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: