View Full Version : From Digital to Film Dumb Question
I am a relative newcomer to photography having only used DSLRís, but have just bought myself a Leica M6 and am about to develop my first roll of film.
With my digital workflow if an image isnít good enough itís deleted, currently I probably only keep about 30% of what I have actually taken, Is this how it also works for film? So if I have the same amount of keepers in film as I have in digital means that roughly from each 36exp roll I will have 10 keepers which could be scattered throughout the film meaning I could have many single negatives.
Sorry for the dumb question but is this right? Or do I keep all the negatives and just mark the ones which I feel are good enough to keep? I have bought some of the printfile negative storage sleeves which I presume lend themselves to storing an uncut row of negative instead of a row of individually cut ones.
Sorry for the dumb question but what is the best way of doing this?
I scan my film and delete the scans I don't want, then cut up my negs into strips of six and store them in binders. It doesn't take up much space, and you might want them someday--don't throw out any negs. The "good" scans I treat pretty much the same way I treat my digital photos.
Don't cut up negatives into single frames. Single frames are no fun to handle.
I do the same as mabelsound.
I keep any negative with a good or even ok image on it. If you're organized at all with your negative storage, it isn't a real problem. On the other hand, the more you keep, the better organized you must be if you ever hope to retrieve a negative some months/years down the line.
Having said that I keep negatives that contain even an OK image, it's telling that the trash can is located right next to the scanner. I have had entire rolls go from scanner to trash without hesitating.
I scan my negs (strips of 5 or 6 pictures) to get a "digital contact print", which I use to find the shots I like on the screen. I scan the negs through/in the sleeves, that's fair enough for contacts.
Unlike with digital, I tend to keep all of my shots/negative strips unless they are completely hopeless.
The shots I like I scan properly (without sleeves) and in proper resolution, do some Photoshop magic on them and archive them ready for print and for web.
The ones I REALLY like receive the full treatment in the analogue darkroom (if I find the time and occasionally get the urge to do something in a dark basement room smelling of chemicals ;-)
How many "keepers" you have obviously depends on how critical you are with what you do and how much time you want to invest in postprocessing.
So at the end of the day, keep whatever you like and whatever seems worth investing time/(disk)space. If 36 out of 36 seem dear and precious to you that's perfectly fine.
SAVE EVERYTHING! I've always made contact sheets with a narrow white strip across the end (black tape on the glass) so the strips can be numbered to match the negative sleeves. I've been walking around with a camera hanging from my shoulder since 1961. I like photographing people and I go to a lot of events where there are lots of people, and parties where there are just a few, and I've also gotten involved in politics. Over the years I've photographed a lot of young "nobodies" and since made some good money because I have photos of people early in their careers, even before they HAD a career.
Examples: United States Attorney General Janet Reno was a twenty-something, fresh out of law school, the first time I got her in some photographs back in the early 1970's. Rene Ricard has starred in several Andy Warhol movies, is a noted poet and a respected art critic and artist. I have photographs of him as a young teenager from about 1962. Recently a fifty-something singer named Jamine Miller passed away. She'd performed with about everybody from the Grateful Dead to the...you name it! Her vocals appear in studio sessions of dozens and dozens of albums. I have photos of her going back to when she was fifteen years old, singing with a local garage band by the name of Fantasy. I did the cover of their first album, about 1968. Their one big hit before they broke up was Stoned Cowboy.
Sometimes I'll run into somebody who wants to know if I still have the pictures I took of something thirty or so years back, pictures that they'd have been in. I hand them a stack of contacts dated from that year. Very often they'll recognize somebody in a series of photographs that I didn't even know I'd photographed. They were a nameless nobody at the time.
Save it all, save everything, and have at least a basic filing system. Make any on-line postings "Google friendly" with the right "key words". Last year I got an email from a woman in Boston who was researching a story about the Seminole and Miccosukee Indians, and their life style in the relatively short period between moving out of the wild Everglades into houses on their new reservation, and becoming filthy rich from their casinos. Googling brought her to my photographs, and a month or so later I had a nice check in hand.
Thanks everyone for your quick replies.
It seems like the concensus is to keep all negatives, which thinking about it probably does make sense, as I am going to scan in my negs then as suggested I can keep the worthwhile ones digitally.
I will now do a bit of research on the best ways to organise and catalogue my negatives as I want to do it right from the start.
I would suggest to keep everything as well. All in, a page of a roll's worth of negatives doesn't take up much space. Though I don't have any stories as significant as Al's, I have found myself going back to stuff I never even bothered scanning the first time and being pleased.
I don't think the expense of space outweighs the value of being able to go back to anything you've ever shot. I find negatives much easier to store than RAW files.
I know there are a few good threads on the site about people's methods of cataloguing their negs. I keep it fairly simple. I just write on the page of negatives the date that I developed the roll. When I want to go find a particular negative for something I have digitally, I look up the date in the metadata then flip through the binder until I find what I'm looking for.
I cut them into strips of six, scan the keepers, then put them all in a binder with the archival sleeves.
I get my film processed and scanned to CD, no prints. I preview the shots on the CD to decide if I want to scan a certain frame at home at high rez for printing later. I keep all ny negs in the sleeves the processor puts then in. My keeper rate does not change digital to film.
Some of my stories are because I just happened to meet somebody who became famous, some when I just showed up at an event because I knew there'd be free munchies, and of course some were because I was being paid to be there taking pictures.
I have about a handful of keepers every year. I keep all negatives though. :)
Amen! That's a great example.
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