Blog Archive

His Journey to Scan 1,978 Photos Began By Just Taking the First Step

A success story from a Scan Your Entire Life reader who offered to share with us his experience and workflow scanning and labeling his personal photo collection.

“It can be done. I know because I’ve done it. Anyone could be forgiven for feeling intimidated when confronted by the prospect of digitising an accumulation of multiple lifetimes’ worth of prints, negatives and slides. However, I recently successfully completed a project to digitise nearly two thousand items despite working a demanding full-time job. In this article we’ll look at why I did it, how I did it and how you can do it too.”

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Epson V800 vs V850 — The 5 Differences and Which You Should Buy

So you’re ready to buy a very high-quality flatbed scanner to digitize your analog prints and film, but now you’re having a hard time deciding between the Epson Perfection V800 Photo and the Epson Perfection V850 Pro Photo Scanners.

Whether you or an avid hobby photographer, a true professional, or just want to get all the quality you can out of your prints and film, either one of these models is going to give you exceptional results. But, I want to help you feel confident you’re going to make the right choice.

Below, in plain English that will make it very easy to understand, I’ve written out and explained in detail, the 5 differences between the two models.

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How to Batch Change Titles and Descriptions in Photos for macOS

Have you ever wondered how to batch change the name and even the caption of multiple photos at a time in Photos for macOS, to the same information for all of them?

For example, you would want to do this if you had a group of photos all taken on the same day, during the same event, and you want to label them in a very similar way — if not the exact same way.

This is a very common need, and knowing how to do this in Photos is not as easy as it was in its predecessor, iPhoto.

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Q&A: How Do I Add Photos Already On My Storage Drives Into Picasa? (Video)

A lot of people have photos stored in folders on their storage drives, so it makes sense that if you’ve never used a photo manager before, they can seem a little daunting as far as understanding how they interact with your photos already being stored on your computer.

In this Q&A style tutorial video, I answer a question I received from a reader of Scan Your Entire life on how Picasa fundamentally works to select which photos on your internal or external storage drives are used inside of the application.

Basically, I feel what’s in this video is the most important thing to understand in order to get the most out of Picasa.

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Photos For Mac: The Good, The Bad, and What iPhoto and Aperture Users Will Miss Most

In June of 2014, we all learned that Apple had been building a whole new photo managing program called Photos for Mac OS X. Later in the same month, Apple dropped a bomb and declared they were also ceasing future development of both of their current applications — iPhoto and Aperture.

Apple did however say they would update iPhoto and Aperture to run indefinitely with Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite. So, as long as you are willing to run 10.10, you could in theory use iPhoto or Aperture for as long as your heart’s content.

For the rest of us, we were left sitting there last year, befuddled, with the assumption that Apple must intend for us to eventually move our previous photo libraries over to their new Photos application when it’s released sometime “next spring.”

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One Method to Add Photo Captions Visually Below Your Digital Photos

This is a cool way to add captions to your scanned photos without having to rely on embedded metadata. In other words, this way would allow you to have the written caption as a part of the JPEG or TIFF file itself. The main advantage to this idea is not losing your captions over the years (possibly even centuries) should an application “accidentally” delete or write over the metadata contents.

Programs change, data conversion can get lost — this way your caption is part of the photo itself and thus your written information for your photos shouldn’t be lost (the only way this could happen would be to crop it off from the photo). So years from now, people will know who or what is in your photo, and/or any other tidbit you might want to include.

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Q&A: How Should I Modify My Current Scanned Photo File Naming Structure?

Choosing an appropriate file name for the photos in our digital photo collection is something we all have to deal with. And not being able to come up with a consistent system that we are happy with turns out to be one of the biggest reasons we put off starting the entire project.

To help you get past this hurdle, I created a 3-part post series called “What Everybody Ought to Know When Naming Your Scanned Photos” that walks you through the system I came up with and use to name my own photos.

Dan Keiper had already been working his own naming method when he came upon my 3-part series. After a bit of thought, he wrote me to see if he should make changes to what he had already been doing, and to seek answers to further questions that he had.

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Q&A: Should I Store My Photo Collection in iPhoto or Elsewhere on My Computer? Or Should I Use Lightroom?

Maria Ricossa from Toronto, Ontario, Canada wrote to me with the following question:

“Hi Curtis, I have recently purchased a new camera and vowed to be better organized in the photo storage and processing department. A couple questions:

1) Someone told me I should not store my albums in iPhoto but should create picture files elsewhere on my computer. What would you suggest?

2) I am currently using Photoshop Elements to process my photos. Do you have any thoughts on Lightroom as opposed to PE?

Thanks. I look forward to reading your newsletters.” ~ Maria Ricossa.

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How Cameo Narratives Make Your Photo Captions More Meaningful

Photos are the driving force behind the story told in most albums—no photo, no story. But should it be that way?

I want to help you tell a lifestory in your scrapbooks using the events and relationships of your life, not the photos you happen to have on hand, as your primary organizing element. This ordering principle, more than any other, will help you make meaningful lifestory photo albums using photos, captions, and cameo narratives.

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How to Scan Your Entire Photo Collection in Half the Time

Are you someone with a large amount of photographs you would love to scan and turn into digital files? Problem is, you just haven’t because you’re afraid it’s going to take way too long!!

If this sounds like you, I would like to introduce you to Steven Seelig who has been scanning his photos in a way that could potentially save you a lot of time!

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How to Change a Photo’s Date in iPhoto to When the Photo Was Taken

It’s very likely there are a bunch of photos in your iPhoto collections that are displaying the incorrect date and time when the photos were taken.

And this isn’t just a problem when your photos won’t sort chronologically. This will also be an issue for you every time you create a new Event or album inside of iPhoto and it constantly tries to identify them using the wrong date.

Maybe the date and time weren’t set correctly in your digital camera before you took these photos. Or it’s possible you scanned a bunch of prints or film negatives and they are still reflecting the dates and times when you actually scanned them.

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Photoshop + Lightroom for $9.99/mo. — Adobe’s Limited Time Photographer’s Offer

If you’re a photo enthusiast who uses, or has even thought about using both Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom, you might want to at least consider this deal that Adobe is still offering — but not for long!

For $9.99 a month, when you sign up a one-year plan, you will have ongoing access to the latest versions of both Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) and Lightroom (currently version 5) via their new Creative Cloud subscription model. This is not an introductory price.

But don’t spend too long deciding if this is right for you — this deal is only being honored until December 31, 2013.

Honestly, I’m thinking about signing up for this.

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More Thoughts on Choosing to Scan “Duplicate” or Nearly Identical Photos

Curtis raised some interesting points in his post about scanning “duplicate” prints and slides called “Should You Bother Scanning Your Duplicate Photos?”

How literally do you define the word ‘duplicate’? Do you interpret it as being a true, identical image, or more broadly as a third, fourth, or higher number copy of the same image? Or do you perhaps include very similar photos, such as slightly different studio portrait shot poses?

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How Two Lucky Grandparents Were Given Free Restored Photo Treasures By This Internet Thing

I came across a story by Anne Sewell on Digital Journal (via PetaPixel) the other day that caught my attention. Anne found an interesting 7-minute video that had just been posted on YouTube the day before.

It’s a fun “time-lapse” video of someone’s computer screen while they were doing digital restoration work on a fairly damaged older photograph of a pretty lady and set to a nice piece of up-beat music.

Check out the fascinating video below!

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Should You Bother Scanning Your Duplicate Photos?

I’ve read the average family photo collection, made up of prints, slides and negatives, is about 3,000 photos. And of all of those photographs, there’s a good chance a portion of them are duplicates.

Back when we created paper prints from our developed rolls of film, it was common to pay a little bit more to have some extra copies, or at least a duplicate set. These were either stored away as a backup, or most likely, shared with someone else in the family.

And now, as you are going through your collection of prints, getting them ready to scan or send off to be scanned, you will find yourself faced with this important question.

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45 Questions You Should Know the Answers to Before Choosing a Photo Scanning Service

You’ve considered scanning your collection of photos but for some reason or other, possibly because you don’t want to invest the time or money in buying a suitable scanner and learning how to use it properly, maybe because you don’t have the time to do the job, you’ve decided to hire someone to do the scanning for you.

How do you decide which of the various companies who offer this service you should choose?

Here is a list of 45 questions you should ask any vendor (scanning service company) you might be considering trusting your precious original images to.

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How to Change a Photo’s Date in Picasa to When the Photo Was Taken

It’s very likely there are a bunch of photos in your Picasa photo collection that are displaying the incorrect date and time when the photos were actually taken.

And this isn’t just a problem when your photos won’t sort chronologically, this will also be an issue for you every time you create a new folder or album and it constantly tries to use the wrong date.

Maybe the date and time weren’t set correctly in your digital camera before you took these photos. Or it’s possible you scanned a bunch of paper prints or film negatives and the dates are still incorrectly reflecting the date you did the scanning.

Either way, you’ll be happy to know as of version 3.5 of Picasa (changelog), you now have the ability to easily correct the date and time of your pictures and videos using the following steps.

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All My Pictures in iPhoto Disappeared! How to Safely Get Them Back

iPhoto is so good at protecting your precious photos, that in those very rare times when something actually does go wrong, it’s hard not to just freak out and think you really have lost all of your photos!

Luckily in situations like this, you are able to recall some clues that could make you realize your photos are actually still on your computer. It’s just that you can’t figure out how to get them to show up again in iPhoto.

This is exactly what happened to Abdullah and his iPhoto collection.

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How to Write an Autobiography: The Secret Tips to Finally Get Started

Something unusual just might happen to you when you start working with your family’s photo collection:

You may suddenly get this urge to start writing about what’s happened to you in your life and why it meant so much to you.

And what’s even more surprising, you may also have an overwhelming desire to ask your loved ones to start writing the same about their lives!

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