Photo Management

Phew! I’m finally caught up with respect to posting photos. Unfortunately I don’t have many for April yet. Sometimes that’s just the way it goes.Preparing the photographs for prime-time can be time consuming. Truthfully, I could just upload the lot of them and let people see all of them for better or worse. While that certainly is the quickest route, I don’t like doing this for a number of reasons.1) I often bracket exposures. There’s no reason to share the redundant over- and under-exposed photographs with everyone. These photos are meant for insurance purposes only.2) Often an untouched photograph isn’t exactly what I had in mind when shooting the photograph. While I try to be as true to reality as I can, sometimes reality isn’t the goal. Sometimes a image looks much better in black and white than in color.3) Sometimes the photo needs to be rotated a few degrees clockwise or counterclockwise. I’ve had to do this to many a landscape photograph taken in haste when not paying attention to the horizon.4) Cropping an image can get rid of distracting elements or can enhance the composition of the photograph. I used to try to stick to the 3×4 ratio that the camera produced, but I’ve found that I tend to like a 4×6 ratio (or wider) for landscape oriented images and 4×3 for portrait-oriented images. However, once in a while I find a square frames the subject better.5) Sometimes I need to make modifications due to inherent characteristics of digital media. The dynamic range of the CCD can limit contrast and cause over- or under-exposed areas. Boosting the contrast and cropping out the poorly exposed areas can help an image immensely. There is also a dead pixel that rears its ugly self when it is located in a dark portion of the image.6) I like to add captions to offer a little information about the subject of the photograph.7) Not all of my photos are worth sharing! I take lots of photos that were mis-timed, out of focus, have too much motion blur, poorly composed, underlit, etc. I’d rather not waste the viewers’ time.On a somewhat related note, I’ve found one of the features in the latest version of iPhoto to be fairly helpful when managing photo albums. After I import a folder of photographs from an event, I go through the photographs one by one and touch them up as necessary. When I’m done, I give an image a rating; if it is worthy of sharing, I’ll give it a three or more. I then create a Smart Album that contains all images from the original album with a rating greater than two. That way I can easily access either all of the photographs from the album or just the ones worth sharing. Previously I would just remove the bad photographs from the albums, but that didn’t work well if I changed my mind and wanted to share the photograph after all.

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