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  1. #1
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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    Paper for Exposure Records

    I bought some 65lb. white cardstock to make some large format exposure records: the idea is to carry it in the field, record the exposure, filter, etc. using one of the many templates available either in Ansel Adam's books or even better, Ralph Lambrecht's Way Beyond Monochrome. I was going to put the negative in a 8x10 plastic print sleeve and then stick the exposure record in the print sleeve as well; this way, I keep the exposure record with the negative and can look at the negative to see what the picture is.

    My questions are such: should I be using acid-free cardstock (3x the price) as I worry about chemical transfer to the negative? Or should I just keep the exposure record next to the file folder as the paper might scratch the negative or affect the negative in some way?
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

  2. #2
    eddie's Avatar
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    I wouldn't keep the card in the sleeve with the negative. Too many opportunities to scratch the negative.

  3. #3
    ROL
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    While I appreciate any strategy at organizing records in film photography and printing, you might consider others that may avoid potential injury due to proximity of the negative entirely.

    I use spiral bound sets of 3X5 cards for all field work in all film formats. I pre–number and identify film on the cards with loaded film holders, in case my post-its come off the holders, as they often do. The info recorded is basic (i.e., place, lens, filter, exposure, zone deviations) and undoubtedly more freeform than the sources you mention. I assign unique numbers (inclusive of date) to each prospect negative I keep and transfer the information onto computer database file only for the negatives I keep. These files can later be searched for specific info instantaneously. I then use that number to identify each negative on its protective sleeve. For instant reference some developing info is also written on the margins of the sleeve. These computerized film records may then be correlated with proof print files and finally fine print and edition info. The "field notebooks" themselves become somewhat superfluous at that point.
    Last edited by ROL; 05-09-2012 at 05:57 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    I use a microcassette recorder, with a prompt list taped to the front. I record the variables in order as reminded by the prompt list, and can then free form record after that.
    I am sure that there are better digital voice recorder, but my old school analog tape recorder continues to work for me.

    I transcribe to a lab notebook to sort the n, from n-1 from n+1, and transcribe in detail to the back of a contact print. Having neg holders filed to notch code the holder ID onto the film image really simplifies things with this method.
    my real name, imagine that.

  5. #5

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    When out in the field that last thing you want to carry is a large card for the wind to flap about. I would suggest a bound 4 x 6 inch book such as engineers use. Being bound a page cannot be easily lost. Your notes need not be pretty only accurate.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  6. #6
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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    Thank-you everyone for your advice - I currently carry a small notebook which I use for all of my medium-format work but think I need something more substantial. I am a fan of more information when recording shots but that said, I spend my working days in front of a computer spreadsheet and the idea of either transcribing information onto a spreadsheet or spending time inputing notes is not very appealing. I do think Gerald brings a point I never considered, the wind moving the card about, considering some of the trouble my little notebook currently causes.

    I might need to give this some more thought but again, thank-you.
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

  7. #7

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    Use a separate plastic thingie for contact sheet, notes, test copies etc. put it infront of the negative pocket.

  8. #8
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    The field books I use for work (at least the ones the office provides ...engineer here) are lttle white hardcover bound things that are really marketted for the surveyors trade. Fit well into a vest pocket on most of my wind jackets, or the front of my camera bag.

    The really premium one I take out in potentially inclement weather is a plastic jacketted 6 ring binder that holds about 4x6 pages. The pages are made by J.H Darling , and are waterproof, and can be written on in the pouring rain with a soft pencil or waterproof pen, although the water drops from the rain cause some blurring of the waterproof ink until its carrier evaportes, so I prefer the pencil.

    Look at a their web site called RiteintheRain.com.


    I also use this paper in 8.5x11 size to photo copy sections of maps for when I am off on a hike backwoods taking photos. No reason that forms could not be photocopied onto this paper before putting it in the binder.
    my real name, imagine that.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Kehler View Post
    I bought some 65lb. white cardstock to make some large format exposure records: the idea is to carry it in the field, record the exposure, filter, etc. using one of the many templates available either in Ansel Adam's books or even better, Ralph Lambrecht's Way Beyond Monochrome. I was going to put the negative in a 8x10 plastic print sleeve and then stick the exposure record in the print sleeve as well; this way, I keep the exposure record with the negative and can look at the negative to see what the picture is.

    My questions are such: should I be using acid-free cardstock (3x the price) as I worry about chemical transfer to the negative? Or should I just keep the exposure record next to the file folder as the paper might scratch the negative or affect the negative in some way?
    I use ultrafine sharpies, and similar permanent markers to write the information directly on the margin of the negative. Harder to lose it that way, and it shows up on contact prints.

  10. #10
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    I use ultrafine sharpies, and similar permanent markers to write the information directly on the margin of the negative. Harder to lose it that way, and it shows up on contact prints.
    When shooting with my good camera, I keep my notebook and notes including filters, exposure settings, development times, dilution, etc. just so I know what I did and I do find it a source of information for refining my technique (it was one of the reasons I switched to 1:1 dilution instead of stock). When using my walk-around camera, I write on the top of the sheet the development times so I know but I don't have a notebook. Now that I am moving into large-format, I think I want to keep the additional information but I don't know if the negative sheet will give me all of the information I want to keep. As well, as much as I know I should, I really hate doing contact sheets.
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

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