Analog Memo - Barry Carr

Analog Memo User Guide

First of all, thank you very much for downloading Analog Memo.

Analog Memo (AM from now on) is a digital implementation of an analogue photographer’s memo book or notebook. AM will help you record your exposure info easily and efficiently. It will also help you to keep track of what film is currently loaded into each of your cameras and record the details of your gear.

Recording a shot’s exposure details has been designed to be as quick and as effortless as possible so that you can concentrate on your photography and not waste time scribbling in notepads or fiddling around with your phone.

AM will also keep track of your cameras and lenses and associate lenses with cameras. Compact camera shooters are also covered as AM works equally well with fixed lens cameras as it does with cameras with interchangeable lenses.

Getting Started

As mentioned above, AM has been designed so that you can record your shots as quickly and as accurately as possible. However, to do that AM needs some information up-front about what gear you like to use and also the films you like to shoot with.


The first time you run AM you’ll be presented with this screen, to the right, prompting you to tell AM about your gear. I’d recommend telling AM about one of your cameras, first.

Cameras

To add a camera, tap on the menu icon (screenshot 1 - highlighted in red on the screenshot to the left) and select the “Cameras” option. 

AM will now present you with an empty list as there no cameras registered with AM (screenshot 2, left). To add a new camera, tap on the plus icon near the bottom right of the screen.


AM will now show you a screen where you can enter your cameras details. The first two fields should be self explanatory. The serial number field is there to help you distinguish which camera you mean if you have two identical cameras. AM asks for your cameras slowest and fastest shutter speed so that when it comes to entering your shot data, you are only presented with the range of shutter speeds your camera is capable of working with and not a long list of all possible shutter speeds.

Next, AM needs to know what type of camera this is; a camera that can take different lenses, like an SLR or a rangefinder or, a camera with a fixed lens. If you camera is capable of taking different lenses, then AM would like you to provide a lens mount. Why is this requested? Again, it’s so that AM can give you a sensible set options when it comes to entering the details of your shots. AM will only give you a list of lenses that have the same lens-mount as the current camera.

When you name your lens mount, I’d recommend that you just use the name the lens mount is generally known by. For instance, “F” for Nikon, “OM” for Olympus, “M” or “M39” of Leica, etc. You get the idea.

To create a lens mount, tap on the “Add Lens Mount” button and just provide a name in the dialog that appears and then tap on “SAVE”. AM will create the mount for you and then automatically select it for you.

If you camera has a fixed lens, then AM needs the details of the lens attached to the camera. The maximum or widest aperture, the minimum aperture, and the lens’ focal length. Similar to specifying the shutter speed range of a camera, AM asks for the min and max aperture so that you get presented with the appropriate aperture range for the lens you’re using. AM asks for a minimum and maximum focal length in case your camera is equipped with a zoom lens. If your camera has a prime lens, just fill in the minimum focal length. For a camera with a zoom lens, provide both values.

Once you’ve tapped on the save button, you’ll be taken back to the camera list where you’ll see your new camera. If you want to edit any of the camera’s details, slide the camera to the left and you should see an edit button appear. Tap on this button to make any changes to the camera’s details.

Feel free to add more cameras.

Lenses

If the camera you’ve just entered has interchangeable lenses, you’ll next need to provide AM with some information about a lens. Tap on the menu icon and then tap on the lenses option. AM will present you with a, currently empty, list of lenses. Tap on the “plus” icon, near the bottom right of the screen to add a new lens.

As with the camera details screen, AM will ask you for the lenses make, model and serial number. Next, it will ask for a lens mount. If you created a lens mount when you added your camera, it will have been selected automatically. This is a general theme used throughout AM, if there is only one option in a (dropdown) list, AM will automatically select it for you to save time.

Next, select the lenses maximum or widest aperture and then the minimum. Similar to specifying the shutter speed range of a camera, AM asks for the min and max aperture so that you get presented with the appropriate aperture range for the lens you’re using when recording a shot. If this a zoom lens, specify its min and max focal length. If this is a prime lens, just fill in the min focal length.

When you've provided all of the lenses details, tap on the “Save” button and you’ll be taken back to the list of lenses. As with camera list, to edit a lens, swipe it to the left and tap on the edit button.

Film Stocks

Now, it’s time to add some of your favourite film stocks. Tap on the menu icon and this time, select the “film stocks” option. This will take you to the list of film stocks you’ve added to AM. There’s nothing here yet so, tap on the plus icon near the bottom right of the screen to add a new film stock.

The Film Manufacturer and ISO fields should be self explanatory. The Film Variety field is the films “model number”. For instance, if you were entering “Kodak Portra”. “Portra” is the value you’d enter into the variety field.

Once you’ve completed all of the fields, tap on the “Save Film Stock” button and you’ll be taken back to the Film Stock List. If you’d like to edit a film stock, slide its entry in the list to the left and tap on the edit button.

Films

Films are where you keep track of what film stocks you have in your camera(s). It’s from here that you also record your shots or exposures.

To add a new film, tap on the menu icon and select “film”. As usual you’ll be presented with a list of films currently recorded in AM. There won’t be anything here yet, so tap on the plus icon near the bottom right of the screen to add a new film.

You’ll be presented with a form with five fields. The first field will be the camera the film is going into. If you’ve been following along with this getting started guide, the camera you entered, above, will be automatically selected. If you entered more than one camera, you’ll need to select the one you’d like to use. Tap on the dropdown list and select a camera.

Next, choose a film stock. Again, if there is only one film stock recorded with AM it will be selected automatically.

Date loaded should self explanatory. It defaults to today but you can change this by tapping on the button and selecting a different date.

Exposures is the number of frames available in this film.

The ISO field defaults to the selected film stock’s ISO but is overwritable in case you’re pushing or pulling your film.

Once you’ve entered all of the film’s details, tap on the “save film” button and you’ll be taken back to the list of films. As with all of the other lists in AM, slide a film to the left and tap on the edit button to change any of the films details.

Exposures

Now we get to the part you’ve probably been waiting for, recording your exposures. While still in the film list, tap on the film you’d like to add an exposure too. This will take you to a list screen with a header that displays the camera and film stock with a list of recorded exposures underneath.

AM remembers the last film you selected and until you select and another film, AM will automatically bring you to this screen the next time you start the app so you can quickly start recording your shots without having to go through the menu to get to your current film.

To record an exposure, tap on the plus icon. You’ll be presented with a screen with a few fields and three or four sliders, depending on the configuration of your gear.



The first item is the time the shot was taken, it defaults to the current date and time but can be changed by tapping on the button.

Next is the subject, This a free text field you can use to give a brief description of your shot.

Lens selection is next. If you only have one lens recorded in AM for the current camera (see lens mounts), it will be selected for you automatically. This is the case for fixed lens cameras, a lens with the same name as the camera is automatically selected. The aperture range slider, lower down this screen, configures itself based on the min and max aperture of the currently selected lens. If you select another lens, via the dropdown, the aperture slider will reconfigure itself to reflect the aperture range of the selected lens. If the selected lens is a zoom lens, another slider will also appear that will allow you to select the focal length of the current shot. As with the aperture slider, if you select another zoom lens, this slider will reconfigure itself to reflect the min and max focal length of the selected lens.

Next come the settings sliders. If the current lens (regardless of camera type), is a zoom lens then the first slider allows you to select your chosen focal lens of the shot. You won’t see this slider if the currently selected lens is a prime lens.

Next, is the shutter speed slider, the range for this slider is determined by the current camera.

The aperture slider is next, as mentioned above, the range of values available is determined by the currently selected lens.

Finally, there’s an exposure comp slider. This has a range of +-3ev and goes up or down in ⅓ and ⅕ stops (.3, .5, .6). It defaults it 0ev and can be ignored if your camera doesn’t have an exposure comp dial.

If you’d like to record the GPS coordinates for your shot, press on the get location button and, assuming that AM has been granted permission to use your GPS, AM will get the location of your shot and its address. A busy icon will appear will AM is retrieving the GPS info for your shot. If AM can’t get a GPS signal, it should time out after 5 seconds. If it doesn’t, tap on your devices back button to clear the busy icon.

Once you’re happy with all of the exposure’s settings for your shot, tap on the “Save Shot” button. You’ll be taken back to the Film screen and you’ll see this shot added to the list.

If you press the plus button again, to add another shot, AM will copy all the settings from the previous shot except the subject and the GPS coordinates. You only need to add a subject and adjust any settings that may have changed.

If you’re working a scene and taking several shots of the same subject, you can clone the last shot taken which will create a new shot with a copy all of the parents shots setting including the subject and GPS coordinates. The time of the cloned shot will be set to the time the shot was cloned and not the time the parent shot was taken. To clone a shot, in the exposure list, slide the last exposure to the right and tap on the clone button. You can only clone the last shot that was taken.

To edit an exposure, in the exposure list, slide the shot to the left and tap on edit. You will also notice that you can delete a shot as well. You’ll get a chance to undo a delete, if you tapped on this option accidentally.

Summary

In essence, it should only take a couple of seconds to record a shot once you’ve set up AM. AM will always ensure that recording a new shot is just a tap away and also minimise the number of steps you need to take to record your shot.

Setting up AM might appear to be a little involved but, again, it’s a relatively quick process, a minute or so, at the most. Reading about it how to do it will take longer than actually doing it.

In summary, here are the steps you need to take to set up AM:

1. Add a camera

2. Add a lens, if you’re using an interchange lens camera like an SLR, for instance.

3. Add a film stock. Create a film.

4. Tap on the new film you have just created. AM will now always present this film to you on startup, until you select another film.


Feedback

I initially created AM for my own needs and I’ve been using it while I’ve been developing it to refine its design and usability. But, I’ve always had a wider user base of the Analogue film community in mind in the process and been aware that I can’t predict how other people will use AM or what else they may want from AM. So, I would welcome any feedback on bugs, usability and any possible feature requests that you may have

Thanks for taking the time to try AM and I look forward to hearing from you.


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