I use a Palm PDA program called GoPix. I use it so much, I bound it to one of the main PDA buttons, and every piece of film exposed for the past 3 or 4 years has been recorded on it. I use it all the way through development, and then export the notes to text, print them and save them with the contact sheets.
I can't find this GoPix on the net. can you suggest any address to download? thanks
I am like some of the others and now use a digital voice recorder. I tried the paper notes but found it difficult and/or time consuming recording enough information about a scene to help me evaluate the final print in regards to the scene layout. Notes on exposure, zones, N-development and such just was not sufficient for me to learn from.
On the digital recorder I just "babble away" describing the scene, my intentions or visualization, the film holder # and EI, the N-development and any other things I think may help. I then just keep this on the recorder until such time as I print the neg. If I want a long term record I then transpose the information, otherwise I just erase it.
This recorder is very small and also permits me to save the recording as a "wav file" for future reference should I wish to erase and reuse the space. I have yet to use this but it is nice to know that it is possible.
I really find it much easier and considerably more helpful if I can just verbally describe my intentions and the scene during the shooting and then refer back to that when I am developing and printing.
Just my thoughts,
I use notepads to record exposure info, dates and locations. I've tried forms but you need something to push against when writing which I never have. The notepads have a cardboard backing which is enough. I transfer that into a MS-Access DB which also records film development and enlargement info. This is designed for roll films and I need to add something to suit sheet film. I print a report (usually 1 page) and stick that with the contact sheet in a clear sleeve which goes in the neg folder in front of the negs.
I use the printed form method, of my own design, but based roughly on that which AA outlined in the negative. One day I'll put a copy online somewhere.
I keep every possible bit of data, and it really helps out. It especially helps me with remembering stuff, like reminding me to factor in reciprocity correction for that fleeting night shot which I'm rushing to get.
Once I get home, this info, along with development info, goes into an MS Access database, though I'm thinking of moving it over to a MySQL-based system, so I can access it from anywhere.
On 4x5's, I use a strip of white artist's tape on the film holder, and I make note of the film type and speed. Then while I'm working, I record exposure, and f-stop. When I transfer the film to a film box or process it, I then transfer that little piece of tape to a notebook in sequence. I use the left side (back side) of a notebook (opened flat, left side).
Then when I go to print, I make print notations on the corresponding right side for the same neg. It's a small notebook with lots of pieces of tape, but I've never lost one!
I can't believe I haven't answered this before...
I have a small notebook which I always bring with me in the field. It's 29 lines to each page, the size is about 3½" x 8". There's plenty of space for notes about lens, exposure, contrast level etc. All my holders are numbered, so I'll jot down something like "4A-SY150/1/50:11-E4-17" which would mean "Holder 4 side A: Symmar 150mm at 1/50s, f:11, contrast range 4-17 on my Pentax Spotmeter". I would then know that this negative will require very careful development to keep the contrast under control.
The next step is to take all my holders into the darkroom and develop everything by inspection - but the inspection light is too dim to read my notes. I will also promptly forget which film came out of which holder, except the few that were in Linhof holders with numbering intact...
While method of notation is a personal thing, I am a definite devotee of notebooks. I have a Rite in the Rain notebook I keep in my 8x10 backpack, and another I keep with my 4x5 kit. In general, though, I just write down all pertinent information in a type of notebook I have developed a bit of an obsession with - Moleskine notebooks. Everything I could ask for in a notebook - the pocket in back is particularly nice. I ge mine from Dick Blick, but they're available elsewhere, too.