I have thousands of raw photos stuck on various devices and memory cards. I have this fantasy that someday I am going to go throw them all and get prints made of the best of them. I used to do this every few months. But the collection has gotten away from me. With so many digital photos around, the ones worth keeping are obscured.
I hear you, Dylan. I am terrible at organization so I actually leave it to my husband (who is also a cold-blooded, ruthless editor). He takes great photos; he actually still order prints (a luddite) and put them neatly in albums. I love him for that!
Meanwhile, I was once a big fan of smilebox -- where I can edit my photos, lay them out neatly and I could even add music and video to it. Loved it. But one thing led to another, I stopped using the service and recently I found that all those smilebox albums I created are NO LONGER available on smilebox.
Apparently I should have paid thema few more bucks to order it in print or CD. Who knew?
That got me thinking...how long do you think FB will keep our photos?
The digital age does seem to require more organizational skills. My music collection is also fairly fragmented now, with different songs on different machines and cloud services. It seems that it many ways things were simpler a few years ago.
Very interesting article...I am with most people, having tens of thousands pics dispersed on multiple machines and various accounts...not idea what to do with it, any suggestions how to organize that mess would be helpfu...while reading the text one question came to my mind: who own your pics on Facebook? you or them?
krisi, that's a damn good question. But I think I sort of knew the answer... here's what one of the law offices in New York says :(http://www.nyccounsel.com/business-blogs-websites/who-owns-photos-and-videos-posted-on-facebook-or-twitter/)
What happens when you decide to post that picture on the Internet – perhaps on Facebook or Twitter (using Twitpic), or some other social network or photo-sharing site?
You may be shocked to find out that once you post on these sites, that although you still "own" the photograph, you grant the social media sites a license to use your photograph anyway they see fit for free AND you grant them the right to let others use you picture as well! This means that not only can Twitter, Twitpic and Facebook make money from the photograph or video (otherwise, a copyright violation), but these sites are making commercial gain by licensing these images, which contains the likeness of the person in the photo or video (otherwise, a violation of their "rights of publicity").
thank you Junko...I was afraid that was the answer...that means that Facebook can take my pictures and sell them to you (not that you would want to buy them, they are not that interesting ;-)...interesting arrangement!
Yes, but in today's developing world I have seen youngsters not bothering about the rights of their pictures. Many of them does not even know about this kind of issues of rights. I have seen many teen putting their all the pictures on FB or G+, if the limit overshoots they open a new account and starting posting there. They really also do not bother about multiple identities, and even though they change identities they effectively collaborate in their groups of friends. Yup they also forget the old account after they have started using new one. Strange but it is true.
When I first went digital, from 35mm slides, I realized I needed a decent medium to view the photos. Although it was possible to view them on a computer screen, it was awkward whenever we wanted to show them to groups of friends and family.
So I purchased a 42 inch HDTV and a desktop computer in a small chassis. The computer video plugs right into the HDTV.
I store all my digital photos on the computer hard drive in folders organized from each trip. The camera was set up to the 16:9 aspect ratio so it fills the entire TV screen, not just the middle.
The results are spectacular and convenient. I can show any of our trips in seconds from the computer hard drive. It doesn't even require an Internet hookup although I also have one attached to the computer to view YouTube on the TV.
I probably have about 20,000 photos on the hard drive.
Talking about pictures in shoeboxes, my wife inherited about 6,000 old pictures when a relative passed away. Some were color but most were black and white. But the resolution of the B&W pictures was very good. The pictures contained the complete famility history of one side of her family.
She got the idea of scanning them all, then placed them on CD's and DVD's. She made a bunch of copies and mailed them to all her cousins. It took her about 6 months.
They really appreciated it. There were pictures there no one had ever seen, but now saved forever on multiple machines scatted over the USA.
@BobsView, that is really awesome! I know what you mean by: "The results are spectacular and convenient."
These digital photos we take these days really look great on a large-screen TV.
I do, often, take out my SD card from my camera and stick it into a slot of a large-screen TV at my mother's when I go back. I don't have a SD card slot in my Sharp TV in the U.S., though, unfortunately.
Junko, I don't exist in Facebook so I don't have to worry about losing rights over my photo collection. One thing every one must do is to buy some cloud storage space and upload all pictures to it. Writing on DVD's & CD's are not always reliable, they degrade over time. I also keep backups on magnetic hard drives as immediately accessible storage.
But you raise a good quandary -with thousands of pictures taken yearly, does any one look at them often enough?
I treasure the ones that I scanned from prints, they are keepsake!
A friend of mine is a former graphic designer and art director who now makes his living doing photo restoration. People bring him old battered print, and he scans them, imports to Photoshop, and does restorations. He reports people crying in joy when they see the results, as that old battered print might be the only image they had of a beloved late relative. I've seen a few of the before and afters, and deeply admired his skill, as he often didn't have a lot to work with,
I have photos mostly on one computer and that computer is backed up regularly on a back up hard drive, but that's not optimum. I used to store them on CDs and then later DVDs. The problem is that there is currently no truely archival way to store digital media. With printed photos if you have the right paper and dyes, and you store them in a cool, dry, and dark place they can last for a 100 years. I can't think of anyplace in the digital world where I believe I can put my photos there today and they will still be there 100 years from now. What someone needs to invent is a truly archival (will last 100 years) physical device for storing digital data. Even the best of the so called "archival quality" DVDs are projected to last less than 40 years.
Why one need to sort and rearrange so many pictures? Write some applications which can dynamically fetch and reaarange all pictures as yo imagine. May be place visited, date, time, looks like, may contain something like this etc.
As for me, I like to be parasatic for pictures. I remember my partner during the picturing. Praise him/her for their nice pictures and request to send me few of them when required. It works good for me.
People were more careful while taking pictures with the old technology analog cameras - because you could not review your picture till you got it in print and the print was costly and would be only taken when the complete role was developed.
The pictures taken with those technologies are still preserved in those precious albums and serve as reminders of sweet memories of the past.
With new digital techniques and high resolution automatic cameras built into the mobile phones, picture taking is no more a skill or art or something precious. Hundreds of pictures are clicked everyday by everyday and many of them are just forgotten after clicking . With cheap storage available nobody bothers much to classify, arrange, remove unwanted pictures. So all these pictures are just lying idle in some remote servers occupying huge storage space for years.
Companies like Facebook need to have policies to force housekeeping of such storage by the users otherwise the whole thing will become unmanageable someday.
An old friend of mine made ther transition from film to digital. When he shot film, he was painfully aware of constraints. Film cost. Processing cost. And he had only so many shots per reel, so he spent time up front framing and composing shots before he clicked the shutter to make every shot count.
With digital, he didn't care about film or processing, and he could shoot and shoot and shoot. But while he didn't have up front costs, he had back end costs in terms of time. He had to dump all of those images from his camera to a PC, review them decide which were keepers, and load some of the ones he did keep into an image editor to crop and color correct, I told him to remember the skills he applied shooting film, and take the time before clicking the shutter to get it right, to reduce the post-processing time required.
I have tens of thousands of digital photos, including scans of shoeboxes full of prints from the old film days. I have at least one local backup of all of them, on a NAS box, and a second backup of the most important ones in the cloud.
I very rarely ever print hardcopies, but when I do, I find that an inkjet printer and good photo paper meet my needs. Photos are usually viewed on a computer monitor or tablet, but can easily be viewed on the HDTV if desired, although we rarely do that.
For organizing, I still use Picasa. I'm sure there are better tools out there, but I'm accustomed to Picasa, the price is right (free), and I like the facial recognition feature. It is surprisingly good, and at times when I want to look at something other than my most recent photos, it's nice to be able to create an album containing just photos in which certain people appear.
I am also one of those who gets concerned when I read about the decline in digital still camera popularity. I have taken many great photos with my iPhone, but their quality doesn't compare with what my "real" camera can do.
I use Google Picasa - and have used it for many years - and use the facial recognition and Google Data for online synchronization/backup (Picasa automatically backs up and uploads any changes in the background). I tag all my files with keywords and group them into virtual albums. All my files are on my C: drive and in a directory C:/Pictures/YYYYMM/YYYYMMDD/... As I have many photo sources I manually copy all my images into those directories by date. I use picasa to create virtual albums and use picasas search capabilities along with its editing (picasa preserves the original) although I use Photoshop to do any major editing and a panoramic program to make large panoramic images.
I back all my files up locally and rotate that drive with another drive when I visit relative in another town (legacy from before the "cloud", but I still do it). All in all it's 500gb with video's and 80,000+ files.
I also back up all our Smart Phones - 8 with extended family - as I can to keep backups from those sources.
One nice thing is that I can use an app on my Iphone to access all my photos and search by keyword, person, date or album and bringing up freinds pics, vacation pics or anyting on the fly.
I am concerned about the life of picasa, but it works well for me now...
I know one person who use to print quite a few pictures but now has a digital camera, takes pictures, but does nothing with them. I enjoyed seeing the printed pictures. Now I don't get to see anything! Fuji may be on to something. I use to enjoy getting the prints back and then even going the futher step of making enlargements of those frames I really liked. Was there delay in the process? Yes, but anticipation can be half the fun.
The simplest solution to tackle this photo mess, is to open a Free 1 TB flickr account. Upload all the photos based on date/time/month tag.
Wait for someone to implment a face recognition function in flickr ( iPhoto already have this). Then once you tag one person, you can find all the other photos of the same person ( as decided by the algorithm) automatically
We took so many photos that the camera's memory was crowded, had to copy the data in external harddisk. But when I travelled across countries, something happened to the hard disk and no photos are accessible. Luckily had uploaded few to facebook. Was using flickr and picasa earlier but I guess sharing photos on so many sites is quite difficult. Facebook is going well as all friends and family are there.
Just beware of one of those photo-sharing sites eventually catching "WebShots disease" (now is named Smile).
In that case, you had to scramble during their post-acquisition "transition-period" to download all your pix (if not locally saved), after which you either had to start paying based on storage or else you lost everything.
Isn't it possible that e.g. Flickr might be acquired and/or change policy in the future? (perhaps while you are unaware until too late)
The Russians have recently developed a very advanced method of archiving important documents that has a high degree of security and is expected to last at least 100 years. In fact, they believe it is virtually impossible to hack.
Only a few days back I spent almost 2-3 hours for selecting/sorting from a pile of pictures, some were taken by me in my childhood, some were related to sweet memories. It was tough!! All were printed...some have gone bad. But in that 2-3 hours time, may be, I could check only 1% of all pix I have taken so far!! I might have lost some of the very important pictures...as I even don't know where they are. Very nice topic and so much of learning from this article and comments so far!!
Personally I would like to take prints...but it takes money, space and time for maintenance!! Hence only a few important ones get printed now a days. Others are dumped into a hard drive specifically for storing photos and videos...but the problem there is the photos can't be shared so easily. I tried Picasa...it was good except the time taken in sorting and uploading reamained manual. Now a days I spend a quick moment after taking a picture for thinking whether I want to retain it or delete it...and then keep or delete...this practice has reduced the number of pix taken. :)
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