TMG-L Archives

Archiver > TMG > 2001-07 > 0994908588

From: "Dennis" <>
Subject: RE: [TMG] OT: - Standards for Archive of Photographs.
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 22:29:48 -0500
In-Reply-To: <000701c10a09$02381da0$8612383e@beebmartinfjackson>

Martin asked the following numbered questions, concerning his task to scan
a collection of 200 old family photographs>

1. In what format should I scan and save for archival purposes, and what
format for day to day use?

I agree with earlier writers that TIFF makes an excellent archival format
for the master image, and JPG for images to be used for email and/or Web
display. I refer to TIFF as a "master archive" format, and JPG as a
"destination" format. These should not be confused. While I use
application-specific, proprietary formats (such as Photoshop's PSD, or Paint
Shop Pro's PSP) for editing and saving 'improved' images (there are explicit
advantages), I do not suggest this for that singular collection of images
which have the status of 'master image'.

I would further add (thanks, Pat, for teaching me this!) that the time has
come to establish a new "modus operandi" when creating the master image:
using the information fields expressly provided for in the TIFF format (&
other formats, too), appropriate documentation should be stored INSIDE the
image. Just as we turn over a print to see what is written on the back, we
should now begin to utilize the information fields inside an image, as these
fields are digitally "the back of the print." Many years hence, it will be
those fields to which our descendants will turn, as they may not have a
print. We should not let them find nothing.

3. There will be some pictures with more than one person on them, are there
any suggestions as to a filing system for these new and all of my other
family photographs which will be 'saved' subsequent to this exercise, that
will be meaningful from the filename rather than a lookup list in a

If good effort is made to store information inside master image files, it
will be far less important to worry about the structure and/or content of
the filename per se. I use number suffixes for similar images (BigFam1,
BigFam2), and I use letter suffixes for edited versions (BigFam1a). Even if
the entire collection has it's names shortened to the 8.3 structure, if good
information is store INSIDE the file, nothing will essentially be lost.

4. Whilst I am reluctant to change hardware and software, I am really
looking for advice as to whether that, that I have, is up to this task. I
have a colour scanner [600 dpi], Adobe Photoshop v5.0, a CD RW, an HP 850C

For my two cents worth, I think your system appears up to the task, provided
the 600 dpi is a true optical capability, and not merely an interpolated
extension of a lower optical limit. You'll need to create the give-away
copies of the CDs in CDR format, not CDRW, so please make sure you create a
CDR disk soon after the scanning effort is complete.

Good luck, Martin!


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