March 15th, 2010


Photo management

I'm taking more photos lately, but my photo process isn't really suiting me. Quick summary:
- should I take photos with our camera, my iPhone, or a new camera?
- where should I store and manipulate photos?
- How should I publish photos?


I'm not resolved about what camera to use.

We have a digital camera that we bought a few years ago. I don't remember the brand, but it's a low-end point-and-shoot. It's worked for us pretty well--well enough, at least, that I feel the limiting factor in the photos I take with it is my skill, not the camera.

But most of the photos I take lately use my iPhone. There are two major reasons:
- the iPhone will tag photos with the location they are taken, so when I'm negligent about recording details, I have at least the location as a reminder. And it's been nice to use iPhoto's features for filtering pictures by location.
- the major reason, though, is that I'm far better at carrying the iPhone with me and keeping it charged than I am at keeping the camera available.

There are some down sides of the iPhone, though:
- the iPhone has no flash.
- the pictures I take with the iPhone in low-light conditions often turn out very grainy.

If I knew that a new camera X was the right answer, I could spend a fair bit on a new camera. But I'm not sure I can identify the needs for my ideal camera, much less find it in a catalog, so my stinginess takes over.


After the picture is taken, I need to store it and edit it on a computer. My prime answer for that is to use Lori's laptop, because that's the computer in the house that we actually own.
However, that's not the computer that I actually use; I use a laptop and a desktop machine provided by work.

So if I want to import and edit photos, I either have to wait until Lori's not using her computer, or I do it on my computer and have to sync it at some later point (and I don't have a good solution for syncing).


After taking pictures, I want to share them--in fact, most of the pictures I take are taken because I intend to share them.

The main venues in which I want to share pictures are Roadfood, Facebook, and LiveJournal. I can store pictures on my account, Facebook, and Livejournal (but not Roadfood).

Facebook is by far the easiest way to publish photos; I can send them directly from the iPhone or from iPhoto. (sending them from the iPhone makes it a bit easier to add a nice caption). But I think of Facebook as being for more transient data.

Publishing them to .mac is a bit more fussy--the iPhoto-to-.mac integration isn't working smoothly for me. But I can upload pictures with my web browser. Unfortunately, the .mac gallery seems to lose the photo descriptions I set in iPhoto. (It is possible that I am using iPhoto in a weird way.) Also, when I want to use .mac photos in posts to Roadfood or LiveJournal, I have to edit the URLs for the photos by hand to make them work properly.

Uploading to LiveJournal is also browser-only. Including them in posts seems to work easily enough. But LJ has pulled enough weaselly stunts that I feel hesitant about putting my photos in LJ's basket.

My ideal would be for composing posts with photos to be as easy as composing messages with photos in Mail, and to be able to copy a post with photos from Roadfood and paste it into LJ with ease. I don't feel there yet.