Professional photographers call it a “workflow',” as a mom I just called it a “routine.” It’s the standard order of doing things that results in Getting Things Done.
Lay out the school clothes, tuck them in bed, read a story, turn out the light, go to sleep. It just works. If you forget the school clothes, things don’t go so well in the morning. And woe to the parent who tries to skip the bedtime story. Routines work.
A photography workflow can help any genealogist or family historian process a photo collection efficiently and carefully. After reading books and blogs, posting on numerous forums, and exchanging emails with dozens of photographers and archivists, I’ve come up with a photo workflow that works for me. . . today, at any rate.
I have broken the workflow into separate activities; this works for me because I can process the photos in smaller chunks of time. I can scan or import depending on the time available, and still make progress toward completing the project.
Supplies and Equipment Needed --
flatbed scanner, (Epson Perfection V500)
2 external hard drives, (MyBook)
white cotton gloves
archival drop-front box 12 x 15-inch (for oversize photos)
archival flip-top box 8 x 5-inch
archival sleeves, 5 x 7-inch and 8 x 10-inch
permanent ink pen, archival safe
Adobe Lightroom2 software
Part 1: Scanning Workflow
Set up --
1. Connect and turn on scanner to warm up
2. Connect external hard drive
3. Put on gloves
4. Clean scanner glass with soft cloth
5. Start scanner software: set for color scan, TIFF format, stored on external hard drive, file name + image number; check box to open folder after scanning [this is my confirmation that I have completed the scan]
Note: for file name, I use a general name for my current archive [aak] plus the next number in my series . I will edit names in Lightroom2 when I add metadata.
Note: I scan both sides of every photo, front first, then back [thanks for that tip, footnoteMaven!].
1. Set resolution to 1200dpi, double-check TIFF file format
2. Preview Scan front side of image; rotate image on Preview panel if needed
3. Scan; folder will open showing new file image with name of filename-number [aak-045]. This may take a few minutes at 1200dpi.
4. Turn over photo
5. Change settings to 300dpi if photo has information; if blank scan at 72dpi
6. Scan; folder will open showing new file image with name of filename-number [aak-046]. Notice that front sides of photos are odd numbers, reverse sides are consecutive even numbers.
7. Remove photo from scanner, place in archival sleeve and set in box lid [will be used later]
8. Repeat steps 1-7 for each photo; I usually scan in batches of 20-25.
This is a good place to stop working and tidy the work area. The next part of the workflow is to Import photos to Lightroom2 for tagging and jpg conversion. Visit The Family Curator next week for Tech Tuesday and Setting up a Genealogy Photo Workflow, Part 2.
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