First Steps: Scan Old Photos and Back Them Up to the Cloud

Posted on February 6, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Microsoft Consumer Services, Music + Videos, OneDrive with 45 Comments

First Steps: Scan Old Photos and Back Them Up to the Cloud

These boxes are full of photo albums, loose photos and other mementos that need to be backed up.

Those seeking to bring their old photo collections into the digital age face numerous challenges, not the least of which is the monotonous task of scanning individual photos or negatives. Here are a few thoughts about this process.

As you may recall, I’ve been scanning in old photos as part of my ongoing “Everything Must Go” decluttering initiative since last year. This is an on-again, off-again thing, as it’s time-consuming and arduous. And I literally have thousands and thousands of photos, many in organized photo albums, and many disorganized loosely in boxes.

My efforts last year centered on the albums, but because of the disruption triggered by the construction of my podcast studio late last year, I’ve since decided to focus on the loose photos first. These pictures have their own unique challenges. It’s unclear when/where many were taken, for example, and I’ve been pinging friends and family for help from time to time to try and organize it all.

When we built this podcast studio in the basement last year, we displaced a lot of clutter, including all of those photo boxes.

But regardless of the exact details of the scanning—whether you choose to scan negatives or paper photos, which scanner you choose, and so on—the general strategy has shifted over the years. And when I look at this process now, I do so with the following goals in mind.

This is about decluttering. The goal here, literally, is to declutter the house by removing boxes or albums full of paper photographs. And also other paper-based mementos, which can include children’s’ drawings, birthday cards, savings bonds, concert tickets, and any other number of items.

A smaller pile of photo albums and loose photos I’ve brought upstairs for the next round of scanning.

Photos are special. These items all hold a special place because they are so personal. Photos, in particular, are memory triggers, and one of the neat things about scanning in loose photos—many of which are 20 or even 30 years old—is that they retrigger forgotten memories. But this also makes the process all the more important: If you scan in these items and throw away the originals, you have to be sure that the digital versions are both safe and accessible.

Metadata is important. In the pre-cloud computing past, the emphasis on bringing old photos and other legacy content into the digital world involved “tagging” these files with metadata such as people, places, and events. We used desktop applications like Windows Photo Gallery to do this tagging and otherwise edit our photos, manage our photo collections, and then find photos using those tags. But this approach is not modern and is no longer a great solution.

The cloud is the goal. The goal now is to get our photo collections into the cloud. And in keeping with any backup strategy, that means duplication and geographic separation for disaster recovery. In other words, do not bet on only one cloud solution. And keep a local master copy as well.

Search, not tagging. Using modern cloud services such as Google Photos and OneDrive, it’s now possible to find specific photos much more easily. So where you might have tagged photos taken in Paris with the tag “Paris” in the desktop days of a decade ago, today you can simply search for Paris in one of these services, and those photos will all come up. For modern photos, such as those taken with a smartphone, that will be automatic, assuming your phone is marking taken photos with location data. But this will be automatic even for legacy photos based on those old tags, file names, and ever-improving image recognition technologies.

So that’s all very general. Here’s what I am doing specifically.

As I scan in old photos, they are moved into a triage folder where they can be edited and bulk tagged as needed.

I try to name these photos logically and based on the information that is available on or around the originals. Some are truly loose. Some are in photo envelopes from a photo developer, and those envelopes often have dates on them, as do the backs of some photos. These serve as rough guides, so I can use names such as “Arizona Dec 93 (Probably)” or “Arizona Dec 93 03” until the individual photos can be filed.

The only metadata tag I am personally concerned with is Date Taken. (Which, depending on the app you’re using, could be named differently, a further complication.) The goal is to date each photo so that it will appear correctly in both Google Photos and OneDrive. (You may make other choices, obviously, but those are the two I care about.)

The issue with tagging is that the application I had been using, Windows Photo Gallery, is no longer supported or easily found online. And may in fact simply disappear or stop working at any time. (Here is a link to the offline installer.) But I can tell you that Microsoft’s other solutions—tagging files directly in File Explorer using the file Properties dialog, or the woeful Windows Photos app in Windows 10—do not work. And that means finding a third party application that just works.

Windows Photo Gallery lets you easily tag one or more photos.

That application must support bulk processing. In other words, I should be able to scan in all of the photos from an event and apply the same Date Taken tag to all of them in one go. I have yet to find a new application I can recommend for this, unfortunately, and I’ve tried a bunch. Some do work, of course. None are excellent. I will continue to use Windows Photo Gallery while I can, but clearly something newer/more modern needs to be found.

As I noted in Managing Your Photo Collection in the Smart Phone Age, new photos are automatically backed up to two different cloud services. And so I need to move these old photos—once they’re scanned and tagged with at least the correct Date Taken—to these services as well. This is easy done via web browser, of course, and here Google Chrome works best because it supports the drag and dropping of entire folders. I also keep a master copy of my entire photo library locally, which in my case means on my NAS. So there are the three locations I’m using for photo storage: NAS (local) and Google Photos and OneDrive (cloud).

But again, this process is painful. It takes a lot of time and effort to do this. If you’re using a flatbed scanner as I am, you have to babysit the scans. (At least the Canon scanner I’m using supports auto-cropping multiple photos at once, which is very nice.) And you often have to research loose photos. But even an approximate date—something from mid-1996, for example, might get a Date Taken of June 15, 1996—is better than no date. It’s also better than the date of the scan.

This isn’t a task I’ll finish this year. I know that I will move in and out of it from time to time as my interest level and priorities shift. But like my efforts to get rid of old electronics or be healthier by eating better, I can see the results as I go, and I can imagine the end game. It will take a long time. But it will happen.

Whether this effort is worthwhile to you will depend on the importance you place on this process. Decluttering may not be something you’re concerned with, or you may be nervous about throwing away the photos or negatives of precious memories. You may literally prefer to enjoy photos in paper form. But wherever your head is at, digitizing at least some of these photos and being able to enjoy and share them in new ways is an effort worth at least considering. And I have resolved to make this happen, no matter how long it takes.

Is anyone else doing this? I suspect there is some good advice out there that I haven’t yet considered. And any ideas about making this less arduous are always appreciated.

 

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Comments (46)

46 responses to “First Steps: Scan Old Photos and Back Them Up to the Cloud”

  1. Avatar

    5591

    Paul

    Can you explain why editing the Date Taken tag in File Explorer does not work, please?

    I tried it on a batch of photos by selecting the photos, Right-clicking > Properties > Details > then changing the "date taken" and it seemed to work fine.

    I got this tip from a comment by Isaac Rodriguez on your "Digital Declutter: Photos" article.

  2. Avatar

    131

    The "prepper/doomsday/EMP-gonna-takeout-the-grid" guy in me couldn't stand to throw away the physical photos after they're scanned.  I envision some post-apocalyptic world where we have no reference for historical events beyond our "elders" because we went full digital and all that got wiped out when the zombies launched all the nuclear warheads.

    • Avatar

      5234

      In reply to wbhite:

      When the blast heat wave hits, your photos will all be ash.

       

      Of course, you will be too, so it's all moot.

    • Avatar

      679

      In reply to wbhite:

      I can't stand the idea of tosing them out except in the case of where I have the negatives. The prints can go as long as I have those. When properly stored, slides and negatives don't take up a lot of space compared to boxes of photos and albums. On a similar note, my uncle was a big super 8mm fan. He shot a lot of film at family get togethers over the years. Back in the early 90's he had them all transferred to video and then tossed the film out. Really sad since now they are all locked into a really crappy format that has also died. They would look so much better if they could be digitized today but they are gone and the VHS tapes they were transferred to are in bad shape. 

    • Avatar

      289

      In reply to wbhite:

      Yeah, not to get too dark but it's not hard to imagine a scenario in which lots of people no longer have access to their digital media.
      I sometimes wonder about video in that case.  We shoot all this digital video, and sometimes spend hours editing clips together into nice little home movies.  That could all be wiped out, or just simply lost in the passage of time; sad to think about.

  3. Avatar

    10640

    I too found Windows "Properties", "Details" to be very awkward and painful for setting picture metadata on Windows 10, but then recently found that using File Explorer's “Details pane” interface works very well.  This has become my preferred method of setting picture metadata.   You get to it on the “View” tab in File Explorer and click "Details pane".   You can easily turn this on using Shift-Alt-P.  I toggle this mode on and off all the time.   (You can also quickly preview a larger view of the picture using Alt-P.) 

    When using the “Details pane” to enter metadata you can set captions or dates on multiple pictures at once by selecting the files, entering the metadata, and saving.   It works very well.   As an aside, you can also easily set up columns in the details listing format of File Explorer to see Titles, Comments, Date Taken and other info in a detailed file listing.    It works great for seeing captions and other info in one listing of all you pictures in a directory. 

    In my own picture conversion process I've taken to using "Title" for captions, "Comments" for misc technical info I might want to add about the scanning process or whatever, and I also try to get the “Date Taken” date at least close.   I avoid using the "Subject" metadata field since various picture editors and metadata tools often don't handle this the same and often don’t see it at all.  I also use XnViewMP (free) to manipulate the pictures and edit metadata, but there are some inconsistencies in how it handles metadata so you have to be careful.  I’ve written some scripts that use ExifTool to correct these inconsistencies when I do this.   Mostly I've adopted the Windows metadata ways as my standard.   I used IrfanView for a while but prefer XnViewMP for manipulating and viewing my pictures.  You can configure it to show your captions and other info on the screen with the picture, and also with the thumbnails, as you browse through your files.  I'm avoiding using Photoshop Elements (which I do use when I need to clean up pictures) to manage my metadata since I want a process independent of Photoshop, as I trend to move my files all over the place and put them in various locations.  Also you have to be careful about how Photoshop handles it's metadata as well if you use that to enter metadata.  It's somewhat compatible with Window’s ways, but there are some funnies that I also wrote some ExifTool scripts to resolve then needed.   Again, now for the most part avoiding many of these issues, I've pretty much standardized on using Windows 10 “Details pane” to enter and manage my picture metadata.  By the way, you should really become familiar with ExifTool if you manipulate metadata much.  It is very powerful.  Hope this helps.

  4. Avatar

    5728

    Just as not every film photo I took got placed in a physical album, not every photo I have in a box will get scanned. I have thousands of slides and photos. Most are just duplicate shots of the same event already placed in albums.You need to decide which are important, and which are just fillers.

    Same with digital. Extreme example of this would be my sister. She took 1500+ digital photos on a 3 week visit to Italy. Uploaded them to the web, and sent invitations to view them to everybody she knew.

    I got through about 200 before I gave up.Told her to edit a thousand out, and I would get back to it.

    Face it, 90% of the photos you have will NEVER be looked at.

    • Avatar

      2

      In reply to Tom Wilson:

      Especially if you don't scan them. :) But I kid.

      You are right, of course. It may be worth simply scanning favorites only though. As part of this process, I've just thrown stuff out. For example, sometime in the 1990s I took about 40 photos of cars at an auto show. No people. So that was worthless and it was tossed. 

    • Avatar

      5592

      In reply to Tom Wilson:

      One of the ways I worked through school was teaching photography at a local college's adult education program and the #4 tip I used to give, based on feedback, was that, if you were having a very good day, you'd get one shot good enough to keep out of roughly twenty and that you should be ruthless about tossing out the bad shots.

      (the others were how to hold a camera properly, to shoot more shots than you think you should and to move in closer than feels comfortable)

  5. Avatar

    8107

    In reply to Paul Thurrott:

    Try Geosetter on Windows to change the EXIF data.

    • Avatar

      6197

      In reply to fastoy:

      Just about to recommend Geosetter as well. Not only it is the best geotagging solution I have found, it also has a powerful file rename and datetime editing functionality. At it's core it uses the versatile exiftool library. Geosetter complements Windows Photo Gallery quite nicely.

  6. Avatar

    5496

    This is where you kids come in handy.

    Tell them how you want it.

    They get paid by having a house to live in, they get free food, free trips. They should pay you back.

  7. Avatar

    2742

    My biggest issue re archiving is "what triggers memories"?  I currently have ~60,000 digital photos, figure I'll add 3k-5k per year for the next 20-30 years so that's 200k+ photos.  Once scanned/backed up, no one, including me, will ever go back through that many photos, and with the number of photos we take with our phones, the signal to noise ratio is way out of whack.

    While searching for "Paris" is helpful, as most people don't forget they went to Paris, it's all of those other memories, that you serendipitously run across when you're looking through old photo albums, or shoe-boxes of photos, that are arguably the most valuable.

    Memories need to be triggered.  It's like asking "What was your favorite song from 20 years ago?".  Most people would be hard pressed to name it unless they were given a list of the top 25 or 50 songs from 1997, then they would remember. 

    I've attempted doing "best of" photo books each year as they each have an Index page, which is essentially a 1-page-at-a-glance reminder of the "memorable" events for a given year, each cluster/page of memorable events has some text explaining who/what/when/where/why, I can print hard-copies, and also keep them digitally on-line, but currently this is painfully tedious. 

    And why print?  It's kind of like the Windows Photo Gallery dilemma you mentioned above:  technology, formats and standards evolve and, at some point, you may loose the meta data, or even the ability to view, digital images from 20, 30, 70+ years ago.  As long as humans have eyeballs they'll always be able to see hard-copy prints, and meta data and searches alone don't tell the story of a given photo or set of photos.

    Of course, no one may care, but I can't help but think how cool it would be if there were 25-50 "books", of 20-30 pages of photos with explanations, and a one page index for each year, from my Grandparents, or Great Grandparents.  How fascinating those would be to peruse.  Otherwise, why are we even taking photos, or burning time organizing and archiving them?

  8. Avatar

    10636

    I have also looked for a batch application that can help...the one I have lately used is "Advanced Renamer"

    https://www.advancedrenamer.com/

    It works pretty good in batch modifying metadata and the like.

     

  9. Avatar

    4764

    You might want to try Adobe Bridge which is part of Creative Cloud and technically free without purchasing any other creative cloud programs. It has nice tagging and catalogging features. Main beauty is that it doesn't want to "move" the photos into its own database but simply leaves them in place on your hard drive while creating its own index. Not a huge Adobe fan, but this one program is nice.

  10. Avatar

    7260

    Paul:

    Big job!  I started doing the same last year, but the effort stalled due to how long a flat bed scanner takes of your time.  I've been looking for better solutions.  I found a possible one with the Epson FastFoto FF-640 High-speed Photo Scanning System.  It's around $600, so it's an investment.  Wonder if anyone has one and could let us know how it works?

    Mark from CO

     

  11. Avatar

    4796

    OneDrive isn't a backup service, it is a sync. And google photos shrink the original if it is too big. Hopefully you're using CrashPlan or Carbonite to back them up from the NAS (I think only CrashPlan does this). I'm sure you would be, but your readers might not think of that.

    Would it be worthwhile using a paid service to do them? Not cheap, but much quicker!

  12. Avatar

    4325

    I really like the google photos scanning app on iOS as I do not  have a scanner. The only issue with it that it doesn't offer anyway of editing the meta data, id also be interested in adding a geotag.  Hope somebody comes back with something!

  13. Avatar

    4796

    Irfan view & its add-on bulk editor works well for bulk. Recently travelled Europe with my father, on return realised his camera was set to GMT not CET so I bulk adjusted his photos by an hour so his & mine could be sorted by date/time taken. Very simple! Didn't realise that Windows 10 now does this.

  14. Avatar

    4761

    Irfanview allows you to batch change the EXIF data from the Thumbnail view if you also have the Irfanview Plugins installed. I use it all the time. Select the jpg files, right-click on one of them, select "JPG lossless operations", then "Change EXIF date/time (date taken)".

  15. Avatar

    746

    One thing I would recommend is ScanSpeeder http://scanspeeder.com/ which allows you to scan multiple photos at the same time and saves each photo in its own individual file. It's not free, but I found it to be great time saver.

  16. Avatar

    8665

    Paul, have you used the PhotoScan app from Google? I remember you wrote an article about it a while back. I would be interested if you have used it since the article and what your opinion is of it now.  I found it frustrating at first but once I played with it enough I found it quite useful.  I don't have the massive amount of photos that you do, but it was definitely a relief to get started on getting some paper photos of family in the cloud, especially since I lost both of my parents recently. It is nice to have the old photo memories included with the new ones.

  17. Avatar

    8662

    What you need is a Digital Asset Management system. I recommend IMATCH (www.photools.com). It's aimed at professionals but also "normal" people find their way. It has everything you need and is rather cheap compared to the competition. I use it for months now and I love it. Did the same you want to do, declutter by digitalizing all those analogue photo's.

  18. Avatar

    10648

    I'd much rather keep the original paper copies of photographs and kids drawings and concert tickets.

    They hold much more of a sentimental value then a digital scan

  19. Avatar

    289

    Paul, thanks for the reminder.  I have a small collection of prints I've been meaning to digitize.  
    For those with less time than money, I recommend this Wirecutter review of photo scanning services.
    The Best Photo Scanning Service

  20. Avatar

    289

    I like the idea of digitizing as a way to easily share stuff with folks who are far away, but I still want a collection of the key prints for easy perusal and discovery.  Nothing beats sitting down with family and friends and flipping through a photo album.  I take so many digital photos these days, and often wonder who they're for.  I'll never see most of them again.  Are my kids going to wade through 1000's of them? Will they even have access? 

  21. Avatar

    514

    What about those of us who just don't have the inclination (or the patience to babysit a flatbed scanner) to scan photos?  I have all my photos in one place.  Is there a service where I can send the physical photos to be scanned, and get them back either on a cloud storage account, or (better) on a USB flash drive?

    Once the scanning is done for me, the tagging, captioning, and storing on the cloud is much more tractable.

  22. Avatar

    5394

    I love to declutter, but I found photos to take the least amount of space. Better to not declutter the wrong thing. Dump the old CDs, LP, books, DVDs, old tech, and collectibles junk. We all had our phases. I don't think anyone will really access my old digital photos or paper photos when I'm gone. They'll all go into the trash. I'll keep my photos for now. The older I get, I have less patience to organize such things. The task is quite daunting. BTW, you can toss away old photos of exes. Saves much space.

  23. Avatar

    10630

    I have spent numerous hours since Thanksgiving of 2016 until now doing this exact thing. What I chose as my number one priority was tagging people. Year and location are also important but I haven't had to worry about that as most of the photo albums are organized based on year and I can figure out the location. I have been scanning family photos from my childhood as well as my parents childhood.

    I bought 2 Epson photo scanners to speed up the process and have been using the Epson software to batch scan and save the photos out individually. I am saving all of the photos to my NAS by year then event. I looked at several software choices and websites. I decided on Adobe Lightroom (only $9.99/month while I am scanning) to batch tag people, location & event. I then decided on Amazon Prime Photos (I am a prime member) to upload the photos to because they have the Family Vault feature that allows me to share all of the childhood photos with my siblings and parents. I'm still not sold entirely on Amazon photos, but I haven't been able to find a good service that compares to the family vault feature. Prime photos has the automatic tagging feature like most other services, including people, but the people tagging in Lightroom is much more user friendly. And as I stated above, being able to accurately tag people was my number one priority.

     

  24. Avatar

    5855

    I scanned about 4000 colour slides a few years back (also with a Canon scanner, i.e. I could scan 4 in one go). They were pretty well grouped by holiday, and after loading them into Photoshop Elements I was able to update the Date Taken for a whole folder, e. g. England 67, in one go. Recently I uploaded them to Google photos, so the work is close to being finished.

    The two most time-consuming activities were improving the scans, e.g. removing dust and colour correction (Ektachrome slides needed that), plus identifying where in a country I took a given slide -hard to remember after 30 years -but Google helped a lot with that. Having them online is nice as I could for example send a link to a cousin who was with us on a given trip.

  25. Avatar

    217

    Yeah, I'm helping my parents do this, just yesterday they brought over hundreds of childhood photos actually and wanted help scanning them. There's no way in hell I'm scanning them all with my 10 year old scanner/printer, so my best bet is to use PhotoScan from Google. It works surprisingly well, it takes about 5-7 seconds per photo. It works best on an iPhone, my iPhone 6s's camera is much faster and has better quality than my OnePlus 3. 

  26. Avatar

    1310

    Have to say I am glad to see your take on the topic as it has always been an ugly mess for me. I think my biggest issue is that the vast majority of physical prints over many large rubbermaid bins, go back, at minimum, two to three decades. They all necessitate metadata from other family members that I simply don't have in my own grey matter (I am 30 y/o. I'd say a very tiny fraction of these photos are within my lifetime. And the last actual film print is probably pre-'00).

    I've been trying to find a decent 'photo gallery' that doesn't cost an arm and a leg for such a large collection that I can simply grant access to other family members and let them tag/edit/organize at will and have a GOOD metadata system. Even self hosted platforms, that I am willing to dive into for the sake of paying someone else a sub (usually with tiered pricing based on photo quantity) and manage my own backup regiment, don't seem to offer that flexibility.

    I did, thankfully, find a good piece of software recently to help on the scanning end of things. Called ScanSpeeder and will automate cropping/rotating/separating multiple photos placed on the flatbed at one time. Happily paid for it after giving the trial a go. I have an older Canon LIDE90 but its software doesn't seem to have the functionality.

  27. Avatar

    4383

    XnView software (free for personal use) allows batch editing of meta-data offline.  It's a good program that I've used for years.

  28. Avatar

    10633

    I started this process in the fall. If you can swing it, I highly recommend the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 (which I personally have) or the Epson FastFoto FF-640 (which a friend has). Both offer the ability to scan about 500 photos in an hour, in batches of I believe 50 in the case of the Fujitsu. Both will scan documents as well. The Fujitsu's selling point is documents where as the Epson's is photos. I am quite thrilled with the photo scanning quality though  

    I can do a batch rename in Photoshop Elements as I see fit. 

    I hear you on Windows Photo Gallery and lament its demise. I have the install file backed up in various places for future needs. I really wish somebody (ahem, Microsoft) would develop something as simple and yet robust for photo management. I continue to batch tag with this. 

  29. Avatar

    425

    Have you considered using PowerShell for the metadata editing? It took me about two seconds to find a decent module to get/update the Exif Date Taken field on the Gallery (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/ExifDateTime/1.0)

    It wouldn't take much to expand on that and be able to pretty easily roll your own solution to help with the automation.

  30. Avatar

    165

    I set up my dSLR on a tripod over a portable table beside my PC, and tethered it for live shooting. I have 2 lights set up on either side to provide even lighting and no glare. I have excel open with a column for the picture name, date taken, people in the picture, and a notes column.

    I just digitized about 300 old pictures from my mom's house - some were from 1914!

     

    my workflow... Put the picture on the table and view it live on the screen. Make sure it is centered and straight. I have a white sheet of graph paper on the table to make this easy.

    take the picture and name it correctly - I used mom001, mom002..

    In the spreadsheet, I added info that was written on the back if the photo - date taken, location etc.

    when done, I imported the pictures to Lightroom. Adjusted them (usually the auto settings were good) and then cropped the photo to fit. This part took about 20 seconds per photo.

     

    when all the pictures were done, I exported them as JPEGS and renamed to mom +sequence number so they came out as mom001 etc.

     

    I saved these to onedrive and sent the link to family along with the spreadsheet to have them update anything they could add about the pictures

    when I got feedback from everyone, I updated my master excel file. Then I went back to Lightroom and updated the meta data and tagged everyone. I put in date the picture was taken (some estimates were needed). I also geo tagged if I knew where it was take.

    Last step was to export again with all the metadata, and reshare them.

     

    the Photoshop Elements app has pretty good  features fir cataloguing as well

  31. Avatar

    9518

    Briefly, & FWIW...

    I like using RAW format in Lightroom -- you can easily & quickly adjust a batch of images to counter color cast for example... things needing correction in my experience are often shared by a batch of pictures taken at the same time, in the same place etc. Once the images are *OK*, I can then work individual images I think are worth it in P/Shop, Paintshop Pro etc. For scanning that means VueScan software.

    I built a rig to photograph negatives, which I like better than scanning because of far fewer issues with the digitized results. However there's not a lot of info out there, & AFAIK no ready-built solutions for doing it this way. I use DxO Labs Optics Pro to do the negative to positive conversion, saving results in the .dng RAW format, which I import into Lightroom. The reason for the 2-step is I personally don't like the limitations in Lightroom when/if I convert them from negative to positive there.

    The main issue I have photographing prints is glare on many of the older ones. For that I've gotten a lightbox setup, like they use for photographing items to be posted on eBay etc., rather than a traditional copy stand sort of thing. Unlike with negatives, I can't build a great case for photographing prints vs. scanning though -- I like it but that's me.

    To organize the results I start with [often nested] folders named to reflect the subject, when they were taken, etc.

    On the topic of winnowing out which photos are worth it, I favor a more production-minded approach... rather than taking the time to check & decide on every photo whether to digitize it or not, I'll tend to just go through the batch as quickly as possible. Later in Lightroom I'll make batch adjustments, and afterwards cherry pick those photos that are worth a more full treatment in an image editor. Because I use a camera, the time I waste capturing photos I won't use is less than what I'd spend sorting & deciding, but again that's me. I've also found that many of the photos I'd have likely rejected initially either come in handy repairing another photo, or surprisingly turn out rather nice from after the initial Lightroom adjustments.

    And yes, in the days of film, I did [over?] use an autowinder, believing the more shots taken, the better the odds I'd get a few jewels, so I am very aware of the problem of having too many photos to easily go through.

  32. Avatar

    Care

    I use Historian from forever.com to edit metadata easily and organize my photos. I'm going to guess that you wouldn't prefer its organization, though. It doesn't use the file folder hierarchy that you already have. It is excellent at batch editing dates. If one of your cameras had the wrong time set, you can even batch edit the offset.

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