Author Topic: I Need Help on how best to Annotate Old Scanned Photos for the future.  (Read 163 times)

OldPilot

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I am scanning old family photos.  Up to 3000 now scanned.  Wife says write down where and who. A very difficult concept.  Only way for me to do this is using the metadata in the photo.  Only learned about these a week ago.  This is my "pandemic project".  Found interesting Youtube video by a nice lady who was trying to document old photos from genealogy perspective.  I didn't bookmark and can't find her site now.  She used Exiftool Gui and had custom workspace for entering data she thought important.  Sounded good to me; and so my exposure to Exiftool began. 

My issue is: I want to put annotate tags that will help future viewers.  I am so confused now that I am now asking you folks to recommend some site or resource that will help me decide which tags are the best to populate.  Here's an example of my quandary.  Title, Subject, Description all seem like they do the same thing. But which one to use?  The workspace I borrowed uses xmp-dc:Description.  Sounds good -- but will most future viewers see this in their app?  Is it good for Windows 10 pictures/photo:   Some I have found may auto-populate if another field is annotated. True? 

The same site recommended using -xmp-dc:Subject  to put names of people, convenient for future searching, because 'Subject' functions as a keyword field.  Is this sufficient to be used when future viewers search it in windows 10 or Irfanview, or Breezebrowser, or whatever?  I just looking for best practices before I get to much deeper in this project.  And haven't I seen this same field displayed somewhere under a different name?

Any help  would be greatly appreciated.  I have done many online searches trying to find someones post to describe what they do and why they do it that way.  But no luck so far.

Thanks





StarGeek

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I would suggest downloading Adobe Bridge.  It is free and it will give you a nice interface in which to add the metadata.  It would be much easier for dealing with metadata because it will handle all the technical bits for you.  The exiftool GUI hasn't been supported for nearly 8 years now and doesn't always work well under Windows 10.  It dies nearly instantly for me.

Title, Subject, Description all seem like they do the same thing.

They all serve different purposes.  Title would be used for a short description.  Description would be used for a longer, more complete description.  As an example, my default for these is
Title : SUBJECT at EVENT/PLACE
Description : SUBJECT at EVENT on DATE at PLACE, CITY, STATE.
And then I replace the capitalized words with the correct data.

Subject is the place where you would put tags/keywords.  For example, at a family gathering you might put
Grammy
Grandpa
Uncle Jim
Dad
Mom
Easter 2020

This is saved in the file as a list, each item completely separate from the other, though most software will display it as comma separated values.

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The workspace I borrowed uses xmp-dc:Description.  Sounds good -- but will most future viewers see this in their app? 

The same site recommended using -xmp-dc:Subject  to put names of people, convenient for future searching, because 'Subject' functions as a keyword field.  Is this sufficient to be used when future viewers search it in windows 10 or Irfanview, or Breezebrowser, or whatever?

This is the reason I recommend Adobe Bridge for you.  It will figure out all the technically stuff for you.  Using your example, Bridge will fill out the Description and Subject fields, but it will also synchronize this data to some other tags to make the file more easily read by more software.  This will help because these two tags are part of the XMP group.  But since you mentioned Irfanview, you would not be able to read the data because Irfanview doesn't display XMP data, only the older IPTC IIM data.  Bridge will fill out both groups, so it can be read by a wider number of programs.

Windows will show this data from either source (XMP or IPTC), so there's no worries there.
Troubleshooting hints:
* When posting, include your OS, Exiftool version, and type of file you're processing (MP4, JPG, etc).
* Double all percent signs (%) in a Windows batch file.
* If your GPS coords are negative, make sure and set the GpsLatitudeRef and GpsLongitudeRef tags correctly.

sevy

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Hello

I used before XnView wich had an interesting feature : for keywords/subject, you may have a predefined list of terms / name.
It was useful  for not typing again and again and again the same terms (ie : name).

OldPilot

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@StarGeek:  Thanks so much for your post.  It gets me a starting point, but to more research.  I just discovered your thread about applications and the meta fields they work with.  So I will study that.  I started a spreadsheet that maps (tracks) fields in one software to another, but now see you may have answered all my questions.  A comment: it is irritating when the the name of the field changes depending on application.  For instance, Subject vs Keyword vs whatever.  It makes my head spin....literally

I also think I may have posted in the wrong section of this forum.  Should I have started out in 'Metadata' forum?

StarGeek

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A comment: it is irritating when the the name of the field changes depending on application.  For instance, Subject vs Keyword vs whatever.

Yep, which is why I started that thread (and should get back to testing and documenting such things).

It's also why I suggested using Bridge.  Unless you are seriously interested in the underlying details, it's just easier for casual usage.  XNView as sevy suggested is also good.  For serious cataloging, Digikam (FOSS) or Lightroom (paid) are very good.

Quote
I also think I may have posted in the wrong section of this forum.  Should I have started out in 'Metadata' forum?

No worries.  This forum is pretty casual.  We might move the thread later.  I tend not to do so while it is still active.
Troubleshooting hints:
* When posting, include your OS, Exiftool version, and type of file you're processing (MP4, JPG, etc).
* Double all percent signs (%) in a Windows batch file.
* If your GPS coords are negative, make sure and set the GpsLatitudeRef and GpsLongitudeRef tags correctly.

OldPilot

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Today I learned to think in terms of Standards vs Interface, thanks to StarGeek  https://exiftool.org/forum/index.php?topic=10875.msg57929#msg57929 

That explanation helped me along my learning journey.   For instance, I have lost a lot of time trying to trace why data I put in 'Image Description' might appear on screen as 'Subject' data. I now know that interfaces are so different.   I just have to get over this concept  buried deeply in my mind that a data field name will exist everywhere,  and never changed. 

I did download XnView and so far like the presentation, but have not yet tried metadata entry.  I will need to develop a workflow method.  Going back to my original purpose:  I am looking forward to the future when someone else will want to view my photos, and I want them to easily see the data (who, when, where, etc) I have entered in the photo.  So, future  interface, is an important consideration.  I may include, on the hard disk I give to my descendants, a copy of XnView.  And possibly, if I think they will use Windows Explorer, I could develop a way to use Exiftool to populate all the important Windows Explorer tags after I have completed the initial data entry work with XnView.