View Full Version : Help Recovering Water-logged Slides

10-01-2007, 11:51 AM
You've bailed me out once already, today. Now, I need your help again. My fiance was able to recover several boxes of slides from his apartment after Satuday's fire (details in MPSIMS). The boxes are plastic, but the slides may be somewhat water-logged. Does anyone have any ideas on how to salvage them?

Thank you again for your help.

10-01-2007, 12:40 PM
Photographic material that's gotten wet should be airdried, laying them flat and separate from each other. Until you're in the position to airdry them, they should be kept wet (distilled water, free of minerals and other elements, is critical) so they don't dry on their own warped. Just don't keep them in the water more than a day or two at the most, because the emulsion can slowly slide off the base.

That's true for ordinary film/neg/photos, but if these slides are surrounded by the cardboard support, then you don't want to reimmerse them. Find somewhere dry, level, and not subject to too much varying temperature and keep them there. Direct sunlight is not ideal.

Contact a local photo lab and see what they charge for recovery, as well as if they have any additional suggestions. Also see if they have an option for digitizing damaged material, since the integrity of the images has been seriously compromised, and this will be the best way to retain the information in some way. The longer you wait to do this, the more of a risk you take in losing the pictures you have.

10-01-2007, 01:04 PM
If they're something you really care about, prepare to spend a fair bit of time and effort.

Chances of recovery are somewhat better for them being mounted slides, as opposed to bundles of negatives in envelopes as the slide mounts will help keep the individual bits of film from sticking to each other.

Once they're laid out and dried, there's no time like now to have them scanned.

10-02-2007, 05:31 PM
Unfortunately, the computer and CDs the slides would have been scanned to were also lost in the fire, although my fiance has been able to recover some of the CDs.

Thank you for the advice. Behind me there's now a card table covered in somewhat-smokey-smelling drying slides.