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Scanning Photo Negatives And Archival Process

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#1 Vince00


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Posted 30 December 2011 - 06:50 PM

Evening Everyone,

Question around scanning older 4x6 photos, Film Negatives, and any process you used for storing / organizing them as you complete them.

My Mom was working on a family tree project when she passed away at 50 with Cancer, she was considered Cancer Free and we were about to have a great Christmas celebration but we knew something wasn't quite right, sure enough we got the call after Christmas as they didn't want to mess up her last Christmas with bad news.

I was working along with her at the time and also started to digital copy the family tree, Ive since started to go through all the stuff she had and 'Wow' she was organized, I found books, pages, and albums of work she had done.

Most importantly I found a entire Tupperware dish about 8x12 FULL of photo negatives.

I have a Film scanner on order "Canon CS9000f" which should be here next week, What photo archiving containers has anyone used as they scan and mark pictures as 'done'?

I found this on Amazon that seems to fit the bill : Organizer Box 12 containers of 100 per box

I'm excited to go through the negatives and start scanning them in, going from the negative is supposed to be the best as the picture is a copy and quality is already lost so I'll keep you posted how it goes.


#2 BarbaraC1977


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Posted 30 December 2011 - 07:56 PM

The Organizer box looks slick, Vince! Do they have one that's especially for the sizes of your negatives? Or are they strips, as photo finishing shops always provided?

Having scanned a lot to get my family heritage book (spouse's, that is) over the last year, all I can tell you is also buy canned air. Get the negatives as clean as possible (but don't spray right AT the negative.) Any dust/dirt will be carried forward for later photo-fixing. I've been re-reading Carroll's book on photo restoration and retouching, and he highly recommends glass cleaner and coffee filters for cleaning the scanner glass. (Lint would be bad in coffee, so filters are lint-free.) I would NOT use anything but white, non-recycled paper style.

Even if you don't remove all the specks and defects, good quality scanned images are definitely a plus.

If you don't already have a really organized system for naming images, I highly recommend: YYYY_MM_DD_OccasionNamesetc. If you know the Year and date, it makes it a lot easier to sort the images. If not, use the "general" part, e.g. 1960s_BackyardBarbecue_JeffMaryBeckwith. You can use tags, but I like critical info in the filename. If you've got lots of images to rename, the Bulk Rename Utility is fabulous! I use it all the time to ensure consistency of naming.

Burn the scanned and named images to DVD as "originals." On your computer, label their folders "_Originals" (or name the files that way) and then make copies to work with. Good luck on this fabulous project!


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#3 Becster


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Posted 30 December 2011 - 09:13 PM

Great advice Barbara!



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#4 Syndee


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Posted 30 December 2011 - 10:09 PM

Th box looks cool Vince and very good advice Barbara!


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#5 bitzee


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Posted 30 December 2011 - 10:30 PM


I am sorry for the loss of your mom. As a highly organized mom who absolutely cherishes my family photos, I hope that when I am gone that my kids appreciate the measures I have taken to preserve our memories on film. I commend you on taking up where your mom left off. This is such a worthy undertaking and I know she would be very proud of you. I will be watching for updates on your progress.

Barbara has some very good advice, especially about naming images. This is so important and needs to be implemented from the very beginning. I am in the process of restoring my photo collection lost in Hurricane Katrina. I was only able to evacuate with my 35 mm negatives for 257 rolls of film. Being meticulous about storing and labeling my negatives allowed me to be able to grab them and go.

Disasters happen everywhere. As an added measure of protection, I upload my CDs of the newly transferred negatives to KodakGallery.com. Online storage provides a safe place outside of my own home to keep these special treasures. Each album bears the same name as my original set of negatives. There is also an area where you can give more details of the event or the subjects in the photos. In addition to being able to safely store my photos very inexpensively, I can e-mail a slideshow of my albums to friends and family. I always choose the options to UPLOAD IN FULL RESOLUTION and ENABLE DOWNLOADING so that family and friends can order prints right from the Kodak Gallery site or they can download the photos to CD. This takes longer to upload, but it is worth the effort. There are so many companies online where you can store your photos. I am sure you can find one that works for you. Good luck and keep us posted! Kathy

#6 Vince00


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Posted 30 December 2011 - 11:07 PM

Thanks for the tips everyone, I overlooked the naming conventions and use it in other aspects of my work so I'm glad I typed this up! I use zenfolio for my photography site so have access to unlimited storage as well as I use CrashPlan for off site online backup.

Keep the comments coming I don't want to miss anything before I start and have to redo it.. Great Stuff!

#7 Bride


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Posted 31 December 2011 - 04:24 AM

What a huge project. I'm so glad several shared some great advice for you Vince! And WELCOME to SG!!

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