The concept of workflow

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:

before 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:

after Lenstagger

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.


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