View Full Version : Managing exposed film

John MacKechnie
24-Feb-2008, 19:14
I would appreciate some help in managing my film prior to development. I have been exposing doubles in an effort to back up the images. The question is: How do you store the unused exposed film so that you can determine which one you are handling after you remove them from the negative carrier?

Any suggestions will be appreciated.


John Bowen
24-Feb-2008, 19:21
Get yourself a couple empty film boxes. Mark one box N, another N-1 and a third N+1. Keep notes and you should be home free.

kay tokugo
24-Feb-2008, 20:36
I usually expose doubles like you do and process one side of the holder first. If I don't process the second side right away and I want to empty and reload my holders, I do the following: (all my holders are numbered and I always write into my notebook what what I photographed in each holder....e.g. Holder #1 a and #1 b: CN Tower,
holder # 2 a and #2 b: Maple Leaf Garden and so on.)

Let's assume I have 10 unprocessed negs.
I'll write on a sheet of paper #1 to #10 and the subject/name of each neg.
Get an empty film box and lay out all three parts.
Into the smallest box I lay a 4x5 sheet of paper (or the 4x5 white cardboard that comes with all kodak sheet film) and I place unprocessed sheet #1 against it. Then I place #2 onto #1, then #3 onto #2 and so on until all ten sheets are in there.
Once all the sheets are in place I cover the smallest box with the two outer boxes.
Onto the piece of paper that has the holder #'s and the titles, I write "Negative #1/title against the paper/cardboard.
Then I place the sheet of paper and the film box into a Ziplock bag and place it into a cool room.
Hope that helps.

25-Feb-2008, 12:38
I just take good notes, and unload all my film into one box, regardless of the required development. I've had over 100 negatives unloaded this way after a trip, and I've never gotten out of sequence during development. It's very important that you fully shoot one holder, before moving on to the next one, else it's a nightmare to unload your film in an order that matches your notes. This is even more true if you shoot grafmatics (which I do).

When you unload the film, you'll be holding the film emulsion side up. Place the negs emulsion-side up into the box. Just remember that you're stacking them in reverse order to your notes, and that you always place the negatives into the box emulsion side up, just like you would load your negatives. That way, the negatives will always be in the correct order. When unloading from the box for development, flip the stack over.

When I'm developing negs, I'll look at my notes, and write on a sheet of paper with a heavy black marker the negatives I need to extract. For example, if I'm doing a 'N' development run, I'll write N,N,S,S,N,N,N,N. This means that I need to pull two negs, skip two, and pull four more. The skipped negatives go back on to undeveloped pile; my notes will be updated to reflect that the first two negs on the stack are N+1,N+2. If I'm unsure when pulling negatives, I can use a small card I've made that's covered with fluorescent tape to view my notes written in heavy black marker (easier to read). Needless to say, I do that on the other side of the darkroom.

Sounds harder than it is, and it can be really nerve wracking until you've done it a few times and built some confidence.

Again, taking good notes is key.

David A. Goldfarb
25-Feb-2008, 13:37
If you're exposing doubles, I suppose having two parallel boxes in order is the way to go.

I usually travel with a box that has tab-indexed dividers that I can sort in the dark. I've got a tab on the top edge of the top sheet of cardboard and tabs along the sides for +2, +1, N, -1, -2. If I fill up the box, then I divide the stack into one or more boxes.

John MacKechnie
25-Feb-2008, 17:54
This is exactly the kind of advice I needed. Thanks so much.