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Thread: What will happen to your negatives in "the end"?

  1. #61

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    Re: What will happen to your negatives in "the end"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    Are there any other metadata-management tools that you can recommend? I attempted a trial of Photo Mechanic a few months ago with precisely this purpose in mind, but ran into insoluble problems completing installation on my well-equipped Windows 10 PC. The company's technical support tried to help but it turned into too much of a time-sink and I eventually gave up on it.
    I don't know what issue you ran into, but it should be resolvable. It's likely that almost all media organisations and photojournalists using Windows 10 are also using Photo Mechanic. Also, I just had a look at the Photo Mechanic forum and I don't see many posts about Windows 10 problems. If you want to pursue the option, it might be worthwhile to explain the issue on the Photo Mechanic Forum and see what responses you get.

    I've only used Photoshop/Lightroom, Capture One and Photo Mechanic. As you know, there are several other options. Out of curiosity, I've been thinking about installing Phil Harvey's ExifTool, which is available for both Mac and Windows. It's well-regarded, free and actively maintained (the most recent version was released yesterday). It will read, write and edit IPTC and XMP data as well as EXIF data. However, note that it's a terminal app, run from a command line, with no graphical user interface. There are options, which Harvey explains on the ExifTool website, to install it as a full application or to use it as a utility.

    I should add that I'm talking about the standard version of Photo Mechanic. Photo Mechanic Plus, released in 2020, adds a full-blown catalogue function. Photoshop/Lightroom and Capture One have their own catalogues. As attractive as the Photo Mechanic Plus catalogue is when viewed in isolation, having both an Adobe or Capture One catalogue and a Photo Mechanic catalogue has workflow and storage consequences. I'm currently considering PM Plus for the second time since its release, and for my needs I'm not yet convinced that it's a good idea.
    Last edited by r.e.; 7-Jul-2022 at 10:40.
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  2. #62
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: What will happen to your negatives in "the end"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Sound like a good plan. Good luck with it and stay healthy. No point rushing things.
    Thanks Alan
    I am pretty healthy and plan to keep that way for quite sometime. I have been working on a long term project now for over 18 years and recently am printing it out.
    This keeps me happy.

    Bob

  3. #63
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: What will happen to your negatives in "the end"?

    The suggestions on how to keep everything manageable are great ideas. People are likely to keep ahold of something if it's easy for them to do, and it's not an overwhelming task. Make your negative and digital systems manageable, including with instructions on how things are organized and accessed. Cull material that is unlikely to have any value to anyone. If analogue, for example, keep a contact sheet with every bunch of negatives. Use a consistent organizational structure, with labels on the negative sleeves and contact sheets. Even better, also have a digital version, complete with references, something that a descendent can work through. Photomechanic is really good ( I haven't used it in years, though. Some pros I used to work with used it.), but will whoever ends up with your stuff know and use it? Maybe taking digital snaps of contact sheets and organizing them on something like Google Drive would be more universally useful. Making high quality books for special people seems like a good idea.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing You Don't Already Know

  4. #64
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: What will happen to your negatives in "the end"?

    I'll save a few that I care dearly about, make multiple prints of them, then destroy the rest. Hopefully I don't suddenly drop dead before then! Eventually, even the ones I save, will be lost, or tossed by a descendant...

  5. #65

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    Re: What will happen to your negatives in "the end"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    Photomechanic is really good ( I haven't used it in years, though. Some pros I used to work with used it.), but will whoever ends up with your stuff know and use it? Maybe taking digital snaps of contact sheets and organizing them on something like Google Drive would be more universally useful.
    I think that it's worth distinguishing between the photographer, as author of the metadata, and the person or organisation that receives the photographs. People who just need to search for photographs, view them and read the IPTC information that the photographer wrote don't actually need Photo Mechanic or any other special app. MacOS, and I assume Windows, has the ability to do those things built in; in the case of MacOS via Preview and Spotlight, and to a limited degree in Apple Photo. That said, Photo Mechanic is easier to use, and more powerful, than what MacOS offers. It's simpler to use, just as a viewer, than apps like Apple Photo and Lightroom for iPad. It's hard to imagine people who have trouble figuring out how to view photos on those apps.

    The screen capture below shows the Photo Mechanic interface. The column on the left just lists the computer's directories. The rest is photographs from the directories. Photo Mechanic calls its interface a "contact sheet". That's because it's exactly that, a digital contact sheet, but with a lot of information attached to each image. That information appears with a single click of a mouse. Of course, there are other options. The IPTC organisation lists over 20 applications, ranging in complexity, that have robust IPTC search and viewing functions. As I suggested earlier, pairing photographs with a TextEdit or Notepad++ file, written in plain text or rich text, is also an option, although less efficient.

    The Photo Mechanic Interface
    (screen capture from a Photo Mechanic tutorial)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by r.e.; 8-Jul-2022 at 07:31.
    Arca-Swiss 8x10/4x5 | Mamaya 7II | Leica M3, M240 | Blackmagic Pocket 4K
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  6. #66

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    Re: What will happen to your negatives in "the end"?

    Quote Originally Posted by bmikiten View Post
    I'm not planning on going anywhere anytime soon BUT I am in the process of scanning (drum, high-resolution etc) 30+ years of 4x5, 8x10, 6x6 and 617 negatives. While I have printed many of them, sold a few over the years and have some in process of going into a future book for the family, I realized that while they will exist in a digital realm on DropBox or other backup medium, there aren't too many things that will happen after that last shutter click and drop of photoflo going down the drain. If you aren't Adams, Sexton, Weston(s), Tice, Arentz, White, etc. etc. what happens?

    Contemplating....
    In the end it is a fairy simple proposition - you treat your work like any other asset, based on its value to your family and plan accordingly as you would with the rest of your estate. If you derive significant income from your work either through licensing or selling prints you will need to transfer the copyright to your heirs if want the to be able to continue to generate income. For those in that position there is a great resource at www.apag.us - the American Photographic Archives Group for those that own or manage privately held photo archives.

    I highly recommend digitizing your archive - a program like Lightroom makes managing the library relatively simple and portable over time.
    http://brucekatzphoto.com

    Original join date 2008...

  7. #67
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: What will happen to your negatives in "the end"?

    I'm dreading the chore. I'm pretty well equipped to digitally copy my print collection for cataloging purposes only; but that's still on the backburner. Don't give a damn about my negs and chromes if I'm not the one specifically printing them; but those will inevitably end up in the same allocated vault. Then there's all the estate paperwork legal hassle still to be done. Heck, I've still got a huge backlog of drymounting to do of only the very best b&w prints. Mounting more than a just token apiece of the big color ones is not likely to happen at all. But I want my heirs to have at least a jump-start to potential income themselves from all this.

    Our priority at the moment is just to find a good home for yet another rescued kitten. Rescued a baby possum yesterday, apparently isolated from its mother during all the fireworks noise. It was snooping around our plum tree. My wife took it to the County wildlife rehabilitation center. I think that's where all the possums addicted to fermented fruit sit around encouraging each other to sober up. I know there's a similar program for big deer, called, Elkoholics Anonymous.

  8. #68

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    Re: What will happen to your negatives in "the end"?

    Bob who are you training to take over, Dinesh?

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    I would add to this - a comprehensive list of where each image is sold, the amounts, as well a complete inventory of images edition and available for future sale.
    Also a very clear written description of your work, how the images were produced, why these images are important to you, and a statement on your edition size.
    This will make it clear for whoever is taking over your work what is to be done with it.

  9. #69

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    Re: What will happen to your negatives in "the end"?

    Quote Originally Posted by bmikiten View Post

    Burning the negatives (per a Will) is interesting. We saw Brett Weston do this with little affect on the value of his prints or (IMHO) his notoriety. Not that either mattered to him in the end but he did have a plan. I have 12 of his prints and don't expect to sell or get rid of them as I think they are some of the best work out there. My kids may enjoy seeing them on their walls in the future but they will doubtfully assign any aesthetic or monetary value to them. I suspect my images will have a greater value to them than anything I've collected so that's something.
    Brett did have a plan; it was to destroy all of his negatives when he turned 80. It was a decision he made at the conclusion of spending a year printing from 800+ of Edward's negatives (the Print Project.) --- only Brett would ever print his own negatives.

    The burning of his negatives has been somewhat exaggerated. Actually, the destruction began months before his birthday as the negatives were soaked in bins of water and hauled to the county dump in Salinas. The few he threw into his fireplace on birthday morning were for show and the benefit of an international press looking on. Brett always enjoyed the theatrical!

    As to what remain of his negatives, Brett was finally convinced by two close friends to save a few for student study. They spent time in his negative vault, ultimately saving about sixty negatives. The corners were cut. On the evening of his birthday party at Stonepine Resort, I recall Cole parading around with about a dozen famous negatives that had been hole punched. They, and I assume those from the vault, reside at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson.

    You are fortunate to have some of Brett's prints to enjoy; I too!

  10. #70
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: What will happen to your negatives in "the end"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R View Post
    Bob who are you training to take over, Dinesh?
    He would be to costly to hire, and too mouthy as well... Actually I have two young women working with me that show the interest in what we do here, after about 3 or 4 years they may not like it so much or like me fall in love with photography and make it their life.

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