Pretty much spent the weekend scanning photos.
I’ve now completed scanning all of the negatives (that I could find) which pre-date my use of Kodak Picture CDs. This means that I have a digital image (of varying quality) of every photo we’ve taken. There are a few missing photos from early on, which I suspect are either at my parents house (I used to borrow my father’s camera back when I still lived at home), or at my in-laws house (we used their camera for the first few years of marriage). I’ll have to see if I can track them down and scan them too.
The first batch of photos that I had Picture CDs burned for, was my very first trip overseas to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – back in January 2000. Ever since that trip, I have had a Picture CD done with every roll of film we had developed – although I became increasingly disappointed with the quality of the scans (especially now that I’ve seen what my film scanner can achieve !!). I stopped taking film photos altogether in February 2006.
I just counted the film I’ve now scanned … 63 rolls of film up until the end of 1999 (including new years eve). I also spent some time sorting through the remaining unscanned negatives that have a Picture CD (from Jan 2000 and later) and labeling them all to make sure I have everything. I count 99 more rolls of film to be scanned !! That’s going to take a while.
While scanning the negatives over the weekend, I decided to also re-scan our wedding photos. When we got married, the photographer we used took a mixture of shots using 35mm and medium-format cameras, and he gave us the negatives !! (So glad we didn’t use one of the larger wedding photo companies which keep the negatives and charge you a fortune for reprints !!). I scanned the 35mm negatives with the new film scanner (turned out really well !!), but of course the medium-format film won’t fit – so I have to use my Epson flatbed scanner for them. I had originally scanned them a while back, but it was using older software and I chose a lower resolution, and I wasn’t that happy with the results.
I decided to rescan the medium format photo negatives at the full resolution capability of the scanner (3200dpi), using the same software (Vuescan) and settings that I had been using for the Nikon film scanner. I’m really happy with the results … although the files are big. 35 million pixels for the medium format scans @ 3200dpi … compared to the 35mm scans @ 4000dpi which only come to around 20 million pixels. Over 100MB per photo (that’s for a raw DNG format … the JPGs are 4 – 5MB per file). The 35mm scans come out at around 60MB for the raw DNG files, and (interestingly) about the same size for the JPG files.
Yes, I have 2 files for every scan – a raw (unprocessed) DNG “digital negative” file, plus a compressed JPG (which is easier to work with for preview purposes). Any editing I do of the photos, I do on a copy of the DNG file, which is lossless – meaning no loss of quality like you can experience with JPGs that are edited multiple times. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is great for basic color and tone adjustments, plus cropping and simple dust spot and blemish removals … but for serious editing, I send a copy of the file to Photoshop CS2 in PSD format, and edit there. Lightroom keeps track of all the various files for me (including my DNG and JPG files from the scanner) and automatically groups them into “stacks” – which makes managing them very easy.
I’m very happy with the results overall – and once I’ve finished scanning, I’ll start editing my best and favourite photos and upload them to the photo gallery and show them here on my blog.
Latest stats: 16,232 unique photos (18,463 total files) … 121GB of disk space taken.