As digital cameras have become ubiquitous and billions of pictures are taken on smartphones, fewer and fewer photographers capture their subjects on film. However, you can still sometimes come across a large number of film negatives that need previewing before eventual printing. Exactly that has happened to Swedish photographer Adam af Ekenstam who got hold of an entire box of negatives that had been taken by his father more than 40 years ago.

PetaPixel has found a Youtube video in which Adam explains how he uses an iPad and iPhone to preview the negatives in a simple yet speedy way. He uses the blank screen of his iPhone as a lightbox and then uses the camera in his iPad to view the backlit negatives. To make this work he has set the screen on his iPad to inverted and grayscale which can be done in the Settings under General/Accessibility. 

Once this simple setup is done you can slide the negatives over the iPhone screen and lock focus and exposure in the iPad camera app for comfortable viewing. Watch the video below for detailed instructions. Exactly the same method can be used with Android devices. The best way to invert the screen will depend on the Android version you are using but in 5.0 Lollipop it can be done in Settings/Accessibility/Color Inversion which is still marked as an experimental feature.

Via: PetaPixel