Saturday, January 12, 2013

Digital Photo Nightmare

Digital photography is great. Take enough digital photos, you're bound to get a good photo. Store the photos on the hard disk. Each photo doesn't take up any physical space -- only changed bits on the disk.

Actually, it's not a good idea. A better method would be to follow my approach when I took real photos and slides. Keep the good photos. Toss the duplicates.

After almost eleven years on the road there are thousands of photos on that hard disk. Actually there are thousands for each year.

The filing system for the photos is a series for folders. High level folder is the year. Within that folder are the folders for the months. Within the monthly folders, there are folders for a location or event. Within the monthly folder, the photo files are renamed for further identification.

On a recent quest to locate a particular photo, I realized the disaster that I had created by not doing proper maintenance when the photos were originally loaded to disk. There were duplicates and some really bad photos. Some even out of focus.

Wonder why I care about cleaning it up. Those children who would inherit the digitally stored photos would not care about the photos that I deemed worth keeping. Without a person in the photo, the photo would mean nothing to my children.

That was the situation when I went through the photo slides that my father had taken. The photos were a record of where my folks had been and where they traveled. If there were people in those photos, I kept some of the slides. The others were dumped.

It might take a couple of months, but I am on a mission to perform major editing on the avalanche of photos on the computer's hard drive.


  1. Good points. We are sorting through my own parents' slides...and videos. After we got past the years where we were growing up they were mostly travel with people we didn't know. But those early ones were precious.

    I know I have over 1000 photos EACH YEAR of just my DOG! LOL! OK, she's really photogenic but still.

    You are right. We need to edit. Our lives's not just too many photos we hang on to. Though I suppose you, in a RV, hold on to less than we do here.

  2. Do you use Lightroom or Aperture?

    I know my pictures mean a lot to me. They bring back memories of the day they were taken.

    Also, your blog readers have enjoyed seeing your pictures along with your narratives.


  3. What I do is take the pictures...come home get rid of out of focus ones , then ones i don't like and deem book worthy....I put them into folders called events (yes I have a Mac) at the end of the year I make a book with the ones I like the best.....I then get rid of all the photos I did not use....I also make a pdf of the book so it is on my computer....I put the photos of all the ones in the book on a separate hard drive then I get them off my computer and start all over again....

  4. Dawn, A 24 foot RV should keep me pretty minimalist. I surprise myself when I take another bag to the thrift store.

    RPoe, Had PhotoShop back in the dark ages of the late 1990s. For organizing and filing, I used Thumbsplus (PC only product). Wish there was a Mac version. Once on the Mac, I had no choice. Started using Adobe's Bridge. Considering my investments and continued upgrades to expensive Photoshop, I never really considered Lightroom and Aperture.

    The screen saver on the Mac and on the iPad is a folder containing about 30-40 photos per year representing my travels. Sometimes I just sit and watch the screen saver. It is a pleasure to relive those events, locations and travels.

    Jil, Good for you. I should be so well organized. There may not be a complete photographic record, but the words from the columns and blogs over the past eleven years are in PDF files.

  5. I've just started using Lightroom, along with shooting in RAW. Lightroom is fairly user friendly, and allows for easy A/B photo comparisons. Like everything, it does take time, and who has enough of that?


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