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Naming Convention for Scanned Images

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I'm about to undertake a long delayed project. It's the scanning of many slides and film. My challenge is determining the naming convention to use.

With my digital camera images it's easy; YYYYMMDD-HHMMSS.*. I have none of that information on a lot of images I want to scan. I can't even guess what it could be.

My thought presenting is to use a format of X-BBB-NNN.* where:
  • X is the type of source - S=Slide,F=Film,P=Picture
  • BBB is the batch number. Most of the slides and films are together that could be labelled.
  • NNN is a sequence number n the batch.
So, the 4th slide in 10th package of slides scanned would be S-010-004.*. My idea is that I will not be scanning all images. This method will allow me to back track to the source if I want to look for similar pictures

I would use METADATA and keywording to attach that information to the scan. I can identify location, people, buildings etc and even guess at ages.

From Googling, I know others have attempted to solving this but mostly by file naming. I believe metadata branding will help me in the log run.

Looking to see what others have tried.

Thanks
 
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Your idea is as good as any.

Are your slides and negatives ordered or grouped in any way? Do you have any idea like markings on the box of what year the film was processed? Or did you keep track of roll number (e.g.. 23rd roll of film in 1973). If you have any of that, it may make a good replacement for your batch number which I assume is the scanning batch number as the scanning batch is somewhat non-relevant to the images being scanned unless you mark the slide box or negative container with that number.
 
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BBB-NNN.*
I use this for a project with about 20K slides being scanned that were originally in Kodak slide trays (136 slides). The bulk loader for the scanner automatically creates the filename, and all the scans for a tray go into a separate folder labeled with the tray number. This lets me quickly get from a scan back to the original slide, and the scanner does most of the work of adding that information.

All additional information I add using metadata fields.
 
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Are your slides and negatives ordered or grouped in any way?
Nope. These are from the last century starting in the 60's. And you are right, I need to label the source boxes/sleeves as I go along.

Note to my younger self; you will not remember the date or location of your images unless you write them down.
 

Roelof Moorlag

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I'm about to undertake a long delayed project. It's the scanning of many slides and film. My challenge is determining the naming convention to use.
I found the DAM book about this matter very usefull for the same project i did. Not only for naming convention but all aspects of the project. Today it's half price btw..
 
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Funny, I've just started a similar project. (I have a recent post in the LR CC section of the forum, named "Slides and dates".). Beginning with 26 carousels of Kodak slides (100 per carousel), I will follow up with our collection photos and negatives (from 1960s and on). I will be using SilverFast for the scanning, first to create a SilverFast "raw" which is fast since I don't need to fiddle with initial editing (like using the infrared channel to immediately clear scratches and dust marks, and dealing with light/color). Later I can process these RAWs and eventually send them on to LR.

For the slides scanned as RAWs, I use the following naming convention: yyyy-mm-ddTtccsssR where
yyy-mm-dd is obviously the date, but note that this is the date of the slide creating, as stamped on the slide jacket (if that's what you call the cardboard/paper frame around the slide). More on this below.

T = transparency (vs R for reflective for photos that I'll eventually process).
t = type: P=positive, N=negative, K=Kodachrome.
cc = carousel number (I have 1-26 but also have a number of short trays)
sss = slot number in the carousel (these go 1-100, but I my short trays have several dozen).
R = Silverfast RAW output. When I run them through SilverFast later to edit and output the final TIFF format, I'll use P for processed.

Note that "ccsss" forms the unique identifier of the slide. Later, for scanned photos or possibly color or B&W negatives, I'll use the same 5 digit part of the filename but use a different meaning for the "cc", for example, some batch number and "sss" as the index for that batch.

Now for the date issue. My slides typically have the year and month stamped or printed on the jacket. Sometimes this info is barely readable and the day is never included. This is the date the processing lab made the slides. Back in the day, my wife and I would keep a film roll in the camera for some time and have it processed when the roll became full. So the actual date of the photo could be any time prior to the slide's "date". I've been using my old journals to narrow the date, but for the most part, I rarely get the actual day number. So my naming convention mostly has dates like: 1968-05-00, where any "00" implies unknown. I've had some months that fall into that category. When I get to old photos (not slides), I'm sure there may be some dates that will appear as "0000-00-00", but I hope not often. In my other post in the Lr CC forum, someone talked about "fuzzyDate" - I'm considering using that as a keyword for a TIFF having a filename e.g. 1968-05-00TK04052R. (In the metadata, I can't enter a date like 1968-05-00, I would have to use 1968-05-01, or 1968-01-01 when month any day are unknown; so a fuzzyDate keyword would be needed.)

I've decided to use the slide's process date included in the file name and not some, possibly more accurate, guessed date. For example, a slide originally processed in 1969-01-00, or 1969-02-00 showing the family around the Christmas tree, clearly occurred in about 1968-12-25 (remember, we often processed our film rolls much later). I'm planning to keep the file name dates as the original film processed date, because if I change it, that may come back to bite me later. Revised dates, like 1968-12-25 will go into the metadata as the creation date.

I suppose I could use the shortened format of yyymmddccsss for file names. I prefer including the added info (hyphens help pop the dates for me, T/R and P/N/K may be important in the future).
 
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Thanks for the insights Pvonk

My slides typically have the year and month stamped or printed on the jacket.
Nice. Mine don't
I've been using my old journals to narrow the date, but for the most part
You were very smart in your youth ;)
I will be using SilverFast for the scanning
Can I ask what made you SilverFast?
When I run them through SilverFast later to edit and output the final TIFF format
So you are not using LR or PS for post scan?
I use the following naming convention: yyyy-mm-ddTtccsssR
So similar to mine. Just more detail because you have it.
 
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I used Peter Krogh's book that Roelof mentioned combined with information from website scanyourentirelife.com. My file naming convention is yyyymmdd who/what where. For the unknown part of the date I use "x"s. I use keywords for the source. If you look at the scanyourentirelife website, you'll see many filename variations that people use. Be sure to create a document that explains your file naming format and put it with your originals so grandchildren, relatives, etc. will understand the format.
 
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Can I ask what made you SilverFast?

So you are not using LR or PS for post scan?
1. I bought SilverFast a number of years ago when I was planning this project. Well, I'm now getting to it! Have an Epson Perfection V800 scanner and wanted software that took advantage of the scanner's features. I have the SF Ai Studio for making "RAWs" and SF HDR for processing the RAWs later on. SF's RAWs are TIFF format. The real processing comes later. Note SF Ai Studio can do the processing mode immediately, but I don't want to do the slide labeling, scanning, processing - one slide at a time. I'd rather get all the scanning out of the way initially (but that will take a month or two). Producing SF RAWs is relatively fast, very few controls are available in this mode. SF HDR is like Ai Studio but without the scanning. This app just takes the RAWs.

2. I will use SF for initial editing of the RAWs and later use LR for cataloging and processing. The RAWS contain all the scanner data including the infrared channel. But they're very dark when viewed, so the second step, using SF HDR (not referring to the usual "HDR"), involves lightening the photos up, and I'll do the infrared feature to clear dust and scratches (don't need PS for that) and a few other SF features for quick fixes. Finally the processed RAWs will go into LR for a final processing pass if needed. There are a lot of slides that aren't worth much effort, but I'll keep them anyway.

PhotoShop, that's another story. I've tried to bond with it for many, many years but never got to 1st base. This project will be the kick in the a** to get me back to it. Will use it as needed.
 

Roelof Moorlag

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Thanks but the link you included was for one of his other books "DIGITIZING YOUR PHOTOS WITH YOUR CAMERA AND LIGHTROOM". Which book did you use?
All his books are under the 'DAM' lable but indeed i refered to the title you described. It is a very usefull asset for a project like this.
 
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information from website scanyourentirelife.com
Thanks for the link. Looks very useful
Be sure to create a document that explains your file naming format
I am learning. I've started a document that is referenced in the Panel End Mark so that anyone opening LR can find out how I've approached my WF. This includes me ;)
 
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Can I ask what made you SilverFast?
I too use Silverfast. Originally, I used Nikon's software with my Coolscan 5000 because it had very good dust removal. When they stopped supporting the software (years ago), I switched to Silverfast because it supported the bulk loader and dust removal using the scanner's IR channel and it made color calibration of the scanner very easy. I evaluated Vuescan, a much cheaper alternative, but I vaguely recall it didn't support the bulk slide loader or the IR channel and was much fussier to use. I just went back to Vuescan's web site, and it looks much more sophisticated, so you might consider that.

But if I were to start over on my project (which is 75% done), I'd probably "scan" the slides using a camera:

It would take a little more of my time than using the Nikon but produce higher-quality results. (Most of my time is spent with post-processing the slides and adding metadata.)
 
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An advantage of putting metadata (date or subject) in file names is that metadata will be accessible to anyone with a computer using Mac Finder or Windows File Explorer.

But it has significant disadvantages: It's hard to encode multiple dimensions of metadata (e.g. date, people, places, and events), and it's hard to browse and search using multiple dimensions ("all slides in 1964 at the New York World's Fair showing people").

So I use LR to add industry-standard metadata fields (caption, keywords, GPS, capture date) that can be read and searched by a wide variety of programs, including inexpensive consumer programs like Mac Photos and web services like Flickr, Apple, and Google.
 
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