Scanning Photos

The Simplest Way to Know Which Photos You Have Already Scanned

The Simplest Way to Know Which Photos You Have Already Scanned

Unless you have found a way to scan your entire photo collection in a pre-organized “beginning to end” kind of way, I’ve found you’re going to need a way to know tomorrow, or possibly months later, whether or not you have already scanned a particular photograph.

And you’re going to want to know by just looking at a print or slide in front of you – without booting up your computer to do a search. Trust me.

The problem I discovered when I started scanning my collection was unless I was immediately moving the slides or prints I had just scanned to a different storage place – a new photo album or new archival pages for example – I would sometimes forget whether or not I had scanned some of them!

Is Organization Preventing You From Starting to Scan Your Photo Collection?

Is Organization Preventing You From Starting to Scan Your Photo Collection?

Are you someone who is just itching to have your entire photo collection converted to digital images on your computer? I mean, you know you want to do it – badly. You know you should be doing it – you can see all of your aging photos over there in a few boxes in the hall closet. But there’s just something holding you back.

I wanna take a guess and say if it’s not a lack of enthusiasm, what you could be experiencing is frustration trying to imagine how you could ever get all of your original prints and negatives chronologically organized and in one place at the same time?

What Everybody Ought to Know When Naming Your Scanned Photos – Part 3

What Everybody Ought to Know When Naming Your Scanned Photos – Part 3

In part 3, we will now be discussing how to add the last part to the filename – a block of easy to create “code” that will reveal to anyone with your “key” the exact scanner settings you used to scan the photo.

Even though I think this will eventually benefit even those with the most basic of goals for their scanned photo collections, I know it might be too much to ask of someone who doesn’t have the time or patience to be this thorough. But I beg you to at least follow me through my process here and see if I can convince you of its benefits.

What Everybody Ought to Know When Naming Your Scanned Photos – Part 2

What Everybody Ought to Know When Naming Your Scanned Photos – Part 2

In many ways, the point of a good filename is double duty. First it gives you the ability to organize and search for your photos on the “folder level.” So without even seeing the image loaded (previewed) on your screen, you are able to sort and find particular files in either Windows Explorer in Microsoft Windows Windows Explorer Iconor Finder windows Apple (Mac) Finder Iconif you are using a Mac.

Additionally, a filename can permanently take the place of much of the handwritten “caption” information you may or may not already have on the back or even front (sometimes) of your photographs.

What Everybody Ought to Know When Naming Your Scanned Photos – Part 1

What Everybody Ought to Know When Naming Your Scanned Photos – Part 1

As my own scanned photo collection grows, it has really become obvious to me how thankful I am for the added attention I have been putting into the filenames I give to all of my scanned images.

When you’re scanning, it’s really easy to get into a “robotic” mindset where you are just trying to scan as many photos as possible in a sitting. So when you get to that blank field each time that asks you to type in a name for the file, it’s tempting to just quickly bang out a few descriptive words with little thought to how useful they will be to anyone later.

The DPI You Should Be Scanning Your Paper Photographs

The DPI You Should Be Scanning Your Paper Photographs

One of the most important decisions you face when scanning anything with your scanner is choosing what dpi (“dots per inch”) to scan with. And specifically for this post, what is the best dpi to use when scanning and archiving your 8×10″ and smaller paper photographic prints – which for most people, make up the majority of our pre-digital collection.

Making this decision was very challenging for me and certainly a huge part of my 8 year delay. The reason for this is that dpi is the critical variable in a fairly simple mathematical equation that will determine several important outcomes for your digital images.

The Top 13 Reasons Why You Should Already Be Scanning Your Photo Collection

The Top 13 Reasons Why You Should Already Be Scanning Your Photo Collection

“I’ll get to it someday.” “Maybe when I get around to buying a decent scanner.” “It’s just too much work.” “I’ll make one of my kids do it. They know that ‘tech’ stuff – I don’t.”

Those are just a few reasons why your irreplaceable paper and film photograph collections are probably in jeopardy of being no more – just a distant memory. You see, there are forces greater than your lack of will power hurting your chances of having an everlasting collection to pass on to future generations.

Why It Took Me 8 Years to Scan My 2nd Photograph

Why It Took Me 8 Years to Scan My 2nd Photograph

Here’s the first photo from my family’s collection I scanned. (Yup that’s me apparently on my very first pony ride)

I didn’t scan it for an immediate use such as to print it out for our refrigerator or to send it to my Aunt K. through email (though I am sure she would have appreciated it). I scanned this picture with quality in mind so if properly cared for, this digital master would not only outlive the paper print, but would also be more useful due to the benefits of digital replication. What I am talking about here is archiving.

Well that flash of genius was on August 8, 2001 – about 8 years before I started scanning again.

So why the long delay? Why couldn’t I get my act together?