Captions on digital photos

  ChrisP 15:18 21 May 2003

I photograph wild flowers and have now 'gone' digital. While I can put captions on my pictures with Photoshop Elements and similar programs, none of these are ideal. I have well over 3000 pictures to caption so want something easy to do repetitively. The captions should show when the picture is viewed, either singly, or as part of a slideshow. Ideally, I would like the captions to be extractable into, and importable from, either a database or a spreadsheet so that I can carry out Sort and similar operations. Can anyone help with a suggestion as to how I could do this, please?

  Diemmess 15:46 21 May 2003

Interesting ! .... but I can only discuss, not give an easy answer.

From your pre-digital experience you know the variety of ways (all of them labour intensive........Your only advantage now is that you can cataogue much faster with a keyboard than a pen.

I suggest start with a database like Access, (there is a handful to begin with). But if you are familiar with Access you can set up your database to suit your wild flower collection only.

Then accept that each catalogued photo has a unique file number starting with 1 .... and let other "fields" be identified by text characters.

You will have to print out a key letter for each field to have in front of you so that when you are renaming your digital photos for the archive you can use the file number, followed by the letter entries which best describe each pic.

Probably all nonsense, and someone may come up with ideal software, though I doubt it!

No harm in airing one tedious way to do it?

  mole44 16:26 21 May 2003

try using software thats for video editing(ulead do trial software) you can then do captions seperate from the pictures altering them as you go.i have just tried ulead explorer (usefull in its own right)for you,its totally free and you can do slide shows with captions as well.its about 6.5 megs download though.

  Pesala 17:36 21 May 2003

This must be the most mentioned program on this forum. No wonder, because it does so much for so little.

Name all your files appropriately. Run a slideshow with Irfan View and the file names will display in the top left of the screen. The slideshow can be burnt to CD as an EXE or SCR file. Not sure whether the captions will display then though.

For your database, you will then only need the file name, which will also be the caption. You can subdivide the pictures into subdirectories. The path is also displayed in the Irfan View slideshow. I hope this will be enough with long filenames.

You could also modify the file date and time with a freeware utility to classify further.

  Pesala 17:48 21 May 2003

Yes. The filenames and paths display in the EXE file slideshow. You can sort the files in various ways, or manually. By carefully choosing the Directory and Subdirectory names you could generate a meaningful series of captions for your slideshow.

Oversized images are resized to fit the screen. Images smaller than the screen are not resized. Full-screen images might make the caption hard to read. Be aware of what might happen if displayed at lower screen resolutions. Best would be to crop to 1000 x 768 pixels.

  Valvegrid 17:50 21 May 2003

Have considered a power point presentation, you could put your captions on there and it's got the added advantage setting up the presentaion for you.


  ChrisP 00:41 22 May 2003

Thanks to all for the help. I have Irfanview but think it would be hard to use other than for one-line captions. I have at least five lines for each picture - hence the desire for using a database or spreadsheet as well. I want to look at or show the pictures in various ways and so I think Powerpoint is probably a bit restrictive, although I am grateful for the idea. I will look at the Ulead software, though - that might provide an answer.

Any other ideas, I wonder?

  BrianW 09:44 22 May 2003

Have a look at Paint Shop Photo Album 4. From the write up it looks as if it should do exactly what you want. If you do have a go I would be interested in what you think as I am considering getting it myself.

  hssutton 19:09 22 May 2003

PhotoshopAlbum may do what you require. images can be tagged (not sure how many tags can be used) so if you want you can group your wildflowers into colour groups. for the groups that overlap you can place an additional tag.This is what I do. full metadata is recorded in a seperate panel. you can add headers and footers.
I think extracting the data into a database would have to be done manually though. (I'm not quite technical enough for this) the program will create slideshows on VCD or in PDF format or just for the PC. it will also create albums, Ecards + the usual calenders and greetings cards,etc.
Price £45 - £49.99

  y_not 05:02 23 May 2003

You can then add as many lines as you want, either fixed for a duration or scrolling up (or across) the screen.

Save the file(s) as MPEG2 and either view in media player or burn and watch as SVCD/DVD.

I use Studio 8 as it does all the above and more

Never tried typing that amount of text onto that many pics.

Good luck


  ChrisP 14:05 26 May 2003

Many thanks again to all. I have spent some hours downloading and checking the various packages suggested. In the end, Photoshop Album does seem to be the best for me: it's also easy enough to use. I have bought it from Amazon, who have it for £29.99.

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