How do you store/organize your prints and negs?
I'm not sure if this is the right forum to post this but here goes:
I'm starting to accumulate a fair amount of various sized prints from 4"x6" up to 11"x14", 35mm negs, chromes as well as 4"x5" negs are all in archival preservers.
It's really starting to get out of hand and I'd like to get it all organized.
1. What do all of you do with your prints when the are not framed?
2. How do you organize the nags/prints? Do you keep them all together(the negs with the prints?)?
3. How do you sort them? By subject, date, or film format?
Thanks for your replies,
I'm glad you asked, because I'd like to know. I think that most photographers, unless they are really in the business of selling prints and do it everyday, put this problem off for a rainy day that never comes. That is my solution. I have boxes of prints and negatives everywhere. It is on my list of things to do, but when I get time, I don't like to spend it on organization. The nice thing about organizing is that it doesn't take a huge block of time (like printing). It can be done a little at a time -- 30 minutes a night. Another fix, I now print smaller sizes, never 16x20, unless I konw where it is going. I've gotten so my standard print is 8x10. Easy to store and they can be mounted on 2 ply board or not at all.
I shoot mostly black and white. The negatives (35mm--4 x 5) are in Print-File or similar plastic filed by date in 3-ring binders along with corresponding contact sheets. If I were extremely prolific with my shooting, I'd probably need to think of a better system.
My negatives are stored in three ring binders as well(all have a file number and another number-usually in order of being taken,ie:1-35 for file one,roll 35)all have dates on them as well.corresponding with this I have a seperate index with the same info on a print/contact sheet/index print that the negs have so all I do is look at the index for what I want then find it in the neg binder it is in.
I do have one question though-the bottom negs in my binders seem to bend a liitle due to gravity(at the moment I have them all hanging upside down(lengthwise)does anyone have a better solution?
"An object never performs the same function as its name or its image"-Rene Magritte
"An image of a dog does not bite"-William James applied to photography
hi mike -
my 35mm & 120 format negatives are stored in print files and binders ...
and my 4x5 negatives are mostly stored in glassine envelopes and archival unbuffered thumb-tabbed envelopes. i write the subject / notes on the envelope and then it is stored in an archival "shoebox" ... the kind that libraries store stuff in. 4x5 prints are stored the same way, minus the glassine.
i haven't had a chance to get glassine pages for my 5x7 negatives. they are kind of stored by subject/time period in formerly empty film boxes
i don't really have a way of describing how my prints are stored ( kind of entropic i guess).
in empty paper boxes, with notes on the outside. the prints are grouped by subject / project.
i kind of know where everything is once i start digging,
but when i die, its just going to look like a big mess
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All negs in printfile. All under the customer name and in file folders and filing cabinets with 8x10 and smaller proof prints.
I have about 100 framed 16x20 and 20x24 prints that I rotate throughout different display places.
All other prints are in the handy dandy Ilford boxes unmounted and waiting for the day that never comes where I will dig them out. Unfortunately when I want another print I usually reprint it because I'm a better printer than I was a few years ago and I use different toning techniques etc.
I rarely do scenics but when I do I file them away in printfiles and file folders and wait until the rainy season and print some.
Not a real advanced system.
I do have all display or award proofs and negatives from my color days from 15-25 years ago stored in the same file folders only all together and not by name.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.
My negs hang in file folders, numbered dated and labeled, when I find that elusive round tuit. Picture wind up in stacks, boxes, folders, and on the wall.
I have prints that are ready for mounting flattened and stored in print paper boxes, ready for mounting if and when I get around to it. All other prints are just piled up and placed in the closet. I have very few prints from others, so I don't really have to worry about storage for them
35mm and 6x6 negatives are stored in Printfile sheets placed in binders - with the rings/spine up, so the sheets hang down, mind you. Much easier on the negatives.
My 4x5's I store in glassines, and until recently they were just stored in film boxes. A friend purchased some collectibles off eBay, and they were shipped in US military ammo boxes - he gave me a couple, and they hold negatives perfectly, after you shim up the boxes on the bottom, since they're a bit too deep. They're also watertight, which is nice. Using ammo boxes wasn't my idea, BTW - I was at a Barnbaum workshop, and saw that he stores his negatives in ammo boxes...
My 4x5 negatives are all numbered - SYY####.
S = Size - 3=35mm, 6=6x6, and 4=4x5
YY = two digit year. Yeah, I know. Y3K problem. Oh well.
#### - start at 0000 beginning of each year.
"Roll" negatives are sleeved in Panodia pages, which are filed with a contact print of the page on the left, negs on the right. They fill several ring binders, so I spend hours looking for the right binder. Once I have the right binder finding the correct negative takes only seconds.
They are organised by date/format/subject/space or whatever, su that most of the portraits are in one binder, except for some which ended up in another one. There's landscapes all over. Most of the 35mm negs are in one folder, except the ones which belonged (at some time in the past) somewhere else. The more recent negatives are in sleeves all over my desk.
Sheet negatives (9x12cm, 4x5" and 5x7") are stored in Light Impression mylar sleeves, in acid-free envelopes in nice little boxes. That means I have no contact sheet to guide me to the correct negative, but fortunately I don't have that many of them yet. This will surely change...
The 18x24cm negatives are stored in an empty Ilford 8x10" paper box. I've avoided 18x24cm paper for years, but now I'll have to get some - if nothing else, then just for the box...
Prints are also all over the place; in boxes, cartons, drawers, stacks and heaps. From the amount of paper I've bought over the years and the number of prints I find around the house, better than 90% of my prints must be hiding somewhere just waiting for the right moment to come landsliding out.
I know exactly where 12 of my prints are - two on the wall, and 10 in a portfolio book. If I could only find that portfoilo...
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
A couple of people have mentioned that the negatives are labeled. How/where do you label them?
I'm setting up a database to try to make sense of the whole mess (since it's hopeless, at this point, to even try to sit down and put them in chronological order without some sort of tracking system) and I've been trying to figure out a way to give each frame a unique number.
Short of writing over the frame (on the sleeve, not on the negative) with a permanent marker - which I have not yet resorted to - I haven't found a way to do this. Suggestions for labeling (35mm) frames?
Thanks for any suggestions...