As i was thinking about almost being caught up on developing rolls of film, I started to realize that I need a better workflow in my developing/scanning/cataloging of images. I’ve typically focused on location, film stock, and camera. But as I hopefully get standardized on my cameras, I need to consider other information. For instance, I use different developers now in Black & White processing. From my Maxxum 7’s, I can capture exposure data. Then there’s simply the general tagging of pictures so I can find certain subjects in my library.
The most pressing of these is the capturing of exposure information, since each camera only keeps the last 7 rolls of data. But honestly, the other things I can do are just as important, because it’s easier to do it all in one flow than to go back and enter it later. Starting with the exposure information, I tried to find an easy way to manually enter “EXIF” data into Lightroom. For DSLR’s, this is usually automatically included in the image, but for scanned film, there’s nothing there. I figured it would be easy to just type it in like keywords, but imagine my dismay when it is apparently not possible to enter this info manually!
After a little searching, i found two tools that when used together make what I’m trying to do possible. They are ExifTool and LensTagger. I guess ExifTool will work on it’s own, but I read a review in PetaPixel that made the LensTagger sound like it was easier than using just ExifTool alone.
After installing them and giving it a try, it does indeed work. Here’s a shot from Lightroom Loupe before running LensTagger:
Notice it only has the generic file information at the top, and the metadata tab on the right only has dimensional information. And here’s one of an image after:
Now the exposure, ISO, and lens info shows at the top, with the same information as well as the camera and lens information on the metadata panel.
I still have some experimenting to do, but it seems like I can set up standard films and lenses to make it go more quickly. Then it’s simply make sure I have the right frame info for each picture. I think it will only add a few minutes to each roll of film uploading once I get familiar with it. But since I need to do each individual frame, it could be an extra 30 minutes per roll. I also found out that it reverts to the original scanned image when I write the data, so I definitely want to do this before cropping the overscan edges and adjusting levels.
There are probably a lot of Lightroom plugins I could use to make my workflow more efficient, so I’ll be gradually looking into enhancements in workflow. But for now, having a little discipline to capture exposure and image information for each roll is a positive first step that should make it easier to not only find photos, but learn from them at a later date as well.