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On maybe (perhaps) being a reluctant notebook person

So, there has been some lighthearted Twitter arguing discussion about notebook vs. no notebook in the pinhole photography community (you should watch this very eloquent video SquarePegPinhole made in  response to this discussion). I have been a vehement notebook denier. I have never seen the need and find them cumbersome and distracting.  I feel like they break my creative flow. I have even tried a few of the really great iPhone apps and they never work for me. I inevitably forget to jot down my exposure information.

I have reluctantly changed my tune. In a way.

A few months ago I bought a large format pinhole camera, a Zero 45. There are several options one can use with it from zone plate, to pinhole. You can add extension frames. You can use different backs (which means you can use sheet film as well as 120 roll film or even Polaroid). The first time I took this camera out I tried almost everything with it.  It was fun, but when I developed my film and looked at the images I had no idea what I did. I was kind of mad at myself because I was trying out this new camera and was left at square one, not knowing how each setting affected the photo. This is when I began to question my non-notebook ways.

I asked around and a a friend suggested the Midori Traveler’s Notebook. It looked like it was right up my alley. I have been using it now for a couple of months and I love it. I carry it with me everywhere and I use it for photography, but I also use it for work too.  I use it to keep my to-do list every day which has helped me stay focused. Also, I like to hand make my own books and there are great tutorials on how to hack your own Midori insert. I love this! It totally appeals to my creative side.

As for the photography journal part of it: I still can’t seem to write down each exposure. When I am shooting photos I am using the creative side of my brain and it is very difficult for me to turn that side off and go left brain with the technical details. Instead I am taking notes before and after I shoot and I write down as much as I can remember.

Here is a video about how I organize my Midori notebook.

Here are some links referenced in the Video:

Baum-Kuchen for Midori resources. Specifically the leather charm on the front.

Check out Chronodex here.

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4 thoughts on “On maybe (perhaps) being a reluctant notebook person”

  1. I’m the same, I really appreciate having the notes but I hate breaking my flow when shooting. I therefore record really quick voice memos on my iPhone with some vague details and then scribble them in my notebook afterwards. I’m actually considering getting a dedicated Dictaphone for this as I find recording on the iPhone is still a distraction – press button, type code, open app, press record, name the recording, etc. I think I might get an actual TAPE recorder and go back to basics! :-)

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