Software for archiving negatives?

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Matt5791, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Hi,

    Wondering of anyone knows of any simple software I could use to create a database of my negatives so I could search on key words and find the one I want?

    Thanks

    Matt
     
  2. AllenR

    AllenR Member

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  3. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    AllenR and Matt
    this is why I like APUG, I was thinking lately of the same thing as matt and now a link has been provided.
     
  4. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    A potentially less expensive option would be to give serious thought to how much time you want to spend maintaining the image-description database, recognizing that any wavering of dedication renders the database almost useless. An ancillary question relates to the longevity of software and operating systems.

    As you might guess from my gloomy attitude toward the subject, I've tried this a couple of times, and eventually decided it wasn't worth the time or effort - for me. I now use a naming scheme for images and the PrintFile sheets that gets me to the subject matter or location quickly, grouping them by general category.
     
  5. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I have a much better system, I now keep all my negatives in one building; so I know exacctly where they are.
     
  6. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    I use FileMaker Pro for my database of edition prints and negatives. It is completely customizable (complete with photos) for whatever database needs you may have. I find it to be an excellent overall solution.

    See it at:

    http://www.filemaker.com/

    Bill
     
  7. Wally H

    Wally H Member

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    I use Commence by Commence Corp, (a Personal Information Manager first marketed by IBM as Current). Commence has design software that make it easy to create databases, reports, displays, etc., based upon my own requirements and desires. I've been using it for over 10, maybe even close to 20 years.
     
  8. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I use an old film box and a handfull of 3x5 cards.
     
  9. roteague

    roteague Member

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    A few years ago, I started writing my own program to maintain my image database. After about a year of working on it, I realized I was spending all my time writing the darn thing, and not enough time photographing. During this development process, I realized that it was going to require more time to maintain the database than I was willing to invest. I also found out that I have a good memory for images, so I keep my images in print file sleeves and just take them out and put them on the light table when I need something.

    However, I do use a computer system for some aspects of my business. It is custom written, runs on a Windows web server, using Microsoft SQL Server.

    Robert
     
  10. jvarsoke

    jvarsoke Member

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    VI + grep.

    (it's a unix thing)
     
  11. roteague

    roteague Member

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    :tongue: Yeah, but they can't tell me how much income a particular image has made over a period of time and in what size.
     
  12. Gary892

    Gary892 Member

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    Like roteague (Robert), I too have spent a lot of time writing a database application to manage my images. I am a database administrator and I have discovered my original image management system of 3 ring binders and print file sleaves seem to work best for me.
    The conclusion one might take from both of our experiences is, if two people who know how to build a software program for managing images, rely on an analog approach then that might be the way to go.
    However, each one of us needs to find what works for them.

    Just my opinion.

    Gary
     
  13. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    For now the only system I have develop is to give a unique ID number to each of my film rolls (I don't shoot sheets) and write the label on the printfile and on the back of the contact sheet. That way I keep each separated but it is easy to find what I need. When I can, I also write down the frame number at the back of prints, so that I know the exact roll and picture # of my pictures. I was thinking also about a database system, but what good would it be without scans? Then how will you relate your database to your physical negs? I think the only DB that would be useful for me is for storing developing + printing information (dodge/burn, etc).
     
  14. roteague

    roteague Member

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    You don't necessarily need a database system that matches scans with image data - although there are many such programs available, mainly geared towards digital photographers. The system I was developing, was only supposed to help me find the the images in my files, based upon keywords. I still needed to pull them out and put them on a light table. With 20,000+ transparencies, I don't see much use in a database application that displays thumbnails - that is way too much overload.

    FWIW, I know that Jack Dykinga uses the Agave SPS Stock Photography management software. http://www.prenticephoto.com/Agaveweb.htm . I've looked at it; it is a bit outdated, but has a lot of useful features.
     
  15. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    does anyone have an idea what this new Apple program Apeture can do for organizing ones work???
     
  16. jvarsoke

    jvarsoke Member

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    Okay, throw in AWK. :wink:
     
  17. OldBikerPete

    OldBikerPete Subscriber

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    Try looking up EndNote. It's a database system intended for indexing reprints of scientific literature and has excellent searching facilities. You would need to assign a reference number to each piece of film and store the pieces in order so that you could immediately locate a piece identified by a software search.
     
  18. Rick Haug

    Rick Haug Member

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    A couple years ago I spent some time in the winter creating a database for my photographs and then entering the info for twenty years worth of transparencies. As others have already mentioned it can be time consuming and needs to be continually updated as new photos are taken. In my case the time and effort expended have been worth it. My transparencies are stored chronologically in file sheets. They are in a great enough number from a long enough span of time that I just can't remember all the whats and whens. On several occasions the database has allowed me to quickly locate the right images when I get a call requesting certain subject material and they want it yesterday. I used AskSam, a free-form database program, but any database program allowing you to create an entry form customized to your needs will work.
     
  19. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I do something similar, but I store my my images not only chronologically, but by location. So, HI1000 would be image #1000 in Hawaii, AU1000 would be image #1000 in Australia. The first two letters being a country or state code. The numbers themselves are meaningless. Eventually, I may put them into a database by location and keyword, but who knows.... I have a pretty good memory for locations, which is probably why I am a color landscape photographer.
     
  20. Rick Haug

    Rick Haug Member

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    Robert,
    I've prided myself on good memory of what photos I've taken, but as the images have accumulated over the years I find I no longer have total recall. :sad:
    I use to have a subject-oriented code for each image but there were many that would logically fit under more than one of my categories. When I created the database I first re-named all images with a chronological code. A letter for the year, followed by numbers indicating the roll of film and exposure number, then a letter indicating the orientation. For example, A75-10h means taken in 1984, 75th roll of film (numbered sequentially as they are started), 10th exposure on that roll, horizontal orientation. This is the coding for 35mm slides. 4x5 transparencies have a 45 before the letter.
     
  21. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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  22. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Here is a review: http://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/aperture.htm

    I can't tell you anything about the program, I don't like Apple products.
     
  23. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    Thanks for the replies everyone - very helpful.

    I am thinking I might try a manual system now - I think it is going to be easier initally

    Thanks,

    Matt
     
  24. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I thought about using a software to keep inventory but decided this would not be very useful for my specific needs. What I decided to do is make digital contact sheets of my negatives, which I can then file separately from the negatives, with a reference number back to them of course. You can do this simply by placing the negative in standard 8X10 negafile sheets and scan all of them at once. You print this out and have a ready guide to all of the negatives on the sheet, with some indication of how they will print -- though that will depend on process.

    I have started to do this with ULF negatives as well, though these obviously have to be done one at a time. One you scan them you can print a contact sheet proof from Photoshop. I archive these scans, which can be fairly large, on DVD.

    Personally I find this approach fits my needs much better because the contact sheets provide both a reference to the original negatives, plus a visual guide that is very useful in helping me decide if the negative is worth printing, and if so, what kind of contrast and tonal controls need to be used.

    Sandy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2005