Thursday, August 9, 2007

Photographs and Memories

Thanks in large part to the efforts of my back seat photographer; I came home from my trip with about 2,000 pictures. Large volumes of pictures can be daunting to track. Having an organizational strategy before you leave for a trip will help you avoid a mess upon your return. I hope you will find some of my strategies useful.

I was traveling with a laptop, so I was able to download our two cameras every day. No matter how tired I was, the download and battery recharge was a days-end must do tasks. The only time I strayed from this where the final few days of the trip. But at that point, we were taking only a half dozen pictures a day.

I began organizing the pictures into trip day folders e.g. DAY1, DAY2. The flaws of this system quickly became obvious; I had to cross reference the location with the day. I switched to location folders: Ottawa, CA, OR. I also created subfolders for significant stops in those states: Redwoods, Crater Lake, Glacier. Glacier rated its own subfolder for Going to the Sun Road and Hungry Horse Dam. This system held up, I occasionally have to cross reference the pictures with the day, but for a 5 week trip, I’m more interested in where the picture was taken then what day it was shot. Additionally, picture properties can reveal the date.

Find the complete write up here: Photographs and Memories - BMW MOA


Laughingdog said...

If you have a GPS, and maintain an accurate time on your cameras, you can use the time info on your pictures to tie them to GPS coordinates after the fact. With a setup like that, you could just save your GPS track for the day into the same folder with your pictures and work it out later on.

I have a friend that does that with his kayaking trips. It's interesting visiting places he has been, and knowing exactly where to go to spot some of the same things.

SheRidesABeemer said...

I can't really see how that would work when you are taking the pics while moving? I guess I don't understand what "save your GPS track" for the day means. You mean the log file? I've never even looked at that file. That would mean you'd then have to translate the coordinate to the location. Seems like a lot of work to me, and I guess I don't care about that level of precision. But maybe others will be interested in the info, thanks!

Laughingdog said...

With most modern digital cameras, each picture has the date and time it was taken stored in the data of the picture. The active log in a gps also has a date and time tied to every data point (that's the active ones, not any saved ones).

At the end of the day, I upload my pictures into a dated folder and then upload my active gps track for the day from my Garmin and save that under a file named for the date and where I was (i.e. 8-11-07 VA, MD, PA, NY).

Any time after that, I can look at a picture I like and see the date and time it was taken. Then I can open the GPS track for that date again in the Garmin Mapsource, scroll down to the matching date/time in that track, click the "Center map on selected item(s)" box, and then see where I took it. It makes it very easy to go behind afterwards and figure out what state and road I was on when I took different pictures, sparing me from having to take notes at the time (especially good with my handwriting).

This system has made it very easy for me to go track down specific things like peregrine nests that my friend has seen on his earlier paddling trips.

Granted, I also use other tools to help, such as taking photos of "You are now entering" signs at state lines and such. I also like to photograph the signs for parks both entering and leaving to make it easier to sort through the thumbnails.