I have always held onto things that memorialized moments of my life. Ever since I was a little kid, I would make sure to carefully store my grade school class pictures or baseball team pictures. They were important to me then and I knew that I should keep them safe. It took a few years for me to realize what service I had done myself by not letting these precious items get lost or thrown away. They are utterly priceless to me now.
As a Wyoming farm gal, I was raised with the phrase “It’s better to aim for the stars and miss than to aim for a cowpie and hit.” Well, that’s great advice … unless your goal actually is to hit the cowpie.
My scanning goal really was that simple, but for some reason, aiming at the cowpie just wasn’t working. So I changed strategies and aimed for the stars. The result? Read on to find out. And hopefully, by sharing my scanning journey, it will help you on your scanning journey.
Being a man of action as well as words, my son Mark bought me a slide scanner and taught me how to use it. I scanned in the slides of the Holy Land without much difficulty. I was delighted to be able to view them on my computer with the same ease as I could view the digital photographs that I had started taking in 1999.
The remainder of the slides came first. Then I started work on the prints in the photograph albums that I had lovingly curated over the decades. The physical albums had started to deteriorate to the extent that some of them were falling apart. Scanning the prints was an ideal way to remedy this. I also scanned in all the prints that had not made the cut for the photograph albums but I had kept nevertheless. I also spent several months scanning in approximately 4,000 negatives. All in all I must have scanned nearly ten thousand photographs in one form or another.
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.”
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.