I’ve been on a photography kick for the past week or so. I’m not really sure why, but something random motivated me to start going through and organizing all of my digital photos and images. Around 10,000 original images and video clips with 30,000 total in the library. The problem was that I had switched indexing systems so often I had source files haphazardly strewn all over the place over multiple hard drives, CD-Rs and DVD-Rs. Yesterday evening I finally finished dumping everything onto a dedicated 120GB hard drive.
So, what next? Renaming. Lots of it. I’ve come up with a filename convention that should last quite a while and I’m in the process of fully documenting it. The system is based on the age-old standard of CCYYMMDD-XXX-Description.ext. I’ve expanded quite a bit on that root and have added lots of bits of filename metadata for search engines and indexes. That, combined with EXIF and internally stored metadata should drastically reduce my clutter!
A picture is worth a thousand words
Which brings me to my next conundrum! I purchased an Epson Perfection 2400 Photo scanner a couple months ago that, due to information overload, I hadn’t hooked up yet. Since I didn’t have the motivation to sort through my existing photo collection, why bother to create new data?
Well, that changed the other night. I needed to start scanning so I started playing with the slide and negative carrier! The quality is absolutely amazing. Not quite the same quality as my Father’s $30,000 Leaf 45 high resolution 48-bit scanner, but I suppose it will do the job. At some point I’ll put together a full review. But, let me say, the Perfection 2400 impressed me right out of the box, and that’s an achievement!
A photograph is worth a thousand dollars
Like all good packrats, I decided to start another organization project. Before I start massive batches of negative scans, I needed to go find every single negative that’s been kicking around the house for the past ten years. Some in sleeves, some in loose envelopes, some in bound slide carriers, and…some in wet plastic bags in a cedar trunk in the damp basement.
This evening was spent with the wife going through 30 or 40 roles of wedding photos and surgically separating the still-wet negatives from each other and their plastic sleeves. Luckily, only the junky table camera film had any permanent damage and all of the film shot with SLRs was still in protective sleeves. Still damp and musty smelling, but they’ll survive. Hopefully.
Artsy fartsy black and white goodness
So now I’m halfway through a huge bag of 35mm sleeves and have only scratched the surface of indexing my collection. I’ve only done 2003-1998. I still have 1997-1982 to do. Yup, that’s not a typo. Not 1992. 1982. With a professional photographer for a Father, I’ve been carrying around cameras since I was six years old. Most of of the resulting roles of film I developed myself!
Unfortunately, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find all of my old artsy fartsy black and white work. I know most of it was in slide carriers in a binder that, more than likely, burned or got destroyed in an apartment fire in 1994. As a matter of fact, I’m almost positive. I haven’t seen that 4″ d-ring binder since I moved to Boston.
Either way, I have who-knows-how-many exposures that need to be scanned and, at 10MB to 25MB per file, I’ll be burning quite a few DVD-Rs.