Gadgets - The Shooting Label

A place to talk about cameras, lenses, tripods, etc. and how to use them
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:02 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00
Location: Hampshire

Post by Henry » Mon May 26, 2008 2:08 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00


Tombo asked the same question, and sent me an e-mail - unfortunately, it's been a while since I've been on the forum. However the method comes from Way Beyond Monochrome pp279-280, and I hope the following makes sense!

"As I say, the idea comes from 'Way Beyond Monochrome' (available from RH Designs amongst others) and it consists of getting a small metal ruler (mine is a thin 6-inch stainless steel rule cut down to 4 inches) and cutting 6 evenly-spaced v-shaped notches into it towards the middle, but this isn't critical as the rule is the pattern for the DDSs. The notches represent binary digits (1,2,4,8,16.32 etc.) working from the left - I've put a dymo tape with the numbers on to remind me. Next, take each DDS (I use Fidelity, but similar pattern ones will work the same) and number them up 1+2, 3+4, 5+6 etc. (again I use dymo numbers so that they don't rub off when cleaning the white strip for fresh notes) and hold it so the folding flap is towards the top and using your rule to mark which notches to cut in the slotted (i.e. side into which the darkside slots) to make the number of the holder in binary marks - about 3-4mm deep is plenty - carefully cut v- notches with sharp stanley knife on each edge (e.g. holder side 6 will have 2 notches, one at 2 and one at 4) - mark up all your DDSs and presto each negative will have a series of v-shaped notches on it which your rule will decode which holder it came out of - useful when establishing N for a given dev+film combo, or for identifying a problem holder.

Sounds complex, but is really very easy to do (well, chopping the notches in the DDSs without damaging the hinge tape or slicing yourself does take a sharp knife and sensible care!!).

Good luck, but the book is worth getting not just because the photos explain the system much better than I have! "

It's helped me match neg to notes on many an occasion!

User avatar
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:33 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00
Location: Wales

Post by Horseman » Mon May 26, 2008 8:02 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Great Explanation Henry,

thanks very much !
John Martin

Forum Hero
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:24 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00
Location: Beds, UK

Post by Nigels » Tue May 27, 2008 10:48 am Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Just some notes on my way of doing things. When I go out shooting I make all the necessary notes in a plain notebook and when I get the trannies back I match them up to my notes using the descriptions I have recorded. My shots are all distinctive enough to make the matching up no problem. I don't tend to shoot multiple sheets of the same shot for backup and I very rarely bracket. I then store the trannies in a 4-per-page ring binder and, after inputing all the details into a spreadsheet generate an automatic 4-per-page label to put into the ring binder with them. The spreadsheet will also automatically print me a lable for the back of a print after entering additional scan/manipulation/print data. For me I don't see the need for this additional aid to matching up data and tranny so I'm happy with the way I do things. It is interesting though to see how other people do the "admin" associated with their "product".
Regs, Nigels.
[User of Ebony 45SU + 58, 80, 150 & 270 mm Lenses, and all the essential bits]
"He wears the sweeping landscape in the crystal of his eye."

Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:02 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00
Location: Hampshire

Post by Henry » Tue May 27, 2008 7:51 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00


For trannies, maybe, but even then I shoot "a" and "b" so that I can correct development if I've made a mistake with exposure (rarely more than 1/2 or 1/3 stop, but that's what good labs are for - a quick plug for Metro!!). Marking DDSs as described in 'Way Beyond Monochrome' allows you to accurately establish "N" for a given film/developer combo in B&W where, by definition, the subject is identical, hence the need to identify individual sheets, and the benefits of the binary code. Your notes won't help when batch processing to work out your ISO for the film, hence the need for frame identification.

more photography
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:51 am Etc/GMT-1+01:00
Location: Bedfordshire

Post by more photography » Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:47 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Joanna Carter wrote:I used Adobe Illustrator to create the label. I will dig out the file and post it as a PDF file later tonight or tomorrow.
Hi Joanna

Can you please email me the PDF file too. Do you print these on self adhesive labels or what?


Joanna Carter
Posts: 1283
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:26 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00
Workshop Images: ... _2009.html
Location: Plestin-les-Grèves, France

Post by Joanna Carter » Fri Oct 17, 2008 4:18 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

more photography wrote:Can you please email me the PDF file too. Do you print these on self adhesive labels or what?
Sorry this has been so long but internet connections are not easy to find whilst travelling in France.

You can download the labels as a PDF file from
Reassure yourself - stroke an Ebony

Post Reply