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Adding Metadata to Scanned Photos

Clients often ask about recommendations for making sure your scanned photos are properly identified for future generations to know what they are looking at when only a digital image is left.
 
The answer is metadata, which is data/information about the photo. In the days of analog photos, this metadata was most typically the careful notes written on the back of the print, or alongside the picture mounted in an album.
 
When considering metadata, one might wish to revisit the delightful story of how the elephant got his trunk, as created by Rudyard Kipling. Tucked away in his narrative; Elephant's Child, is the poem, "I Keep Six Honest Serving Men..."  That opens with these lines;
I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
 
In the world of today's digital images finding and recording the answers to these 6 one syllable questions will go a long way to guaranteeing generations from now, the story within each photo lives on.
 
When referring to metadata we are referring to the descriptive attributes attached to a digital image using one of the standard file formats. This is in contrast to visible labeling or specific tagging that remains only accessible with a certain application.
 

First off, you will most likely find a variety of tools to include in your toolbox, depending upon the intended outcome you are expecting. It is possible to add metadata with special software. There are other well-known applications such as Adobe's PhotoShop, Lightroom, or Elements to name just a few. In addition, there are many others created by independent app creators.

You should always keep in mind there are several types of metadata available. And, metadata doesn't necessarily reveal itself across OS platforms. (Learn more...)
 
Want to know more about metadata? Then, visit PhotoMetaData.org. There you will find a complete library of information, tutorials, insights and resources about metadata.
 
Other resources include;
 
Information from the Library of Congress 
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