Last week in this column, I wrote about the scanning procedure in Setting Up a Genealogy Photo Workflow, Part 1. This week, we tackle Part 2, where we move the photographs to a photo organizer/editor.
After scanning my photographs and storing the images on my external MyBook hard drive (Western Digital), I turn to Part 2 of my Photo Workflow.
Importing Images to a Photo Organizer/Editor:
Note: TIFF Images are stored on an external hard drive.
1. Connect hard drive to desktop computer.
2. Open Adobe Lightroom2, Import photos, with settings to retain file names.
3. After import, tag photos with useful keywords, location, names of subjects, place, date.
4. Rename files with descriptive file name prior to original scan filename. For example: aak-001 becomes
I use a hyphen to separate names and placenames and an underscore to separate categories, thus name_year_description/place_original file name
4. Convert files as JPG and store on C Drive of Desktop computer.
5. Back up file on second MyBook hard drive.
6. After tagging, converting, and backing up, TIFF files are never touched! All edits are made to jpg files. In Adobe Lightroom, all edits are “nondestructive” meaning you can return to the original without loss of data. Files may be resized, emailed, cropped, etc. all without damage to the original image file.
Other photo editing software can do a similar job with tagging, renaming, and converting from TIFF to jpg. Adobe Photoshop Elements is a great program and easy to learn and use; Apple iPhoto or Adobe Photoshop Elements for Mac does the job for Mac users. But, to the best of my knowledge, Adobe Lightroom2 is the only software that offers “nondestructive” editing. If you use a program that records changes on the original file, it is wise to always work from a copy, and save an archived original.
With my originals safely archived on MyBook (#1), and backed up to MyBook (#2), I am comfortable editing and working with the jpg images on my hard drive. Next step, printing a contact sheet and 4 x 6 prints from a local warehouse store to use as reference.