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Managing Photographs

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Robert Schimelpfenig

on 18 September 2017

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Transcript of Managing Photographs

Managing Photographs
in a Digital Age

Creating records for photographs
Creating a record is part of preservation

A record involves collecting important information about each photograph including:

Who is in the photograph?

Where was it taken?

Who created it?

What is the story behind the photograph?

Large Format Scanner
(12 x 17)

Transparency Adapter

Resolution Range of 2400 ppi or more

Optical density 3.7-4.0

Current Cost = $2800

Bottom line with regards to storage.
Backup, Backup, Backup

-Nothing is guaranteed.
-This is the vulnerability of digital.
-Propagate images often.
-Check annually.
Storing Your Digital Images
Determined by:

-Your needs. How many digital photos in your collection? How many GBs?

-Your budget. How much money do you have to spend annually?

-Security. How much control do you want over your digital photographs?

- Your budget. How much time and staff do you have?
File Formats
-For preservation TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)

-For Access or internet use JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert's Group)

Providing Online Access to Digital Collections
Google Photos
Collective Access

Current Archival Storage Options
-CD (700 MB) or DVD (4.7 GB) – collections of 50 to 300 images

-External Hard drive (500 GB to 5tb and climbing) – collections of 20,000 plus

-Servers (10tbs plus) – collections up to 100,000 and beyond.

-Cloud (wide range of options depending on service and need)
Digitizing photographs is a whole process that Involves:


Record creation (or Metadata)



Nominating photographs for Digitizing



-Bit depth


Digitizing is a preservation measure.

Digital copies extends the longevity
of the original.

Digital access limits exposure and overuse
of the original.

Digital access allows people from a
distance to view your photographs if

Allows for a more comprehensive
view of your collections

Preserving Photographs
-Place photographs in acid free enclosures (envelopes, file folders or mylar sleeves)

-If photos are in albums that are unsustainable, remove them and store in archival enclosures.

-Photographs, slides and negatives should be handled by the edges and with gloves if necessary.

-When writing on the back of prints use pencil. (non-photo blue)

Before starting a project
-An area free of food and drink

-Clean table specifically used for archival work

-Area without windows or direct sunlight

-Cotton or nitrile gloves worn when appropriate. Otherwise make sure hands are washed and clean when holding objects.

-Store photographs back in proper enclosures when not in use.

Some factors to guard against while working with photographs.
-Resolution expressed as pixels per inch (ppi) or dots per inch (dpi)

-It is the most important factor in terms of digital quality at the time of capturing an image.

-Most images found online are low resolution and between 72 ppi and 150 ppi

-The minimal archival standard for preservation is a higher resolution at 300 ppi

Bit Depth
-Bit depth is the number of bits used to define one pixel. Usually referred to as bits per pixel (bpp)

-Bit depth involves the mix of color in a mapped image

Bitonal (1-bit, black and white)
Grayscale (8-bits, Tones are gray)
Color (24-bits, true color)

Jpeg File Format
It is the standard format for display online

Lossy compression (it has a static data range and will lose data if resaved or reproduced)

Easy to use with a web browser

Much smaller file size than a TIFF

Can be used with 24-bit depth color

Preservation Files (Master Copies)

-Scanned at a minimum of 300 ppi
-With a bit-depth of at least 24 bpp that will best represent the original
-And saved in a TIFF format

Access Files

Coverted to 72-150 ppi
And saved in a JPEG format
Can be uploaded onto the web
Tiff File Format
TIFF is recognized as the standard for archival images

Use for long term preservation
TIFF files are uncompressed

Can be used for files that go beyond 24-bit depth

File size can be very large and not good for web display

Editing images for access

Using Excel for Indexing your Records
Managing Photographs
in a Digital Age

-Sources of light (esp. direct sunlight)

-Temperature and Humidity
Ideal temp. 68 to 70; humidity 40%-50%

-Pollutants, mold, dust and pests


-Theft (projects in a public space)

72 ppi 300 ppi
1-bit bitonal
8-bit Grayscale
24-bit Color
What to save your image files as:
crop images
resize, reduce image resolution
change color, tone contrast
convert from TIFF, Save As a Jpeg
Dublin Core Metadata Standards
Using a simple text file for
indexing your records
Project Folder > Tiff > jpeg > metadata
Nominating Photographs for Digitization
Why Digitize?

Prioritize to preserve the most vulnerable photographs first.

Is the photograph or negative too fragile to digitize?

Is the photograph unique?

Does it have a particular research value?

Are there any restrictions that should be considered?

Use a unique identifier for files
A generic option:


Another option:
Full transcript