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  1. #1

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    Labeling the Back of Your Prints

    I am starting to accumulate a few 8x10 prints. I realized I should be labeling the back of them to keep track of the film used, shooting date and location, printing method, paper, and developing/adjusting details used.

    Do any of you do this? What type of information do you record?

    I was thinking of using stick-on labels and running them through my laser printer to print the category names. I would then fill in the details with a pencil or pen. Is their something already available commercially like this? I did not see anything at B&H.

  2. #2
    KenM's Avatar
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    I had a stationery place create a rubber stamp - the stamp has my name and address, as well as labelled spaces for the name of the print, the negative number, negative date, and print date.

    Of course, I only stamp the backs of mounted prints, and I don't load up the stamp with ink. All you need is a light dab on the ink pad, a light touch on a scrap of mount board, and then a good press on the back of the print. You get a nice, legible image. No glue from adhesive labels to worry about, either.
    Cheers!

    -klm.

  3. #3
    Travis Nunn's Avatar
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    I just use a pencil to write the name of the print, date and my name. I use an excel spreadsheet for all of the technical information. If you do decide to go with stickers, Avery makes some acid-free sticky-labels.
    ____________________________________________
    Searching my way to perplexion

  4. #4
    juan's Avatar
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    I simply use a soft pencil on the back of the print itself, too. I label the back of the mount with a label - be sure to read the Avery package closely - a few of their labels are acid-free but most are not. I had hoped the clear labels would be archival, but an email exchange with Avery confirmed that they are not.
    juan

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I just write in pencil along the border--the name of the image, date of exposure (which allows me to find the neg in my files), date of the print, number in series if applicable, and a signature.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  6. #6

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    i sign the back of the print in pencil.
    no labels, no stickers, no ink
    --- back of the mat/or under the window maybe.
    i'd be afraid inks will give a new meaning to "full bleed"
    and the labels will be bogus adhesive.

    probably a label made of nice paper pasted with wheat paste and written with india ink / penicil would work too, but that is a lot of work for just a note ...

  7. #7
    davetravis's Avatar
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    I first mount the print to acid-free foam board, either hinge or Koda cold.
    Each image is assigned the next sequential number as it is printed.
    I formated an Avery 8164 in Publisher that contains all the info the buyer needs to know, and put it on.
    Then I rubber stamp with edition # and print #, and fill that in.
    Then I sign and date.
    All this is on the verso of the mount, not the print itself.
    I keep a "darkroom journal," of all pertinent info that went into making the print inself; paper type, chemistry, exposure, etc, by assigned number, and print size.
    This may seem like a lot, but it helps insure repeatability when printing, and creates a uniformity in presentation to the customer.
    DT

  8. #8

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    I usually write the negative number in my filing system and a number uniquely identifying that print, which is cross indexed to a notebook containing the technical details. This has worked out okay for me so far.

  9. #9
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Always use pencil, don't use any mass-market gummed adhesive like an Avery label. Most inks are highly acidic, and the same is true for commercial adhesives. If you want a standard label to go on the back of a print, the wheat-paste option is a good one, so long as you're printing the label on an acid-free paper.

    Frankly, unless your handwriting is atrocious and illegible, write it on in longhand with pencil. If nothing else, it makes it a more personal touch for a customer, and helps validate your prints for a future historian.

  10. #10

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    Peter sent me an Excel file that cotained a template of what he uses. I attached a portion of it here. The file contained four labels per page.

    (Thanks Peter, that is just what I was looking for. I tried replying to your email but I got an error message saying it could not go through)

    I will modify it a bit for my purposes. I don't have
    a darkroom since circumstances limit me to shooting
    4x5 E6 and scanning them.

    I will have to go out now and buy some acid free
    labels in that size. Do you happen to have a product
    number to recommend?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Label Sample.jpg  

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