I’ve been watching videos shot with GoPro cameras for years but always thought of these rugged little cameras as being for skydivers and snowboarders. Then I noticed a lot of the “let’s go for a ride in my Land Rover” videos were shot with GoPro cameras so I bought one. It’s the entry-level camera (Hero Session). A small black cube about 1.5 inches on each side. I’ll post some more on this once I know what I’m doing but right out of the box (as they say) I’m impressed with the video and quality.
Barb’s only had her iPhone X for a few days and is still getting the hang of new features. Today she played with some of the new photos options. Don’t know how they’ll look here but on my laptop (and her phone) they looked damned good. Not sure which setting were used for each photo but I can tell you I’ve never seen a photo taken with a phone that was this crisp and sharp. The new iPhones are just larger than I like so I’m hoping these new camera features come to some future SE model.
I was never one to want or need prints of digital photos. Back in the day the print quality was too poor to bother with (unless you purchased an insanely expensive printer) and the consumables were expensive and it was just more trouble than it was worth. And once it got easy to share photos online, why both printing?
But for some reason I got a hankering to have some prints of the ‘new’ truck so I headed for Walgreen’s where I printed out half a dozen 4×6 prints (and one 5×7). Cost less than 50 cents a print and they were as good as anything I ever had commercially printed. Can’t see any reason (for me) to own and high-end color printer.
Once upon a time file names could only be a certain length. Was 7 characters for he name and 3 or the extension? 8 characters for the name? I can’t recall but somewhere along the way this limitation was lifted and we can name a file something useful. But I never developed the discipline to take advantage of this and have some old files with names like 4777959349_o.jpg . In my OCD moments this bugs me and I might take a few minutes (or a few days) and rename offending files.
I rarely see file names in iPhoto (I refuse to call it Apple Photos), just the Title I enter when adding photo. But my buddy George Kopp pointed out I can change the file name to the Title when exporting images for backup. This short screencast (4 min) shows this feature.
I’m still thinking about photos. Specifically, the story behind photos. The ease of taking, sharing and storing photos has created a tsunami of digital photos. The moment (and the photo that captures it) passes through our hands so quickly, there’s no time to consider the story behind the photo (if there is one). Besides, I know who’s in the photo and where it was taken and I’ll be around forever so why bother with descriptions and such. And there’s something to that. I have dozens of photos of the beach near our place in Destin, FL. There might be a story but there might not. Sometimes the photo IS the story.
Our relationship with photos was very different when cameras used film. Days (weeks?) might pass between the time you took the photo and and when you held the print in your hands. It took some commitment to sit down with a stack of photos and make notes on the back about the people, the place, the event. Perhaps it comes down to who the photo is for. If it’s just for me, well, I know all that and when I’m gone, who cares. If you think of the photo as having a life longer than yours, the back story is priceless.
The photo of my mother and father kissing on a park bench (on their honeymoon) is a good example. What if my mom had written a few lines (on the back) describing where they were and what they had been doing?
I’m not going to write descriptions for the 1,900 photos in my collection. At least not all of them. But I have hit on a way to connect to the story behind the photos. My blog. I’ve been blogging for fifteen years and and have written (and tagged) 30 posts about Destin. I’ve added a link to those posts to the descriptions of the photos in my collection. I have a couple of hundred photos of KBOA and I’ll add http://www.kboa830.com to the description field of those photos. And so on. (If you’re a half-empty type, you’re thinking, “Yeah, but your blog will be gone when you die.” I’m working on that.)
This is all well and good if you’re retired with lots of time to manage your photos. True. But I think the case can be made that a photo that’s not worthy of a brief description might not be worth keeping. And a lot of them aren’t, in my opinion. Folks are fire-hosing photos to the cloud with little or no thought. Google Photos is an attempt to address this.
I’ve been collecting digital photos for years. Since photos became digital, in fact. Along the way I scanned a few thousand photos. More than once. In the early days of the web I wanted to keep images small so they could be uploaded to the web and viewed with molasses-slow dial-up connections. 72 dpi, 640×480. Shitty little things. As the online world improved and I realized my mistake, I scanned many prints again at nice high (600 dpi) resolution.
When I got my first Mac I started managing all my photos in iPhoto (now Apple Photo). I titled every photo and put them in albums and added keywords and then forgot about them. At one point I guess I had about 5,000 photos. That’s nothing compared to most users. Lot of folks have ten, twenty thousand photos. More.
I’ve tended to be a little obsessive compulsive about my photos. If I had 20 shots of the pond at the bottom of our hill and they were all so similar I couldn’t tell one from the other, I’d delete all but the best. In time, my collection was down to about 2,000 photos. But I’d made a conscious decision regarding each one.
I trimmed a few hundred more photos in the past week. Why, for example, did I need photos of the Golden Gate Bridge? The Chrysler Building. The Space Needle. If the photo featured friends or family, I kept it. If there was some personal connection to the subject of the photo, sure. But if the only reason I was keeping the photo was I took it… not a sufficient reason (for me).
Why bother, you ask. Tossing the chaff makes the remaining wheat more valuable. And a couple thousand photos are manageable. While going through my photos I saw that many could be improved. I tweaked and cropped and added meta data where needed. You just can’t do that with 10,000 photos.
I think this is part of the “a place for everything” itch I’ve been scratching for a few years. Keeping only thing things I really care about and getting rid of the rest. Even if I have room to keep it.
Now that I have my collection down to a manageable size, I’m more picky about what gets added. And I’m a little more careful about how I take photos. I went through a similar process with my books a few years ago. When I finish a book that was just so-so, it doesn’t make it to the shelf. It goes to the county library book sale.
I’d call this a zen thing but anything you call a zen thing is definitely not a zen thing.
“Aaron J. Groen is an artist specializing in astro and landscape photography. He was born and raised in South Dakota and spent his entire life exploring the beauty and wonder of the midwest. Traveling the back roads and gravels where most people do not travel. Constantly in search of that next spot to shoot that perfect moment in time. Aaron loves South Dakota’s amazing night skies and things that seem to be left behind by mankind. You can see much more of Aaron’s photography on his Flickr site.”
Hat tip to Margaret — tumblr junkie, art & photography lover, admirer of good coffee, two boxers dog owner, wife and mother.
The two photos below are hanging (with 8 or 10 others) on the wall of a little cafe in Jefferson City, MO. I’ve noticed them before and recall thinking I’d like to scan them but they’re framed and (probably) bolted to the wall. This morning I remembered the PhotoScan app I recently added decided to give it a try. No bad. No glare from the glass. I’ll get some more when the place is less busy.
High Street is where the Coffee Zone is located (not on the block shown). The interior shot is the cafe.
When Peter Smith suggested this app I said “thanks” but was thinking, ‘Not gonna come close to the image I get with my flatbed scanner.’ But I gave it a try and… pretty damned close. Rather amazing. I’ll probably keep using my scanner for some of the really old stuff because I can control the resolution and use Pixelmator to ‘repair’ the image as needed. But most folks won’t fuck with all of that. With this app you could breeze through a shoebox full of old photos in no time. One final thought: this video is very well done.