Thursday, December 13, 2018
Where is that picture?
These days I develop both black and white and negative color, and the product of each roll of 35mm film gets cut into five-frame strips and, after scanning, they are stored in PrintFile Archival Preserver sheets which go into 3-ring binders. I also purchase the same brand for my medium format negatives. I get the PrintFile sheets in packs of 25 at the UNM bookstore for about a quarter of what they cost at normal retail outlets.
On the top of each PrintFile sheet I record the exposure date for the roll, the main subject, the camera, the film, and the developer used for the film roll.
On my computer I create a folder for each year. Within the year folders are sub-folders for each month of the year, and within those a folder for each of the dates of the scanned rolls. The specific roll folder titles, in addition to the date, has the same subject information as the PrintFile sheet and the camera name.
The information recorded in the file titles allow computer searches which usually lets me find the scanned images I am looking for and is also helpful in locating the actual stored negatives. All of this, of course, takes up quite a lot of space on book shelves and on hard drives. I save the initial scan as a tiff file, do an photoshop image in the same format, and then produce a final jpg image for on line display.
These days, you can find high-capacity drives which will likely hold a life-time of scanned images, but when I started out drive capacity was smaller and rather expensive, so I have three accessory hard drives full of images, and I just moved all my 2017 images to one of my laptop drives to make room on my main desktop machine.
In actuality, most of my image searches start out using the search feature on my blog. This is facilitated by the fact that each blog post is tagged with the same information that is recorded on the PrintFile sheets including dates, subjects and cameras. I have had the blog on line for twelve years, so that covers a good portion of my work. Some of my earlier photos are on line at several web sites such as PhotoNet, photobucket (ugh!) and Flickr, so those places get searched as well. All of this does not make for a perfect archiving system, but most of the times it works well enough as a supplement to my increasingly leaky wetware.