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tami_ohio

Old family photos question

tami_ohio
6 years ago

I would like to scan in all of our old family photos. I know how to do
that part. What I need to know is how to document the people's names,
places and dates, just like you would on the back of a physical photo.
Can someone please explain in fairly simple terms how to do that? I am
running a HP windows 10 laptop, and have an Epson Perfection V330 Photo
flat bed scanner which has the negative and slide slots also. Some of
the photos are in bad condition, some b & w, some old Poloroids,
some in decent condition. I want to get this done before there isn't
anyone who can tell me who some of these people are.

I have posted this here, and on the graphics and scanning forum, as I wasn't sure by looking at some of the dates on that forum, if I would get an answer. Didn't look like it was very active.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

I know I can scan them in, then insert into a Word doc, and put the names, ect in below, but with the luck I have with software, ect, I would rather not have to do that. I would like to also share the files with other family members who may not be running the same version of Word that I am.

Comments (18)

  • gigirambles
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Elmer's right - don't put them in Word. As long as you keep them in the image file format you should be able to access them via Windows. You can change the name in properties, I'm not sure if that changes the actual file name or not but here's how I do it. Scan them into a particular file. I generally like to have different files for different years (2017, 2016, etc. - you can then create new files within those files for various events. Like, in the 2017 folder you can have new files for Christmas, Easter, etc). Then comes the tedious part. Open your File Explorer and make sure it is set up to "view" each file - meaning the "name" of the file is on the left side of the screen while the right side of the screen shows you the picture of the file you are looking at. Right click on the file name, scroll down to Rename and then type in the names and date. In the event of having duplicates of the same names and date and a space and insert 1, or 2 or 3, etc.

    I hope that makes sense.

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  • tami_ohio
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Thank you both. I've put names in the file name before but when you have several people to name the file name gets to long. I have some of the old ones scanned and in folders by a person's name, but if the date and place, or event, or a group I had no clue.

    We belong to a social club that my DH's grandfather helped start. There are boxes of photos that are undocumented and soon there won't be anyone left old enough to tell us who is who. I have volunteered to start documenting them and digitizing them. So much history will be lost soon if someone doesn't do something.


    Question. Will the above suggestions work on both PC and Mac computers?

  • Elmer J Fudd
    6 years ago

    What I described has nothing to do with the file name and doesn't affect it.


    I believe the metadata in a media file is visible no matter what PC is used. It's easy enough to find out, fill one out and share it with someone who has a Mac.


  • tami_ohio
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    I can do that, Elmer. DD has a Mac! It will have to be Monday. We are having family Christmas tomorrow, and I need to finish a couple of projects and wrap a few things yet! And at 12:45am, I need to go to bed. Thank you for your help.

  • kudzu9
    6 years ago

    tami-

    I always rename a photo file since it's the easiest way to see and sort them later and is readily visible. You said that, if there are several people, the file name gets too long. But I don't see why that is a problem. Too long for what? I believe a file can be up to 255 characters long with either Windows or Mac, which should be plenty unless you are listing all the names of a very large group of people.

  • tami_ohio
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    When I've done a back up, I get a message that the file name is too long. I've probably had 4-6 names in a file? I'm guessing, as it's been several years since I've tried it. Recent pictures, I've been creating a file folder for the year, then sub folders in that by month, and maybe another sub folder for a place, especially if they are travel photos. I do know I have at least several old photos of groups at family reunions with 8-10 people in them, at least. Mom would have been 81 this year, and there is one of her in a group when she was probably in her upper teens, of all the ladies in the family at a reunion, that would be her mom, sisters, aunts and cousins. We are guessing at some of the names. When my DB & DSIL cleaned out mom & dad's house prior to partial remodel and moving in to take care of mom after she broke her hip, they went through all the photos in the house one day. 3 totes and a small box later! A tote for each of us, and I got all the ones they didn't know. Which are probably a lot of them, as DB is 12 1/2 years younger than I am. With all the duplicates, it was kind of a "one for you, one for you, and one for me"! Luckily, most of the cousins still grew up in the same community, and still live there, that most of these were taken in, so I had a cousin's lunch and we spent the afternoon sorting, and writing on the backs with photo safe markers, and sorting into family groups. As in aunt 1, aunt 2, and uncle. Once I get them scanned in and labeled, they get them all for their family, plus will put them on a flash drive for them all, so we all get all of them. And that is just on mom's side of the family. There were some of dad's family in the tote, but not many, comparatively.

    And then there are all the recipes to do!

  • PKponder TX Z7B
    6 years ago

    Picasa 3 by Google is a free application that allows you to add text on the photo, if that is something that you'd find helpful. I would think that the text would obscure too much of the actual photo but you can drag it to anywhere on the image.



    https://windows10portal.com/download-picasa/

  • tami_ohio
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    I thought about that and having a copy of the original then the copy with the text but may take up tools much memory?

  • Mike C
    6 years ago

    Thumbs Plus allows you to add 'caption' information that shows up in MS Explorer in the details. To me its much easier than filling in information on picture properties. Not free but I really like it. Can also do simple editing of a picture including lossless rotation of JPEG pictures (yes, thats a big deal).

  • kudzu9
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    tami-

    Quite a few years ago I remember problems with saving long file names, but that was way back. To see if it's still a problem for your situation and computer operating system, do a simple experiment: rename one file with a really long name (but less than 255 characters) and try to save it. That will tell you if it's an issue or not. The only other thing that you need to be aware of is that you can't use certain punctuation characters in the names (like a question mark): https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.pcworld.com/article/2013754/why-cant-i-use-punctuation-in-a-file-name.amp.html

  • tami_ohio
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Thanks. I'll take all the help I can get! Our kids and grandkids have just left. I'm snuggled in my chair with a blanket relaxing a bit before bed. I will try to wrap my mind around all the suggestions tomorrow.

  • mtvhike
    6 years ago

    I liked Picasa3 a lot, but I thought it was discontinued (am I wrong?). Picasa's facial recognition is fairly good, especially if you tweak it, but where is that information saved? If it's saved as metadata in the image file, then you're problem is solved.

  • PKponder TX Z7B
    6 years ago

    Picasa 3 online album feature is gone, but the desktop app still works. If she just needs to be able to work with the photos on her own computer it's an option.

  • lazy_gardens
    6 years ago

    Your file name length problem is because some hard drive formats can't take a name longer than XX characters.

    What I need to know is how to document the people's names, places and dates, just like you would on the back of a physical photo.

    Yout scanning software or image management software should be able to insert "metadata" into the files. It is a standard format and can be read by, searched for, and altered by almost any photo management or editing software. It's the "back of the photo" now.

    https://iptc.org/standards/photo-metadata/photo-metadata/ 

    Here's my schema - and I got stuck with all the family photos to scan:

    1. For pics with more than one person of interest: File name is year or decade the picture was shot plus the last name of the family in the picture (or the location) and a sequence number xxxx

      EXAMPLE: 1945 GARDENS xxxx.
      EXAMPLE: 1965 GARDENS KUDZU xxxx (a wedding)
      EXAMPLE: 1985 New York xxxx
    1. METADATA for them would have the event, all the names and other stuff

      So if someone is looking for childhood photos of uncle Fred Kudzu, who was born in the 1940s ... search for all photos from the 1940s and 50s that have KUDZU in the name to get down to a reasonable number to visually examine, or search the metadata for Fred Kudzu.
    1. If it's a huge collection from a single event, it's
      1965 Italy Trip (or Garden-kudzu wedding) 0000X and the metadata has the location and names.

    The unknowns get tagged with an approximate date (from fashions and vehicles) and a sequence number for that decade. They look like this:
    1930s UNKNOWN 000x
    The metadata has as much info about location as possible - maybe it's an unknown ranch or boat. If they get identified they get renamed and have more metadata added.

    It's less work is you sort photos so you have the least amount of metadata entering, and can keep up a naming sequence.

  • tami_ohio
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Lazy gardens, thank you. That is basically the way I have been putting photos in files. I just will then need to figure out the metadata part!


    I am now on gold with this project until April, but keep the suggestions coming, please! I am not deleting anything from this post.

  • jemdandy
    6 years ago

    First, get organized. Construct a file system that suits your method of operation and memory jogging. I'll give an example below. Bear in mind that this is only one way. Construct a system that suits your needs, and that brings up the next suggestion. Try to put as much identification in the file titles as you can. This will aid future searches for data.

    1. Create folders for major divisions.

    2. Create sub-folders for each sub-topic.

    3. Scan the photos, give each one a descriptive title including the date of event when known. Please do use a consistent form of date for every file. This will greatly aid future searches of the file set.

    Major folders: I'll use family surnames such as BROWNE, MARCUS. SMITH, TABOR

    Under each name, create folders such as Obituary, marriages, wars, family gathering of 1950, 50th wed anniversary and names of cemeteries for example: Bridgeport, Old Carney, Wells.

    Suppose you scanned a photo of a tombstone for John Browne and he was buried in the Bridgeport cemetery. You'd scan the photo and place it it the BROWNE, Bridgeport folder titling it: Browne, John Day, b 02 sep 1910, d 29 oct 1990. If your system balks at spaces date, leave those out; If it balks at commas in the title, use a minus sign for a dash. The underline character can be used, etc.

    As you progress, you'll collect a number of photos that do not fit just yet into your system, place these under the major folder and forge on. Later, you can re-file these miscellaneous entries with electronic 'moves'. The main job at present is to get these photos scanned and preserved.

    In the future, you wish to find a photo. Recall how you constructed your file names. Lets say you wanted to find something that happened on 10 Aug 1940, but you do not remember the exact details. Do a search on "1940" and all titles with this number will come up and since you put other information in the title, you can quickly pick out the file you wanted from 1940.

  • tami_ohio
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Jemdandy, thank you. That makes sense, and I already do that to an extent with current photos. And I can use the metadata way for more information. Now I wish I had room in the RV for my photo scanner and all those photos! Oh well. I do have some of them scanned in, and in similar folders, so I can start on them, at least.