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Thread: Darkroom print and data filing system

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Re: Darkroom print and data filing system

    The beauty of hand printing is that you can express yourself with different methods and materials and can experiment. It's not like digital where you press a button and an identical print comes out (most of the time). Some notes are good but don't stifle your creativity trying to replicate something you did in the past.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    136

    Re: Darkroom print and data filing system

    I keep a binder for what you want. Doing it in the computer is terribly inefficient. Old ways can be better, not that i am that old...

    Every neg gets a number (2021-001-01). That makes it easy to keep track of things. I keep negs in binders by year. Makes it easy to find a neg. When I am printing, I print a "contact sheet" through lightroom of the images I want to print. When I make the print, I cut the little image out and paste it into the printing binder. Then I write the number of the page where all the notes are at on the negative sleeve with a china marker so the next time i want to make a print, I can go right to it in the printing binder. Any custom dodging/burning tools are kept in the binder as well so they are right there when i make the print again. In the binder I write down all the relevant info. Size, paper, f/stop, time, developer, etc. All in all it is pretty efficient.


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  3. #13
    Dwayne Martin Devorobin's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
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    Re: Darkroom print and data filing system

    Quote Originally Posted by Huub View Post
    I used a system like that for a couple of years, but stopped when i put it to the test and found out that it only worked so-so. Often I could only use the dodging and burning schemes. One of the causes might be that materials had changed and for instance the paper I was using back then didn't exist anymore. A second cause could be that the output of the bulbs in the enlarger changes when they grow older. And a third reason was that both my printing capabilities and style of printing changed over time as well.
    After concluding this I stopped making notes, other then those on the film development. Also I found that using a darkroom tool like a R&H-design zonemaster really helps in reducing the effort to create a good print.
    Thanks, I'm really considering that meter you mentioned. My enlarger has a ilfospeed 400hl on it and its not compatible with the ilford only model R&H makes. I assume this means I would have to take the data from the meter then input it into my ilford controller. Is that how you use your R&H meter? I went through 6 pieces of FB paper the other night trying to print one tricky negative. I need to work out a better way.
    Thanks

  4. #14
    Huub
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    Dec 2013
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    Netherlands
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    Re: Darkroom print and data filing system

    Quote Originally Posted by Devorobin View Post
    Thanks, I'm really considering that meter you mentioned. My enlarger has a ilfospeed 400hl on it and its not compatible with the ilford only model R&H makes. I assume this means I would have to take the data from the meter then input it into my ilford controller. Is that how you use your R&H meter? I went through 6 pieces of FB paper the other night trying to print one tricky negative. I need to work out a better way.
    Thanks
    I use an Omega D2V with a condensor head and the standard Ilford filterset, so using a R&H is pretty straight forward after callibration. After metering I make a first print, which I use to judge what improvements i need to make for a decent print. These second prints are often good enough for me, tho tricky negatives might need a third sheet of paper.

  5. #15
    Dwayne Martin Devorobin's Avatar
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    Re: Darkroom print and data filing system

    Thanks for the input….
    D

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
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    Oregon now (formerly Austria)
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    Re: Darkroom print and data filing system

    My system:

    I keep exposure notes in a small notebook. Each set-up gets a separate sheet with information about exposure, place, working title, filtration, development chosen (ZS) and notes about cropping. The exposure records contain worksheets for bellows extension and filter factors plus a space for reciprocity correction (from a separate table).

    The exposure records get filed with the negatives in binders. The negatives themselves are in PrintFile poly pages and filed chronologically.

    When printing, I record the necessary information (negative number and date, exposure, development, enlarger height, lens used, print dimensions, cropping info, dodging, burning, bleaching, etc., etc.) in a Word document. I have a print record form in my auto-text that has places for all the info plus notes.

    I, too, like to sketch dodging and burning, so when that's needed, I simply sketch directly into the Word document using the free-form sketch tools.

    I save all the info chronologically by printing session. It's all in a Word doc, so it ends up being searchable by titles or other terms in the content with search tools like FileLocator.

    I almost always have a scan of the image or at least an iPhone photo somewhere as well to consult for cropping, etc. if needed.

    I usually make two or three of a run of prints at a time. When I need more, or a different size, I consult the record, but don't slavishly try to duplicate the prints I've made before (usually not possible anyway, since materials are changing/disappearing all the time...).

    Each print is a performance that is an attempt to realize the ideal I have in mind. Not only is the ideal often unattainable, my vision of "ideal" changes over time. When someone buys one of my prints, they get a unique performance of it. All my prints have negative date, printing date and a number on them (open-ended; I don't limit my editions). I don't mind if prints vary a bit from one to another as long as they are all worthy performances.

    Best,

    Doremus

  7. #17
    shadow images's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
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    Glendale,az
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    Re: Darkroom print and data filing system

    My print sheets
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A6D7458C-CC8C-4752-A5BE-2FD7FEF94944.jpg  
    Lyle

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