I’ve started my Christmas holidays a couple of days early due to some extremely good planning on my part that means:

  1. I don’t have any more work that I need to do
  2. Anything that I could do, I don’t have the mental capacity for

So, with a cuppa in hand and Kylie Minogue blasting Christmas tunes on the stereo I’m scanning Family Album 17.

This has been a many year project of scanning our prints into digital form and then dumping the prints and albums in the recycling. We realised that if we wanted to view photos we would look at the digital versions and never went to the shed to pull out the albums sitting in boxes. Scanning them saves space, gives an opportunity to add metadata, and most importantly the digital versions can be backed up. No longer do we have to worry about grabbing our memories as we run out the door.

I use a Fujitsu ScanSnap 1300 scanner. This is a compact unit that I’ve had since 2008 and has scanned north of 26,000 pages. It has a sheet feeder which makes it perfect for pushing through albums of photos. I load up a half-dozen at a time and press scan. I can scan 300 photos in a couple of hours. Much faster than the old Epson flatbed I used to have. I don’t need to worry about alignment other than rotation.

The images are scanned at 600dpi colour to JPEG. I use XnView MP to monitor the scan because every now and then the sheet feeder will grab a couple of photos at once and I get half of each picture. XnView is also the fastest way to rotate from landscape to portrait as needed.

This family album, along with most of those beforehand all suffer from a chronic lack of forethought and there are no dates, people, events or locations listed on photos. I trust they are in order and have to guess on dates. Within each album there are markers such as birthdays and Christmas which I can be very sure of. Holidays at least get closest to a month after that. My only other reference is the processing date on a photo (if there is one). At least I know photos which photos can’t be later than the processing date. Annoying as this is, it could have been worse. We could have been using cameras that stamped the date on the image in orange digital numbering.

Family Album 17 has a quirk that I expect the final two albums will have as well. There are photos in this album that are already in IMatch. That helps with dates but adds additional work. I will replace what’s there after I copy over the metadata because these new scans are higher resolution.

Once all the photos are scanned I’ll import them into IMatch and assign dates following My Photo Dating Strategy for Uncertain Dates.

Merry Christmas.