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Picture Labels

Last Updated: 5th Jan 2012

By Volker Betz

Picture Labels

Some time ago I was searching for a specific specimen with Faujasite-Ca crystals I had photographed some months before. If the specimen has a label this should not be difficult. But such a search may be complicated by the fact that the photographed part is small and a full drawer was filled with many specimens different variations of Faujasite-crystals from the same location. It took me a considerable time to locate the spot again on the specimen, which is 4x8 cm and shows many cavities with hundreds of small crystals. Once located, a white tape arrow points now to the specific cavity and crystal. But how easy to find the piece of limburgite rock under a few hundred ?

Faujasite Ca from Limberg near Sasbach, Kaiserstuhl

I before had experimented with picture labels. The 25 mm Micro-Mount boxes are to small to put any picture on it, but it works well with 4x6 cm cardboard boxes ore plastic box of this size or larger. A micro-mount box fits into this cardboard box and can carry its own label. After some experimenting I make the labels now this way:

The finalized picture from photography process which is about 3800 pixels wide, is loaded into Irfanview, cropped to a suitable format and resized to either maximal 936 pixels width or maximal 722 pixels hight. Why this numbers ? This is the optimal 94 % size to be integrated into presentations with a 1024 x 736 resolution. If this is done the picture is sharpened for optimal sharpness on the screen and saved. Irfanview has a function to write text in a picture. This is used now to label the picture with mineral Name(s), Location, Size of specimen, species number and a copyright with my name. This picture is saved with all the about 20 pictures which have been made for picture stacking. A second copy with the text in it is saved in the mineral names directories, this I call the index picture and is used to search for pictures an a 500 Gbyte hard disk. This type of picture is also eventually uploaded to mindat. After some experiments I found that a 12 point Arial text in bold is good to read in a presentation, on Montor and on a printed label. On the printed 4x6 cm label I can read it, but some may need a loupe.
Finally for all small specimens (and large specimens with small crystals), I print a picture label with a colour laser printer on adhesive labels (Avery 3481). Irfan view allows to locate and size the picture on the sheet and about 50 % of the labels can be used if single prints are made. After about ten runs trough the printer the sheet is discarded to avoid paper jams.

Finally the Label is adhered on the cover of the box. and now itΒ΄s easy to find specific mircro crystals in a large pool of specimens.

A drawer with Faujasites and Picture Labels

Printing a label and adhering on the box takes less than 2 minutes and helps to find a specimen in a big pool of similar things. Its also very practical to find a specific micro mount.

Some micro mounts and thumbnails with picture labels

Transferring Label data from a collection data base into a picture

For some time I typed the text of picture labels direct into Irfanview, but it is much more convenient to insert it from a data base.

See my article on printing labels from a spreadsheet

The Label provided in the large label sheet of the workbook is copied to the clipboard and pasted in a convenient corner of the Picture using an area of about 240x160 pixels. If this picture is printed on a 4x6 cm label it is better readable in the case there is no homogeneous area in the picture for inserting text. Of course the text only with no white background can also copied and pasted into the text tool of Irfanview.

A picture label with a text insert, copied from my spreadsheet data base

January, 5, 2012. New Label Design

Picture labels are now a well established tool to keep the smaller specimens in my collectionin in order. All smaller specimens are kept in a 4x6 cm cardbox regardless the size. Often the cardbox is used as a container for micromount boxes.

I do not longer insert the text within the picture. Instead the picture, slightly less than 1024 pixels, gets a white frame of 5 pixels ,but 50 pixels on the down side. A label string is then copied from a spredsheet as a picture to the frame below the picture.
I do that with Iirfan view. Saved picure labels are the accumulated in one directory and the printed using the index print features of Irfan view. On one DIN A4-page 21 Picture labels are printeed in a 3x7 picture matrix. The result is 21 labels of a format slightly less than 4x6 cm.

A DIN A4 sheet of photo paper with 21 picture labels printed

The sheet is cut in pieces and then glued on the box. I stopped using self adhesive labels because of the poor picture and adhesive quality on this kind of paper. Text on the labels is small, but I am sitll able to read it. A secon text only label is kept in the box.

Individal picture labels can bee seen here.

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