Fixing up some photographs

Getting to grips with a buttload of images

Things had got a bit out of hand with the iPhone as camera. Two things, actually. First, it is so great having a camera with me all the time that I had taken loads of photographs. Secondly, for lots of other reasons, I hadn't managed to do anything much with them, except post a few to Instagram. By do things, I mean keyword and tag and generally organise. 1 So a couple of weeks ago I decided to bite the bullet and import all the phone pictures into Aperture and start working on them. It was a long process. And then, about a third of the way through, I came across a really interesting article: Culling Your Photos: Learn To Sort Your Photos Like A Pro.

There's a whole ton of really interesting advice in there, but the one that really got to me was the idea of tagging the keepers rather than the rejects. In the past, I've always tagged the images I plan to throw away, but it make much more sense to tag the keepers. If you're hustling through hundreds of pictures, the worthwile ones are much more likely to attract your attention than the duds. When you're on the lookout for good stuff, it makes it easier to zip through the humdrum. I switched over and immediately felt a lot less intimidated by the thought of going through all those long-neglected images.

In the end, I came down from more than 1600 images to 367 keepers. Those were the ones I organised. And then came the slightly harder process of rating them, attaching one or two stars to the images I'm pleased to share publicly. That took the number down from 367 to 36. I reckon 10% of keepers, around 2% of all shots, is about right.

A bit more editing, mostly to adjust straightness and crop occasionally, and I was ready to send them to Flickr. And to put links here.

Recent details

Recent scenic

Recent vegetation

I have to say, I really like the new embedding tools from Flickr, 2 except that I am too lazy to rename all the files. And I really like the way that one minor tweak improved my workflow.

A final piece of hatred for Aperture: The basic business of publishing to Flickr is fine, but woe betide you if you want to add a photo to a set. Aperture will upload a second copy of the file to Flickr, which is just plain dumb. The program knows it isn't a version of the image, it is the same. So why duplicate The file? I also need to remember To wait until everything is in its big Aperture project before sharing, because if you share from a smaller, holding project, you can never delete that project. Ah well.


  1. This is neither the time nor the place to rant about Aperture. But if you ask me, image cataloguing software, and I do mean strictly cataloguing, has been going downhill since iView got taken over by Microsoft. 

  2. And I really hope whoever gets Flickr from Yahoo doesn't blow it. 

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