Sunday, August 20, 2006

PC album

Yes I am late with posting the blog. Apologies. The excuse is that we visited the mother of one of us, a lady of 94 years, who lives in an old folk’s home. It was the first time since moving shop and our home that we were visiting her. Happily she has got all her marbles still on a row. But as it is difficult for her to travel, how do you tell her about the moving and tell her about the apartment and business suite?

This morning I got up early and started photographing: the view from the balcony, the rooms and the business suite. After that I started to put the photographs into order on a portable PC to take along. We had a session sitting together and showing the pictures and telling her about the situation.

The PC has become a portable photo album. You can send photographs around the world; take them along on a portable and show them in a slide show. It is fabulous. It is even better than printed photographs. But the photographs have the same problems as any other digital information. How do you make them accessible? In the last three years I shot more photographs than in the 10 years before. Of course there are more shots of the same scene. Still there is a problem of accessibility. How can you find back your photographs with any precision?

Of course there is Picasa, which presents you with an overview of all the photographs on your computer. A problem is that the program duplicates photographs. But a main problem, not only for Picasa, is that photographs can be mainly found by their text description. By attributing a keyword to a photograph as a title you have a handle to find it back. But as most photographs have a subsequent number such as DSCxxxxx, it is hard to recognise what is behind it. Of course photographs should be placed in a context (recognisable file name indicating time and subject and should be keyworded in sequence. It means that you will have to put time in it in order to make it accessible.

But by the time that you have more than 10.000 photographs, what are you going to do? You will need a good program which offers you several metadata about the pictures: date, subject, names of persons, subject, etc. A first attempt has been made with JPEG2000 on this score, but as JPEG2000 is still in the professional lab, you will have to look for another program.

Of course you can share your photographs through Flickr. But I am not exactly a fan of net bound storage. I see this movement coming up every five years. Last time it was Sun’s big boss proclaiming the network computer. Did anyone hear about it again? Or better does anyone have a network computer at home? I rather have an extra external storage device for back-up and forget about the network storage.

But I need to have a look at a good album program for storage and retrieval.

Tags: . ,

Blog Posting Number 480

No comments: