Scanning the past – second update

I scanned the 4000th negative this morning.

Unlike digital camera images, the scanned images do not have any rotation data to allow viewing programs to turn them to the correct landscape or portrait orientation. All the photos in landscape mode on the 35mm negatives need rotating through 90°. Because of the way the film has been cut into strips and the need for a small blank inter-image strip at one end to go under a clip so the whole of the first image is scanned, the negatives might be loaded either way round into the holding frame adding to the possible need to rotate portrait images through 180°. Although Picasa can be used to rotate images in the viewer it does not store the image rotation information so if the image is opened in another program it appears un-rotated (even re-saving in Picasa does not seem to work unless you also edit the individual images in some way). Having looked at several programs which can rotate an image without loss or change to the JPG file, I have chosen a program called EXIFPro. It allows images to be displayed in a wide range of sizes which can be useful when trying to decide which way an image needs to be rotated. It is easy to rotate multiple images at the same time and has several other useful functions.

I also need to add various information to each of the individual JPG files to aid identification of the photo in the future (how I wish all the photos I’ve inherited or even our photos had something written on the back!) and to allow searching of all the photos e.g. for those containing particular individual or of a place. Again, I could have used Picasa to add a “caption” and tags but it does not use a comprehensive set of fields for the data and the fields it uses are not completely compatible with some other programs. So I have opted to use a program called iTag which allows me to add information (title, description, date, author, copyright, and an unlimited number of text tags) to the IPTC section of the JPG file. iTag has a tag manager so allows better control of the tags and it should be possible to label the images in a more standardised manner than is possible with other programs. At present I’m mainly adding text tags (including date, if I know it); again these can be added to multiple images at the same time using iTag.

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