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Re: Victoria's Newsletter Topic "Lightroom Tip - Getting old photos into Lightroom"

Joined
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I'm presently undertaking this project.

Based on some threads in these forums, and on the net, I've taken a modified approach to speed things up. This has been driven by the challenge of 'culling' pictures.

If the old pictures are your own, then you can easily make a decision if you want to keep a picture. If they are a family heirloom, then others may disagree with what is a worthy picture. The more challenging aspect is being able to properly see the slide and/or negative to make a decision. As Victoria observes, the time to scan an image at a decent DPI can be slow. In addition, you need to develop a clean room aspect to eliminate as much dirt and dust as possible for an editable image.

My approach, and thanks to those I've learned from, is a two stage approach:
  1. Quick-and-Dirty (literally) scan of 600DPI images as Thumbnails.
  2. After loading and picking images, re-scanning those images for processing. I identify the difference between thumbnail and full scan in my scanning naming convention.
I'm using an Epson V700 scanner (I've read the pros/cons of scanners vs cameras but it's what I have). To create the Thumbnails, I use the Epson's Thumbnail view. I set the scan to 600 DPI and leave the target image size the same as the source. I chose these settings for a couple of reasons after trial and error.
  • I found 600 DPI, and the source size, was sufficient for LR to show me a decent image. Lower DPI's produced too poor an extrapolate LR enlargement. I did not select any scanner processing except unsharp mask which seems to be on by default. The file unfortunately is to small to see in Windows.In Epson Scan, I would had to select each of the 12 cells to specify a larger target size to view in Windows. Too much time and I'm doing my work in LR where the image is acceptable.
  • I can scan 12 slides at 600 DPI in about 2 minutes. Compare that that to the 20 minutes if the DPI is around 3000. I'm currently making short work.
  • LR has to extrapolate the small size and I can't zoom any further in the preview but it sufficient for picking with a flag.
  • The thumbnails can be exported to decent renderings of 800 PPI on the long size, which is sufficient if a relative wants to see a collection.
I'm also discovering that I was not too organized in storing my slides going back to the early '70's. By being able to view all I can find similar ones to collect and make a picking decision on. To me, this is worth the time in creating thumbnails because I was finding viewing the slides on a table top slide box to difficult. Film negatives are impossible IMHO to see unless to scan them first.

I'm also using the following metadata fields to store information about each scanned image. These are just unique for scanning. I have more conventional metadata settings as well.
  • User Comment - Details on the slide/film e.g. FILM:EKTACHROME ,ISO:??,SIZE:35mm,Colour,Date:Summer'79
  • Keywords="Low Res,Slide"
  • DateTimeOriginal - This is my guess at the date. It's usually the year from the slide imprint with a guess at the month. For time it's always noon.
  • createdate - Today's date/time
  • DateTimeDigitized - Today's date/time
  • Make - Camera manufacturer. The V700 set's Epson as the Make
  • Model - Camera model. The V700 sets "V700" as the Model.
  • FileSource = Film Scanner (numeric 1)
I'm not sure how to set all of these in LR Import. I set these externally before import using EXIFTOOL batch files. It was a habit I got into before starting to use LR.
 
Joined
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Fort Myers, FL
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As I sit here literally waiting for the latest set of scans to appear, some thoughts.

If they are a family heirloom, then others may disagree with what is a worthy picture.
I worried about this a lot, I sat them aside, I scanned a bunch and tried to fix them up - some were simply not worth keeping. I've taken two approaches.

Some are my ex-wife's family. She doesn't know it but she's going to get a box of all the stuff I didn't scan (and a lot I did). She can do what she wants.

But ones from my family -- well, who is going to make the decision? At least in my case, those in the shots are dead, often their children are dead. Some shots are just worthless, almost unrecognizable from either original quality or fading/stains/scratches/peeling. There's a certain finality in throwing them in the trash but... it really needs to be done.

It took me a couple years of off and on work on this to decide, but if I am ever going to finish, and not kick the can down the road to my son (with even more damage/aging) I just need to do the ones that are worth it, and make the decision on the rest. So about 5 pounds went out in the last trash.

My advice -- just anoint yourself the best one to decide, and decide. If you think there's someone better then box them up and give them to them, don't just sit on them.

I'm also using the following metadata fields to store information about each scanned image.
I'd also suggest adding person keywords as you go. It becomes incredibly tedious to go back later and do it, and while your head is in a certain group of shots, you are more likely to remember. If you have a lot, you are going to want them keyworded by individual.
 
Joined
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Messages
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My advice -- just anoint yourself the best one to decide, and decide.
I hear you Ferguson. The problem is viewing them to make a decision. That's why I like creating the thumbnails.

I'm also thinking about the future. My wife does genealogy and there are pictures of people posted on-line. I can see the time in the future where some could use even my thumbnails to look up someone on-line.

I'd also suggest adding person keywords as you go
That's an excellent idea. If I can I will do that. At the moment, I may scan 60+ slides of a particular time then batch update them with EXIFTOOL for basic metadata. Normally I then add person information to the keywords once in LR.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,345
Location
Fort Myers, FL
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Lightroom Version
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That's an excellent idea. If I can I will do that. At the moment, I may scan 60+ slides of a particular time then batch update them with EXIFTOOL for basic metadata. Normally I then add person information to the keywords once in LR.
A lot depends on your process. For scanned in old shots I'm finding I spend a fair amount of time in photoshop reconstructing torn or scratched or stained areas.

One thing you can do, if you also end up in photoshop for a reconstruction pass on each, is use File, File Info. It should pick up any initial info you entered with exiftool and add to it, and all that combined flows into LR later when you synchronize or import or whatever.

To me it's all about discipline -- if I put it off until later, I tend to move on to the next batch and make "later" into "much later" and right now from past efforts I have hundreds of shots un-documented I still need to go back to. Trying not to add to that pile.
 
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