I have several hundred, maybe thousands of family/vacation slides and i wish to scan them for safe storage and for sharing with other family members. I am looking at getting a Nikon coolscan III for the scanning portion and then store the images onto CD's with my CD-writer. I wish to start my own database using either Microsoft Access or Filemaker Pro. I hope to add many more of my own images and I was wondering what categories should I setup for each image (past and present)?
my next question is... once I scan the slides, what do I name that image. I would like to cross reference all my images, labeling all my slides with a file name that I can then look up and retrieve the tech data on the image...
I have tried several naming procedures, but i have yet to see one that seems to work for me... Do I want to have a name (8 characters or less) that I can read and understand exactly what that image is...(98NC0905 = 98 being the year, NC being North Carolina, 09 being the month of September and 05 being image 5 of that month) or shall i use a numbering system (98091505 = 98 being the year, 09 being the month, 15 being the day, and 05 being the image number for that day), one that would require me looking up that number to find out what image that is.
I would appreciate any help and advice concerning digital imaging my valued images...
I can tell you what I have done over the past few months and plan on doing till I'm done (probably never). The file name I give the scanned in photo is a numerical number that is totally non-intelliegent. In fact, it is just 1, 2, 3, ... etc. My feelings were that when I wanted to pull a photo off the CD, I would search a data base, in this case an Excel file, for the name of subject that I wanted. I would not be loading CDs in and out of the drive checking to see what was on each CD...too time consuming. I also catagorized the titles by state, then year. In the following example, visualize an Excel spread sheet with the State's Name (Virginia in this case) centered over some columns. The Blue text is column one, while the Red text is column two. This way I can search for a specific state, then a specific description. The Description contains key words such as waterfall, blackwater, Elkons, Deer, Spring, Summer, etc.
Description of File 1 (ex., Waterfalls, blackwater, Elkons, Fall) Description of File 2, etc.
This works for me, it may not work for everyone or anyone. Good luck.
(I also read an article in PC World last month that shows files stored for many years on CDs do show signs of degeneration and could cause a problem trying to load. I guess not even the digital media is unaffected by time.)
--Take only photographs, leave nothing but footprints--
I think the simple approach is the best. Just number the images and keep the database to reference the images info...
Keeping images on CD, is not just for long term storage, it is also for peace of mind... knowing that if something ever happened to the original slides, someone still has a CD with all those memories in a safe place....
Just a suggestion, since you may not want to buy a dedicated piece of software, but have you considered an image cataloging application such as Extensis Portfolio?
The chief advantages of this are that you get a set of thumbnails in the database so you can quickly browse your images visually, and that you can create 'galleries' (subsets of the contents of the database) corresponding to a particular date, location or whatever.
It also lets you define fields to contain any data you wish to record, give images a textual description and attach 'keywords' from a list to assist in searching. This all ends up in a single database file so it's easy to deal with.
I've been using it to catalog images from my digital cameras for quite a while now and it works very well.
Even though this is almost a year old, I thought I would share a couple of naming protocols with you. I cataloged a large number of slides using a naming system similar to what you are suggesting. I used a set of six letters to indicate the general topic of the slide. For example, I used the following sequence to indicate A slide taken in MIchigan, Upper Peninsula, with Subject WaterFall. I then used an alpha sequence to indicate the year. The result would be a reference of MIUPWFX. The X being the year of the slide. This is a 7 position setup. If you need the day or month added, an additional alpha letter could be added. The Alpha numbering of slides provides for 26 years. Take the oldest dated slides that you have or anticipate having and letter that year as A. The next year will be B and so on. This works extremely well. I hope this helps. Skins