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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
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    Naming of scanned photos

    When I upload my digital photos to my computer, I archive them by using the following naming convention. YYYY-MM-DD Event And, yes, I know that the date is in the metadata, it just helps me find them later.

    I then store these photos in a folder with the same name and store that folder in another folder for that year. This has worked very well for me as I tend to think of things in terms of dates. By having the event name on there, it helps in the search.

    Now I am starting to scan old printed photos that we have. I don't necessarily know the dates of these pictures and a lot of them are a mix of various dates and events. I am trying to figure out an archival naming system and can't really think of anything that makes sense. Using the date that it was scanned doesn't make sense, since a year from now, I don't really care when it was scanned and that information will be in the metadata.

    Does anyone have a system that they use? I appreciate any ideas that you may have. Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    donebb,

    Check the back of the picture as many processors placed the date on the back of the photo. Depending on how old the camera was they were taken with it could be the actual date the picture was taken or at least the date it was printed. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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  4. #3
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I always name my pictures by the event name: "College reunion"; "Wedding of Susie and Jack"; "Little Johnny's birthday party"; etc.

    Or I will name them by the date range: "Early 2000"; "1990-1995"; etc.

    If I absolutely can't figure out how to classify them, I put them in a folder whose name is the date that they are scanned, e.g., "scanned 2014-02-18"; or "copied from iPhone 2014-02-18". (Putting the source of the picture may help you to remember what the pictures were of.)

  5. #4
    4 Star Lounger
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    Thanks RG. Some of the pictures do have dates but not enough to rely on throughout. We can guess at a lot of them but I am wondering if someone has another way of archiving that might work for me.

  6. #5
    4 Star Lounger access-mdb's Avatar
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    My way is to name them something like N1234.jpg (for scanned negs) and P1234.jpg (or scanned prints). I then tag the photos with the people in them, and where and also the date (but of course only when these are known). But I also put that info in my photos database (all my 5000 odd negs and slides are in it, and 10,000 odd digital pics - some are very odd!). I can then put things like data is approx and other comments to say what 's in them (not always easy with tags). With dates, I often know at least the year (or can guess it) so put a date of 1/1/yyyy with the date approx field ticked.

    However, you've just got to decide on a system that will work for you and stick to it. And it's best to start the system when you start scanning the photos - otherwise it can take forever. I've also found a program (Google for exiftool) to export tags to a file so I can do some matching in Access.

    Why Access - see my handle!

  7. #6
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    I'm working like you, I rename all my digital pictures to yyyymmddEvent001 etc.
    All my old film/slides are named in the same way for those which I know the Year.
    I rename the images which I don't know the years just without the date Event001

  8. #7
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    My file naming convention is
    for digital photos: YYYYMMDD_[name of photographer]_original camera-supplied file name I have photos in the family regularly coming in from various people or, for that manner, from my various cameras.\
    for images scanned on the flat bed scanner: YYYYMMDD (if known) or 00000000 if not)_SCAN_event or primary person or document identifying info (like Betsy's birth certificate)
    for images from slides or photoCDs or whatever: YYYYMMDD (or as above)_(SLIDE or CD or whatever)_and event or primary person or whatever.
    My folder technique is simple. For digital input I have a folder for the first half of a year; and another for the second half of each year. Scanned or internet-acquired pictures (like from family) go folders describing the source. Mom's black album. Bill's photos. Trip to the Serengeti album (pre-digital world), etc. I can then use the database to to tag & search with a wide variety of terms.
    I have melded my 50,000+ images into Photoshop Elements (12 at this point) which allows me an extensive set of tools to search in all sorts of ways including by geography and event grouping. There is also a handy editor function which I don't use often (Photoshop CS 6 and CC are my editors of choice) but which has some quick fixes for scanned images and more. The actual folder in the OS is not super needed --- but can be accessed and modified from within Elements.

  9. #8
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    For the problem you have - not knowing exact dates, I use a completely separate set of folders, the top level being called "Unknown Photos". Under that I use sub folders with approximate dates beginning with "XXXX", which is the year I think the photo was taken. For pictures where I'm completely stuck I use subfolder off the main "Unknown Photos" folder with names such as "people", "events", "things", "cars" or whatever, without being too pedantic about the description.

    Files are named by that folder with in a numerical listing added to the end: eg: "1987-unknown_0001", "unknownevent_00001.jpg", unknownpeople_00001.jpg" and so on.

    Those folders are easy to search, as the meta/exif data includes the word(s), "unknownevent", "event", "unknown", "people" or whatever tag you may use. I've replaced Windows search function with "Clearly": a bit of work to begin with, but worth it later.

    My file total at the moment is 42,837 and rising.

    BTW, my naming conventions are based on text rather than dates - for me it's easier to do it that way, 'cause I don't remember numbers and dates very well. HTH.

  10. #9
    4 Star Lounger
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    Thank you for the advice. I did a little more thinking and a little more research and have come up with a system that I am going to try out. I will continue to use my current system, if I don't know the dates, I will enter an X in it's place, just to be consistent. In order to help myself stick to the system, I wrote down what I want to try and do, so I can be as consistent as possible. The only thing I may end up not using is the notations for editing and cropping. I copied this from someone else, and while I would like to be able to do that, I just don't know if I will consistently or not.

    Here is my system:

    Digital & Scanned Photos Naming Convention
    By Don Ebberts

    Start with Date
    YYYY-MM-DD

    Always use a leading zero for Month or Day, ie, 05 or May or 01 for the first day of the month. If any part of the date is not known, use X in it’s place, ie, 1983-05-XX. If the year is not known but you can guess at the decade, use 198X-05-XX. How would we know the month but not the year? It could be that it shows a birthday and we know the month but not the day or the exact year.

    Add Event Description
    Brkfst@Golf_Course
    Drews_Birthday

    Whatever best describes the event, keep it short, use underscore _ between words. If spaces are used, the photo name may look odd when it is uploaded to some sites. Can include a person’s name or a location. Use case as appropriate, do not use all UPPER CASE.

    Then, if necessary
    -image type code
    -c = Cropped image, or a zoomed in portion of a document
    -e = Edited or retouched, changes were made to the original.
    -n = Notations added, or maybe a circle, an arrow, etc.
    -r = Reduced, re-sized for placing on a web page or email or slideshow
    -s = Scanned Photo
    -t = Thumbnail image

    These one-character image type codes should be preceded by a dash character. The absence of this code would indicate that the image is the unaltered original. Multiple codes may be used. For example “-cw” would be an image that has been cropped and re-sized for the web.

    Finally, a sequence number
    (1) – (999)

    Assuming that a series would not be greater than 999. This number would go on each photo in a series, regardless of image type code.

    This is an example of how a photo might be labeled:

    1987-02-15_Drews_Birthday-s_(1)
    192X-XX-XX_Bill_O_Navy_Ship-s_(1)
    198X-12-25_Christmas-rs_(47)
    2004-10-24_Denas_Bday_(21)

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