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.

Version 1.9.14 (26th August 2019)

This version sees the introduction of a major new feature: Voice Notes.

Voice Notes allow you to attach an audio recording  or, voice message, to each exposure.  Exposures with voice notes are easy to identify and playing back your voice note is only a tap away. See the voice note section, below for further details.

Thanks very much to Simon Forster (twitter) for suggesting this feature.

Version 1.7.1 (26th July 2019)

This new version of Analog Memo has been re-engineered to make it easer to use and to get started with.


Previously, you needed to add your gear to AM before you could start to record your exposures, you can still do this, if you wish but its no longer a pre-requisite. Now, you can add your gear as and when you need it as  each drop down where you'd select a piece of equipement now has an accompanying add button. Just tap on the "+" next to the drop down and you'll be able to add your new item there and then. When you hit save you'll be taken back to the previous screen and your new item will be selected automatically.

 

The next major change in this version is that Films are now the main focus of AM. The Film List is now the main page of the application and this the screen you'll now be presented with on a brand new install or if you don't have a current film selected. As before, AM still remembers the last film you were working with and takes striaght to that film when you start up AM.  

Thanks, once again for using Analog Memo. As always, feedback and commications are most welcome. 

Getting Started

As of version 1.7.1, all you need to get started is a new Film. Films are now the primary focus of AM and you'll presented with an empty film list the first time you run AM. To add a new Film, tap on the plus button at the bottom right of the screen. See the Film section below on how to add a new film.


As with previous version of AM, its still possible to add Lenses, Lens-mounts, Cameras and Film Stocks via the menu. Details on how to add these items are provided below.







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.


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 previously added a camera to AM, you can select it here - if there is only one camera recored in AM, it will be selected automatically.


If this your first time using AM or, you have a new camera not yet recorded in AM tap on the "+" next to the drop down and you'll be taken to the camera screen where you can add your new camera (see below on Cameras). Once you've saved your new camera you'll be brought back to this screen and your new camera will have been selected automatically.


Next, choose a film stock. Again, if there is only one film stock recorded with AM it will be selected automatically. If you'd like to add a new film stock, tap on the "+" next to the drop down.Once you've added your new Film Stock you'll be returned to this screen and the new film stock selected.


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

To start recording your exposures, tap on the desired  film and AM will present you with a list of exposures already recorded for that roll. Tap on the plus button to record a new exposure.

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, 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.

If you're  using a camera with interchangeable lenses then , you tap on the "+" icon next to the Lens dropdown if you'd like to add a new lens.

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.

Since version 1.9.14, you can now attach a voice note to an exposure. To start recording your note, tap on the Record Note button. Tap on the Stop button when your note is complete. See the Voice Note section, below for more information about recording Voice Notes.

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 is now signifcantly simpler now that gear can be added "on the fly" as all drops downs that require you to select a piece of gear now enable you add equipment there and then.


Now, all you need to do is:

1. Create your first Film.

2. Add a camera via the dropdown.

3. Add a film stock via the dropdown.

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.

5. Add your first exposure. If your camera needs a lens, add this via Lens dropdown


Adding Your Gear

As well as being able to add equipment via the various dropdowns throughout AM, you can also add gear via the menu on the main Film list screen. From this menu you can add Cameras, Lens, Lens-Mounts and Film Stocks. 

Cameras

To add a camera, tap on the menu icon  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 any camera entered has interchangeable lenses, you’ll next need to provide AM with some information about its lenses. Tap on the menu icon and then tap on the lenses option. AM will present you with a 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, optionally, a 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

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. 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.

Voice Notes

Voice Notes are new feature introduced in version 1.9.14 that allow you to attach an audio message to an exposure.

Settting Device Permissions

To use Voice Notes you need to ensure that AM has your permission to use your devices external storage and microphone.   You can grant access by going to Settings screen via AM's main menu. In Settings you should see a button labled Set Permissions; tap on this button and you'll be taken to the App Info for AM (within Androids Settings) - from here tap on the Permissions section where you can grant access to your devices storage and mic (you can also grant access to your GPS, if you want to record the GPS co-ords of your shots). Once you've granted the permissions, tap on the back button to be taken back to AM.


Please note: you won't see the Voice Note controls on the Exposure screen if AM doesn't have permission to access your devices storage or microphone.

Recording Voice Notes

Assuming you've granted AM permission, the Exposure screen (pictured right) should enable you to start recording Voice Notes. To start recording a new note, tap on the Record Note button and speak into your devices microphone. Whilst you are recording your message AM will display the current duration of your note. When you're done, press the Stop button.  At this point, AM will go into playback mode and you'll have the option to playback your note or delete it (see below).

AM will only keep your Voice Note if you Save the Exposure! If you tap on the back button, your voice note will be discarded, along with any other edits you will have made to the current Exposure.



Playing Voice Notes

There are two ways to playback your Voice Notes. The first is from the Exposure screen. As soon as you've completed the recording of a Voice Note the Exposure screen will present you with the ability to play it back (pictured right).  Just tap on the Play button and AM will play your note back to you. AM will display the elasped time during play back. The Pause and Stop buttons behave as you'd expect. 

If you're not happy with your Voice Note, you can tap on the Delete button to discard it. AM will then revert back to record mode, as described in the previous section, and you can re-record your note, if you wish.

The second way you can playback your Voice Notes is from the Film screen. Any Exposure that has a voice note attached to it has a "Speaking Person" icon displayed on the right (pictured right) to indicate that there is a voice note associated with the exposure. If you slide the exposure to the right, you'll see a button that will initiate playback. 

Feedback

I initially created AM for my own needs and I’ve been using it whilst its been in development and this has enable me 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 development process and I've been aware that I can’t predict how other people will use AM or what else they may want from it. So, I would welcome any feedback on bugs, usability and any possible feature requests that you may have. Contact me on twitter to get in touch.

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


Privacy Policy

I, Barry Carr, the authour of Analog Memo, do hereby swear that neither I, nor any third party, use your data in any way for any purpose.  I value your privacy as much as I value my own.

Since Analog Memo can now (optionally) use your devices microphone I'm obliged to provide this privacy policy, which I'm more than happy to do. 

Any and all of the Voice Notes that you record on your device stay on your device and are not copied or transmitted to myself or any third party, whatsoever. Analog Memo works locally on your device and does not, nor need to, send any data over any networks for any reason. All the data that you enter into Analog Memo and any Voice Notes that you may record with Analog Memo stay on your device. 

If you'd like more information, please feel free to direct message me on twitter (there are links all over this page) or, email me at barry at analogmemo dot com.

Thanks

Barry Carr (25th August 2018)

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