Each Lomographer has a preferred method for cataloging his developed film. Here's how I store mine so I can easily find a particular photo I'm looking for. And it's perfect for when you need a bit of a breeze on a spring day, too!
My lab of choice is Digiprint and I’m pretty satisfied with their service except that, sometimes, they don’t cut my negatives into strips and don’t put them into the sleeves like they usually do. By the end of the year, I ended up with a bunch of negatives in dark canisters which weren’t properly labeled and made searching for specific photos cumbersome. It also took up a lot of space and I wanted to minimize the clutter in my room.
Once and for all, I decided to sort all my negatives from over two years of shooting in film again and sat down one afternoon to organize everything. My technique is very simple and straightforward and here’s what I used for this Spring Cleaning tipster:
- negatives for sorting
- film sleeves (labs will give these to you for free if you ask nicely!)
- clear tape
Basically, I began with cutting the negatives to fit into the sleeve slots. The standard is usually four frames that fit perfectly into one row/pocket.
Once I filled them all in, I folded the film sleeves accordion-style and taped them on one side (the side opposite where you slide the negatives into, of course) so that they would stay flat and hold. I remember growing up in the 90’s and being so annoyed when I’d take a peek at a bunch of film sleeves, set them down on the table afterwards, and have them suddenly slip to the floor in succession like a slinky toy.
Taping them ensures that they don’t fold out in a messy heap and that they stay pretty much compact in storage. The best part is you can literally spread them out like a fan with one hand and easily see all the frames in a roll when you hold it up against light.
Lastly, I jotted down labels on top of each “film fan” so I could easily tell what event that roll was from. I also wrote down miscellaneous notes that would help me identify the contents of each roll (camera and film used, date, etc.) and, so far, the system works pretty well for me.
Now my next issue is where to store all these “film fans.” Stay tuned for the next installment from my Spring Cleaning series!