So - while we now can pull through "thousands" of negatives, scanning them with high quality, with help of a digital camera, macro lens and the VALOI Easy35 setup... you still have to spend many, many hours with post processing those files. And that is a lot more work than i sometimes thought of.

I mean, scanning negatives used to take a lot of time, due to that the scanners were so slow.

Now, this has been largely eliminated, and you can pull though negatives blazingly fast, when you set up stands. Also given the fact, that the VALOI Easy35 can be used even in lighter rooms / daylight - makes it all extremely comfortable in terms of when and how to scan.

It just works.


April 1990 • One of my colleagues at Saltjöbanan Railway [Leica M6, Fujichrome film]


More work with many more scanned negatives

The more film negatives you scan - well the more work will pile up. Not to mention if you do the finer post-process work, including like dust removal ... it does take time. Way more compared to the act of scanning that negative (which takes what... Two seconds ?) Dealing with an image carefully with everything included, takes perhaps 20-30 minutes, dependent on the content and how much dust is left.

Yeah, I am not impressed with the VALOI Dust "anti-static" dust unit. I think it is more of a gimmick, and doesn't really remove dust. Not that it cost much, but i doubt that brush mounted in front of the Easy35 holder does any difference. I really cant see that. I only see that negatives I have never touched, are usually cleaner - while those i either scanned earlier, or worked with in the darkroom, usually have more dust.


Feb 1990 • Gloryhole på "Manhattan" (Stockholm)



Dealing with dust... *hm*

Perhaps I have to engage in a sort of anti-static gun, alternatively manually blow away dust (which is a bit difficult to see in the set-up i have right now. It was easier with the enlarger mounted tripod, due to the light from the LED was spreading. The VALOI Easy35 light source, however is almost sealed from its surrounding environment, as no light is leaking out (nor in).

In terms of dust, i have stopped taking away every single little blip. I only take away large hairs and dust streaks - while the finer ones i just leave "as it is", in the RAW files. Until I need a photo - THEN i clean up everything in finest detail. Otherwise I would never get finished up with my ten thousands of film based images. Possibly 100.000 - I don't know. That I will not know until ALL negatives and slides I have are scanned.

I wonder when that will be... *LOL*


Feb 1990 • Amazing Mia Segerrest in peace (SLJ • Saltsjöbana Railway)


From 9.000 to 28.200 'analog' files

Speaking of amount of film negative based images, my archive rose from around 9000 files in Jan 2020 to 28.200 now until 8 Feb 2024. Albeit, i have to add, that I nowadays create both a DNG file + JPG file from each negative. Therefore, the real amount of motives are less. Let's say i have scanned 20.000 negatives this far.

The majority of it, in the past years, especially during 2022 when I was at it for 10 months ! And then i took a break for a year. Now I am at it again, in a never seen pace before. It is quite remarkable - and i really love the VALOI Easy35 setup.

Yet - It is still a long way to go.

For the time being, I am now only focusing on 35mm negative. The ones I basically ignored for most of the time in the past 30 years, I work with exclusively. All medium format negatives, I leave aside for the time being.

1987 • "Broken lights"

When too much - is too much

I also admit that I get pretty tired of my own photography. Now that i am scanning every single fart of negatives, including the "bad" ones ... it is tedious, uninspiring and just not as fun all the time. There are fun moments - absolutely. And exciting moments, yes. But also a lot and i mean A LOT of garbage.


Analog photography at the subway... meh !

Another phenomena i noticed is that when i used an analog 35mm camera at my (subway) work - oh my gaad, it is the most boring type of motives you can think of. Sometimes I think i only took images, because of sheer boredom and mental survival. IF you are not into driving trains - which i wasn't earlier - then it feels like a monotonous prison. So, the brain kind of... doesn't grow any more (or better said; the hypothalamus index-cells kind of stop producing new cells, when you only do routine things litterally "on automatic").

Luckily the digital images are way more interesting in direct comparison with my analog film images i took at the subway. Digital photography really lifted the quality, as well what you can do.

Scanning analog negatives from boring subway motives - is extremely boring, to say the least. Better are the black & white images - but best of all - are the portraits of colleagues. That is something which is holding up - because people are interesting. They come in all shapes and forms and expressions. It is something that last many decades.

(Lost and found after 3 decades) - - - May 1988 • New York on a chilly, foggy day


Limitation in the profession as a subway driver

But everything else... is very limited, when you are a driver at the subway. Fund for a couple of years - but then, there isn't truly much more. Today it is forbidden to take images at the subway, when you drive. So, you can only take images at certain places and moments.

All limited, and far from inspiring (unless there is an exception, like unusual light or shadows, patterns, or dramatic clouds in the sky). Otherwise... Well I am not taking images of passengers. I've almost never done that, because as a subway driver, I don't feel comfortable to aim a camera at a person (unless the person is OK with it).


Perhaps my attitude is boring ?

leading to boring images ? Of course that has an impact, I am sure ! Yet you also have to consider, that I have been working at the same place for 26 years along the Green Line Metro in Stockholm. Believe me - I have pictured it all. Everything you can think of, and lots of unusual arty stuff. And tons of boring stuff... too.

In the end, i love the light paintings i did during a period around 2008-2010, and the "portal series", and most interesting of all - the many portraits of colleagues taken though the years. (mostly digital). They are beautiful, open, honest and interesting to look at. Working with such images, is always more inspiring, compared to stupid snapshots of... subway environments... rails... It's often all gray, UGLY and boring.

With fun images of my colleagues

I mean images like these from 25 September 2014, to show you some examples.
I just love their expressions *LOL*

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