Friday, November 29, 2013

A different take on organizing photos

At the moment I suspect there are two diverging school on what organizing your photo mean. The first group, which is the loudest amongst photo “experts” on the social webs, involve specific “workflows and organization and keywording” as you load your photos, into such packages a photshop, elements and lightroom. Whilst they claim to organised your photos, I see them more as filters that will help you find the classification you have diligently coded into your photos as you load them. Ok this is not the reality for most of us. The real world just has larger and larger sets of photos scattered all over the place. The modern equivalent of a shoebox full of snaps shoots only the shoe box is no longer just in one place. In other words most of us have a mess rather than a collection. I was looking around for a more automated way to sort through a large mess, following the example of everpix that was at least showing the way to classify your photos into different groups from the image itself rather than from keywords you have to add. Picture life was my first review, but its slowness left me looking for more.

imageWhen I first downloaded photologhy, I tested it on on about 8,000 photo (picture life has just reached 130 photo scanned) and it was super fast. It creates a thumbnail style view of all your photos, set up as one scrollable collection. However the goodness starts when you use the variety of filters that run down the left hand side of the screen, which can be used to created a search, which is show graphically on the right hand side of the screen. These filters can be combined to narrow down your search. They cover time of day (which I presume comes from the exif details), features (shown below),location (just inside & outside), content (such as sunset, people, beaches …) text (back to search in file name and exif metadata) and color (via a simple colour whee-lish pick list).b It will take no time to get the hang of using it and you can very quickly skrink down what you are looking for. Will you find everything, maybe not but you will very quickly get to the most likely set of images from there it will be easy to review in the scrollable thumbnails.Example of the photology main screen

Simple Edit featuresOnce you find the photo or photos you are after you can click on it and go into the photoscreen, which will let you find the photo’s location by clicking on the little folder icon, You also a tool bar along the bottom, which lets you set up new groups (like albums), export the images to files a web site and flickr and Picasa web (all easy to set up). There is a simple print and post the image as you screen wallpaper and even a limited editing capability. Not to forget a trash bin, which deletes the image from disk not just from photology’s index! (I couldn’t find a remove from index option). All these controls are basic but really cover the main tasks you are likely to undertake when you are browsing through your photos.

Example of on Main Photo Display Window

Well the honeymoon was over when I tried to connect up to my main collection (approx 215,000 photos). The scanning took over the computer and nothing else really got a look in for hours. Then I hit a number of crashes which started about 150.000 photos point. At each crash I was asked me to email the diagnostics which I did and then there was a length rebuilding index step and the program stop. Restart photology would run for a little while before another crash, and so on and so on….  Discouraging to say the least.

The getphotology.com web site is in german and seems more like a blog.even with google translate on. I was not able to find the tutorial section but the layout and controls of the software are pretty simple once you discover that the settings can be assessed under the q at the top right of the screen.

So Photology is only something I can only recommend “as is” and that’s probably just as a glimpse of the concept and its potential, which is promising. However there is a way to go before it can become a useful tool.

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