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Author Topic: Adding Film Archive to DAM Catalog  (Read 3153 times)
swteven
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« on: August 02, 2011, 11:16:49 AM »

I am devising a DAM catalog solution for my own stock photo archive. My collection can be pretty neatly divided in 2 different groups - film capture and digital capture. A DAM catalog software like Media Pro will work just fine for my digital capture image files but my film image files will be a challenge.

About 15 years ago I devised an efficient film filing system where slides were stored in old fashioned "20 slides per page" hanging files. The film catalog was sub-divided into a dozen general subject categorie and each slide received a consecutive number unique to that slide.

As I began to scan my slides I needed a digital version of the film catalog that would mirror my original film filing system. I placed each scanned file in a digital folder on my computer which also contained derivative image files in different file sizes and formats (mostly .PSD and .JPG).  Filenames contain short descriptions of an image subject. For each scanned slide I created a low resolution .JPG file (5x7 inches at 72dpi) which could be emailed or displayed on my website. This system was adequate until new technology offered better options.

I need to migrate the film filing system to a modern DAM catalog where metadata is more effective for search and organization. I don't need to immediately change the film filing system because it is still useful but I would like to convert it gradually. In the meantime I need to get these images into a DAM catalog. My idea is to ingest the low resolution JPG of each scanned slide into the DAM catalog as a first step in this process. This file will provide a visual reference, a container for metadata and a way to search my film capture images with my digital capture images.

There must be many photographers who have a similar dilemma and I would be interested in hearing opinions on my transitional catalog idea along with other transitional systems that have worked.

Thanks, Scott Teven

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johnbeardy
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2011, 12:00:53 AM »

"My idea is to ingest the low resolution JPG of each scanned slide into the DAM catalog as a first step in this process. This file will provide a visual reference, a container for metadata and a way to search my film capture images with my digital capture images."

I think that's the only practical solution, and a related idea is to create placeholder JPEG's for each slide that isn't yet scanned. As you add hi res scans, overwrite the low res or placeholder files.

John
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swteven
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2011, 11:53:51 AM »

Thanks for replying to my question! It seemed to me that this was the simplest migration solution for my "film capture" catalog.

Since I can easily search and locate all the low resolution JPGs representing my slides, I was thinking of just creating a single folder containing all of these files as a source for the new DAM catalog. This would be the easiest way to ingest these files into the DAM catalog. Would it be easier for the DAM catalog to resource a single folder containing all these files in one location?

On the other hand perhaps it is better if the source file lives in its original folder (which also contains the master file and all derivatives). This would require more up front work to link each one to the DAM catalog Would this be better in the long run if I need to access the master file or derivatives via the "representational file" the DAM catalog?

Scott
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Fredrik_Norrsell
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2011, 11:54:52 AM »

I have done a similar conversion intermittently over the last 2 years. Here is a few thoughts of what I found useful!

1. I scanned the images in batches, one subject category at the time. The scans were placed in a folder named with the appropriate subject category. This allowed me to easily go back and double check that I hadn't missed anything, and tag slides whose scans turned out poorly (I used a batch process -  and a few images needed customized scan setting to turn out good).

2. These subject folders were imported into Lightroom and placed in folders allowing me to monitor my metadata progress. 1-Raw_Scans (The holding thank for new scans). 2-Rename_Scans (The scans were renumbered to match original slide number). 3-Add_MetaData (Having them organized by subject categories and by file number, helped with entering keywords and location info since similar images are grouped together). 4-Transfer_To_Archive.

3. By working with one subject folder at a time, it became a reasonable number of images at a time, and seemed less daunting. It also mimicked the original physical filing structure that I was familiar with. This helped me keep track of my progress as I occasionally had to leave the projects for a few months, and then remember were to pick up again.

4. Once fully integrated in the DAM system you can either toss the original subject category folder structure, and file things in bucket. Or do what I did, and file the subject folders into the Bucket system, this way I can use the full DAM or the old familiar subject filing system.

Fredrik
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swteven
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2011, 11:08:42 PM »

Fredrik - Thanks for sharing your workflow for managing batches of scans. Sounds like an efficient system. I like the way you break it down so you can work on it in stages.

My old "pre-DAM" system is a folder hierarchy where each slide's digital scan is stored in a unique folder on my computer where each folder is numbered to represent a slide's location on a 20 slot slide sheet. Over time I create derivative files of that original scan (various file sizes for print output or JPGs for email and web, etc.).

I really don't need to record all derivatives in the DAM catalog. I only need to ingest one "reference JPG" into the DAM catalog. (the "reference JPG" provides a visual, a container for metadata and a way to search my film capture images along with my digital capture images).

Scott
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