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Photo organization

After only a few years of taking interest in capturing the world about me, I have realized a big problem: To take a good photos requires taking many photos, but many photos means lots of space and more importantly a nearly unsearchable library. Here is the main point:

How does one retain a useful searchable library of photos. Can a GTD type reference section be build from photos in an easy way?

The main classification I have for photos are:
-good photos (artistic, printable, usually posted in flickr)
-sentelmental (not very well done, but they give you a strong reaction, or bring back a memory)
-useful (idientification of something, process, place, I'm in physics, so I have very many data pics of samples etc..)

Some photos fall into several of these, so crossreference is needed.

The programs I'm trying are iPhoto6 (I had 1-2 but they crashed with more then 1-2000 pics) and iView. But I still find that I want an IN Box type format to remember which need sorting etc...


riverjack's picture

If you use iPhoto, I...

If you use iPhoto, I would highly recommend downloading Ken Ferry's "Keyword Assistant." You can use it to quickly add these and many more keywords quickly and efficiently. It will make using many and multiple keywords a reality within iPhoto. It's also all searchable from within iPhoto and with Spotlight!

You will probably want to start with at least tagging the location of the photo and the names of the people in the photos, as those are the things you usually want to find the most. (Where are those pictures from our vacation in Italy? Let's look all the photos we have of Jane and watch her grow up). I would recommend with places that you make separate keywords for the country and the city. This way you can search "Italy" to find all your pics from Italy, but also just "Milan" if you only want the pics from Milan. I also prefer to use first names and last names for name tags since I know way too many men named Josh and way too many girls named Jessica, but that's up to you.

For separating the good pictures from the rest, if you use iPhoto, you might want to considering using the star rating system. You can use that as a criteria (as well as keywords) in smart folders for quick access (ie. I want to see all my 5 star photos from the last two years). Also, when you go through and tag, really ask yourself, "is it worth keeping this photo?" I delete a lot of photos after the fact, only keeping the best ones, and I've yet to regret it or miss it. Sometimes I think the ability to store all the data we collect isn't necessary the best ability we could have.

iPhoto 6 should be able to handle your library. It is MUCH improved from all previous versions I've used (4,5). The speed is so much faster than it used to be and I have a lot of photos.

As soon as I dump photos into iPhoto I immediately tag them with the keyword "?" - this is easy by going to the "last import" smart folder. Then I have a smart folder with the criteria "keyword is ?" that is my "inbox" of sorts. I'll add keywords to the photos in my inbox and when I'm finally finished, I'll select the picture, hit command-i, click the keywords tab, and uncheck the ? box. Since the ? is not a letter it's always at the top. Things can sit in my inbox without getting loss in the clutter for as long as I need.

I've used iView before but I've found I prefer the system-wide integration that iPhoto provides as well as some of the extras. It's never been easier to make a photo DVD than now - something I suspect might take a few more steps with iView. With Keyword Assistant, iPhoto is the way to go. Wow...I sound like an ad here...better stop.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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