Now that I am starting to shoot a lot more LF, I am looking for a good way to keep track of everything in the field & Darkroom. I've seen various forms in the AA negative book, online, and even bought the Zone VI notes through Calumet, but none so far have made sense for what I want to keep track of.
Looking online, I've found several small leather bound journals that look promising. I figure I can jot down exposure, development, filtration, etc, as well as notes about location, any profound thoughts I may have while working, etc.
I'm wondering what others use, and if it is a journal style, how does that work out for you.
I use an army zippered up notpad thing. It has all the room I need for field notes. When I get back I enter them into a database program so I can search and do all that geek stuff.
I go thru fits and starts when it comes to note taking. The minimum I record is the zone range, what I am placing at what value and whether I think it needs N or N+or-. That and of course the holder number and side etc.
small tape recorder. Voice activated type. Litttle old ladies can get away with talking to themselves. Nobody notices.
The main thing you need is discipline.
Since I have little of that all the various note taking approaches I have tried have failed. I have tried mini-recorder, plain notebooks, zeroxed Ansel and other forms and even tried to put them into computer form. None lasted long as there is always something to interfere such as changing light, weather, my dog and of course the all purpose "I forgot".
I still try and am lucky to get maybe 50% success but until I can buy some discipline the forms aren't going to do me much good. Good luck, you may already have the discipline and if so a piece of paper and a pencil will do.
I went through a lot of printed forms - some designed by others - some by me. I never liked any of them. Now I just use a bound notebook of the type you're describing. A blank page gives me the freedom to note whatever I think is important at the time.
Things I always note - Zone range, lens, film (I use more than one) and the negative holder number.
I have a small notebook with perforated pages. It's about 3x5. I put the date on the page, then record anything (or nothing) that seems important at the time. At the end of the day I tear the page(s) out and put them with boxes I transferred the film into. If I keep the negative I write the information on the envelope and throw the notes away... eventually.
During my undergraduate and graduate school days I learned the value of a good notebook. My preference is for the rite-in-the-rain notebooks. They seem to have endless varieties of them. My preferences is for the small bound geology version. A great place to buy them is www.forestry-suppliers.com
Now I have one that I use to record photo data. Sorry Eric, I'm not high tech enough to transfer it to a computer. If my department didn't give me a laptop, I wouldn't even be online. Oh well, anyways, rite-in-the-rain notebooks rock.
bmac, good thread..have always wondered what others do..have tried a few things, don't seem to ever get too far..best luck has been with notebook of some sort. Place, time, film, exposure, equipment data then darkroom dry to at least write down temp, developer, time, etc. first good working print try to give a little more detail, such as enlarger, enlarger height, lens, any filtertration, time, developer etc.
Does everyone find this hard to make yourself do? I know that I need to, need to start and slow down, nothing is going to run away.....
I think it is one of the struggles coming from the 35mm (and now digital) mindset. Shoot first, ask questions later. It could also have to do with living in "silicon valley" My life is mile a minute, cant think, must do.. hehe. Hopefully the notebook journal will be able to slow me down a bit.
I also use a little army field message notepad with a canvas cover. It's ideal. I've never liked being tied to a specific pre-printed form. I just write the usual date always in the same order, and I've got room for any additional info I want to write down.