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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    Traffic Delays for Personal Genealogy Day

    Amy at WeTree recently enjoyed a Personal Genealogy Day, and I declared some time ago that I would do the same this entire weekend. Unfortunately, I felt like I was on the airplane that couldn’t get off the ground. . . much like a flight I took last summer. First the plane was one hour late; then we boarded but had to wait for the A/C to be checked out; then repaired; then the weather had changed and we unloaded;  waited for a new plane; boarded again; had to wait for a new flight crew because they had timed-out; then had to wait again for a new pilot. We finally arrived in Boston eight hours late.

    My Personal Genealogy Day goal was to (once again) refine my digital photo archive of Arline’s beautiful photographs. Previously, I scanned the images front and back as TIFF files, only to discover that Photoshop Elements could not open the large files. Neither could Windows Photo Pro Tools. Or Windows Live Gallery. Thank goodness, Adobe Lightroom could see them.

    AND, even better, LR2 makes adding metadata easy. I renamed a few sample files, tagged, added captions, then exported as JPGs for use. Still too big for PSElements. Surfed the web for ideas; read that I should be storing all images on an external hard drive; scratch that, I should be storing them on my HD; no, I should have them on three or more drives; that I needed better backup; that I needed to format my external hard drive (I do??); that I needed better archiving; that my dpi was too big / too small; that my cat needed to go on a diet. . . [the  last when he knocked over my stack of photos just brushing the pile].

    That was only Friday.

    On Saturday I learned that although I knew enough to be dangerous with Lightroom, my airplane still hadn’t gotten off the ground. Arline’s photos sat in their archival boxes with no nice index contact sheet and no cross-referenced filenames or numbers. I told the ground crew to spin the props, and focused on the controls for a short spin. Within twenty minutes I had added metadata and keyed a field for my Box Folder storage system. It was like practicing take-offs, a bit bouncy, but encouraging. After lunch I finished tagging my photos and decided to actually get off the ground with the “Export to JPG” function. Ha. Sputter sputter. It’s a good thing I was only working with a small file of photos.

    In the end I did manage to learn my way around Lightroom and can now print out a beautiful contact sheet complete with caption, filename, and storage location for all my prints. I still haven’t figured out the optimal JPG file size, but that will have to wait for my next flight.

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    Reader Comments (2)

    What a few days you had! I need to schedule a Personal Genealogy Day for myself -- but I need to organize my paper photos into families first, and then scan. I have little knowledge or expertise. I've been trying to find out whether I can change a TIF file to JPG so I don't have to save all my photos both ways. If that's possible (to convert from TIF to JPG) I can convert only the ones I want to post on my blog. Hah! Your post has given me hope because it sounds like a possibility. So sorry your cat is not Miss/Mr. Slim and knocked over your stack. Even so, it sounds like you made progress. Thanks for sharing your experience and what you learned.
    Nancy from My Ancestors and Me

    March 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

    Nancy, Paper photos and digital photo files are a real challenge, but it is possible. Take hope! I will keep you updated on the blog.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    March 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDenise Levenick

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