Large format film holders have dark-slides with a white and black side so you know if the film is exposed or not, but if you have a few holders on the shelf, how do you know which are even loaded with film? Which are ready for developing?
Everyone has a system - here is what I do:
- Empty. Film holders sat on the shelf have no film in them. They are ready to be loaded.
- Loaded, un-exposed. These holders are in Ziplocs, slides are white-side out and handles down in the bag so that I don't accidentally pull out the slide when removing the holder from the bag.
- Loaded, exposed. Same as above, but the slides have black sides out. The holders stay in the bags until they are emptied for development.
- Back to step 1.
Sandwich-sized Ziplocks are the perfect size for 4x5 film holders and help protect against the elements when out in the field.
I process images in batches of 6 (3 film holder's worth) because this is the capacity of the mod 54 insert for the 3 reel Patterson tank. Used film holders are cheap (check out the bargain ones on KEH) - I keep two sets of 3 holders so that I can still shoot even if I have one batch still to process.