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

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?

Should You Bother Scanning Your Duplicate Photos?

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.

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

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.

The Benefits of Recording Your 35mm Slide’s Exposure Number

The Benefits of Recording Your 35mm Slide’s Exposure Number

Did you ever notice those little 2-digit numbers printed at the top of your 35mm slides?

I have to keep in mind some of you reading this may have never even touched a roll of film in your life!

It’s scary for guys like me to think that’s even possible, but it really is since we live in a time when digital cameras have been affordable since about 2000.

For the uninitiated, [cough] when you shot pictures that would be developed as those little plastic or cardboard slides you later projected onto a large screen for family viewings, you used a special roll of film in your camera.

One of the choices you had to make when picking out a box of film was how many exposures you wanted.

How to Date Photos When Even Your Family Can’t Remember Them!

How to Date Photos When Even Your Family Can’t Remember Them!

Q&A: A couple of years ago, I started organizing my digital photos the way you showed in your naming scanned photos post, instead of by subject, etc.

I’m just now starting to archive all the photos my Mom has. As we are taking them out of the albums (which, by the way, I hate those old “magnetic” albums–the photos stick to the pages), she is telling me who is in the pictures, etc.

Most of the ones we are doing now are the real old ones–her family photos and my Dad’s family photos. Some are dated and/or have captions to help identify them, but several don’t.

The problem is she can’t always narrow down the date enough to come up with a year. So that’s causing me to have a lot of photos with ’19xx-xx-xx’ as the date. There aren’t really any other family members who will know the answer so I doubt if the dates will ever be completed.

Any suggestions as to how to handle situations like this so I don’t have a long list of ’19xx’ photos?

Could This Be the Most Ingenious Way to Scan the Backs of Your Photographs?

Could This Be the Most Ingenious Way to Scan the Backs of Your Photographs?

When I started scanning my photo collection, I had no plans to scan the backs of my prints.

This is even considering that maybe 60% of my family’s prints have handwriting on the other side. It’s either a date when the photo was taken, the names of people in the photo, or sometimes — like in the photo above — a lengthy description.

But, over the last several months, I’ve really been considering digitally capturing the backs of my photos and archiving them away too.

Here are three reasons why.

My Inspiring Photo Scanning Progress Report for May 2012

My Inspiring Photo Scanning Progress Report for May 2012

Welcome to my fourth monthly progress report covering the month of May 2012!

Last month was a fun month for me. Not only was I this close (holding two fingers close together) to completing a personal goal of mine to scan every day of an entire month, but I also received a package from my Aunt Karen with a bunch of amazing old photos of her and my Dad when they were kids that I had never seen before!

This month, was… not so fun.

For me, this month was insane! So read on, I’ll tell you all about it.

Every month, I am posting a detailed report — just like this one — sharing with you how far I have come with my goal to scan and restore my entire 10,000+ family photo collection.

By doing so, I hope to inspire you to do the same!

Itoya Art Profolio Marker — Photo Safe Archival Pen Review

Itoya Art Profolio Marker — Photo Safe Archival Pen Review

When I first started scanning my photo collection, I starting out writing on the back of my prints with a fairly dull pencil. However, I pushed down extremely lightly though as to not etch through to the other side!

But, you know, I just really hate using pencils now.

I’m an adult now. I already had my fair share of NFL pencil sets in the 1980’s. I feel like I have moved past pencils in my life.

What I really wanted was a decent ink pen that I could feel safe using on photos and slides. And if I had to make a list of the qualities I was looking for in particular, it would look something like this:

My Dream Photo Pen Criteria:

Photo safe, Non-toxic, Permanent ink, Fade resistant, Dries quickly, Will not smear once dry, and Won’t bleed through.

Did this one pass the test?

If You Don’t Add This to the Filename of Your Scanned Photos, You’ll Probably Hate Yourself Later

If You Don’t Add This to the Filename of Your Scanned Photos, You’ll Probably Hate Yourself Later

Whether you keep all of your scanned master (original) image files in folders on a hard drive, or you allow an image manager like Picasa, iPhoto or Aperture to manage them inside a library file, you will still be required to give each photo a filename.

It could be as simple and non-descriptive as “photo-1.jpg” or maybe even simple yet somewhat descriptive like “mom at the beach 1984.tif”.

But, it’s actually a very important part of the process of scanning photos, that if done with a little bit of forethought, can save you a lot of time and headache later.

My Inspiring Photo Scanning Progress Report for April 2012

My Inspiring Photo Scanning Progress Report for April 2012

Welcome to my third monthly progress report!

Last month I covered two complete months of scanning, but I learned that was just too much to talk about!

So this time is only one month and it’ll be a lot shorter.

What This Progress Report Is Really About:

Every month, I am posting a detailed report — just like this one — sharing with you how far I have come with my goal to scan and restore my entire 10,000+ family photo collection.

By doing so, I hope to inspire you to do the same!

In my first progress report, I set a goal for myself to do a little bit of work on my collection every single day. I shoot for about an hour a day which turns out to be about 30 scans a day. And I am going to record and detail each one of them so that you can learn from my transparency.

I don’t want to be “that guy” — a guy that tells you how you should scan your own photos but then sends all of my own to a scanning service to do the work for me.

13 More Reasons Why You Should Already Be Scanning Your Photo Collection

13 More Reasons Why You Should Already Be Scanning Your Photo Collection

Guest post by: Art Taylor

If you’ve been reading the post comments on this website in the last month, I’m sure you’ve seen 1 or 7 detailed comments from a man named Art Taylor.

I haven’t met someone in some time who is as passionate about preserving photographs as he is. And since he’s been so generous sharing his scanning experience with others, I couldn’t help but take him up on his offer to write a few guest posts for us.

Art has been an amateur photographer for over 40 years, taking close to 50,000 or more slides and negatives on film. But, what really got my attention was his love for trains. Even though I can’t say I have ever ridden a real train — just miniature ones in amusement parks — I just love them. Most of Art’s photo collection was taken of trains and railroad-related subjects.

My Inspiring Progress Report for February – March 2012

My Inspiring Progress Report for February – March 2012

Hey, welcome to my second progress report!

Every month, I am posting a detailed report just like this one sharing with you how far I have come with my goal to scan and restore my entire 10,000+ family photo collection.

By doing so, I hope to inspire you to do the same!

In my first progress report, I set a goal for myself to do a little bit of work on my collection every single day, and I am going to detail each one of them so that you can learn from my transparency.

I don’t want to be “that guy” — a guy that tells you how you should scan your own photos but then sends all of my own to a scanning service to do the work for me.

I have absolutely nothing against these services. In fact, I love them!

But, I want to not only prove to myself that I can do this, but more importantly, I want to prove to you how almost anyone can scan and organize their own photo collection too!

It’s not impossible. It’s just about putting in the time, energy and devotion.

How Quickly You Could Scan Your Entire Photo Collection — What I Discovered From My First Week of Scanning

How Quickly You Could Scan Your Entire Photo Collection — What I Discovered From My First Week of Scanning

So you have a closet with boxes full of old prints and slides that you are dying to have scanned and neatly organized on your computer.

The problem is, you’re worried about it either costing you way too much money to send it to a scanning service, or taking too much of your precious free time to scan them yourself on a flatbed scanner.

Does this sound EXACTLY like your dilemma?

I’d like to share with you my experience back scanning photos for the first week. If you want to make scanning your own photos fit into your busy and hectic life, I think my experience here might give you an idea how much time will be involved and how many photos you can easily get through.

My Inspiring Progress Report for January 2012

My Inspiring Progress Report for January 2012

This is going to be the first of many monthly — if not every 2 months — reports that I am planning on publishing that will summarize my most recent progress to digitize my family’s photo collection.

Scanning, organizing, labeling, and color correcting an enormous family photo collection is a major project that I am obviously not taking lightly.

In each of these reports, the first thing I’m going to do is mention what I’ve been doing the past month or 2 to either work towards my personal goal with my collection or just to improve this website.

Next I will reveal my latest “Scanning & Editing” count that will show you exactly how far I have come with my collection from the last report.

And lastly, I will finish up with the most important things I have recently learned that I think you will benefit in hearing and possibly what I have planned for the near future.

Q&A: What’s the Best DPI or Resolution to Scan Your Film Negatives?

Q&A: What’s the Best DPI or Resolution to Scan Your Film Negatives?

“Hi there. Since you have and use an Epson Perfection V600 I wanted to ask you what is the optimal scan settings for scanning film negatives?

Right now I use 12800 dpi, but I have a feeling it’s overkill and all my indoor night time pictures have a lot of grain. I certainly appreciate whatever advice you have to offer.” ~ Walter Ho.

Walter, thanks for writing me. Let me see if I can help you out with this one.

I would say your gut feeling is right on — 12800 dpi is going to be overkill for negatives. Hopefully you haven’t scanned too many of them if you want to do them over.

BritePix Review: The Ultimate In-Depth and Personal Photo Scanning Service Review

BritePix Review: The Ultimate In-Depth and Personal Photo Scanning Service Review

I love that we have scanning services out there because I think it would be ignorant of me to assume every one of us with a collection of prints, negatives or slides, who wants a digital version of them, is willing to scan their own photos by hand.
“Excuse me ma’am. Um, but could you like, um, put those cotton gloves on? Please? Yeah. Um. No. How about the thicker ones. Over there. Yeah, those.”

So with this in mind, let me say, doing this review was a big — scratch that — huge step for me. This was the first time I have ever sent any of my family’s photos to a scanning service — or even out of my sight.

But, for me, it’s always been a hard transaction to consider — this whole idea of sending my irreplaceable photographs to a company or someone I have never met and expect everyone who handles them to care for them the same way I do.

Scanning Your Film Negatives vs. Prints: An Interesting Comparison

Scanning Your Film Negatives vs. Prints: An Interesting Comparison

When you start scanning your photographs — if you’re lucky — you get to make this choice:

Do you want to scan your original camera negatives, or the prints made from them?

And what I mean by lucky is that many of us didn’t hold onto our negatives when we had prints made from them. We got what we wanted when took them to the Photo Bug or the Photo Hut or the drug store down the street — a stack of photos to stick in our photo albums. So, I guess a lot of us probably felt safe tossing out the film negatives.

Shocking Demo Shows Why You Need to Scan and Save Your Bad Photographs Too!

Shocking Demo Shows Why You Need to Scan and Save Your Bad Photographs Too!

I think we are almost to the point where I can safely say there is no such thing as a bad photograph.

Aside from the photos that are accidentally shot off or the ones where the camera is completely set wrong (for example in the more complicated manual modes), every photo — even the “bad” ones — will one day be a few clicks away from being usable.

Photo Magic is Already Here or Just Around the Corner!

In October of 2011, Jue Wang, senior research scientist at Adobe, showed off a jaw-dropping “sneak peak” of some technology that will make all of you who threw out all of your so called “bad photos” wish you had that day back to do over again!

My Experience Learning to Scan Our 1700 Photo Collection

My Experience Learning to Scan Our 1700 Photo Collection

Guest post by:
Peter Fuller

Today, I would like to share something a little different here on “Scan Your Entire Life.” Usually it’s just me going on and on about my experience dealing with my photo collection. But not this time.

A couple months ago, Peter Fuller, a fellow reader of this website wrote and shared with me his experience getting started on the project of scanning his entire photo collection.

We wrote back and forth several times discussing the details of his workflow. He had questions for me and I had some questions for him. I became immediately intrigued hearing his story shopping for a particular model of scanner he wished to purchase where he lives.

At some point, I received an email from Peter asking me this:

If I sent you a piece about my experiences/ learning’s scanning photos, would you be prepared to publish it?

I had never thought about having guest posts on my site so soon — but how could I refuse!

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