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File: Found Film Project-1.jpg (1.1 MB, 2000x1333)
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Hey guys,

After some requests, I'm going to share the process of scanning a Soviet film archive I found on the front-line of the Donbas war a few years ago.

I have finally found some time to get my teeth into this, and a few companies have sent over gear and software to help me out.

You can find the full story behind the discovery and project here. In reality, it's a bit less dramatic than it's made out in the articles.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/dec/02/ukraines-lost-photos-restored-images-reveal-soviet-era-lives

https://www.rferl.org/a/found-photographs-from-ruined-building-on-ukraines-frontline/30246416.html


So far I have scanned around 30 rolls of film, and have about 200 still to go - maybe more. I'm not super experienced with digitizing film, so any advice and tips to improve the process are very appreciated!

Setup
Canon 5D IV + Canon 100mm F2.8 Macro
Kaiser Lightboard plus pixl-latr film holder
Negative Lab Pro and Lightroom
Running display to tv for focusing, and using some random trigger.

I will keep u guys updates thought the process over the next couple of weeks and share some of the pics I uncover.

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File: Found Film Project-41.jpg (1.41 MB, 1126x2000)
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Set-up

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Collecting film from the lab

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Example of decay on film

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Based, keep them coming bro
>>
File: Found Film Project-28.jpg (1.49 MB, 2000x1333)
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Pics from the lab

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File: Found Film Project-30.jpg (1.39 MB, 2000x1333)
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Some of the undeveloped film

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File: Found Film Project-21.jpg (1.47 MB, 2000x1333)
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Room next door

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Sorting some out the good and bad film with a friend on the frontline

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Alright bros going to start scanning some film. feel free to ask questions and I will update later

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super nice!

keep us posted.

If I'm considering to buy some bulk rolls of soviet film, where should I do it? any good stuff on ebay?
>>
very very cool anon. have you considered using a scanner instead of a DSLR? I feel it would speedup the process quite a bit. but maybe it's not practical in reality considering the condition of the films.
>>
File: 5ousi2.jpg (73 KB, 620x403)
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I've been on /p/ for over a decade and this is the most interesting and best thread /p/ has had posted in that time and if you ask me, probably the best thread on 4chan right now. The only other thread that has captivated my interest this much was the guy who found a bunch of negatives in Britain being thrown out by his downstairs neighbor from when he was a photographer.

I'm fairly experienced with Soviet cameras so if you have any questions about their hardware ask here too there's a few of us who know them very well. We want to see scans! This is cool stuff!
>>
>>3946190
yes, finally an interesting thread among the morass of gear autism and shit flinging

godspeed, OP
>>
do it op, very high expectations for this thread
>>
>>3946074
>ask questions
Has your Donbass project changed your perspective on what's most interesting in a photo?
>>
File: Found Film 2021 Sample-1.jpg (1.92 MB, 4000x2640)
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Hey guys,

Happy you're liking the thread. Has some delays getting the setup dialed in but finally managed to scan a few hundred pics. This is one of the most haunting so far, look at the children. I have a lot of rolls of funerals, including really grim child funerals. Does anyone know if it was normal to document these things back in the USSR? Or was it maybe an initiative taken up by the government-run photo lab/team?

>>3946087
>bulk rolls of soviet film
Not really sure. I used to work for Lomo so I know that new stocks seem to just pop in random corners of the globe from time to time. My advice would be to buy from Russia or Bulgaria to make sure it's genuine – but I'm really not an expert.

>>3946097
>scanner instead of a DSLR
I had originally tried with a scanner. But getting a similar resolution with a scanner would take forever. Not to mention the film is so dirty and warped it would probably mess up the scanner or not work at all. I am pretty happy with my current setup.

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File: Found Film 2021 Sample-2.jpg (1.57 MB, 4000x2667)
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>>3946190
>>3946205
>>3946211
Cheers guys, happy to share.

>>3946215
>changed your perspective
For sure, and it changed my views of life and society too. If anyone is interested I would recommend reading Sebastian Junger's 'Tribe' and 'War' books.

Photographically, I would say that I realized a good photo doesn't need to be perfectly composed or technically executed – at least in the field of storytelling. A powerful and intimate scene, expression, or moment will always supersede sharpness and exposure.

To anyone who wants to go out and tell stories, especially in conflict zones or hostile environments. Come up with a system that allows you to keep your camera, and other important gear close and ready to use at a moment's notice – like many journos I feel in love with the newswear bum bag. Don't be afraid to get your camera dirty, wet, or scratched up. And photograph EVERYTHING, as long as you make yourself look like an idiot or alienate yourself from those around you. But photograph as much as you can, even when you are cold, tired or when you think the thing you are looking at, the hotel you are staying in or people you are talking with isn't that interesting or worthwhile shooting. You will thank me once you get back from that place and start reflecting on your time there and putting together a story.

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File: Found Film 2021 Sample-3.jpg (1.74 MB, 2667x4000)
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>>3946706

I think two guys have something to do with the photo lab, one of them might even be the photographer behind the images. These two pics came from a roll of what looks like 'test shots' from around the building where the lab is located. Will upload some more from the roll.

While I have seen a few portraits like this before, this is the only one from with lab gear in the background. Hopefully, the rest of the rolls will reveal more info.

What do you guys think?

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File: Found Film 2021 Sample-4.jpg (1.68 MB, 4000x2667)
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>>3946706
>>3946710

Pretty sure this car is still driving around the frontline today.

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File: Found Film 2021 Sample-5.jpg (1.53 MB, 2667x4000)
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>>3946706
>>3946710
>>3946711

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File: Found Film 2021 Sample-6.jpg (1.56 MB, 4000x2667)
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>>3946704
>>3946706
>>3946710
>>3946711
>>3946712

Looks like these guys were flexing their watches and cars before it was cool.

Will update with new photos once I find a more interesting roll.

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>>
You're doing valuable work here. Too many images have been lost over time (and I think it's only going to get worse). This project would make a great photo book.
>>
>>3946711

That's a GAZ Volga 21 I believe.
>>
>>3946706
>Sebastian Junger
Looks interesting, have just downloaded.
I see he’s the guy that wrote The Perfect Storm too, and directed Restrepo and Korengal.
Thanks for recommendations, knew of the films but never looked into who was involved.
I’m interested to read his P Storm book now, sounds like a factual account, dramatised by Hollywood.
The things you learn eh
>>
If you document this process, you can make a nice book.
>>
What are you planning on doing with all the photos once they're developed?
>>
>>3947143
>>3947160

What do you mean by document the process? I dont think my setup is very photogenic?

I am planning of putting it together into a book, and exhibition. But god knows when I will be able to to round to that.
>>
>>3946704
Elders all staring death in the face. Youth all staring at the camera. Crazy shot.
>>
sounds neat. looking forward to seeing more
>>
this is my favorite thread on 4chan, ever
>>
Bump
>>
Subbed
>>
Hey sam love your stuff - glad you're still out there. How is Ukraine?
>>
bamp for more interesting photos of days gone past
>>
were you also the guy that took those photos of an abandoned war base in Ukraine? awesome thread by the way
>>
>>3948069
Yep same guy.
>>
Supremely based thread

Also
>23 replies
What the actual fuck? Come on /p/ee show some love to OPee.
>>
>>3946832
>GAZ Volga 21
24 model
>>
>>3948207
It's trash.
>>
>>3948283
your mom's trash fag.
>>
would you pin this? I'd pin this. this definitely deserves a pin
>>
Samuel, what makes you think that stealing this film was OK?

You're not Russian or Ukranian. What gives you the moral right to not only take this film, but then to also make a career based on it? You don't have permission from any of these people to post their images online. Reading your amazement or observations of Russian/Ukranian lives and culture is kind of disgusting. The way you refer to it as something unusual or out of the ordinary instead of just human lives.

I would appreciate a response because to me you look like just a vulture who is trying to profit from human misery. And no, this is not a troll post just to be a contrarian. Unless you have some kind of great explanation I really do think you're a trash human for doing this.
>>
>>3948340
Early bird catches the worm, finders keepers, losers weepers.
>>
File: Found Film Project-22.jpg (1.18 MB, 2000x1333)
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Hey mate,

Firstly, I didn't use this project to build my career more than any of the other stories or reports I have done. My 'the Face of Donbas" project and my coverage of the 2020 Vienna terror attack had a much bigger effect on my work.

I don't think it's right to say I stole the film. I found it in a ghost town on the frontline, almost everything was abandoned. And, I was given permission by the commander responsible for the area to take it.

As far as the moral side of things. I don't really know myself. What I can say is that I found this film together with, and have been working on this project alongside a close friend who is Ukrainian.

>>3946073

She likes her prefers privacy a lot more than I do, so her name will only appear on the first exhibition/publication of the archive.

I'm not sure if you missed it from the article, but I have actually gotten in touch with some of those featured in the archive who used to live in the town. Everyone who has reached out to me so far was very thankful that I had rescued the film and told their story.

This said, this project is still a delicate topic, and I will omit some of the more personal images from the final collection. On top of this, I recognized long ago that journalism and reporting on the conflict doesn't do anything to help those there. So if I do make any money from this, it a good chunk of it will go directly to the ppl who still live in the town to buy them coal n food.

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File: Found Film Project-32.jpg (1.71 MB, 2000x1333)
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>>3948340
>>3948390

>profit from human misery

At the end of the day, I can't disprove this. Unfortunately, the industry draws a lot of awful people who don't care in the slightest about the people on the ground and just want their shot. I started doing this work with good, albeit foolish intentions, and try and help out where I can.
It's a dirty industry... The biggest online group for journos and conflict reporters even call themselves the vultures.

But, I won't apologize for my amazement at seeing the lives and culture from the area. Its a world away from what I grew up with, and very different from modern Ukraine too. And when you are in a basement slowly scanning roll by roll, the process feels exciting and sometimes even magical.

As someone with a background in analogue photography, it was so exciting to find this archive. I was told by the soldiers that the room could very well be booby-trapped, but nonetheless decided to search through the mess to try and rescue these fragments of history.


Cheers for sharing your perspective. Part of why I made this thread was to gauge other people's feelings on this project. Have you read "On Photography" by Sontag?

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To the others following this thread, thanks for your support and interest. I will upload some more shots tomorrow night.

It would be great to get this pinned, as it will be a slow process and likely take a couple of months until all the film is scanned. Either way, I will keep posting until the thread dies.

I will start posting more stuff from Ukraine to my Instagram again soon so check me out on there if u want to see more stuff from the conflict zone.

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>>3948307
You should notice by now that it's a larp.
>>
>>3946050
Best thread on this God forsaken board in a while keep up the good stuff.
>>
>>3948396
godspeed
>>
>>3948282

I was close. :)

>>3948340

If my photos had been lost forever to the ether and some guy trawling through a battlefield found them I would be ecstatic.

>>3948396

Don't worry about pinning, my Russian autism will keep this thread up I won't let it get to Page 10. na'zdarovje
>>
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>>3948671
pretty volgas

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bump
>>
>>3948396
what is your ig?
>>
>>3948862

His IG @samjeder
>>
>>3948775

I want a red one so I can stuff a Chevy big block or a Coyote in it and call it Red October
>>
free bump OP
>>
>>3949078
>stuff a Chevy big block or a Coyote in it and call it Red October
Nice.
I’ve been trying to get a mate in Oz to get an old Stingray with a custom plate IRWIN.
He reckons someone will kick the shit out of it.
>>
>>3946050
How are your trips to Donbass funded? Do you get hired by publications or do you go on your own money and try to sell your work afterwards? (Additional question: how did you build your career as a conflict photographer/journalist?)
How did you get the contacts back there with the military and everything? Did you go through courses and trainings on frontline journalism before going?
Also, why Ukraine and do you speak Ukrainian/Russian?
>>
Update timing in soon guys. Scanning throughout the night tonight.
>>
>>3951592
Did he died?
>>
>>3946704
Oh fuck it begins
>>
>>3953777
F he succumbed to Chernobyl radiation
>>
>>3946062
Бляяя, чтo б я ceйчac oтдaл зa этy пpoявoчнyю мaшинy
>>
>>3946050
this has to be one of the most interesting threads ive seen yet, dont let us down anon
>>
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>>3946050
OP, you are based.
To make your work easier and results better though, I strongly recommend mounting your dslr to a copy stand or old enlarger, rather than the tripod, and illuminating your negs with wireless trigger or even cabled remote flash rather than an LED.
Just means your camera is more stable and less likely to be knocked when moving the film, and fucking up your framing in the process, and the flash means you take instant exposures, so camera shake/vibrations in the room are no longer an issue.
Pic related is my old tripod setup, but you can see the idea

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>>3946057
That looks really great though

Probably the person too has much decayed by now
>>
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hey lads, not dead haha

Thanks for keeping the thread alive. I had some other work come my way and didn't get the chance to get back to this until now.

After some consideration, I believe that there is more than enough material in this found film collection, and my local photo archive to make a photo book on this.

But, I need your guy's help, and advice to make it happen. Im thinking of starting a new thread specifically for this purpose once I have some more pics, what do you think?

I'm thinking of launching the book on Kickstarter. Is this a good idea or should I find a traditional publisher? Are there any other alternatives to Kickstarter I should look at?

What would a good rate for the book be? I want to make some money for the time I have spent working on this, but also be able to fund new trips, and finally directly donate a chunk of money back to those who still live in the town.

I will think of more questions and share the progress in making the book with u guys. I have no experience with this, so if anyone could give some advice, insight or refer me to some online resources it would be much appreciated.

I will answer all the other questions in a bit.
>>
>>3949354

>own money and try to sell your work afterward
I started off doing this, and will still do it now for bigger or more risky projects. But have since been hired by ppl or struck other deals which help support me.

>build your career
It was a combination of honest luck and something between very hard work/commitment and stupidity. I sometimes went a day or two without a proper meal or slept in my care or abandoned building when money was short. But those choices all turned out to work well for my work and helped influence my style so to say.

I can't really get into how I made my contacts. But just keep in mind that the internet and social media is ur friend.

The only courses I did were an EMT course and some TCCC training. But I did those out of general interest in the field, and not preoperation. I had had a unique enough childhood and early life to give me the skills to kinda of figure out and charm away whatever issues I came across in the field as I went. While that is a terrible approach, it luckily worked for me.

>Sorry for any bad answers have had a bit to drink.
>>
>>3953841
Contact me. I know people in the field and anything is possible if u help out the right people.

>>3954975
This.

I have been tossing this over in me head for a while now. Whole the enlarger is a great idea, and I have been thinking about it I have no been able to find a cheap second hand model yet that could be adapted for this purpose. For not my tripod works well, although it is a pain to level.

As far as the light goes... Yeh I am really tempted. The other night I almost took my combat knife to the dest my tripod is sitting on in order to dig out a hole for my speed light. But the issue is the color, and speak of the light from the speed light or studio light isn't ideal for this purpose. But, if you can link an article where someone does and gets good results I will defo do it, and photograph the process.
>>
>>3955491
make another thread if this one is killed
cant really help you with anything other than this because im pennyless and cant decide on a good price
>>
>>3955491

Hi,

Nice work bro. I run a publishing company, if it's a photo book look into print on demand self publishing with Amazon KDP and Ingram Spark. You'll be up and running on all major retailers' websites worldwide, and bookstores can also order your hardcovers it thru the Ingram book system.

Regarding pricing, you need to run the calculator on both websites on sizing options first. It's better to price it too high than too low. If you have a 50% margin on your book, that is fine. I sell most of my books for 29.95$, and make about 14$ on each book after printing, shipping and Ingram/Amazon costs.

From these royalties i still have to pay marketing costs etc.
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>>3955538
>Amazon
Don't listen to this corporate leech OP. Fuck pigzon. Public funding and self publishing all the fucking way.
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>>3955500
>But the issue is the color,
If you're talking about the CRI bullshit that LED users always go on about, don't worry at all.
The other key benefit of using flash to scan is that it is full spectrum light from a black body emitter (ie the xenon bulb in the flash). It's the gold standard for light quality. Just use some neutral translucent diffusion material and you are golden. Speaking of enlargers, there is one in the trash you are climbing over in your photos, just use that. You don't need any of it to work, just the column.
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>>3955701

Amazon KDP (Amazon's self publishing space) is the main source of my income, and it is a very good way to get started as a self publishing author. It is easy to set up, and you can reach millions of people worldwide with very little effort.

I hate it when people hate on Amazon, while Amazon has enabled me, and countless of other people worldwide to start a business from their bedrooms, with 0 fees upfront. Hell, even Ingram charges 50$ as a "set up fee" for paperbacks.

Fuck you for being stupid

P.S If you do not want to use Amazon, you can always upload your book to Ingram, and deselect Amazon as a sales channel. But you're leaving serious cash on the table. I'm doing 150k usd on Ammy alone, while my own website is doing 10k, and Ingram 8k. (Granted, maybe 20% of all my titels are available on Ingram)
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>>3955742
Stop being a pleb.

Pigzon's photo print quality is dogshit.
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>>3955538
>Nice work bro. I run a publishing company,
That should put you on your guard immediately, anon.
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>>3955725

Alright mate, you convinced me. RIP random idea table, lets see how this new system works. Will at very least be a lot faster, and allow me to scan during the daytime too.

Will keep u guys updated

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Bump
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love this one
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Good to see you still at it OP, I thought of you while buying a Leningrad locally.

IF you find a roll of film with several shots in rapid succession that are similar to each other it was likely shot on one, they have an autowinding function and could do 3fps
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>>3949078
That wouldn't be тяue яeд ocтoвeя tho. For true soviet experience you need a ЗMЗ 523 v8 engine
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>>3958219

yaed ostoveya???
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>>3946190

i know you probably don't care but i have a Chaika 2 and for some reason after the lever that progresses the film is stuck, it feels like a spring somewhere is wound too tight. Is there something i can do, or a good person you can point me to for a repair?
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>>3958221
Oн caмый, Яeд Ocтoвeя, нaш вeликий coвeтcкий мoтopиcт и инжeнep!
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Back at it lads.

>>3954975
Thanks for the tip with this mate, the new setup has really sped things up, and I can't find any significant difference in Quality.

However with scan the 120 pics, and slides with the led panel just to be sure

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>>3958219

Yeah but that has like 150hp and it would get smoked by a 20 year old Corolla.

Maybe I'll call it Russian Collusion?
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>>3963371
You see, soviet engines gain at least a hundred hp if they are assembled by a sober Petrovich.
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>>3963253
pure /fa/ where do i get everything the adults are wearing wtf
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>>3964120
Local second hand store. You might be lucky and find the eact piece of clothing those people are wearing.
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>>3946704
Wow
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This is pretty cool

OP do you speak Russian? I guess it feels different if you have a connection to the place vs. flew in for a couple months while it’s the most miserable place and then off to the next. But that’s pretty unfair to you. If there was some patriotic Ukrainian who wanted to save these, he’d have already done so. It shouldn’t matter but it does count for something that the local commander gave you permission. Also feels good that you contacted some of these people.

Anyway, cool photos so far I enjoyed looking at them
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