6 Simple Tricks for Sending In Your Film
In case you didn’t hear the news, Richard just launched our brand spankin’ new Online Film Ordering! This nifty feature makes ordering your film services easier than ever… but Richard thought, “Why stop there?” So, we’ve got a handful of tips and tricks to make sending in your film (and getting ready to make your next order) even better.
When you’re sending in a batch of undeveloped film, you may have some rolls that need to be processed normally, while others need to be pushed or pulled (more on that here). Richard can do that, no problem-o!
However, you must label your rolls not only to indicate if they should be pushed or pulled, but also to specify the number of stops. The difference between pushing one stop and pushing two stops could be the difference between a decent film negative and a great one… but, we only get one chance to process your film. #noredos
Psst, make sure your labels don't cover up any important info on the film roll!
CRACK THE CODE
As you’re shooting your film, mark your rolls to designate the order you shot them in (i.e. 1-50)—this is called “roll coding”. Richard’s team will process and scan each film type (i.e. C41, B&W, and E6) in the order they were shot to best maintain consistency in the appearance of the images. Switching from a roll shot outdoors in the afternoon to five rolls that were shot indoors later that evening and then back again makes it more difficult to gauge how an image should look when considered as part of the “greater whole” of an event.
Plus, roll coding helps you to receive each film type's scans in close order to that in which they were shot, saving you time and making your images even more client-ready! #theadvantagesoffilm
Make sure your labels aren't covering any important info on the roll, and add “Code rolls in processing” to the special instructions field of your film order. Additional charges may apply.
A PREFERENCE FOR REFERENCE
Richard insists that you always use a reference name for every film order you send us. What’s a reference name? It can really be anything you want, from the name of the event to the location and time—anything that will help you to identify the order. The lab will use the reference name, as well, in order to quickly cite and track your job whenever you have any questions or concerns, and differentiate it from other orders you may have placed with us around the same time.
THINK INSIDE THE BOX
Bags alone just aren't enough—it’s always safest to pack your film in a box when mailing it the lab, especially if you have a large batch. Bags can oftentimes rip or tear in transit with all those little rolls of goodness moving around… yikes! When you place your bag inside a box, on the other hand, the container can take quite a few hits and never leave an opening for your film to escape. #preciouscargo
If you have a smaller batch of film, envelopes that are lined in plastic padding can also do the trick—but don't overstuff!
Field notes seem to have become a lost art in photography. But, your notes are all you have to look back on when you first see your images—the lab will still have your negatives when the scans hit your inbox! Meanwhile, your brain will want to dissect how you created the perfect look, why an image wasn’t so perfect, or simply consider every variable of the images.
So, prepare yourself for the “effect” by taking note of the “causes”! Things like time, date, location, camera type, lens type, film type, ISO (and any deviations from it), natural and artificial lighting conditions, if you used a tripod, if you used filters, and any special processing directions applied to a roll. Those notes will come in handy for our next tip, too.
Added bonus: stopping to take notes helps you slow down and think about each and every shot! #everyframecounts
TALK IT OUT
After you receive your scans, about a million questions and comments can come to mind (even for the most seasoned photographer): “Why does this shot look blue? What’s this funny line? My roll is blank! Where’s the contrast?” Before you send us your next order, call the lab!
There are absolutely no stupid questions. The only thing that would be unwise is not asking the people directly handling your negatives what’s going on—otherwise, you probably aren’t getting the info you need to produce even better images the next time around. If you want guidance or recommendations, Richard is just a phone call or email away!
With these six simple tricks, and our Online Film Ordering, your new middle name will be “Efficiency.” Which is almost as good as the name “Richard.” Almost.