Field exposure and printing notes

Over the last couple of years I have been taking field notes on a custom 3×5 card rather than using a notebook. 1 card per 4×5 shot allows me to capture all the information about the exposure I need to remember or use for printing later. I have refined this card over time and today I added my Film Development routine to the back. I often take the cards with me into the darkroom and note my processing routine. Previously I had a full sheet of paper to track the film development of 4 sheets that went in my binder with the negatives. The new 2 sided card reduces paper and thickness, plus I can make plans in the field for how to develop. Using a ballpoint pen or pencil works better with these as they do not bleed through the paper like a sharpie might. These little tools help the large format photographer stay focused, keep track of items, and plan a little better.

Exposure side: Input all the relevant film/lens/shutter and meter information then add any adjustments made for filters or bellows extension. The check boxes next to F Shutter[] and T Shutter[] are a reminder to double check that you have stopped down the lens and are the final exposure Fstop and Time. The bottom half is useful for those who use a spot meter to note the EV range of shadows and highlights and to mark where on the zone system your EV values fall. A scene with EV range of 8 to 12 might place EV 8 on zone III and EV 12 on Zone VII, or the average EV 10 on Zone V. You can then make expansion contraction marks to different zones that you might want to achieve during development. I also track the EV value of my hand as a reference to the light and overall scene.

Developer side: The top lines are for notes about your chemistry while the bottom 4 lines are about the process times and agitation. My typical development process card would look like this

Sheet# 201712.1 Date: 12/15/2017
Developer Dilution Stop Fixer
Pyrocat HD 3:2:500 Water PF TF5
Presoak Init Agitation Sub Agitation Total Time
5 2 7:30 24:30
Stop Fix Wash Spot Agent
1 5 10 Yes

If you would like to use my exposure and print card download it here:  PDF Exposure 3x5card. Print on both sides of plain paper 3×5 card stock or create your own in 4×6 or 5×7 if you are a prolific note taker and need more space. Store these cards with your negatives or in a filing system for future reference. This card is also useful with my EV Exposure Chart to double check your final times and for reciprocity.

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