Got a question about keeping track of negatives . . .
I'll be doing a bunch of in-the-field tintypes and POP prints this summer at large gatherings and I'm wondering how to keep track of the 4x5 negatives.
What I have been doing on tintypes is marking the back of each plate with a "serial number" in permanent marker when I make it (may even have a stamp made with "Calamity Jane's Olde Tyme Photography" so I can stamp them to!). I record which serial number goes into each holder, and then I record the details of each image. This has worked good to get the best out of the Rocklands tintype process and it will work to keep customers matched up with their image.
When it comes to doing 4x5 negatives for POP printing, I don't know of any way to number the negatives until they have been processed. Has anybody got any ideas?
When I "take the show on the road" to large gatherings, I expect the photo sessions to be REALLY busy. Although I expect most customers will opt for tintypes, I think POP prints may also sell well because of the superior image quality while still looking "old fashioned".
Up until now, I have handled negatives by marking one side of the rack in my CombiPlan tanks so I can identify "slot #1" in the dark and then unloading the holder sequentially starting at slot #1. I also made a drying bar with numbered clips on it. When the negatives are dry, I write a serial number on the clear edge with a fine tip marker.
The two short-comings of this systems are: #1 - if anything gets out of sequence, the whole process falls apart; and #2 - it will be cumbersome if I have a large volume of negatives to process at one time.
It would be REALLY nice to be able to serial number 4x5 film as it goes into the holders.