Luckily I’d heard that this was possible from another Eric at the Photocenter in San Francisco and kept a lot of my old negative backings from my shots. I’m going to have to try this. I had been mostly scanning the prints to have digital files, but now I’m curious to see if there is more detail in the negatives – sounds like there could be.
The bleach needs to have chlorine in it to remove the backing so you can’t buy any of the chlorine free bleaches. Clorox should work fine.
Looking at these two videos, the first from it’s clear that many techniques can be utilized but the main thing is the bleach will remove the image portion so you want to just treat the backing.
Here’s a summary of the three techniques shown:
- Put two images together with water in between press them together and line up the edges. The surface tension holds the two image faces together – double the fun – if bleach leaks in then you’ll ruin both! Bet this works better with really fresh images that have no folds creases or bends.
- Place the negative image face down on glass and tape around the edges. Then apply bleach on top. More time consuming but no worries. Uses less bleach – maybe less odor?
- Lay negative emulsion side down onto a puddle of water on clean glass and use a roller to flatten the negative down and hold via surface tension. This is a lot like the first one, but just one negative at a time and maybe less risky but you’d need the roller.
I’m going to go with the tape method first!