As part of researching “The Overland Trains Project,” I have been able to take use some of my technical background to good use. These slides show one of the Overland Trains trailers. On Thursday, I received an envelope of old film negatives. These needed to be digitized and analyzed for content. How in the heck do I do that?

Film negatives pouch

When I was a kid, I used to buy 35mm film, take random pictures, and take them to PayLess for developing. I would get back pictures and these negatives. I did not realized until now, how important these negatives are as a part of history.

I called up a couple of pharmacy stores that had photo print capabilities. Anytime a customer wants negatives digitized, they are sent to Fuji, with a turnaround time of 2-4 weeks. Realistically, this would end up being 6-8 weeks. I searched Neeva and found out that digitizing negatives is quite simple. In short, use a high quality, uniform light source, take a completely still digital camera image, then edit the colors in a photo editor.

Rybozen 5″x4″ light table

I used a high quality digital camera to capture an image of the negative. The raw image looks like this.

Raw negative image under a light table

Next, I used Gimp photo editor to Invert the colors, which makes the image have a blue hue.

Negative image after Invert colors was applied.

Lastly, Auto Equalize the image, and you are left with a digitized negative to image.

Final processed image from film negatives

Once the image is processed, crop and apply additional filters to meet your needs.

By now, you must be wondering what is the machine in this image. One of the more recognizable feature is the Firestone 120x48x68 tires. The tires above are 10 feet tall, with the machine standing well above the tire height. The amazing thing is that the machine is not even finished. Additional slides in this series show closeups of the rims and trailer. The trailer platform for this machine is from the Overland Mark II from Yuma Proving Ground, AZ. There is an additional top deck that is placed on top – not shown. I will discuss this machine, provide additional images, and talk about the story of this machine in my book.

The photo negative above was captured by Lloyd Molby. Thanks to a few amazing people, we are able to learn and relive Lloyd’s experiences. This is just the surface.