2006 Photo Count

Photo Purge by Natalie Parker

My 2006 scrapbook is all complete.  It’s time for my 2006 photos to head off into the sunset (aka backup).  As I mentioned in my photo process post, I purge photos heavily after scrapbooking.  How did I do here?

When I started the 2006 album, I had 620 photos.

After purging, I ended up with 173 photos.

Note, this does not include the 1057 wedding and honeymoon photos from 2006.  I already purged those when I finished the wedding scrapbook, taking them down from about 4000.

That means I’m keeping about 25-30% of my photos permanently.  Not bad, I think.

It will be interesting to see how I do in the years to come, I’m going to try and make sure I get a count before I start the next album.

almost made a graph here but decided to spare you.  Maybe next year?

Photo Process 2: During and After Scrapbooking

Photo Processing by Natalie Parker

I last talked about my photo process in 2011.  This post is part 2 in a series showing my current process.  Read part 1 here.

Where we left off, my photos were purged and safely backed up.  After that work, my photos will usually sit for a couple (okay, a few) years until I scrapbook them.

Step One: Ready to Scrapbook, Go Through Photos

Before I design a page, I look at the photos to get an idea of what I want to use.  I edit and touch up the ones I really like and think I will print using basic Picasa tools.

Step Two: Crop, Print, and Scrapbook!

I do not crop the original photos.  I will touch up the originals but if I need to crop them to fit in a page, I crop copies.  I print all my photos at home and only print them when I need them.  No waste.

Step Three: Purge Again

After I’m done scrapbooking, what didn’t get used?  Do I really need all of the photos?

The scrapbook is my final thing that I do with the photos.  If I didn’t use it in the scrapbook, I think hard about deleting it.  For archivists, this process is called appraisal (I know you were dying to know that).  Not every photo is worth saving.  Saving too many makes it harder to find the important stuff.  I’m serious.  I’ve read studies on it.

Anything that doesn’t fit the “save forever” label gets deleted.  After finishing my wedding scrapbook, I ruthlessly deleted a ton of wedding photos.  Serious.

Step Four: Make Sure Metadata and Tags are Correct

Yep, I talked about tagging in the last post.  When I check the metadata again, it will have been at least a couple years since I touched the photos.  Maybe I realized that I like tagging transit photos now?  Maybe I want to tag every picture that has yellow in it?  I update all of the tags.

Step Five: Backup Again

I delete the backups on my external hard drive and on SmugMug.  Then I recopy and reupload the new folder that has the touched up, purged, and retagged versions.  SmugMug doesn’t have syncing, which is really a bummer.

That’s it!  The end!  A place for everything and everything in it’s place.

What do you do with your photos after you put them in albums or scrapboook them?

Photo Process Part 1: Pre-Scrapbooking

Photo Processing Tips by Natalie Parker

I wrote about how I process photos back in 2011.  2011, as in three years ago!  Some things I wrote about then I still do, some are different.

Today’s post covers everything I do with photos before I scrapbook them, using our recent trip to Europe as an example.  Tomorrow, I’ll talk about how I manage photos during and after scrapbooking.

Step One: Take the Pictures

Because, duh.  I take pictures with my DSLR and my phone.  On our trip, I used the DSLR mostly.  I used my phone when I was at work, when I wanted to share a photo on Instagram, or when I didn’t have time to get the big camera out.

Step Two: Purge on the Road

I still follow this process.  Never let bad photos get to your hard drive or cloud (if you can help it).

I try to purge on the camera and phone.  On our trip to Antarctica, I purged the DSLR at the end of every day.  On this trip to Europe, I was so busy working that I only purged my cell phone.

I only purge what’s obviously bad on the small screen.  I have an auto-backup to the cloud on my phone, so when I purged the phone, I made sure it purged the backup.

Step Three: At Home, Load All Photos onto Hard Drive

When we get home, I copy all the photos to a folder on my hard drive.  More detail here.  This includes phone photos!  I plug our phones into my computer and drag everything to the folder.

When we got home from Europe, this is what we had:

DSLR: 1624 photos
Cell Phone: 274 photos

Step Four: Purge

I mean really purge.  This is such a chore but I make it a priority when I get home.  If I wait too long, I’ll never do it.  I don’t want junk on my hard drive taking up space.

I delete all blurry or bad photos.  If I have 2+ versions of a photo, I pick the best one.  But wait, I don’t know how I will scrapbook it yet.  How will I know if I will want that other angle of my wine glass?  I’m over it.  I only save more than one photo of a thing if I really think I need it.  I don’t think missing the other angle will screw up my scrapbook.

If I have the same photo from my phone and the DSLR, I will pick the best one.

After that purge, I go back and take a second look.  Do I really need that back lit photo?  It’s the only photo of the restaurant where we sat on the Golden Horn to watch the sun set?  Here’s the thing: I’ll remember it.  I have it in my journal.  I’m not likely to show the crappy photo to my family or my Facebook friends.  Out it goes!

After the purge, this is what I had left:

DSLR: 515 photos
Cell Phone: 176 photos

Step Five: Edit Metadata and Tag

I add a title to the “Title” field.  I don’t bother describing each one individually but pick one that works for the whole set.  I add my name in the “Author” field.

Then I tag.  I tag the name of everyone I know in each photo.  I don’t use facial recognition because I like my tinfoil hat.

I tag pictures that have food or flowers because I tend to want to find those later.  Not sure why to tag?  I wrote a post about it here.  It really helps finding things later.

Step Six: Backup

I copy the folder onto my external hard drive and upload the pictures to a SmugMug album.  If my computer crashes, my house gets robbed, or my house burns down, my photos are safe.  I’ve been using SmugMug for 2 years and I love it!

Note: DVDs are not a safe form of long term storage.  They will degrade over time and you can lose your photos.

Step Seven: Share

I’ll share a SmugMug link with people who are in the photos so they can download full resolution copies.

I may put together a Facebook album, a blog post, or a slideshow for our families.

For big trips, I’ll make a photobook.

Notice that editing and touching up photos isn’t on the list?  I’ll edit the few I share, but I leave most of it until I’m ready to start scrapbooking.

That’s Part 1!  It’s what works for me and is about all I can handle when I travel.  The process is the same for everyday photos, I just take the time to purge and back up every couple of months.  Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow!

Photo Processing Tips by Natalie Parker

A New Safety Net for My Cell Phone Pictures

Google+ Instant UploadI’ve always had a love-hate relationship with my cell phone.  As in, I love it and it hates me.

My phone ran away from home a couple months ago and have been using a backup for a while.   Losing a phone always hurts more when you have pictures you hadn’t saved to the computer yet.

I’ve written before about the instant-upload feature on Google+.  Last time I had a phone incident, I was able to view my pictures in Google+ still because they were automatically uploaded to a private album whenever I took them.  It was nice to have them, but they weren’t full resolution.  Not anymore!!

Setting up my new phone last week, I noticed there is an option to turn on full-resolution instant-uploads to Google+.  Whaaaa?  I am SO excited about this because I now have a full backup in case anything happens to my phone.  Theoretically, I can also organize the pictures onto my hard drive without ever having to plug the phone into my computer!

Read instructions on how to turn on full-resolution instant-upload here.  There are some storage limits, so I’ll have to make sure and go online and delete ones I don’t want.

Google+ Full Size Instant UploadGoogle+ is owned by Google.  I work for Google.  My affiliation with Google in no way affects or sways my opinions on its products.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

My Photo Graph

Photo Graph by Almost Never CleverI had to share this with you because it is neato!  Or I’m a photo geek.  Either way.

I was tidying up my photos in SmugMug, and I noticed I could get a running total of my photos by year!  What’s a geek to do?  Make a graph!

The first thing I noticed was the spike in the last couple of years.  We took our first international vacation in 2010, that explains half of it.  The other half of it I started taking more everyday pictures around that time.  I used to take very few.

The result of both?  A photo explosion.  This is after I make a general pass and delete around half right after I take them.

This leads me to the conclusion that it will take me longer to scrapbook each year as the years go on.  What will happen to the totals when I have kids??

Earlier in the graph:  I started using digital in 2004 and I got married in 2006, which explains that upward trajectory.  I have no idea why 2007 was so low.  Post-wedding craft malaise?  I can’t wait to open my box of keepsakes from that year and really see what we were up to!

The number for each year will pare down when I get to scrapbooking them.  I cut the number of pictures I keep permanently once I’ve scrapbooked them and understand what I consider important.

Have you taken this birds-eye view of your photo collection before?  Notice any patterns?

What’s on My Cell Phone, Q3 2012 Blog Hop

Cell Phone Photo Blog HopFall is upon us.  Where did the year go?

Today I’m sharing pictures from the third quarter of 2012 (July-September).  See my Q1 post here and my Q2 post here.

Just like last time, I’m joined here by some awesome bloggers who are sharing a bit of their cell phone lives:

Nat: Almost Never Clever http://www.almostneverclever.com (You are here)
Mariah: Its Fun2Scrap http://www.fun2scrap.blogspot.com/
Tammy: Your Memory Connection http://www.yourmemoryconnection.com/
Ginger: Ginger’s Life of Spice http://gingerslifeofspice.blogspot.com/
Danielle: EcoScrapbook http://ecoscrapbook.blogspot.com/
Jen: Down Home South Jersey http://downhomesouthjersey.com/
Beth: Scrapping Wonders http://scrappingwonders.com/
Katie: Katie Stories http://katie-stories.blogspot.com/
Zaira: Hacer Scrapbooks http://hacerscrapbooks.blogspot.com/

I’m really loving these cell phone roundups because it helps me appreciate how the year has gone.

Why do this?  I think people capture different parts of their lives with their phone cameras as opposed to normal cameras.  It’s really interesting to see life through phone pictures.  Plus, it’s an incentive to organize your cell phone pictures!

When you’re done here, I hope you hop over to Mariah’s Blog and check out her pictures!

My Cell Phone, July – September 2012

Left: Freeway sign very close to our house. Right: I get a tour of the California State Archives.

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverLeft: Yummy afternoon snack. Right: New shoes, I can’t decide if I like them, so I snap a picture to send to my girlfriends.

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverLeft: Seeing Les Miserables with my sister-in-lawRight:  Ruh-roh, did I really order this thing?

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverLeft: Seeing a movie about CraigslistRight: I leave some english muffin dough alone too long and look what happens.  It was just like this I Love Lucy episode.

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverTaking a ferry across the bay for a Giants Game!

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverTrip down to LA and the Happiest Place on Earth (also where we got engaged).

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverLeft: Another trip to our local spice shopRight: Opening of the newly renovated California Memorial Stadium.

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverLeft: Working, working, working.  Right:  Time to write performance reviews, so my boss decides the time is better spent taking the team for frozen yogurt.

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverLeft: Football roadtrip to Columbus, Ohio!  Right: Mercifully we get an away game at home so we can watch football and rest.  That’s a homemade hamburger bun.

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverLeft: You saw this on my Facebook page earlier – it’s my scrapbooking-while-watching-football setup.  Right: After another home football game, a trip to the Claremont Hotel for dinner.

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverFinally, wherein I experiment with the panoramic function on my phone (click the picture to see it larger).

Q3 2012 Cell Phone Blog Hop - Almost Never CleverAll pictures were cropped and processed on my computer with Picasa.

Stay tuned for next time! I’ll be doing a blog hop again in the Winter – it’s a good reminder for me to get the pictures off my phone.  If you want to join, leave me a message in the comments and I’ll email you when the time comes.

Now click on over to hop over to Mariah’s Blog to continue the hop!

Protecting Photos from Disaster

SmugMug Online Photo Backup

I’ve thought a lot lately about how devastating it would be to lose all of my photos.  My computer crash last December didn’t help.

I’ve written about backing up photos before.  I keep all of my photos on my hard drive and then a complete set backed up on an external hard drive.

What if my house burns down?  What if we get robbed?  The external hard drive lives in the same house as my computer, so I would be out of luck if either of these things happened.  I started to realize I needed to back up my photos in the cloud.

I started looking for robust photo storage solutions.  I’m not talking about a free photo service where you can upload your photos and order prints (I  never order prints).  I wanted something that would allow me to store my photos and download full-resolution versions for free if I ever needed to.  Facebook doesn’t count – you can’t get your pictures back after you upload them.

DVDs aren’t an option for me.  I could burn my photos on DVDs and keep them somewhere else, but it isn’t scalable for me.  I have over 20,000 photos.  That takes several DVDs.  Plus, I want to be able to upload photos immediately, not once every few months or so.  Finally, DVDs can get stale if they’re not used for a while.

I’ve decided to try SmugMug on the recommendation of a friend of mine.  There’s a nominal annual fee, but I can keep an unlimited amount of photos in my account.  I can download full resolution photos whenever I want.  I can also share links with friends and let them download full resolution photos.

So far so good.  I’m working on uploading all 20,000 of my pictures.  It’s already starting to put my mind at ease.  I’ll report back and let you know how it goes!

What’s on My Cell Phone, Q2 2012 Blog Hop!

Cell Phone Photo Blog HopHalf of 2012 is gone already!  Just like that.

Today I’m sharing some cell phone pictures from the second quarter of 2012 (see the Q1 pics here).  I’ve asked some awesome bloggers to join me for a blog hop and share a bit from their phones/lives.

Nat: Almost Never Clever http://www.almostneverclever.com (You are here)
Tammy: Your Memory Connection http://www.yourmemoryconnection.com/
Ginger: Ginger’s Life of Spice http://gingerslifeofspice.blogspot.com/
Danielle: EcoScrapbook http://ecoscrapbook.blogspot.com/
Jessica: Sweet ‘N’ Scrappy http://sweetnscrappy.com/
Mariah: Its Fun2Scrap http://www.fun2scrap.blogspot.com/
Jen: Down Home South Jersey http://downhomesouthjersey.com/

Why do this?  I think people capture different parts of their lives with their phone cameras as opposed to normal cameras.  It’s really interesting to see life through phone pictures.  Plus, it’s an incentive to organize your cell phone pictures!

When you’re done here, I hope you hop over to Tammy’s blog and check out her pictures!

My Cell Phone, April – June 2012

Before I begin, a story:  My phone died when I was at my sister’s wedding.  I hadn’t saved any pictures since I did this post in April.  All my pictures were gone.  Except they weren’t.  Several months ago I enabled the auto-upload feature on my Google+ account.  Every single picture that I lost had been automatically uploaded to my account .  Yup, I’m totally the guy from this commercial.

Now the pictures!  I tried not to do too much food this time!

Left:  The Cleveland Cascade – an urban staircase a few blocks away from where I live.  When I’m really on top of things, I run these stairs on Sunday mornings.  Right:  I bought a new beanie to wear to baseball games – I decided bright is better.

Cell Phone Photo Blog HopLeft: Baby feet!  My coworker’s newborn came to visit our office.  Right: Mr. P and I on a sunny evening on the deck of one of our favorite watering holes.

Cell Phone Photo Blog HopBoth of these are from dinner at Bocanova on Jack London Square.  I loved the light fixtures and the dinner was amazing!

Cell Phone Photo Blog HopLeft: A Sunday lazy breakfast at Arizmedi Bakery.  It’s called a “chocolate thing.”  Right:  I cook dinner and break in my bridesmaid shoes for my little sister’s wedding.

Cell Phone Photo Blog HopLeft: Stopped by a super cool new bar that has a boxing themeRight: Have you ever tried salsa instead of salad dressing on your salad?  Try it, it’s awesome!

http://prizefighterbar.com/Left:  Chairman Mao – I took this right after I picked up money for our trip to ChinaRight:  My little sister’s dog when we visited for her wedding.

Cell Phone Picture Blog HopLeft: Matt Cain’s perfect game!  I can’t believe I was lucky enough to be there to see it in person.  Right:  At dinner, I experiment with the front-facing camera on my phone.

Cell Phone Picture Blog HopLeft: My little sister gave us half of her cheesecake wedding cake top because it was too much for them to eat.  We happily took it off her hands.  Right:  At the end of the month, Mr. P and I saw American Idiot – it knocked my socks off!  Such a great end to the month.

Cell Phone Picture Blog HopAll pictures were cropped and processed on my computer with Picasa.

Some things you may notice are missing:  Nothing from my little sister’s wedding.  My phone broke while we were there, so no phone pictures 😦  Nothing from China.  I don’t use my phone a lot when traveling internationally.  My regular camera is usually surgically attached to my hand.

Stay tuned for next time! I’ll be doing a blog hop again in the Fall – it’s a good reminder for me to get the pictures off my phone.  If you want to join, leave me a message in the comments and I’ll email you when the time comes.

Head off to Tammy’s blog to continue the hop!

What’s on My Cell Phone, Q1 2012

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesI was diligently copying photos from my phone and backing them up the other day.  Looking back, here are the highlights from my cell phone for the first three months of the year.

Conclusion?  I take a lot of pictures of food and drinks with my phone.  A lot.

That doesn’t bother me too much.  Each one of them is some fun memory.

I’m going to review/back up my cell phone pictures once a quarter.  Want to join me?  We could do a blog hop of fun cell phone pictures once every 3 months.  If you’re interested, leave me a note in the comments.

Through the Eye of My Phone in Early 2012

I think cell phone pictures show very interesting slices of life that we don’t always get with regular cameras.

In January, Mr. P and I jetted off to Vegas to celebrate the engagement of some close friends.  A cocktail I ordered came with gummy bears!  The picture on the right is from our local movie theater.  It’s a super cool old theater with a Wurlitzer organ show.

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesOn the left was snapped in Old Oakland before dinner one evening.  On the right is from a wine tasting trip with friends.

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesMy favorite breakfast at our farmer’s market – a Belgian sugar waffle.  On the right is a display from the new spice shop that opened in our neighborhood.

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesNext, it was off to London for a lot of work and a bit of sightseeing.

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesMore from London – an afternoon snack as I worked.  No, I don’t eat that for a snack every day but figured I deserved it after working hard.

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesLater back at home, Mr. P and I had dinner at our favorite food truck.  It’s the best food truck ever.  Where else are you going to get truffle tater tots?

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesThe food truck sometimes parks at a favorite downtown bar, so we pair a trip to the truck with a beverage.  On the right, California poppies are blooming in our neighborhood.

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesFinally, Paris.  Because really, is there ever a bad time for Paris?  It’s kind of like “there’s always room for Jell-o.”  On the right, back at our farmer’s market.

Early 2012 Cell Phone PicturesAnd just like that, the beginning of the year is over.  I mentioned that 2012 was going to be crazy and it’s lived up to its billing so far!

A note on how I edited these photos:  Yes, they’re square and have filters but I did not use Instagram.  I edited them this way to show you that you can do this for free with Picasa and not need a special app.  I cropped these into squares, added a vignette, sharpened them and used the boost feature.

I’ll do another cell phone roundup at the beginning of July.  If you’re interested in participating in a blog hop, leave me a comment.  Have a great day!

Remember to Tag Your Photos

Tag your photos!I’ve said this before, but just in case you didn’t catch it then, I’ll say it again!

Tag your photos!

How?  Most photo programs have tagging tools and tags live with the photo, not with the program.  This means I can tag pictures in one program and do a search for “flowers” in Picasa and instantly see all my pictures that I’ve tagged as being of flowers.

If you’re a Picasa user, there’s a little tag button along the bottom of the screen.  Clicking it (it looks like a price tag) will open the tagging window and you can create new tags or add photos to existing tags.

Why? Trust me, if you even take a medium amount of pictures, this will help you so much in the long run.

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I’ll use my husband and I as an example.  I have a tagged called “Us.”  Every picture of my husband and I together (just the two of us), I tag with “Us.”

Tag your photos!Now with one click, I see every picture in my collection of the two of us.  It helps when someone wants me to send them a picture of us or for when I’m working on our wedding scrapbook.  Instead of sifting through all of our wedding pictures to find a good picture for the title page, I can narrow it down to just pictures of the two of us and pick from there!

Maybe do this with pictures of your immediate family?  You won’t have to go back digging for one when you wonder “when is the last time we all had our picture taken together?”  Maybe create a tag for each of your kids or pets!  The possibilities are endless!

Do you tag your photos?  What are some of the things you like to keep track of with tags?