And then I had my first roll of film scanned. With large puppy eyes and a tail rapidly wagging I excitedly went down to what was rumoured to be the kindest and most patient camera shop in all of Dublin. I told them that I was new to this, I told them to be gentle – it was my first time. I had no idea how much it would hurt. The next day, €15 poorer (develop and scan) and with blood stains all over the back of my trousers I picked up my CD, and the scans were terrible. I had been fucked. No dynamic range, low resolution, over saturated and enough contrast to blind a cat. Not only that, the sharp bits were so ferociously over sharpened it had a texture to it. Roger Young predicted it, and it happened. I went back to ask why them what had caused the texture, and I was told my picture viewing software was at fault: the scan was actually perfect. They didn’t even let me show them on a PC. So, in a huff I went down the road and paid the Camera Exchange €5 to scan a single negative properly. It was significantly better (10 000 pixels on the longest side) but was overexposed and closer to monochrome than colour. After some research I realised that Gunns’ scanning process is automated, while The Camera Exchange are using a prosumer grade flatbed (Epson v700). I eventually got talking to Dublin photographer Dee O’Sullivan who kindly scanned the same negative with her Canoscan 9000f MkII, which was better than either of the previous scans. Two days later, I had bought a second hand Canoscan 9000f off Adverts.ie, and managed to produce a better scan (this image) with a €130 scanner than two labs in the city centre. After 26 scans, it’ll have paid for itself. I realise now that it all comes down to how many fucks you give about the scan. A lab is motivated by the amount of scans they can do a day, so why would they spend more time getting the most amount of detail out of a negative? High resolution scanning takes a long time, never mind doing multiple passes. As soon as I manage to shoot another roll without somehow nuking every frame on it I’ll go down to Ruared in Tallaght to see what their Hasselblad Flextight is capable of.