User profile – Gary L.

What is the overall image management problem you are trying to solve? 

The image management challenge I’m addressing relates to genealogy and scanning photos with enough metadata that future generations can “know” their ancestors.  My final products include posters, collages, and charts that I create and give to my extended family at family reunions and cousins parties and also via email to relatives living throughout the US and abroad.  I’ve taken thousands of photos in my travels around the world (35mm film and slides and later digital images – jpg and tiff files) over the decades and I’ve also inherited many thousands of photos (prints, negatives and positives) of my ancestors dating back to the mid-1860s.  I’ve also inherited about 250 rolls of Super 8mm film that I digitize and create .mp4 files that can be viewed on computers, iPad, etc.

How did you find out about Tag That Photo?  

I found Tag That Photo through an advertisement on Facebook.  I researched facial recognition software for Windows 10 for several months and took a close look at a couple packages.  Tag That Photo was by far the best package based on its reviews and data I found on your website.

How does Tag That Photo help in solving your specific problem?  

I have about 40,000 pictures in my “Pictures” folder on my desktop computer and an additional 10,000-15,000 pictures (prints, negatives and positives) in boxes that I haven’t processed yet.  Of the 40,000 pictures on my computer, Tag That Photo has identified 438 individuals – from my great nieces and great nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins, 3rd cousins, to my great-great-great grandfather who arrived in the US in the early 1850s.  Thankfully, a fair number of the prints include “metadata” – in other words – writing on the back that identifies people, places, dates and occasions, allowing me to use Tag That Photo to add their names as well as the other metadata – places, dates and occasions – to the .jpg file metadata.

Is Tag That Photo part of a multi-tool pipeline to take a set of images from start to finish in your flow?  

Yes, definitely, here is my workflow for indexing photos:

  • I begin with either hard copy prints or negatives and positives (slides), some dating back to the mid 1860s.  I scan the hard copy prints and all negatives that are not 35mm format on my Epson Perfection V850 Pro scanner, and the 35mm negatives and positives (slides) on my PrimeFilmXA Super Edition (manufactured by Reflecta GMBH in Germany and sold by BHPhotoVideo in New York City).  The output of both scanners is very high quality .jpg files (images) – all of which lack all metadata that is typically found today when shooting with a digital camera.
  • The software I use with both scanners is VueScan by Hamrick Software.  I evaluated several products and VueScan was more user-friendly while also providing numerous options that enhance the scanned images.
  • I also scan the Super8 mm film using a product from Reflecta GMBH in Germany – a product that scans each frame (about 3,500 frames (images) per 3.5 minute roll of film (shot at 18 frames per second), then use software to enhance each frame, and then recompile it into an mp4 file.  However, I don’t use TagThatPhoto to add metadata to the .mp4 file. (Editor’s note – a feature for the future!)
  • I use a product called Topaz Photo AI to enhance each of the images.  The beauty of Topaz Photo AI is that it uses artificial intelligence to identify flaws in each individual image (out of focus due to motion or lens issues, noisy, etc) and then allows you to batch process a folder or folders containing images.
  • I then use TagThatPhoto in conjunction with Family Tree Maker (genealogy software) to add names (metadata) to each of the photos.  Family Tree Maker plays an essential role in the workflow in that it quickly provides the full names of everyone in the photos.  I’ve standardized on full names rather than nicknames, abbreviated names, etc to remove ambiguity and clearly identify everyone.

How many images in total are you dealing with?  

I have about 40,000 .jpg and .tiff files (images) in the Pictures folder on my computer, and an additional 10,000-15,000 pictures, 35mm (and 8-9 other format) film strips, slides, etc in boxes awaiting scanning.

If you didn’t have Tag That Photo would you be able to still solve your problem?  

Tag That Photo is an invaluable and integral part of the workflow.  Without a product as user-friendly, versatile and sophisticated as TagThatPhoto I would still be researching the options.  Practically speaking, without Tag That Photo I would still have boxes of prints and negatives in the basement awaiting scanning.

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