organizing ideas and work - a photography/printing journal?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Jarred McCaffrey, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. Jarred McCaffrey

    Jarred McCaffrey Member

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    Let's assume one has managed to organize their stacks of negatives. With that done, how have you tackled the task of organizing your photographic ideas, tests, work done with individual negatives (including alternative interpretations), magazine clippings, sketches, written thoughts--how do you organize all of the intellectual things involved in the creative process?

    Occasionally I've seen reproductions of pages from the journals of the classic photographers. This seems to have worked for them. What has worked for you?
     
  2. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I'm not quite that organized but, I do keep some notes. I have three of the "mead composition" books going all the time.

    In one I keep notes pertaining to every film developing session. Everytime I develop film, I note the film, developer, time and temp and a few other notes about dates equipment and subject matter.

    I keep notes for each sheet of LF fillm exposed in the second notebook. This includes date, location, subject, camera, lens, camera geometry (if not zero), film, light meter readings, bellows and filter factor calculations, and actual exposure data. Sometimes, I doodle and make a sketch of the scene if I'm waiting for nature to co-operate.

    The third notebook stays on the night stand by my bed. I write project ideas and all manner of other mental wanderings in this one.
     
  3. Jarred McCaffrey

    Jarred McCaffrey Member

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    Thanks Brad.

    I've been contact printing small negs lately and I'm looking for a system to organize the work I'm doing with them as well as photographic ideas, etc. I'm considering 11x14 drawing pads to collect notes and attach images.

    I was hoping to find that there is some common way people usually do these things or that someone might say John "Great Photographer" Doe does x, y, and z to organize his ideas and work. I have seen darkroom worksheet type things and I'll incorporate elements of those, but they only address part of what I'm trying to organize.

    I think this is one of those nebulous areas where everyone just does what works for them (or perhaps does nothing at all).
     
  4. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    Well, since I'm an IT guy, I generally keep all my notes while in the darkroom on a 5x7 notepad and then transfer it to an Access Database. Like Jay said, it makes it very handy to look things up. If you don't have the knowledge to create and keep a database, Excel or any other spreadsheet application should be able to do adequately
     
  5. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I keep everything in various journals and 3 ring binders. I keep notes on printing, developing, and things that I want to do, but none of this is that organized. I know how to find what I am looking for, but I doubt anyone else could very easily. Nothing goes on the computer; it's all paper, paper, paper!

    - Randy
     
  6. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I carry a small notebook in the field and write down whatever I think important - including exposure and development information. After development, I copy over the notebook information to a sheet of paper and give the negative a number - putting the number both in the notebook and on the sheet of paper. The negative goes into a plastic sleeve, which goes into a file folder along with the paper with the field data. When printing, I make notes on another sheet of paper, and when I have the formula worked out, I copy the information to the reverse side of the data sheet in the file. I also put any additional information, thoughts, etc. into the file folder.

    I then put the negative numbers and a scanned thumbnail into a computer data base so, I tell myself, I can find the negative quickly. However, I find I can usually find the negative much more quickly by flipping through my field notebook. There's something about looking at the notes made in the field that brings the scene to mind very quickly.
    juan
     
  7. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Dozens of post-it notes writtin 'on the fly' and then 'transferred' to a notebook so they don't get lost. Works well and appeals to my visual organization methods :smile:
     
  8. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I use a small notebook where I make notes of the type of film used in whatever camera I'm using, or with LF, which film is loaded in which numbered holder. Since starting to develop my own b/w film, I write development details there too. All my records (such as they are, are in chronological order, though I really need to get a database going (maybe this winter). Since I've started doing alt-process printing, I got a bound record book for that information. I keep things labeled chronologically there too.

    Ellen,
    Where have you been? Long time no see! Glad to have you back here!
     
  9. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Organization takes the fun out of chaos!
    That said, I generally scribble details on a 10x8 proof print. This usually turns out to an irrelevance because by the time it comes to reprinting, I have changed paper, developer, enlarger lamp, and possibly the enlarger; and my interpretation of the subject.
     
  10. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    Ditto