Saturday, July 17, 2004

Photos, photos, photos...

Just saw on Google that Picasa is now a Google product and a free download. (get it from here http://www.picasa.com/google/?promo=hpp5)
I personally use a T610 and a Kodak DX4530. Which means, I have the means to really *click* on the move. Which also means that I have a couple of gigs of pics and movies lying around on my disk, scattered in umpteen folders and zip files and sometimes, even duplicates of folders (why? because I open them in GIMP or Deformer and give myself a good laugh sometimes.)
Although this may be due to lack of discipline (I am not a professional photographer who lives on photography), but I would prefer to have a good application take care of my pics for me. And, thats were products like Picasa or Adobe Photoshop Album come in handy. Another reason, why these products should be part of one's utilities set, is the lack of good search on photos. We haven't developed meta-data as well as we should have. But better late than never. It should become second nature to tag a picture as soon as it is taken. But then again, if we look at the way our brain functions, I can recall a scene by gazillion attributes. How could a photo, while its being taken, be tagged with the appropriate meta data.
Today's cameras at best tag them with date and time. And, these photo album apps help us locate on the basis of those. But, I sometimes store these photos in folders named by the place (if I am on picnic) or by function, say, Einstein's birthday (logical, right?)
Now it remains to be seen, how good things get over the next couple of years...
In the meantime, I think the following is a good suggestion to manage one's digital pictures collection:
1. Delete the pic immediately after its taken if it doesn't appear good.
2. If its difficult to decide, let it remain, and once on the PC, only store pics which pass the "good picture vision" test.
3. Backup the pics to a CD-RW disk and when it gets full, move it to a CD-ROM. (Not necessary to back it up to the CD-RW, it can be stored into the CD-ROM directly)
4. Use any of the apps around, and keep only the thumbnails of the above pics in the apps, and tag them with the appropriate attributes, the more the better.
5. Rely on the app's search feature to locate the pics.

I wonder how good these steps are. I personally haven't followed them. All I have are two folders under each pic folder, one for good, and the other named "Not So good". So, I know what folder to avoid when showing off my pics to relatives/friends.

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