Cataloging photos
(02-01-2022, 08:29 AM)Charlie B Wrote:        I have been organizing scanned photos and it seems to be a never ending job. I have a large collection of photos from the family that date back to pre civil war times as well as my train photo collection. Most of the scanning is done but the files remain to be renamed and photoshopped.  I don't have anyone helping me, and I am the oldest one in my line so I am the only one that has a chance of identifying some of the people. I actually have some grandchildren that are interested so I will continue. 

Sorry for going off topic, but not sure how to respond elsewhere.
Only just learned last week that some Big Blue features are only accessed after signing in, after years of lurking!

Hello Charlie,

I am in a similar situation, but have barely begun to scan.  A major problem for me is file naming and cataloging.  I remember reading a RR magazine article on train photos, which argued the only way to prevent filename confusion and duplication was to somehow incorporate a date/time in a unique filename.

I have toyed with the idea of this filename format:
YYYYMMDD, xxx (number scanned that day), pluse (family last name initial, to ditilnguish my father's family from my  mother's).

So the 15th scan of my father's family photos, scanned today, might be
20220201015S  (assuming Smith for last name)

Info retrieval seems to be a major issue for me in this hobby, as well as family history.
Anyone have thoughts on this on this method?

Should this post be move to the photography section?  
If so, how?
(02-02-2022, 01:08 PM)ezdays Wrote:
(02-02-2022, 12:55 PM)hillyard999 Wrote: Should this post be move to the photography section?  
If so, how?

It's OK here, but if you want to start a discussion on this topic, we can move it to a new thread possibly in the "all other hobbies" forum. Send me a PM if you want to do that.

Don, please move the thread and my post here. I can give a lot of pointers on this subject and think it will make a great forum. 

Hillyard, I use a 8 digit date format to start a file name today would be 20220202, then the subject, then the location and if several a sub of a b c etc at the end. I have learned to rename all my digital photos as I save them to my computer and then I immediately back them up to an external drive. Here is the file name of the post I did in pictures from this day in the past "19780202 CR 5720 epo."  epo stands for my home town. (East Palestine, Ohio). I will share more in a future post soon
Continuing with my suggestions. I use as much as I can in the file name to make searching easy. I have found a program called Agent Ransack  that is very useful in finding photos and it will search a 2 tb hard drive in a couple minutes first time, and if you leave it open and change the search term it is even faster. After it is installed you can click on the folder, drive, or even your whole computer and it will find what you want.     For example I name my files by date first (YYYYMMDD) and subject and location and other information . If I want to find a picture of a locomotive that I know the number I use the road and number in the search In this case I search for Conrail 4444 in my document folder and this is the results      I can also search for Baltimore and this is the result     
I think you can see my point here. I don't have the locomotives cataloged with type in the file name yet but if I did I could search for them by that term. 
Now to a beginner with family photos I have run into a lot of pictures that are labeled "mom" "dad" "uncle Lou" etc.  That's fine for the person that wrote them but years from now you want to know who "mom" is. I have been labeling my family photos with names. My great grandfather was John Brookes (no middle name) so I have labeled photos of him as: 19460612 John Brookes Tennis court dresden ave. My maternal grandmother gets 19750617 elizabeth margaret mae shurte brookes which includes the middle names as well as her maiden name Shurte which makes it easy for other family members to know who she was and where she fits on the family tree. 
Hope this helps. I have a few more tips for another post.

Thanks for the informative response.

I see that you are imbedding subject clues in the file name. In addition to Ransack, I would guess a search for CR 4444 could also be done using File Explorer, since the subject for search is explicit in the file name.  Your naming approach would be a big improvement over what I had originally thought about.  My proposal would have required some sort of index file to let me know which photos contained which subjects.  This in particular for older undated family photos.  Example, Dad's family album, many photos from 1920-s through 1940-s.

some thoughts ...

File name length:
In my former line of work, long filenames combined with long names for folders and their subfolders sometimes caused problems which I think are summarized as "file name bloat".  For linked excel files, this was a major issue.  (long descriptive names required by upper mgt).  Have you had any problems with longer file names?

Master copy: 
I see in your search example for CR 4444 that you seemed to have duplicate files in different folders. How do you keep track of the original, master file?  Has duplicate files an issue for you?

For my RR photos, I've been saving them in descriptive folders.  Usually places and year taken.  Okay for perusing, but not for easy retrieval.  I do have a very old edition copy of Photo Shop Elements.  I am under the impression it allows multiple catalogs.  So one catalog could be EMD locomotives, and another could be Pringle Yard.  The same picture could be indexed in both, while only keeping a single photographic file.  At least that's how I _think_ it works. I've been reluctant to do this, not wanting to risk compromising my original files.  Second issue, trying to not get too married to a particular software.  I've lost a lot of effort in the past when software companies disappeared, or no longer supported my favorite software.  I'm talking about YOU, AskSam.  (also 123, and Ashton Tate).

Thanks for your ideas.  More to come?
Still ruminating.... 
: )
Another benefit of the agent ransack that I discovered is the ability to select the found files and use the copy command to copy the files to a folder. When I get all of my family photos labeled (I have had no trouble with long file names except for a few that the dvd burning software couldn't use) I can do a search for a person and then copy all of the results into a folder. 
 For the rail photos I plan on labeling the various freight cars and making individual files for different types, though the search is so fast  I may not need the individual folders. I already have some labeled in the file name I just did a search for Hopper and here were the results that I have just on this computer in my documents.     

I have also done over 5000 scans for the East Liverpool Historical Society and many were unlabeled glass negatives. I labeled them as the collection plus a number. The labeled ones of course got the ID in the file name in my standard format, and my cousin has been posting them to a facebook page and we are sometimes lucky to get some Identified. When we do I put the identity in the file name. 

I do have duplicates even on the same drive but some came from folders I made for other reasons and unlike analog with digital an exact copy has the same quality so I don't worry about what one is the original.  When posting photos here and to other sites I use the windows picture resizer to make the files smaller. I either copy all the pictures to a folder first then resize every one in the folder(labeling the folder as resized)and the upload them, or just select a few and resize using the function that makes a smaller copy but keeps the original.

I am trying to find a program that will add blank canvas to the bottom of a large batch of photos because I have software that will add the filename to this space and will keep the caption with the photo. 
Thanks, Charlie!

This gives me a lot to think about.

: )

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