Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tip 14: Dealing with digital photos

We bought a Mac in the summer of 2008 (right after the end of our month-long cross-country road trip...it was an expensive month). I never was one to think Windows PCs are difficult to deal with, but my inner artist and organization freak loves the clean, simple and, dare I say, pretty programs of Apple, particularly iPhoto. Fortunately, I hear that the Windows' iPhoto-semi-equivalent Live Photo Gallery ain't too bad. But, before you figure out what to do with your photos...

Tip 14: Upload your photos as soon as you take them, and delete them from your camera.

I used to save my photos on my camera even though I'd already loaded them onto my computer. I guess I worried about what would happen if my computer suddenly died...at least I would still have those last 50 photos! That, of course, has never happened, and I was simply wasting electronic space, and wasted space, regardless of its form, is still wasted space! So, when my computer kindly asks me, "Would you like to delete these photos after upload?" I kindly respond, "Why yes!"

I upload the photos quickly because I often want to share them with other people, and everyone loves instant photo gratification. I think back to our honeymoon in Maui, sitting at our hotel, getting links to photos from our wedding just a day or two after the big event. It was awesome to see friends' photos before we got our photographer's photos almost a month later.

Tip 14 continued:...Then, use your photo program's labels and/or folders to keep them in order.

Here, I turn to iPhoto. Here's what I love:
Events -- label your photos as a group when you upload them, and then they show up like this on your screen

Maps -- label where you took your photos, and they'll appear as pins on a map, an easy way to retrieve photos you are looking for easily. (Note: this system isn't always perfect. There is one mistake on this map, a pin off the coast of Africa. We have not been there, but iPhoto thinks we honeymooned there. Fortunately, it pinned Maui correctly.)

Last 12 Months -- this label is fun because when I occasionally scroll through it gives me that great, "Wow, look at everything I've done this year" kind of feeling. That, and warm fuzzies.

And what I don't like about iPhoto:
Faces -- Yes, you can tag people's faces in iPhoto much as you do in Facebook. This is one way to find photos of friends, and it's great if you're making a photo gift for a friend and want an easy way to keep track of those photos. After you've labeled all the photos you want, then iPhoto gives you a message saying "Stephanie may also be in the photos below." Too often Stephanie is not in those photos and it instead thinks I am someone with blond hair or a boy. If I want to go through and do all the face labeling myself (I realize that sounds weird), it works great, but the program doesn't do a great job by itself.

What do you do to keep your digital photos organized?

Next up...Craigslist success and failure.


  1. Steph, I love it. I actually use the facial recognition feature as a form of entertainment. When iPhoto reports that "Jon may be in some of the photos below" and the photos below are of me, my family, random friends and my personal favorite - the Gill's dog Buckley, I'm good for at least 15 minutes of laughter. Functionally, I agree, it kind of sucks.

  2. well, i haven't figured out my iphoto and i have had it for 2 years!!

    but i am also not very organized mrs. axelrod...not nearly as organized as you.