Do you keep a notebook in your camera bag?
I write in it nearly every day. All my ideas, jottings, and the technical details, dates etc. go in the same small book. I've tried all sorts of different ways - different notebooks for different purposes etc. - but this works best for me.
So in fact it's mostly on my desk.
Then if I go away it's in my camera bag.
If go out I usually leave the bag behind - unless I'm going any distance - take the camera, and the notebook is in one pocket. The other pocket has the light meter in it.
I mostly photograph farming activities in Ryedale and the North York Moors, for an archive in the local folk museum. My little A6 notebook is essential for recording people's names, dates, descriptions of what they are doing, etc. I also make quick sketches in it when I'm hanging about waiting for something to happen.
One thing that doesn't go in it is technical photographic information. I have two OM1 camera bodies,both loaded with HP5+. One is marked for sunny conditions. Film from this camera will get less development, so to avoid mixing films up I write any technical information I will need to know later on the film leader when I remove each film. This is my tip for beginners.
I'm usually using a d*$*$*$ voice recorder, as it's more convenient to dictate whatever I have in mind while determining my exposure. I then transcribe this on notes I have ready (usually at home) to record the exposure details, film, subject information, lens and other elements of the shoot.
Later, when processing the film, I will then complete with development details,and the sheet becomes an attachment to the negative.
The main pitfall I experience with that process is that I might forget the bellows factor, or filter factor, as it's not written. This makes the exposure calculation a bit more tedious.
I plan to number my holders using a file and a binary scheme, as described by Ralph Lambrecht in Way Beyond Monochrome. That seems an efficient system to number things, provided you have a ruler of some kind to remember what the MSB (most significant byte) is.
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Might sound sacrilege, since a lot of Digital P&S also have a voice recorder function, would it not make a lot of sense for the LF folks to use one of these as a "notebook"? Take a digi photo of the scene and camera setup, then "talk" the technical details into the digicam. Does anyone do that already or is it really not that practical?
I plan on moving to LF when I become more settled, and perhaps that would be a good setup to make more science out of our analog art?
I do for ULF so that I can keep track of what is in each filmholder and what kind of processing it may need. I have all my ULF filmholders notched so I can identify which holder held which neg.
For someone starting out, I would us a notebook to keep track of what was the intent in taking the photographs and (if you use a spot meter) the EV range of light to dark. After a while you'll start to really understand the cause/effect of range of illumination on the subject.
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For some this might work. I don't carry a digital camera nor wish to carry a voice recorder. I find it easier to imput directly into the final storage device...no worries about accurate transcriptions, batteries dying in the field, or damage due to dropping it or getting it wet. All my exposure and developing data is stored in analog form -- permanent carbon marks on paper in two places (the Rite in the Rain notebooks and on the acid-free paper envelope that holds the negative.)
Originally Posted by Hamster
Using "science" does not make what one does "science"...LOL! But any kind of recording can help to make good results repeatable and more likely to make mistakes less repeated. And can even help to find a path towards improvement.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
I played around with a number of such notebook template designs, from the following sources...
Way Beyond Monochrome by Lambrecht & Woodhouse
The Practical Zone System by Johnson
The Negative by Adams
The Zone System Craftbook by Woods
I then decided which one(s) were best for me, modified it for my needs. Including the best of each design. Basically it contains a space for recording camera type, lens, film, IE, base exposure, zone placement, filter factor, bellows and reciprocity factor, and final exposure. Basic sketch of the scene is also included. One for roll film and one for 35mm.
So I do all that work and the sad truth, 90% of the time I never really use it....
Now, not that I am looking for yet one more... I am curious about the following...
I have Fred Picker's book Zone VI Workshop.. The Fine Print in Black & White Photography, can't find any mention of a red notebook there.
Originally Posted by mikebarger
Was this in any of his newsletters? If not where can I find out more?
Googling yields no results.
I keep a very small notebook and pen in my pocket, but I don't often have need for it. I do not record exposure data for each shot or anything else most of the time. If I am shooting someone noteworthy, like an entertainer, I'll take notes on who & where, what album they are promoting, etc. for short term purposes. This is mostly so that when I upload a negative scan to Flickr, I can leave a useful description on the image.
I am so horribly unorganized, though, that I wouldn't know what to do with more exhaustive notes if I took them.
I carry a simple black moleskin notebook.
I have always had some sort of notebook, but when I moved up to Large Format it became very important. I keep my info in a weekly planner, so I record the location, camera, lens, type of film, base exposure, bellows compensation, filter if used, and zone 5 reading and zone calculation. I also keep a "sketchbook" with anything special I felt or thought about the scene. Lately I have also needed a map to mark the locations, because I would return to some of them later in the year.On the film I then record ( on the glassine holders) deleloper, temp, time, date. I make contact proofs of everything and keep info about paper type, filter, delveopment etc. Lastly when I finally make a choice for the neg, I keep a dodge and burn chart, with any filter info, exposure, times etc. on a post it that goes with that neg. It seems like alot, but it helps me chart my way with the LF camera.