View Full Version : Print and Negative Storage
How do we keep our prints and negatives?
I guess we all have different methods.
I keep lores scans (600 pixels wide) on disk referenced by date, all organised by iPhoto. Backup at dot.mac. And the hires scans (1800 pixels wide) on a CD from the minilab, and the negative strip, all 36 uncut rolled up in a film can.
Almost all my work is onscreen and I hardly ever make prints.
What do other people do?
i keep them -most of them - in the original envelopes they came back from the lab. I know it's not very wise but so far i did not notice any damage or such. And i don't value my own photography too much, anyway... not to the level of keeping it for hundred years or keeping it ultraclean.
i have no reasonable neg scanner so i have small prints on almost all the negs i ever made. that's a ton. i threw out lotsa prints already, worthless junk, and cut some of them heavily into some kind of collage, looks pretty cool but it still has no goal, it just sits in a drawer.
I keep them in their envelops too, the prints might find their way into an album or something..
I'm still searching for a good, simple database solution for digital images. My prints (8x10 printed at home) go in glassine envelopes if I really like them, otherwise they go in plastic sleeves in a ring binder organized by date and location. My negatives go in Print File sleeves, again by date and location. When I use C-41 b+w I usually ask for the negatives uncut, just so I can organize them consistent with my others.
I'm not doing any high end stuff but I do like to keep things somewhat organized. I just purchased some PrintFile archival storage sheets for negative strips. I got the ones that store six strips of 4 frames each. They fit nicely in a standard binder and have a space for writing dates etc. at the top.
Most of my prints are digitized and sit in iPhoto or in separate folder for PSing when I get around to it. From there they usually get burned to CD for printing and then usually only my faves get printed in 5x7 and put in an album. Pretty soon I will be buying some frames to rotate my faves through that so that I can see them on the wall etc. Seems like a good idea at the time.
I cut my negatives six frames per strip and store one film in a Vue-All archival sheet that holds 7 strips of 6 frames each. Each page gets marked with a consecutive 7-digit number, like 3000001, along with the month/year of the first exposure. I mix black&white and color. Each page gets stored in an archival binder and goes into a metal cabinet.
That consecutive 7-digit number becomes the name of the directory in which I save the scanned negatives. Under this directory I save each scan by naming it with the 7-digit number followed by its frame number (3000001-01.jpg).
These film directories are saved in a parent folder which should hold up to 100 films. So the first one would be called films/3000001-3000100/.
Two child directories hold corrected and compressed copies of the originals and these files have the same names as the originals.
Furthermore, a Content.txt file lies under the main film directory and holds keywords for the entire film.
My best pics are linked to another directory.
Every 6 months I make CDs of the lastest non-backed-up film directories and store these CDs in another building.
A 7-digit number is a typical id length for cms systems, by the way.
Und alle gute Dinge sind drei.
It's important to have a consistent system so you can find related stuff later! I label all prints with the negative roll+frame number.
I started with sequential numbering with a BW, CN, or CT prefix on the number to indicate what sort of film it was. I kept the cut film strips in Agfa glassine files that folded into a narrow paper envelope... those were numbered of course. I also kept a 4x6 file card for each roll with technical information on the date, gear used, development process, subject notes, etc.
In 1998 I changed the numbering system from sequential to date-based, YYMMDD with A,B,C added if there were more than one roll finished on that date. Negatives go in PrintFile pages, of which there's a nice variety of styles. No more file cards, now replaced by computer database with the same information, more easily searchable. All the cards have been transcribed to the database too. Scans are numbered to correspond to the negative file+frame number too. The fifth shot on a roll finished today would be numbered 051127-05. Under the new numbering, this all naturally sorts according to date order.
I really like being able to quickly find something I know is in there somewhere, so I go to some effort to prevent frustration. :)
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