How to Organize the Analogue Mess


It was really hard to find the way to organize my negative's mess, but one day I decided to straighten up my negatives, cd's and contact sheets. It was not an easy work, but it deserve it when you want to scan an old pic, check what film you used in that picture you like or just have organized the safest back up ever: the negatives.

I use to develop in Madrid’s lLomographic embassy (I need a scanner!!! URGENT!!!), so, when I get my photos developed I get a CD and a little contact sheet. This little contact sheet is really helpful in my “organizing method”, so, if you scan your negatives at home I recommend you to print your own home made contact sheet with miniature pics.

Well, I’m going to try to explain my “analogue organizing method” step by step, here I go, hope you can understand it.

1.- I bought a ring binder, a classic one, and A4 cards or letter size.

2.- I stuck the CD’s sleeve in the card with scotch tape and I put the CD, the negatives and the contact sheet in. I marked everything in that card with the same number, “A-0031”, for example.

3.- I write down the information of the photos in the cd and in the contact sheet (tags): film, date, places… As you can see, I write it down in a chaotic way, I would like to find a better way to do it but I can’t find it…

4.- When I download the cd content in my computer I make folders with the numbers I gave to all material: “A-0031”, for example. Inside that folder I make more folders, one per film, “lomo002768” for example, that it’s analogue tagged in the cd and the sheet folder (3). If I make selection and put together photos from differents films I make other folders and I named them with names: “schweppes Diana”, for examples.

This is the way I organize my analogue mess (the digital still have to wait, but here in spanish you have a great guide for digital organizing). I give you the “ring binder analogue organizing method” as an inspiration, but I think that organizing is something that each person has to do in its own personal way, because, at the end, it is a reflection of our way of thinking. Also, the organizing method depends on the way you develop, print, scan… something really personal at the end. But, definitely, it’s really nice to know where your negatives are, have them named and tagged, so: now you know how to organize your mess. Look at one of my ring binders:


written by susielomovitz on 2010-09-23 in #gear #tipster #folder #to-straighten #tipster #organize #archive #negative #cd-s #mess #archivador #films #practical-tips #negatives


  1. boredbone
    boredbone ·

    you're such an OC:) love it.

  2. azzzy
    azzzy ·

    i so need to this, and make sure the place you keep your negs dont get dusty. its sure sad if you scan an old negative and u see plenty of dust on it

  3. wallflowersforjane
    wallflowersforjane ·

    wow! you are detailed. all i do is put them into file, one sleeve for each negative+cd. i use the labelling by the cd shop in my downloaded file and input in the period i used the roll and the type of film! i think i should start labelling my cds like yours for better x-ref!

  4. nural
    nural ·

    I pretty much do the same except the contact sheet and cd since I scan at home but the folder and the negative holder have the same name :)

  5. vgzalez
    vgzalez ·

    Hooray, Susie! Now it's available in international version too!!!! Great!! :)

  6. ethermoon
    ethermoon ·

    I am OC when it comes to this but not like this one! :-)

  7. tallgrrlrocks
    tallgrrlrocks ·

    Great job susie! And I thought I was 'organized' :D

  8. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Wonderfully AR, but needful organisation!! All my negs and cd's are in their envelopes, in a box, a sort of archaeological site.

  9. panelomo
    panelomo ·


  10. rexhibitionist
    rexhibitionist ·

    Great article, love the amount of time you put in to this.

  11. susielomovitz
    susielomovitz ·

    :D. tnx! I already bought my scaner!!! Now I have more work... I'll tell you if I keep this organization 'going on'... ha! And also I have to say something: this is the only thing I have organized, my bedroom is in a mess guys! ;).

  12. mandecster
    mandecster ·

    haha..nice work!!i wish i have time to do that..hahaha

  13. eatcpcks
    eatcpcks ·

    I waited this translation so bad! Nice article... Need to clean my mess:D and make cds too:D

  14. renrep
    renrep ·

    Your article inspired me to get organized and my OCD kicked in. I am nowgetting organized. Thank you.

  15. jojothemonkeyy
    jojothemonkeyy ·

    :D did it!
    Gonna decorate the ring binder cover with photos I took

  16. maxwellmaxen
    maxwellmaxen ·

    i am so glad, i always do that while scanning!
    external harddrive,
    lomography 2011 - 2011_05 - LC-A - Filmtype
    each file has a filmtype-2011_05_XX (XX for number)
    negs and contact sheets are stored in a special binder in special sleeves, all marked with month, tags, camera and film
    cds (if i need one) are stored in the box with the prints.

    i am so glad, i had this system since the beginning. the tidiest thing in my life! :D

More Interesting Articles

  • Film Manipulation: Kodak Slides and Bleach

    written by neonlights on 2014-07-30 in #gear #tipster
    Film Manipulation: Kodak Slides and Bleach

    I want to share with you my experience with some slides when I was in Russia. I'm very sorry for them because I messed them up. They're just ruined and they'll never be the same! But hey, I have thousands of them, so I guess it's not a big deal after all.

  • Fresh from the Lab: Silvia Precisa

    written by adi_totp on 2014-08-20 in #lifestyle
    Fresh from the Lab: Silvia Precisa

    Recently, I used my trusty Fuji Silvi. It may not be my all-time favorite camera, but I just wanted to use it because I kind of missed shooting with it. So I decided to look through my film stash to see what I could use with the Fuji Silvi. After much consideration, I ended up picking the old Agfa CT Precisa ISO 100 to get that classic blue tone. Silvia Precisa!

  • Fresh from the Lab: 1990

    written by adi_totp on 2014-08-08 in #lifestyle
    Fresh from the Lab: 1990

    A weekend without a lomowalk seems bad, at least for me. One Saturday morning, I decided to join my friends in their lomowalk. It was all cloudy at first but it didn't stop me from going out and walking. I brought my new Nikon FM2 and some expired rolls, just to test my camera. Was it just me being sleepy, or was my Nikon FM2 acting up? My photos turned out grainy, pale, and, in my opinion, looking so 1990s?

  • Shop News

    Shoot sharply with Oktomat Bullseye

    Shoot sharply with Oktomat Bullseye

    Shoot sharply without hurting your budget. At 30% off you can now experiment with 8 sequential shots in one 35mm print! Tell stories in 2.5 seconds with 8 scenes in one shot!

  • I am a Mad Analogue Scientist: New Experiments with 35mm Films and Chemicals

    written by blackfairy on 2014-08-07 in #gear #tipster
    I am a Mad Analogue Scientist: New Experiments with 35mm Films and Chemicals

    Unfortunately, it happens sometimes that your resulting pictures are not what you expected - the image doesn't look that good, the colors are bland, and the subject is banal. Indeed, it couldn't be picture of the year! Herein I propose a second chance for your pictures by modifying your 35mm negatives. Just pick up some ideas from here, experiment, and scan your negatives with the Lomography Smartphone Scanner. Anything is possible: burning, scratching, putting on hydrochloric acid, balsamic vinegar, nail polish, bleach, or raspberry juice... use your imagination and write down your new film soup recipe! You can find a sample of the effects in this article.

  • My First Lomo Affair: Litumai and her Diana Mini

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-07-31 in #lifestyle
    My First Lomo Affair: Litumai and her Diana Mini

    She was supposed to get a Diana F+ camera but ended up with its equally charming small sister Diana Mini. Find out why Andrea Lituma, litumai in the Lomography Community, considers this mishap as "the best mistake ever" in this edition of My First Lomo Affair!

  • Brisk Bokeh: The Top 10 Petzval Winter Destinations!

    written by jacobs on 2015-01-16 in #world #locations
    Brisk Bokeh: The Top 10 Petzval Winter Destinations!

    Common sense tells us that when the weather gets bitterly cold, it's best to stay inside and drink a cup of something warm. But when you have a primo lens like the Petzval, it's hard not to go on an adventure! Equipped with nerves of steel and a Petzval lens, these Lomographers around the globe bundled up and braved the conditions to capture the top 10 wintry (not so) hot spots.

  • Shop News

    Color Your World with Colorsplash Camera

    Color Your World with Colorsplash Camera

    At 30% off you can now color your analog images with 12 different color gels. Experiment with 35mm slide film and play with the built-in color flash for the most intense colors!

  • Mary Ellen Mark on Street Photography

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-03-20 in #world #lifestyle
    Mary Ellen Mark on Street Photography

    "I’m an analogue photographer but I’m old school in the sense that I don’t believe in cropping," Mary Ellen Mark shares in this video by Seaport Museum New York. "I believe you have to make the picture in the camera."

  • Simple Color Gels or Filters Holder for the Diana Mini's Flash

    written by grungyjodie on 2014-04-25 in #gear #tipster
    Simple Color Gels or Filters Holder for the Diana Mini's Flash

    I've always been looking for a really simple solution to hold my color gels of my Diana Mini's flash WITH the camera and make them easy to grab when I want to use them. I also wanted something to keep them from getting damaged. Let me show you how I found a simple way to make it.

  • Summer Hot Spots: Blaavand, Denmark (Part One)

    written by dermanu on 2014-08-31 in #world #locations
    Summer Hot Spots: Blaavand, Denmark (Part One)

    When I was a child, I regularly went to Blaavand located at the Danish west coast with my brothers and my parents. However, I didn't anymore when I grew up. But in 2012, we hit the road again. It was my first visit there in about 20 years. I took the chance and packed as many cameras as possible into my luggage. In this article, I'm going to present to you the photos I took with my Nikon F-501 SLR.

  • Shop News

    Lomo Instant Boston

    Lomo Instant Boston

    Here is another way to enjoy analogue experience and capture great memories in an instant! This package includes the best creative lenses for your LomoInstant camera!

  • Solo Biking Routes: Ubud in Bali, Indonesia

    written by adi_totp on 2014-07-30 in #world #locations
    Solo Biking Routes: Ubud in Bali, Indonesia

    Have you all watched "Eat, Pray, Love"? I was inspired by Julia Roberts, who rode a bicycle in that movie, so I decided to rent one and try it myself! This happened two years ago but I still remember my biking route. To all of you who haven't been to Ubud, I think you should visit the place and try to go around in a bicycle!

  • My Analogue Bucket List: Faster Than a Speeding Cannonball

    written by bloomchen on 2015-01-22 in #lifestyle
    My Analogue Bucket List: Faster Than a Speeding Cannonball

    The new year is still young, but it seems as if it'll be over quickly. My organizer is already filled with entries until June. 2015 will probably be worse than 2014 when it comes to having time off so I could take some analogue shots. Anyway, there are some photography-related things that I really want to get done. It is probably best to set some goals if I only have very limited time.

  • Early Inspirations in Film Photography: A Tomato Project

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-10-21 in #lifestyle
    Early Inspirations in Film Photography: A Tomato Project

    I’m lucky enough and old enough to have grown up in an era where film was the only form of photography available. I’ve always had a passion for film but it was a certain series of images that inspired me and changed my idea of photography forever. Find out what that was after the jump.