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  1. #1
    ted_smith's Avatar
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    What method to use to keep track of films and individual frames as your archive grows

    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?
    Ted Smith Photography
    Hasselblad 501CM...my 2nd love.

  2. #2
    ann
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    i make a traditional contact sheet. each sheet has it's own code number that is placed on that sheet and on the printfile page that contains the negatives.

    i file by project and put the negatives in an archival three ring box.

    i.e. project may be New Orleans 01/2009, next roll would be New Orleans 02/2009, etc.
    http://www.aclancyphotography.com

  3. #3

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    A system that I used for over 30 years: 3C for 35mm, C for color neg, S for slide and B for Black and White.
    6 would stand for 6x6, 7 for 6x7 and 9 for 6x9. For 4x5 inch I just put them in a box with cards: name of the architect and project name.

    You can make a computerlist with links to seperate pages for additional information, like numbers send to clients.
    For digial I have a different system: one RAW file where I put every thing as a back-up and seperate folders for each client
    and sub-folders for each of their projects. You can do the same with scans.

  4. #4
    phaedrus's Avatar
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    Each negative has a unique number that is composed of:
    A letter-digit-combination indicating camera and lens
    The date the image was taken in ddmmyy format
    The number of the roll of film for that camera, that day, if applicable
    The frame number, or, with sheet film, the number of the shot taken that day
    Each section separated from the next with underscores.
    Negatives or slides get that identifier when they're scanned, I write it as a range on the neg filing sheets and it ends up on the back of a print with all the othe information.

  5. #5
    david b's Avatar
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    I shoot only 120.

    Each roll is labeled 09-001 then 09-002 then 09-003. (09 being the year)

    So if I need the 10th exposure on 09-002, it is labeled 09-002-10

    Also, each negative sleeve is marked with the exposure date, development date, and the developer and dilution.

    Makes my life really easy.

  6. #6
    MikeSeb's Avatar
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    David Bram's method and mine are nearly identical; his is more concise! For instance, I just shot my second roll of 2009, so the fifth frame of that roll is 2009002_05 (don't know why I used underscores rather than hyphens....) This is the same regardless which size film it is, though the vast majority of my film these days is 120. (Probably never return to 35mm after seeing a 6x7 negative.)

    For 4x5 it's a bit strange, 'cause there are no "rolls" to constitute a natural grouping; I just fill up those four-pocket Print-File negative sheets as the images come in. Each sheet gets a new "roll" number, with the images being sequenced _1 thru _4 on each sheet. I make proof scans of each image and rely on metadata in a DAM program to find and classify the images.

    Since the majority of my prints are made by methods out of bounds for discussion on APUG, suffice it to say further that back when I found myself with "derivative" image files, certain suffixes having to do with size and resolution got affixed to the base filenames as described above. This way every image could be traced back to its master, and the negative is always at hand.

    Also like David, each sheet gets the processing information for the "roll". I've never met Mr. Bram but I'm convinced we must be unheralded geniuses since our great minds are thinking so alike!

    Michael Sebastian
    Website | Blog

  7. #7
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    hmmm...considering the pile of negatives is beginning to build up, maybe it's time to try one of these out. Right now the method is "ruffle through until you find the one you want"...

  8. #8
    Palantiri7's Avatar
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    ^^ :rolleyes: I wonder if I'll break out of that habit.

  9. #9

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    Oh sweet lord, it's a writhing gelatin cacophany. Negs grating into eachother overlapping in the same sleeves, neg sleeves fluttering for freedom unleashed from their dusty ring folder tomb, about 2 contact sheets and not one single 4x5 neg sleeve in sight. A lost cachement that got levied from my unguarded locker in school à la Capa but alot less exciting. I need some sort of containment unit like wot is on Ghostbusters. At least things are easier to identify as I'm moving up formats.

  10. #10
    Palantiri7's Avatar
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    Woo hoo! I've got company!!

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