Monday, January 2, 2012

Digital Picture Management

Today's project is a doozy.

Being married to a geek has its privileges.  One of them is that our home computer network is every bit as professional as most business networks.  We have an obscene number of computers in this house (3 desktops, one laptop, plus BJ's laptop and assorted portable devices - iPads, etc.).  The largest computer backs up to Carbonite.  The lesser computers do not.

Back in the good old days, before Cloud Computing, we had a harddrive failure.  If it hadn't been for the fact that I had uploaded all of our pictures to Shutterfly, we would have lost everything from Mary Grace's first year.  So I take digital photo management pretty seriously.

When I plug my camera or my phone into my computer, the pictures are saved by the date of the upload (which I hate) onto my computer, and backed up to my Picasa Web Albums with the same file structure (hate) so that I can use them her on the blog, etc.

Today's project is to wrestle them all into a sensible file structure (January 2011, February 2011, etc. with subfolders of major events - vacations, holidays, etc. within those folders) and copy them onto the main computer so that they'll be backed up into Carbonite, and, like Han Solo, preserved for all eternity, or until Princess Leia shows up.

This is not a small project.  I have 5 gigs of pictures on my laptop.

As soon as my iPad (to which I'm also copying my photos, as an experiment, because I've never used it for that before) is finished syncing, I'm going to plug in a real mouse (because doing this project on a touch pad will drive me insane) and have at it.  I expect it to take at least a week.  Like matching socks, I know I'll be really glad I did it once it's done, but I'm dreading the investment of time it'll take.

How do you manage your digital pictures?  What kind of back up are you using?  (You are using a back up, of course, right?  Hard drive recovery costs thousands of dollars, and isn't always possible!)  What iPad and iPhone apps do you use to help you?  Is there a software that will batch remove red-eye from all my pictures?  Oh my goodness, there's a lot of red eye.  If I were really committed I'd edit the photos as I copy them over, but that would take months.  I'll just do it as I use them.  Do you keep every photo, or only the good ones?

Help me Internet, and maybe I won't have to do this again in another year!


Rob Monroe said...

I do NOT keep every photo - that's the glory of digital. I throw out two of every three pictures, and only one in every three that I keep get to the web.

Our music is on one computer, and backed up to two external hard drives. Our pictures are on the laptop and backed up to both hard drives, too. If I had a better system in my house (i.e. central server) I don't want to do the online syncing thing - costs more with more I'm loading from. Oh well.

Happy New Year! Can't wait for posts if you're going to do two daily! :)

Anonymous said...

I have the same system - Picasa and Carbonite. Actually, I pay for the upgraded carbonite that backs up the external hard drive and have the pictures on both the computer and the hard drive, which means they are on carbonite twice. but i'm so paranoid about losing data!

For my pictures, I have folders for big things like weddings, Christmas, etc. For every day photos I have a folder for every month "[LastName] Family Pictures > 2011-December". Makes it easy to find the pictures since they are sorted by month and I don't worry about categorizing into a million different events. Picasa is great in that it self organizes.

If you are looking into media, I found that the new self-organizing iTunes is pretty fantastic. It took me a week to get used to the idea of letting iTunes organize my data instead of doing it myself, but once I took the plunge (after backing everything up my way on the external HD), I found that I like their organizational structure.

Bev said...

Geeks make the very best husbands...I've been telling everyone that for 26 years now!

We have a server based system at home that would be the envy of many businesses and he takes care of auto backups.

I can only add that I use folders to organize photos by Year, Month, Day, Place, and Special Event if there were any. Mine is a very simple system that works efficiently for me. It never takes me long to find the photos I'm looking for and I take 17,000 to 19,000 photos a year now that we travel so much.