Introduction What is photography? The history of photography What this site will do for you Light: The most important element Why light is important to a photograph The many types of light Controlling light in your pictures The camera The basic function Types of cameras Choosing the right camera Putting the image together: the Lens How the lens bends light: a tutorial A brief introduction to apertures The variety of lenses Choosing a lens Exposure: a film tutorial How film records an image Understanding film speed Print vs. Slide film Film recommendations Taking Pictures Depth-of-field Apertures and shutter speeds Composition and experimentation: the basics Metering: when you can't guess The many types of picture-taking Photography with a point-and-shoot Accessories Tripods: for when you can't stay still Lens filters Post-processing: after development Scanning photos The digital darkroom Photo and equipment storage
Once your photo equipment starts to grow, you will need to develop some sort of system of organizing all of it. You will want to have access to it-quickly and painlessly. This is where you have to be creative. There is no special way to organize photo equipment, and every photographer has his/her own way of doing it. Below, I am only explaining how we store our equipment and pictures, so you can get a few ideas.
The camera bag
Camera bags are the most difficult to choose, since they all have different sizes, weights, and features. As well as that, they can get to be expensive. While these accessories aren't mandatory if you only have one camera and a lens , but once you start to buy extra camera bodies and larger, more expensive lenses, you will absolutely need a reasonably-sized bag. If you do a huge amount of photographing when on a trip, you need a camera bag. So, why is this accessory so important? First of all, it keeps your equipment organized. Secondly, it keeps your incredibly fragile cameras and lenses safe from damage.
It is pretty safe to say that you can start out with a mid-sized bag. These bags are big enough to store 2-3 lenses, one (maybe two) camera, about 10 rolls of film, and three or four accessories, plus they are small enough for you to carry around without hurting yourself.
For all the hundreds of prints that we have, we needed a good way of storing them. Actually, it was quite simple.
When we get a roll developed, we keep the negatives and prints in their original cover, and then store them in a hanging folder, based upon the subjects in the pictures. For example, if one roll of film were all pictures of scenery, we would put it under the "Scenery/landscapes" folder. If it was pictures of our family, it would go under "Family". If we couldn't figure out what it was about, it goes in the "Other" folder. If we needed a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge scanned for our site's gallery, we would assume that it would be in "Scenery", labeled "San Francisco". This way we don't have to spend 15 minutes looking for a picture.
We store most of our slides in a slide box, which is a metal box with a place made to fit slides. These not only can store quite a few slides, but they also keep them safe from dust and fading. They also allow you to access and store the slides quickly. Once we get a roll of slides developed, I mark the first slide with the subject of the pictures, similar to how our prints are organized.
When you aren't taking pictures...
Whenever the camera is not in use, it is not necessary to keep it in a bag; you want to have quick access to it. I usually store all of my photo equipment in a closet, with the cameras and lenses on one shelf, the bags on another, and pictures on yet another one. Remember, your camera is made do that dust cannot get inside of it, so if dust collects on the outside of your system, just blow it off and no harm will be done. Lenses should be covered by a lens cap and/or a UV filter.
Storing unprocessed film (new or already exposed)
It may seem strange, but you should store your film in a refrigerator. This will reduce fading and keep color balance good. Also, make sure your film does not exceed the expiration date! Once you expose a roll, process it as soon as you can.