When shooting analogue, you will face the problem of having developed negatives lying around everywhere and piling up. You can throw them away, or put them somewhere in a dark corner and forget about them, but what if you want to scan them again or need them for any other reason? I do know I am pretty chaotic, but for my negatives I needed a method to keep it organized. So, let me show you how I archive my film negatives after the jump!
What you will need:
- 17-rings binder (in the Netherlands I bought it at HEMA, for 2,95 euro’s)
- Clear plastic folders (17 rings – same as the binder)
- Sewing machine
The advantage of this size binder is that its small (20 × 24 cm) and exactly four rows of 35mm film negatives fit next to each other (and two rows of 120mm film).
1. Stitch a straight line in the plastic folder. This line is around 3.7 cm from the edge, and the next one is again 3.7 cm from the previous line. This is how you can create four rows (often there is a distance indication on a sewing machine) and your 35mm film will fit in perfectly. For 120 mm you can just stitch a line in the middle of the folder.
2. Next step is cutting your negatives. They probably need some recutting and I develop them without cutting (because of the different sizes on for instance my Diana Mini film) so I always cut them myself.
This tipster is also usable for your LomoKino film; just cut very secure and make sure you keep the negatives in the order of the movie, so you can easily find the right negatives back when needed.
3. Write the data on the clear plastic folders. Which camera, film, time and location. When you create a clear system for this you can easily find back your film when you need to re-scan or develop a certain photo.
4. Put the folders in your binder. Create a certain order (for instance one binder for each camera, or for each year – whatever you like. I have them on chronological order).
And there it is! A system for archiving your negatives in a professional and neat way. In the beginning it takes some time and effort, because you probably have a lot of them lying around, but if you keep it up to date it will definitely be rewarding. Need to find a certain photo back? Just search for the right folder, which is easily found if you create a good data-system, and the advantage of the clear folders is that you don’t even have to take them out (no fingerprints!!!) to see if it’s the one you’re looking for.
Good luck and enjoy!