How to label/mark my prints?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by AeroDan, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. AeroDan

    AeroDan Member

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    Hi All,

    I've been experimenting with a 35mm negative, printing on ilford VC paper, 8x10 on a V35 enlarger to get a feel for the image before printing larger.

    My newbie question is: how can I mark my prints with some exposure and setting data prior to development? I print 6 at a time sometimes in a jobo, and being able to isolate an images settings would be great. Red marker? Just something subtle on the bottom or something would be great!
    Many thanks, AD
     
  2. AeroDan

    AeroDan Member

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    Possibly answering my own question, but my local shop told me: sharpie marker on a discrete corner for VC papers, number 2 pencil on FB papers will work like a champ. No bleed!
     
  3. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Soft pencil on the back of the print.
     
  4. Bertil

    Bertil Subscriber

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    I keep a printing journal with all detalis, paper, exposure, development, D&B etc., and each print gets a number (like: 12-123, saying that it was print #123 made year 2012) on the back with an ordinary (soft OK) pencil for FB, and some kind of ordinary marker on RC paper. For test strips/prints I just write all the nec. details on the back.
    /Bertil
     
  5. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Crayon on the back of the print.
     
  6. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I use soft pencil like 4B and I write on back, outside the image area. You CAN write on front with sharpie if you want. I have seen processing chemicals and washing process dissolves some of the sharpie ink. Pencil works for me very well.
     
  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    A 2B pencil, blunted on the back.
    A Sharpie is too much like attacking your print with graffiti.
     
  8. jk0592

    jk0592 Member

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    I second the 2B pencil, not really pointed, on the back. The information survives in the chemicals and the final wash.
     
  9. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    I always use a red or black wax pencil.
     
  10. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    For trial prints I'm making in batches, I use my fingernail to make a notch in the very edge of the print.

    A notch in one corner, two corners on in the center of an edge is enough to differentiate pieces of paper for me, even in the dark.
    I keep notes on a sheet of paper and reference them to the notches I make. When they are developed, I can look back on my notes and see which is which.

    At the end, when I find the exposure/development combination I like I copy my notes to the back of the print using a pencil.
     
  11. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I use a sharpie or a pencil on RC and a pencil on fiber. A pencil doesn't always write well on RC, but I use one if I think I'll be keeping the print. I have my own code for filter #, f stop, and time + any dodging or burning so I have a chance at repeating it. I used to write them separately in a notebook, but had trouble matching up the print to the instructions.
     
  12. AeroDan

    AeroDan Member

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    Thank you all for the excellent feedback - I ended up trying both sharpie and pencil, both worked without issue. Sharpie (the small, thin kind) in brown seemed to be best in that I could see what I wrote as I wrote it in the darkroom. Pencil worked as well, but I couldn't see what I was writing and the sharpie allows me to write accurately for some reason.

    Funny end to this thank you note: after I carefully marked all of the paper and developed it, the pictures all came out exactly the same because I'd forgotten to turn put my filters in the light path. So, all that note taking could have been condensed into "this print is massively overexposed, bullocks."
     
  13. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    When writing on the back of prints, especially with pencil or ball point pen, place the print on a hard surface so the writing isn't imbossed on the front.
     
  14. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    And that is why a china marker, a crayon or a sharpie works so well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2012
  15. bill@lapetelabs.com

    bill@lapetelabs.com Member

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    I like a soft lead pencil 4B or so and I always write on the back and use a hard surface like metal or formica or the the pencil can emboss to the front of the print. And I scribble on a scrap of paper to prepare the lead for writing on the RC surface, not a problem on fiber paper.