Over the Christmas break I initiated a process I dubbed “the Great Digitization” to bring my stash of analog photographs into the world of digital. This is a status report as of january 7th, 2016.
The process is somewhat slow and tedious:
- mounting images on the sliding frame in batches of four
- a pre-scan, to center the picture in the scanning area, balance the color and other parameters to make the image as readable as possible (remember, some of these pictures are 40 years old)
- the actual scan – I am using a 2400dpi resolution: the scanner goes up to 3600, but at that resolution it becomes REALLY slow
- after the scan, the software does its best to remove dust and scratches – after some experimenting I have settled for a mid-level detection and removal, also given the fact that the images are not that sharp to start with (the consequence of not enough money to buy top quality lenses, but also the fact no true autofocus existed at the time).
I then try to organize images in a logical sequence and file them in Events folders (nested if necessary) included in a Year folder because I was forward-looking enough to note the date and event on the negative folder.
So far, I have scanned about 1,200 images, consisting largely of 35mm slides dated mostly in the years before 1984: at that point I realized that 35mm slides were extremely unwieldy and risked never being viewed ever, so I switched to color film: judging from the box where negatives ate stashed, there may be another 2,000 images which I will try to scan next.
Once this process is complete, I have already relatives asking me to scan their stack of old images, in most cases nowhere near the quantity of yours truly, but still worthy additions.
Having fully sorted out the backup organization of all that, I will need to look for software to build slideshow playlists: file systems allow you to select a folder or a group of folders to view them in a slideshow mode, but there must be a way to attach metadata such as tags to images and build tag-related slideshows.
Although I am only about a third along the way, predictable trends are starting to appear: the lower cost of digital photography means I have increased frequency of snap-worthy events (from one every 60 days or more to one every 15 days) and the number of pics per day (from 0,3 to almost 2) – will be interesting to look at the completed graph.