Managing Photographs

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I would welcome some input on this subject.

At the moment I store all my original materials in a single folder and then if I do any irreversible processing, the results are put elsewhere. I wanted to preserve the originals as they were, no matter how bad!

So far this has worked because I have a relatively small number of photographs (1200 ish) but this is set to grow as I undertake the mammoth task of scanning in all the prints that I have. What I need to do now is organize the photographs in some way so that I can find individual, or groups, of photographs to process. I started with Adobe Photoshop Album because the tagging process is very quick and simple, tags can be organized and in addition collections can be made. However, as far as I have been able to find out, Photoshop Album cannot read EXIF data and sometimes it helps to have that sort of detail about a photo. So I am looking elsewhere and the choice is enormous.

My favourite so far is Zoner Photo Studio 8 Home Edition (which I obtained from a cover disk and hence is not really free) but I have dipped into various other programs and this is the problem. Full testing takes so much time that the primary task of organizing the photos goes out of the window so what is your favourite (free) software?

Some of the things I would like to see are:
Ability to edit and write IPTC data and read EXIF data. The only EXIF data I want to add/edit is the date the photograph was taken.
Custom, but fixed aspect ratio, cropping (to prepare photographs for use in a digital frame)
Rotation(lossless as far as possible) of images.
Simple but flexible fixing of brighness, contrast, saturation etc (auto as well as sliders)
Proper (that is combined AND and OR) searching using any metadata as well as keywords and filenames.
Production of ordered lists for input to programs like Photo Story to be converted ultimately to DVD slideshows and combined with home video.
 

Abarbarian

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http://www.faststone.org/FSViewerDetail.htm

I use the above and works well for me .

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muckshifter

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Another vote for Fastone. :nod: :thumb:

... I just love all the information, especially EXIF info, that helps me a lot ... still 'learning' this package. ;)

To help me along, for its sheer ease of use, is Picasa from Google, free once more and still loads of useful information at your fingertips.

Picasa will retain an original copy of your pic if altered, however, it hides it. That can be a little annoying if you need to retrieve the original quickly as you'll need to "un-hide" files-n-folder. Fastone "sees" these folder that Picasa has hidden, nice little bonus with using these two together. :D

... the added bonus with Picasa, for me, is the ability to share an "album" online, privately, with friends & family, most of whom have Google email accounts also, but it ain't necessary.

I've not tried writing IPTC data ... need to clear up with what you actually want from that ... but I do have the ability to read RAW, it's a simple "plug-in" for Vista, XP has a program that'll do the same.

Try 'em both, I think you'll like them.


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The way I see it is that EXIF data is put there by the camera (if it is digital) oddly my HP scanner also puts in some EXIF data. The IPTC data is for me to describe the photograph; also to put stuff in that can be picked up by desktop search to enable me to find it again.
So I input: Title (very general); Author(=photographer if known); Description (sometimes detailed, for my descendants to read); Keywords (which are organized by ZonerPS), Image origins = the location where the photo was shot).

This information is particularly important because I am scanning in some very old photographs (up to 100 years old) and I am probably the only person who knows anything about them. When researching ancestry I know how frustrating it can be to think "if only so and so was still alive" they would have known who that was. Of course I could write this information on the backs of the photographs but I only have one copy of each and numerous relatives who each will want their own copies of many of these photographs.
 
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Just an extension to the above. I have played with FastStome image viewer for a day or two and also another piece of software called Photo Me. For anyone who is interested a brief review of them.

Photo Me.

For an individual photograph taken by a digital camera you get masses of information- histogram; thumbnail with camera focus available and screens full of information about the image. This includes an overview with the camera model, picture dimensions, focal length, etc; existing IPTC-NAA data with the option to add more fields from a huge dropdown list; Image data – interestingly the image title, copyright notice and the name of the person who created the image are not editable here; thumbnail data and then the EXIF data split into Camera Data, Manufacturers Note and interoperability. In the opposite direction to most management programs almost all of these fields are editable. The EXIF and IPTC-NAA data are import/exportable so that an image can be edited in a non-compliant program which removes the data and then afterwards the data returned to the image. To expedite this process there is a user definable collection of photo editors which can be launched from within the PhotoMe window. Finally there is a basic file browser (filenames no images as far as I can tell) which allows one click access to an image and its data.



FastStone Image Viewer

This give us folder browsing with thumbnail (or other) display of all the photographs in a folder. The image editing features are extensive including red-eye removal, resize, rotate/flip, crop, sharpen/blur, adjust brightness/contrast/colour (including individual colour changes, sepia, black&white, and negative effects), histogram side-by-side comparison of up to 4 images. An excellent feature is the full-screen image display with pop-out editing boxes and if you have two monitors the ability to put your preview full screen onto the second monitor. This is complementary software to PhotoMe, the EXIF data display is minimal (unless I have missed a setting) and the edit is restricted to the jpeg comment field. The software is cheap so use them both. Again there is the possibility to launch other software from within the interface. Having spent a short time with it I think this software is best used to produce that really great collection of photographs, carefully chosen and retouched as necessary.

I forgot to add that I shall keep using both of these programs and Zoner Photo Studio
 
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Abarbarian

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That Photo Me sounds good but has a bit too much info for a simpleton like me .


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Or if you're feeling very rich

Either Lightbox or Aperture are pretty much the last word in organising photos. Either is great for workflow, let's you track conversion across multiple formats, track descendants and store piles of multiple versions of similar photos. They integrate pretty seemlessly with photoshop too.
 
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SlimJim said:
this is set to grow as I undertake the mammoth task of scanning in all the prints that I have. .

Good luck with that i did 24 photo albums into the pc via scanner it was the most boring thing i have ever done on my pc but just has to be done so your pics are safe.After you have finished copy them to a back up too it's only a job you want to do once.
 
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I use the Photo Me..It is brilliant nd may seem a bit much at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is quite simple to use
 

floppybootstomp

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I'm still scanning lots and lots of negatives and prints after about seven years...

I do have quite a lot stored now and I'm using Photoshop 7 to adjust them.

Haven't actually scanned any for six months or so now but I shall carry on shortly I expect.

Co-incidentally, have just sorted out all the pix related to my secondary school and for now will be putting them on my facebook site as some old friends from school have been in touch recently.

I want to put together a personal website but am a bit nervous about using the software.

I have an old copy of Dreamweaver/Fireworks (Version 4 I think) and MS Front Page from Office 2003.

Which would be best?

Bear in mind I've never ever made a website before.

I have a Gig of webspace with my ISP (Zen) and pretty much as much space as I like with another forum I moderate on.

Any advice apreciated.

Hmm, perhaps I should start another thread....
 
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floppybootstomp said:
I have an old copy of Dreamweaver/Fireworks (Version 4 I think) and MS Front Page from Office 2003.



Any advice apreciated.

Hmm, perhaps I should start another thread....

I'd go fro Dreamweaver/Fireworks, I think MS Front Page is cr*p..Or downlad a free trail of Rapid Css, this is what I use alng side notepad..Use it for PHP,CSS,HTML,Javascript..It uses auto complete so no need to try and remember tags etc..It also has quite a few templates on it and tutorials...

Hmmmm, maybe you should have started your own thread, but as you have Super Moderator next to your name, i'm going to say nowt..
 

floppybootstomp

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Madxgraphics said:
I'd go fro Dreamweaver/Fireworks, I think MS Front Page is cr*p..Or downlad a free trail of Rapid Css, this is what I use alng side notepad..Use it for PHP,CSS,HTML,Javascript..It uses auto complete so no need to try and remember tags etc..It also has quite a few templates on it and tutorials...

Hmmmm, maybe you should have started your own thread, but as you have Super Moderator next to your name, i'm going to say nowt..

Me big super duper moderator bad guy - you will obey :lol:

Hehe...

Thanks for the advice, do you think a five to six year old version of Dreamweaver is still worth using? I certainly don't want to pay five or six hundred pounds for the newer version as all I want is a small personal website for photos and stuff, not a commercial thing.

This is a field I know bugger-all about.

I probably will section a new thread off of this one but not right now, I'm creating photo albums on facebook, two so far, both old.
 
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floppybootstomp said:
Me big super duper moderator bad guy - you will obey
laughingsmiley.gif

Yes master anything you say....
5 or 6 years old, erm how long has Notepad been around..? Thats what I use most of the time..I'd say it will be fine for you to use, quite easy to learn to use to..I wouldn't want to pay that sort of money for the latest version either if it is just for a small site..Rapid CSS that I mentioned in my last post costs about £18 online, and you can do pretty much all you can do with Dreaweaver..Also if the site you want to develope is going to have a lot of pictures on it you could use something like <a href="http://jalbum.net/">Jalbum</a>, a programme that basically puts your pics into albums and does all the HTML for you..then its just a simple step of creating your home page and linking them...
 

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