A tall man with a kind face visited our Fort Collins office recently and inquired about our negative scanning service. Out of an old folder, he pulled a very large and antique-looking negative – about 5 by 7 inches in size.
He doubtfully asked if we could handle a negative this big – and I said indeed we could. (Our negative scanning service can handle negatives up to 12 by 17 inches).
After a quick look at the image, I blurted out “Is that Custer?” Quite the opposite it turned out – it was a historic portrait of Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill. At least I was in the right era!
I felt sure this negative had to be quite valuable so I suggested it not leave the client’s hands for long – we did the negative scanning and B&W and sepia printing of it right on the spot.
While I was producing the final prints, the client regaled me with all the facts he knew about the amazing portrait. He pointed out the incredible detailing of Buffalo Bill’s jacket, told me what color Sitting Bull’s headdress was, and informed me about the historic occasion which caused these two legends to be sitting together for a souvenir photograph.
We do hundreds of photo reproductions and restorations each week, but I’ll certainly never forget this one!