Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What to do after taking hundreds of photos

Digital cameras are fantastic. You can freely take hundreds of photos without worrying about how much it's going to cost to develop. The one negative is that you have to manage the photos afterwards.

The first thing I do is arrange the files in folders by date and location ( or any relevant info):
  • 20080530 Bratislava
  • 20080531 Vienna - Natural History Museum
  • 20080531 Vienna - Old Town
I put the date in the folder name with the format "YYYYMMDD" so that they naturally sort chronologically. This is how I remember things, so it makes it easy for me to find.

Next, I use Picasa, iPhoto, or similar program to scroll through large thumbnails of the pictures, and tag (label or keyword) the ones that are good (or give them stars). If I have time, I will add more relevant tags to the picture - like who is in it or whether it's a landscape shot.

Then I filter the thumbnails by the "good" tag, and I tag the ones I want to share with "share". The ones I want to print, I tag with "print".

If your software doesn't come with tagging, you can accomplish the same thing using sub folders. just copy the pictures to the "good" or "share" subfolder.

Then I filter the list by the "share" tag and copy these to a separate folder. I make copies because I want to preserve the originals in case I make a mistake later. I edit these for contrast and color. Then I crop them to get the composition I like or remove that pesky power line. Then I give them meaningful names.

The last step is to upload them to a shared album in picasa, flickr, or whatever service. I'm in a transitional state right now in regards to photo service. I'm currently trying out picasa.

I back up my photo directory to DVD; but I'm considering using a pay service like smugmug or picasa for photo archival.


D. Watson said...

Nice work... totally nerd-licious! Whatever happened to the low voltage home project? sounds cool...

Matt said...

I've set it aside for the moment. I'll pick it up again.

Right now, the big things are WCF for .net, a big green ceramic cooker, and an open source project I'm working on for linux.

I'll post about these sometime in the near future. Add me to your RSS feeds (checkout google reader if you don't have an RSS reader.)