All my 8x10 negs are placed inside 3-opening polyprop sleeves. I take detailed notes in the field. On a post-it I write the date, holder number and film brand (I attach the post-it to the relevant sleeve) All my sleeved negs are placed in archival storage boxes. Once full I mark the box with a date range (e.g. 1 Feb 2004 to 30 Jun 2004). All my printing sessions are detailed on a book (written) and the print results are scanned and saved into folders that are labelled with the relevant printing session date.
Others have made good suggestion on the other items, so I will just address one. This is a issue I have struggled with for years; at one time I used a year/image no stamp, but found the images were too tied to a date. I have since come to a couple of conclusions:
Originally Posted by mikeb_z5
1.) Use a category system that makes sense for the type of photography you do. I am primarily a landscape person, so I prefix my images with a code (AU - Australia, NZ - New Zealand, JO - Jordan, HI - Hawaii, etc.) and an image number. If you do people photos, you could try a code for the type (wedding, portrait, etc.).
2.) Find yourself a good computer program (I'm a programmer, so I have a custom program I wrote myself). It's strength should be in searching. Some of the newer programs seem to be tied into thumbnails, but have minimal searching/catagorizing capability.
Hope this helps,
My negs are organised... my prints fall into line with everyone else, except Blansky who seems to be semi-organised!
Negs are all sleeved, stored in folders with contact sheet and a printout from my Access DB that I record details in. In this, I record film development data, exposure data, printing data and items of interest (Dates, places, people names). I do need to go thru some earlier negs and add some info and also create some for much older negs that I never recorded anything about. I wish I'd at least written a date on the neg sleeves!
Sounds like your system would lend itself very well to a barcoding module .
Originally Posted by roteague
I started out with a convoluted system that that had abbreviations for film size (sf, mf, lf) followed by type (similar to roteague) and then incremented them.
I abandoned that system (I shoot way to much to have to stop and think) and simply put the negs in sleeves with a contact (digital or traditional), tranies do not get contacts, number the contact and the sleeve and put them in order in loose leaf binders.
The simplicity of the system made sure that it was done. I will in the future go through the binders and reorganize them by subject and renumber within the subject and add a subject prefix.
Commercial work is by client then job.
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I'm not a prolific shooter and shoot 35mm B&W with a small amount of 2 1/4X 2 1/4. I file my negatives in archival plastic sleeves in 3 ring notebooks. Each roll is numbered and dated in succession. I place the contact sheet (when I bother to make one) and a sheet of notes of the film development with each sheet of negatives. I use sticky notes next to each negative I've printed with a reference which to which pages in a notebook I use when printing. I've found it confusing referring to the printing book so when I get the time I will make a sheet for each printed negative showing times,filtering,dodging,etc and place it in the notebook. So if I want to reprint a negative I just go to the negative book and the printing info is there next to the negative.
As far as the prints. When I print I usually try to get 3 or 4 decent prints of each negative in a session. (After toning, drydown,etc I'm lucky if I get 1 or 2 prints I'm happy with). I dry mount the two best. One goes into a portfolio box, one goes into a backup portfolio. The other 1 or 2 goes into an empty paper box. That is where I'm the most disorganized. I have only been printing a little over a year and can see myself in a few years with boxes of prints with no rhyme or reason.
Originally Posted by mikeb_z5
What a novel idea! :o I'll have to try that sometime...
Negs in printfile sleeves and stored with contact sheet (when I actually make one) and laid flat in a drawer of a cabnit that just happened to be there. One or two might even have info on the sleeve, location/subject. Dates are doubtful.
Prints, well some are in photopaper boxes, some are in drawers, some are still stuck to blotter paper
Glad I'm not alone in my organizational methods (or lack thereof...)
I store my negs in plastic storage pages I get from Calumet, Ithen put them in a three ring binder and store them on a book shelve.Don't let the binder get to full as it seems to bend the negs when you close it. My mounted prints I store in archival boxes I get from Light Impressions. When I take the prints out of the boxes for any reason, I vacuum the box and the prints to eliminate the chance of dust or somthing hard to fall between the print and cause a dent or scratch.
I only shoot about 100 frames per month of 35mm B&W. I am, by nature, not terribly organised, but when I started back at B&W a couple of months ago, I decided to start on the right foot!!!
The day after I develop, I sleeve the negs in a three-ring binder and write a simple description of the type of film used, camera used, developing details, and add field notes by frame as necessary. So far it works!!!
I have a question, though...Years ago, I had a photography prof who insisted that we use negative files which seemed to be made from a sort of wax-paper substance. He would not allow us to use plastic neg files; IIRC it was something about 'letting the negatives breathe'. Can anyone speak to this?
Here's what works for me. (This is my b&w film system - 90% of what I shoot)
Develop and contact on 8.5"x11" (no not 8"x10")
Medium and Large format
Contact (rough set, who cares... on 8"x10")
Edit the film (get rid of all that crap you'll never use anyhow)
Contact on 8.5"x11" (no not 8"x10") I like the slightly larger paper and the bit of border it gives me, especially with large format
All the film goes into Print Files Pages.
35mm - Print File 7 rows of 5
Medium Format - Print File 3 rows of 3 individual pockets
Large Format - Print File 4 up
I use Print File workboxes (small 1.5" size to store both film and contacts. I devide by project/type of work. (Film is kept separte from Contacts) I have twin binders for each group. example: B&W Architecture, B&W Architecture Contacts.
Each roll is dated and captioned and filed sequentially... The contact sheet book follows the same format as the corresponding negs. I label the outside of the binders in the flat area provided.
I found this system works really well for me if I keep up with doing my contact sheets... I re-edited a ton of work a few years back and found that by doing the edit before I did finished contact, I keep the best and good stuff, but getting rid of all the duds right then and there helps ME keep track of what's going on.