An update on the Found Film site

I wanted to give a short update on the Found Film site which I set up about 8 months ago.

My original idea for the site was that it would be home to lost photos – a place where pictures which were taken long ago and left in forgotten cameras would be found, developed and displayed for all. Well, like many projects, the idea has changed over time and expanded to include another of my collecting passions – old 35mm colour slides.

Changes to original idea for Found Film

One of the big reasons for including colour slides is because there are some really interesting stories which become apparent when sorting through collections of slides. Although films found in cameras obviously have stories attached, the only clues regarding locations or events are those you can see in the picture. With slides there are often other clues like the slide mount, which can tell you the date the picture was taken and will sometimes have hand written notes or words to show locations etc. Even without notes on the mount, the type of film can give clues to the date, since some film types have not been produced for a long time.

Blog Posts

Because of this slight change in emphasis of Found Film, I’ve also started to add some conventional blog posts to the site as well as the archive of images. This is one of the advantages of building it on a blogging platform like WordPress – the module I wrote takes care of cataloguing and recording the images and presents them in the main photo archive, but the blogging platform is still there in the background and can be used for more detailed, fill in articles.

A case in point is a recent post I wrote about some slides I found of the RAF base which used to be stationed in Singapore. I won’t go into too much detail because it’s just repeating the same information, but I couldn’t get the story of finding the slides across using the single photo view that the original site had, so this became an obvious subject for a longer post.

8mm Movies

Another change I’d like to make is to include some 8mm home movies I’ve bought once I can transfer them to video. I had an idea to create a simple video transfer machine from an old film editor, but so far I haven’t progressed that any further. It would be interesting to do that however – old home movies can be interesting too.

Technical Changes

On the technical front, the introduction of blog posts meant I had to deal with an issue on images sizes in galleries. The WordPress gallery plugin is supplied as part of the core package, but if you don’t have Jetpack installed the Javascript image display isn’t enabled, and the images are always shown at the small size even if they are selected to be large. To overcome this I had to hook into the wordpress templating system and inject a specific attachment page template so I could change this. Although this is not as slick and fancy as the full wordpress gallery, I think it actually suits the site better because the images really can be full size (the pop up gallery tends to keep them smaller).

A few days ago I had to change the social sharing plugin which suddenly stopped working after a routine update – that is one of the things that you have to get used to on a self hosted site – things just break sometimes and need to be dealt with.

If you are interested take a look at the site which can be seen at http://found-film.co.uk and if you have any suggestions for improvements or changes let me know either here or on Found Film.



Categories: Photography

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