheap if you get a full roll done before it's cut. otherwise a technician has to load individual strips which immediately costs more. if you really want them all (assuming there's more than 10 or so films) rather than a couple of selected frames then the cheapest option would prolly be to buy a scanner with a film carrier (of the appropriate format) and diy. helps to have photoshop skillz. printing is a dying art :(
  25. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Legally, the copyright remains with the photographer, regardless of how they were found/discarded.
  26. DaveCinzano


    Thank you, this is what I hoped.

    :eek: :thumbs: ;)
  27. Squidgyman

    Squidgyman New Member

    There's less than 20 photos total so cost to develop not gonna be crazy
  28. astral

    astral author unknown

    Wookey likes this.
  29. quimcunx

    quimcunx Too tall.

    Remember to take photos of the before and after and with you posing in them to leave with the original photos for someone else to find in 46 years.
  30. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    i was imagining boxes of the things :D i have boxes of the things :oops:

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