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Cormac
04 May 2009, 09:57 PM
I have a relative that on some photos likes to place text on them. Almost, no everytime, I see it, I shudder. Their explanation is "if we didn't, we wouldn't know who or when or what the picture(s) are about or of.

I replied back, "would you put text on the Mona Lisa?"

We are talking about old family photos that are scanned in and then the text is added to the file. Putting text on photos isn't something that I think isn't quite right. With so many options of editing scanned photos, I don't think it is necessary to put text directly on the photo.

Yea or nay?

Dennis J. Cunniff
05 May 2009, 01:10 AM
I have a relative that on some photos likes to place text on them. ...With so many options of editing scanned photos, I don't think it is necessary to put text directly on the photo.

I certainly don't want text to destroy pixels on the only copy of a photo. But I certainly want the people in a photo identified. There are lots of way to fulfill both goals.

[1] add text to an additional copy of the photo, leaving an untouched copy
[2] add text on a separate layer of the photo (the visibility of which can be toggled)
[3] place the identifying text in the "file info" of the photo file.

theKiwi
05 May 2009, 07:12 AM
[4] increase the canvas size of the photo and place the text in the new empty area.

Cormac
06 May 2009, 12:02 AM
I certainly don't want text to destroy pixels on the only copy of a photo. But I certainly want the people in a photo identified. There are lots of way to fulfill both goals.

[1] add text to an additional copy of the photo, leaving an untouched copy
[2] add text on a separate layer of the photo (the visibility of which can be toggled)
[3] place the identifying text in the "file info" of the photo file.

I suggested #3 when I talked to the relative. I also suggested that you add a "section" underneath or to the bottom of the photo. A third way was a very descriptive, but short, title.

Suggestion #2. How do you do that? I have PS CS2. I know how to add a layer.

Dennis J. Cunniff
06 May 2009, 12:15 AM
Suggestion #2. How do you do that? I have PS CS2. I know how to add a layer.

Have the photo be the background layer, add a second layer above it, type your text on the second layer.

To toggle the visibility of the text, click on the the little "eye" icon for the text layer in the Layers window.

Save in ".tiff" or ".psd" format (so that the layers aren't flattened).

Amelia
06 May 2009, 01:23 AM
Yea or nay?

Doesn't bother me in the slightest. Given the choice between an unidentified photo and one with names, I'll pick the one with names every time. The layers and the file information probably won't remain readable for posterity through file format changes and transfers to other people. Having two copies would be preferable, but if only one's going to survive or be sent out into "the wild" of the internet, again I'm going with the names.

ttl
06 May 2009, 10:38 AM
Doesn't bother me in the slightest. Given the choice between an unidentified photo and one with names, I'll pick the one with names every time. The layers and the file information probably won't remain readable for posterity through file format changes and transfers to other people. Having two copies would be preferable, but if only one's going to survive or be sent out into "the wild" of the internet, again I'm going with the names.
Good points. That's the beauty of Roger's suggestion--you get the names as a permanent part of the viewable image without affecting the portrait. The only catch is needing an image editor that can add the extra area for typing--PS Elements is one that can.

rthum
06 May 2009, 08:13 PM
Hi all,

Here are some other thoughts. Over time (and not very long at that) software propriety formats, i.e. Photoshop, Corel Draw and a host of other will change their file format when saving. A perfect example is Photoshop CS 4, if you save a file with layers or some of the new features such as "Smart Filters" a person using Photoshop v 5.x may not be able to open the file and for sure would not be able to use the new "Smart Filters" features. The only kinda standard, standard formats are .tiff and .jpeg and even .jpeg or .jpg as a new flavor called PJEG2000 and while it is better in may ways than .jpeg the two also do not always play nice with each other.

Putting the data into the pictures using IPTC fields would work, again "kinda" Adobe as put NON-standard fields into the IPTC record and many other programs can not read the NON-standard data.

Adding the information to the bottom of the picture by making the bottom margin a little bigger and putting the caption information there will insure that unless cropped off by someone it will remain and any one with ANY pixel based graphic application will see not only the picture but the caption.

As others have pointed out there are several applications that you can use to resize the picture within the standard 8x10 (Photograph) and 8.5x11 letter size paper. Adobe Photoshop Elements $90.00 or so, Lemke Software Graphic Converter $35.00, and the free Photoshop copycat... GIMP. GIMP will do almost everything PS CS4 will do for... FREE.

And like Roger and others.... A picture with out captions as to who is who is kinda worthless (yes a hard word here) but it fits the point. I have a large number of beautiful 8X10 photos of people / families. The grand parents and maybe my parents knew who they were. I SURE DON'T.. So some history is lost.

Just my thoughts as I have been involved with the "Digital Standards" since digital photography first started.

J. Morrow
07 May 2009, 09:26 PM
Hi all,

Here are some other thoughts.

....., Lemke Software Graphic Converter $35.00, .......

And like Roger and others.... A picture with out captions as to who is who is kinda worthless (yes a hard word here) but it fits the point. I have a large number of beautiful 8X10 photos of people / families. The grand parents and maybe my parents knew who they were. I SURE DON'T.. So some history is lost.

Just my thoughts as I have been involved with the "Digital Standards" since digital photography first started.

I have the same problem with a lot of pictures and no names.

I'm not heavily into photographic software, but I highly recommend Graphic Converter for captioning photos, as well as doing touchup. It is low cost, easy to use and automatically centers multiple line captions neatly under the picture, which can have an adjustable width border around the photo and under the caption. Each picture appears as if it was printed on an 8 1/2 x11 sheet of paper with the centered caption under it. Enter the desired CAPTION in Edit File Info (IPTC), under FILE. For multiple lines just hit return after each line. Close IPTC, hit PRINT and you get a view of the final product, on which you can read the caption and go back to adjust it if necessary. You can observe any adjustments to borders and print size in the view. Hit OK and then pick your print option. I use Save to PDF to build my file of captioned pictures. You can Save PDF to iPhoto as one option, if you are heavy into iPhoto.

It took me quite awhile to learn about the captioning capability of this software, so I hope this will be of of help to someone and reduce their learning curve.

Linda G
24 May 2009, 02:12 AM
After reading this thread I thought I would try putting captions on a border on the bottom of the photo.

I have next to no experience working with photo editing software. I'm using GIMP. I have 'a bunch' of photos that I want to do this to and then save a copy of the photo+caption file for upload to a photo sharing site. The original scans are of varied dimensions. I save both a GIMP format file (so I can go back and make changes) and a jpg file (suitable for uploading).

I've done 5 photos (added captions, flattened and saved to jpg files for upload). All the captions were added in the same font & size (I thought). and when I look at the layered files in GIMP, making sure that I'm at the same zoom level, the text appears to be the same size across all 5. But when I look at the flattened jpg files in Preview the text size is not consistent. What I see in Preview seems to match what I see on the website after uploading the files--the font size does not appear consistent from one photo to the next.

I'm guessing that there's some variation in how the individual files are being displayed. I need to understand what's going on in order to achieve the results I'd like (a more consistent font size on the website). As you can see I don't know the appropriate vocabulary, so googling hasn't been very productive.

Is there some algorithm defining the default display dimensions for an image file that I should know about and take into account when I choose font size for entering the caption text?

Added 10:40 am, Sunday 24 May: After sleeping on it, had the following thought. Perhaps another way of asking the question is 'how does one choose font size for text to be imbedded in group of images?" I don't particularly want website viewers to have to zoom in/out for each individual image--would rather have it so what works for one image, generally works for the group.

Hoping my kind and more experienced Reunion friends can help! It would be really depressing if I ended up doing this in WORD.

Linda G
25 May 2009, 02:42 PM
Resizing the images so they display 4X6 or 6X4 seems to be working very nicely. And positioning them so the text box is to the right of the photo (rather than under) appears also to help in terms of how everything looks on the photo sharing site. Still trying to identify a consistent series of steps in GIMP for preparing each photo, but my frustration level is now about 3, on a scale of 1-10. A definite improvement. <vbg>

Reiner L. Sauer
27 May 2009, 07:27 PM
Hello

I have a relative that on some photos likes to place text on them. Almost, no everytime, I see it, I shudder. Their explanation is "if we didn't, we wouldn't know who or when or what the picture(s) are about or of.

I replied back, "would you put text on the Mona Lisa?"

We are talking about old family photos that are scanned in and then the text is added to the file. Putting text on photos isn't something that I think isn't quite right. With so many options of editing scanned photos, I don't think it is necessary to put text directly on the photo.

Yea or nay?

There are many possibilities to annotate scanned photos with a variety of different programs. Let me just focus on a method, which allows you to achieve all of this with a minimum of software, i.e. Reunion and MacOS, only.

Actually, it's a non-destructive method and can even be savely used on a scan of the Mona Lisa.

It's all part of Reunion, because it offers an interesting way how you can show a segment of a group-photo (i.e. an individual's face) on a person

Linda G
28 May 2009, 12:59 PM
Thought I'd give an update. Now I'm a very happy GIMP-user. No frustration at all. Guess I'm over the steep part of the learning curve. It's a wonderful program! what a difference a few days make. <vbg>

a little background on this project. My cousin scanned our grandmother's photos (@200) and I have a cd copy of the scans. I had no input into the scanning process (resolution, etc)--they are what they are. My grandmother (my dad's mother), bless her, was a person who did write on photos (on the back, in the margins on the front). So, for many, it's possible to know or make a very educated guess regarding who/when/where. Although the writing is sometimes difficult to decipher.

My mother has the originals. I held them in my hands for @4 hrs and transcribed what was written on the backs into a spreadsheet file cross-referenced to the scan filenames. The originals are now over 1000 miles away, although I hope, someday soon, to be the the official repository for them. <vbg> Anyway, I have no easy way to examine original photos.

There are people in these photos that I cannot identify. My mother isn't a great source (not her family). There are a few living relatives (3000 miles away) who might easily be able to. In any case, the photos could very well prompt memories that they'd like to share. These cousins do have internet access. So, my goal is to get some of the photos (110) uploaded so they can look at them. I also want to share my grandmother's comments from the back of the photos. As well as my transcription of the writing seen in the scans, and my opinion of the who/when/where of each photo. For a couple photos I've also included small screen shots from google.maps for location info. This is not for the general public. I'd like an easy way for viewers to make comments for each photo and download high quality copies.

When I started I had no experience with online photo sharing, or any of the social networking websites. I still don't have much. I tried using iPhoto to organize & capture the info. and then upload it to Facebook, then Google Picassa albums. Believe it or not, there appears to be no way to upload all the info one records for a photo in iPhoto and then upload it. There always seems to be something that doesn't transfer. Different items, depending upon the file transfer mechanism and the target. I found myself recording/tagging the same info over & over. One thing I knew I did not want was to adopt a process that required me to maintain the same info in two different locations (on my computer and on the website). So, I was at a roadblock until I read this thread. The ideas posted here, plus installing more disk space so I wasn't continually worrying about space, opened new paths.

Once these are done, I can do the same for other family lines. It seems like it could be a good way to get living relatives involved and contributing to family history research.

So a very grateful thank you to all contributing to this discussion from a new-GIMP-groupie!