Events and Life Photography

Accumulating memories in large photo libraries

Jamie Rubin wrote a thought-provoking post on his blog about his accumulated library of photographs, and his thoughts about what to do with it.

The problem is that I am not organized about my photos the way I am in other parts of my life. I’ve made reluctant attempts at organization now and then, but my heart was never in it. I’ve had all kinds of great ideas for photo taxonomies that would allow me to put my finger on a photo within seconds. These ideas never pan out. I just don’t have the interest. And yet the photos accrue.

Jamie Rubin

I commented on the post, and then thought I’d share my thoughts here too.

I have around 100k images in my Flickr library (this is probably my most complete, and organised library outside my various backups). I sometimes wonder if accumulating such a huge library will be problematic for my family when I eventually shuffle off into the Great Darkroom in the Sky.

On balance, though, I’d much rather preserve these memories, than start stripping them away because they seem too voluminous. I’m pretty determined to document our lives, and our memories for future generations. I wrote a bit about this in this post, so I won’t elaborate much here.

When I look at what I have from my childhood, and from previous generations, I see moments now and then, certainly not complete pictures of what those times were like. I rely on photos to remember my past because my memory can be pretty spotty.

When it comes to my growing library of photos, I’m working on the assumption that image recognition technology will only improve over time, and our kids will be able to use it to find the stuff that matters to them. If I look at how good Google Photos is now when it comes to recognising subject matter in photos, and even filtering photos, I’m less and less concerned about the size of my library.

I think Jamie make a great point about being mindful of the moment we’re in, and not immediately distracting ourselves from it by taking a photograph of the scene. We can’t spend all our lives looking through a viewfinder.

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Julie Johnson
Photography Science and nature

Beautiful pink and white flowers

I noticed a few small bushes of really pretty pink and white flowers last Friday and snapped a couple photos and shared them on Instagram. This one is on my public Instagram profile that I created yesterday (variable post privacy options in Instagram would be awesome!):

I really liked how they came out and decided to return with my DSLR for more photos. The original photos came out seemingly overexposed (I have a feeling I didn’t reset my exposure compensation setting from another set of photos before I took the photos). I like the result after some processing in Lightroom, though. Here are some highlights. You can view my complete album on Flickr:

As a matter of interest, what works better for you when I publish image galleries? Something like a Flickr embed or photos uploaded to this site directly?

Applications Photography

Smarter photo albums with Google Photos

Google Photos has taken a step towards taking some of the pain out of creating photo albums from your photos with “smarter albums” and I am looking forward to seeing it in action.

The update blends the Stories feature (imported from Google+) with Google Photos to automate album creation and add additional data like location data to create what will hopefully be an improved experience.

Stories have been a hit-and-miss experience for me so I haven’t really used them all that much. I suspect its because the intelligence behind their creation isn’t sophisticated enough to see the same themes I do (probably not surprising, the machines aren’t that smart yet). That said, they are a fun way to share events. I modified this one from my birthday day off last year:

I use both Flickr and Google Photos to share photos and while I am a little concerned about the direction Flickr seems to be going, I am very interested to see how Google Photos evolves over time.

Google Photos is an easier option for people to use to share their photos (well, if you ignore the blue whale in the room – Facebook). I’ve replaced Apple Photos with Google Photos and Flickr as my photo sharing choices and I basically manage my device photo libraries through these apps.

I don’t see the new album features available in existing albums on Google Photos but we have an office Purim party today so I’ll have a new album of photos soon and I look forward to seeing how it all comes together then.

Photo credit: tookapic