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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Shooter
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    if it is 4x5, i either add them to the stack, or
    put them in a glassine sleeve and then in an unbuffered envelope
    and then in a archival shoe box. 5x7 gets the empty box treatment
    and larger is just stacked ( paper and film )
    35mm and 120 goes in print files and is either stacked, or in binders
    110 stay in proccessing envelope lab gives me
    and sleeps with their prints in a desk drawer.

    i used to do contact sheets of every sheet of negatives,
    write codes on print files, notes on envelopes,
    but i just got out of the habit.

    when i search for a negative, i always find things i am not looking for
    and enjoy finding a surprise, which of course side tracks me.

    yep, i have holes in my pants too.

  2. #12
    wogster's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    Bruce Peninsula, ON, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by ted_smith View Post
    With my digital camera, each photo has a unique incremental number, e.g DSC12345. When\if I buy a new one I can tell it to start from the number of my previous camera. This enables me and any customers to uniquely request\find an image from my archive.

    With film, I am struggling to devise a system that's not too labour intensive to enable me to keep track of my film shots in the same way. For example, if I shot 36 exposures at a given shoot, and 5 are almost exactly the same, when the cutomer see's the scanned in versions of the image I don't want to accidentally send the wrong frame to the lab for printing. I want to know that the one that has been asked for is the one I send to the lab, even if there are several that look very similar, and perhaps indistinguishable from the negatives.

    What method do you guys use to keep track of your films and individual frames as your archive grows?
    I have long used this one:

    Each roll is given a roll number, this consists of a 2 digit year and a roll number within that year, I use enough digits, to cover a years worth of rolls. Then there is a 2 digit frame number, this is the number of the frame on the roll. Proofs are then marked with the roll and frame number on the back. If you scan then you can use the same number as a file name, or bury it inside the EXIF data, since I give digital files their own numbers in the archive, scans are also given these numbers. So if someone really wanted a copy of image F0030019, I would call up that file, see that it's a film image numbered 050119 meaning it's on the first roll I shot in 2005 and is the 19th frame. I pull out the negative book that contains 2005 negatives and flip to roll number 0501 and look for frame number 19.

    I can then either print it on silver paper, or send the strip to a lab for printing.

    If you asked 10,000 photographers what system they use, you will probably get 11,000 answers......
    Paul Schmidt
    See my Blog at http://clickandspin.blogspot.com

    The greatest advance in photography in the last 100 years is not digital, it's odourless stop bath....

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Goose Nest (near Martinsburg), West Virginia
    Shooter
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    46
    I use a date code plus a frame sequence -- YYMMDDx.FF. So if I started a new roll of film today, it would be called "090104", and shot #5 of that roll would be "090104.05". If I shoot more than one roll per day, the additional rolls are tagged with letters -- eg, "090104b" would be roll #2.

    I like this method more than a roll-number because I never have to remember how many rolls I've shot so far. I only have to figure out today's date, and whether I've already finished any rolls today. I can also find images fairly quickly, as I can usually remember approximately what year/month I shot them in.

    I keep all the other metadata (actual shoot date of a frame, camera, lens, film, etc.) separately -- usually, text files which get processed into EXIF tags that are added to the scanned images, which are then stored in Adobe Lightroom.

    I actually keep track of my digital files (what little there are) this way, too, by renaming the blasted DSC* files into the YYMMDDx.FF format (treating each set of images shot on a particular date as "roll").

    I've been using this system for over 10 years and it's worked really well for me.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Shooter
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    I finally got tired of looking for negs, even though they were somewhat cataloged, so I finally put together a database with Filemaker Pro (which I use at work, or I never would have). I track books and pages (Printfile sleeves and 7 binders). I can also store lots of info about each roll, or image, like developer, times, etc, location, subject type, filter and other shooting conditions. Also printing "recipe" instructions, what shows prints have been in (so I don't submit the same ones twice to annual competitions), etc etc. I even have a check box that tells me what needs to be printed, so when I'm going to print, I can search for these, and decide what to work on. (this way I never forget them either)
    It's also great for keeping track of testing different films and developers.

    At first I thought that the Dbase would take more time than it was worth, but not so, at least for me.

    If anyone would like an empty clone of the Dbase, I would be glad to send one (you need Filemaker Pro vs 7 or greater). PM me if interested.

  5. #15
    patrickjames's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    I do what a lot of others do, which is label each roll of film with the year it was shot then the number of the roll then the frame #. So, frame # 7 of the 35th roll of 2009 looks like this- 2009-035-07

    I go one step farther though. I use Lightroom to keep track of everything. Lightroom is a godsend for cataloguing. I bulk scan all of my 35mm through my Nikon scanner regardless if its black and white or color at low resolution. That way I keep track of everything on the fly. If I make a print of a negative, I scan the print and that replaces the neg scan.

    I have been trying to streamline it even more. I think I am going to start using metadata for film types, developer, etc.

    For printing data I do it the old fashioned way. I keep a binder with everything in it. When I make a print, I simply write the page # on the neg. sheet with a china marker.

    I keep track of prints I need to make inside Lightroom. So when I see an image I need to print it is a simple matter of noting the # of the negative, going over to that years binder and picking it out and referencing the # I have written on the neg. sheet to find the print information. Easy!

    Setting it all up after years of throwing negatives around was not so easy!

    Patrick

  6. #16
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
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    Delta, British Columbia, Canada
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    When you are planning your setup, it is worth considering a lot of issues, because once you start using one system, it is very difficult to change.

    If you are working commercially, it would be a good idea to have room in the database for a job number, a client number, or both.

    I find it useful to have date information in any designator.

    For costing and business analysis, information about format and material (E6, C41, B&W, etc.) can be useful too.

    If you have specific areas of concentration in your work (e.g. canine photography ) it is useful to have that designated as well.

    If you create a database, you can associate the additional information with the slide or negative or roll's individual designator, but you need to be careful about how the data is entered.

    I wonder if any of the litigation support software that is used to track documents in large court cases might be suitable for this? (It would most likely be expensive).

    The most important thing to do is to think very carefully how the information will be used both in the short and long term, and leave room for the possibility of change (Y2K anyone ).

    Matt

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Newbury, Berkshire
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    4x5 Format
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    197
    Like Patrick, I use Lightroom for cataloging all my negs.

    Each film is allocated a sequential number. Once processed, the film is scanned at relatively low resolution into it's own named folder and the scanning software increments each frame number adding it to the file name. So last nights efforts included the creation of a folder (called 1636-January 2009) which then received scans of 1636-001, 1636-002 etc. If I shot a second roll, it would have been called 1637-January 2009 etc.

    Lightroom is setup to check the primary folder each time it starts so the folders are catalogued quickly.

    All that needs to be done then is to keyword the files.

    The scanning software adds the metadata for scan date and scanner, but this can be changed if the scans take place later than shooting date.

    I'd like to use Lightroom for the processing data too, but have yet to find a way of doing so.

    Any printing that's done then has the reference number (1636-015) written in chinagraph on the back because it removes a date reference from the print/image.

    Mike

  8. #18
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickjames View Post
    I do what a lot of others do, which is label each roll of film with the year it was shot then the number of the roll then the frame #. So, frame # 7 of the 35th roll of 2009 looks like this- 2009-035-07
    I use this method for my 135 and 120. The film goes into negative pages. I keep one set of prints for color and contact sheets for black and white. The pages go into a loose leaf notebook in yyyy-rrr order.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  9. #19

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    OH
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    I only shoot 35mm. I stopped making contact prints about 20 rolls after I started developing my own stuff. I use a simply YYYYMMDD-rollnumber-framenumber system. 20090109-1-01 for the first frame from the first roll from that date. Has the added advantage of sorting correctly by date in most computer OS's. Negs are sleeved with basic info (roll number, EI, camera used, dev, and times/temps) and put into binders. I also make a note of this stuff in a little notebook. Scanned frames get this information attached in EXIF using Photo Mechanic.

    When I make prints, I jot down the negative number, and basic exposure info so I can match it up with the more detailed info written down in the notebook.

  10. #20
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Gray View Post
    I only shoot 35mm. I stopped making contact prints about 20 rolls after I started developing my own stuff. I use a simply YYYYMMDD-rollnumber-framenumber system. 20090109-1-01 for the first frame from the first roll from that date. Has the added advantage of sorting correctly by date in most computer OS's. Negs are sleeved with basic info (roll number, EI, camera used, dev, and times/temps) and put into binders. I also make a note of this stuff in a little notebook. Scanned frames get this information attached in EXIF using Photo Mechanic.

    When I make prints, I jot down the negative number, and basic exposure info so I can match it up with the more detailed info written down in the notebook.
    I cannot use YYYYMMDD-rollnumber-framenumber system because I am using four cameras and one of them has interchangeable film back. So I can have a roll in a camera for a couple of months and use a camera that was loaded earlier or has a new roll in it.

    This is a direct fallout of G.A.S.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

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