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Photo Organisation Software?

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Anonymous
August 19, 2005 3:11:39 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Hi Guys,

I have finally purchased the Canon EOS 350D to trade up from my old film
Pentax MZ30. OK, so that's not really the point of this message, but I
love saying that :-)

On the Canon disk they supply a lot of software with overlapping
functionality in some areas, but in other areas the suite seems rather
weak. For example, the album software (PhotoRecord) allows me to make
really nice looking albums, but those albums don't really seem to be
good for anything except for looking pretty on my PC.

ZoomBrowser allows me to assign keywords to photo's but doesn't seem to
offer a real way of organising everything (especially on-disk, as in
moving files to more relevant folders).

Ideally, I would like something with the following feature set:
1. Basic editing features are good enough - advanced editing will always
require a dedicated tool. But better is... uhm better, I suppose.
2. Keyword/category assignment.
3. Detailed search criteria, preferably including image size, a quality
rating of some sort, and of course, keywords/categories.
4. Google's Picasa seemed to do a pretty useful job of matching like
images in the same folder, so that portraits are automatically separated
from landscapes (or was I imagining things). Something like that will be
much enjoyed.
4. Creating albums that can then be published to the web, or a DVD, or
shared with people who don't necessarily have the same software.
5. Organising images not only by category, but also where they are
physically stored. Unfortunately I have allowed my files to get a little
messy before they became to numerous to sort out. Now if I want to
archive, say holiday photos from a given holiday, I'll need to pick them
out almost one by one from multiple folders (don't ask). Doing that
using keywords and categories seem to make sense, but then I really need
to get the files sorted on disk, or I won't be moving the whole set
anywhere.
6. A good image browser, of course.

Anyone know of good software that will fulfil my wishes?

Kind Regards,

Cobus Kruger
Anonymous
August 19, 2005 3:11:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Cobus Kruger wrote:
> Hi Guys,
>
> I have finally purchased the Canon EOS 350D to trade up from my old
> film Pentax MZ30. OK, so that's not really the point of this message,
> but I love saying that :-)
>
> On the Canon disk they supply a lot of software with overlapping
> functionality in some areas, but in other areas the suite seems rather
> weak. For example, the album software (PhotoRecord) allows me to make
> really nice looking albums, but those albums don't really seem to be
> good for anything except for looking pretty on my PC.
>
> ZoomBrowser allows me to assign keywords to photo's but doesn't seem
> to offer a real way of organising everything (especially on-disk, as
> in moving files to more relevant folders).
>
> Ideally, I would like something with the following feature set:
> 1. Basic editing features are good enough - advanced editing will
> always require a dedicated tool. But better is... uhm better, I
> suppose. 2. Keyword/category assignment.
> 3. Detailed search criteria, preferably including image size, a
> quality rating of some sort, and of course, keywords/categories.
> 4. Google's Picasa seemed to do a pretty useful job of matching like
> images in the same folder, so that portraits are automatically
> separated from landscapes (or was I imagining things). Something like
> that will be much enjoyed.
> 4. Creating albums that can then be published to the web, or a DVD, or
> shared with people who don't necessarily have the same software.
> 5. Organising images not only by category, but also where they are
> physically stored. Unfortunately I have allowed my files to get a
> little messy before they became to numerous to sort out. Now if I
> want to archive, say holiday photos from a given holiday, I'll need
> to pick them out almost one by one from multiple folders (don't ask).
> Doing that using keywords and categories seem to make sense, but then
> I really need to get the files sorted on disk, or I won't be moving
> the whole set anywhere.
> 6. A good image browser, of course.
>
> Anyone know of good software that will fulfil my wishes?
>
> Kind Regards,
>
> Cobus Kruger

I am going to guess you will get as many suggestions as there are
products.

My current personal choice is Adobe's Elements 3.0 The longer I have it
and the more I work with it the better I like it. Funny I keep finding
answers to problems I had with it months ago, and only now finding the
answer that works for me.

--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
Anonymous
August 19, 2005 3:11:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

IMHO of course...

Hate zoom browser, hate Elements3.0 organizer even more. Love ACDSee,
Picasa2. Use Picasa religiously to find file names easily, and then go
back to photoshop to edit.

I don't do much tagging or even captioning, maybe Elements would be
beneficial for that, but I hate paperwork. I used to watch my mom sort
and tag medical records whn I was a kid. Don't want do ever do anything
similar to that. I even kind of like finding older pictures that I had
forgotten by myself.
Related resources
Anonymous
August 19, 2005 3:11:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Cobus Kruger" <spamwontwork@kplanet.co.za> wrote in message
news:D e2tid$paf$1@ctb-nnrp2.saix.net...
> Hi Guys,
>
> I have finally purchased the Canon EOS 350D to trade up from my old film
> Pentax MZ30. OK, so that's not really the point of this message, but I
> love saying that :-)
>
> On the Canon disk they supply a lot of software with overlapping
> functionality in some areas, but in other areas the suite seems rather
> weak. For example, the album software (PhotoRecord) allows me to make
> really nice looking albums, but those albums don't really seem to be good
> for anything except for looking pretty on my PC.
>
> ZoomBrowser allows me to assign keywords to photo's but doesn't seem to
> offer a real way of organising everything (especially on-disk, as in
> moving files to more relevant folders).

ACDSee from www.acdsystems.com

Free, fully functional demo.
Others will praise the fully free IfanView, but I don't care for it.
ACDSee also has an optional upgrade that let you deal accurately with color
profiles.
Anonymous
August 19, 2005 6:18:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

> ZoomBrowser allows me to assign keywords to photo's but doesn't seem to
> offer a real way of organising everything (especially on-disk, as in
> moving files to more relevant folders).

Explorer. Comes free with Windows ;) 

--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com
Anonymous
August 19, 2005 12:23:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <de2tid$paf$1@ctb-nnrp2.saix.net>,
Cobus Kruger <spamwontwork@kplanet.co.za> wrote:
>
>Anyone know of good software that will fulfil my wishes?

I've got much the same ideal requirements but ideally want something I
can run on my powerbook. Anyone got suggestions for MacOS?

Darren
August 19, 2005 1:26:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I like ThumbsPlus from http://www.cerious.com/thumbnails.shtml after using
Downloader Pro from www.breezesys.com to download from camera.
Works well for me.

"Cobus Kruger" <spamwontwork@kplanet.co.za> wrote in message
news:D e2tid$paf$1@ctb-nnrp2.saix.net...
> Hi Guys,
>
> I have finally purchased the Canon EOS 350D to trade up from my old film
> Pentax MZ30. OK, so that's not really the point of this message, but I
> love saying that :-)
>
> On the Canon disk they supply a lot of software with overlapping
> functionality in some areas, but in other areas the suite seems rather
> weak. For example, the album software (PhotoRecord) allows me to make
> really nice looking albums, but those albums don't really seem to be good
> for anything except for looking pretty on my PC.
>
> ZoomBrowser allows me to assign keywords to photo's but doesn't seem to
> offer a real way of organising everything (especially on-disk, as in
> moving files to more relevant folders).
>
> Ideally, I would like something with the following feature set:
> 1. Basic editing features are good enough - advanced editing will always
> require a dedicated tool. But better is... uhm better, I suppose.
> 2. Keyword/category assignment.
> 3. Detailed search criteria, preferably including image size, a quality
> rating of some sort, and of course, keywords/categories.
> 4. Google's Picasa seemed to do a pretty useful job of matching like
> images in the same folder, so that portraits are automatically separated
> from landscapes (or was I imagining things). Something like that will be
> much enjoyed.
> 4. Creating albums that can then be published to the web, or a DVD, or
> shared with people who don't necessarily have the same software.
> 5. Organising images not only by category, but also where they are
> physically stored. Unfortunately I have allowed my files to get a little
> messy before they became to numerous to sort out. Now if I want to
> archive, say holiday photos from a given holiday, I'll need to pick them
> out almost one by one from multiple folders (don't ask). Doing that using
> keywords and categories seem to make sense, but then I really need to get
> the files sorted on disk, or I won't be moving the whole set anywhere.
> 6. A good image browser, of course.
>
> Anyone know of good software that will fulfil my wishes?
>
> Kind Regards,
>
> Cobus Kruger
Anonymous
August 19, 2005 1:30:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Mr. Mark wrote:
>>ZoomBrowser allows me to assign keywords to photo's but doesn't seem to
>>offer a real way of organising everything (especially on-disk, as in
>>moving files to more relevant folders).
>
>
> Explorer. Comes free with Windows ;) 
>

:-)

Mind you, the next version of Windows was supposed to include keywords
and categories in the file system. Think it has been postponed though.

Any ideas for something that includes the rest of my wish list?
Anonymous
August 19, 2005 3:29:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Cobus Kruger wrote:
> Hi Guys,
>
> I have finally purchased the Canon EOS 350D to trade up from my old film
> Pentax MZ30. OK, so that's not really the point of this message, but I
> love saying that :-)

I liked my old Olympus OM-2n, too. It's pushing 30 and only on its
fourth battery. :-)

But, to the point. I am a programmer who has a digital camera, so I
have an interest in this topic. I started working on a little perl/Tk
script to help organize my images about two and a half years ago. It's
grown into something that roughly matches what you're asking for. I'd
like to explore around the edges a bit.

> Ideally, I would like something with the following feature set:
> 1. Basic editing features are good enough - advanced editing will always
> require a dedicated tool. But better is... uhm better, I suppose.

That's my philosophy. I can do lossless cropping and rotation in my
script, but more complex manipulation is done externally.

> 2. Keyword/category assignment.

I call them "tags", and I've implemented them as a hierarchy. So, I've
got "people/Kincaids/Aunt Betty" and "places/Yosemite". You add new
tags as you need them by adding children/siblings to a graphical tree.
I'm finding that this gets unwieldy as the number of tags gets large.
I need to implement a way to deepen the hierarchy. For example, the
"places" tag has about 50 sub-tags now. Mount Rainier and Yosemite
should be under "places/national parks" instead of directly under
"places".

> 3. Detailed search criteria, preferably including image size, a quality
> rating of some sort, and of course, keywords/categories.

Interesting! Why is image size a search criterion? Would it be more
useful to search by x and y dimensions, but pixel count, by size in
bytes?

My wife wants to be able to search by date, to answer questions like,
"What were we doing two years ago in March?" That didn't occur to
me when I was designing my database. What other kinds of searches
are there that a programmer would never think of?

My software puts images in "containers". A "shoebox" is about the
right size to be archived to removabe media. Shoeboxes contain
"folders" and "galleries". Galleries contain one or more "rooms".
A folder generally contains related images: a trip to a museum, a
vacation, shots taken around the yard during the Spring, etc. The
best images may get "linked" into one or more gallery rooms for
sharing on the web.

Images may be selected within the whole collection, within a particular
container, or within the current selection. They may also be selected
without regard to tags, with particular tags, or with exactly zero tags.
(This last is useful for tracking down images that have not been tagged
yet!) The tag mechanism could be hijacked to record image quality. I
sort-of do that with "key image", "tag for printing", and "tag for web"
tags.

> 4. Google's Picasa seemed to do a pretty useful job of matching like
> images in the same folder, so that portraits are automatically separated
> from landscapes (or was I imagining things). Something like that will be
> much enjoyed.

My script depends on a partnership with the operator's brain for that
sort of organisation. :-)

> 4. Creating albums that can then be published to the web, or a DVD, or
> shared with people who don't necessarily have the same software.

I've got the web angle worked, in a Spartan sort of way. I'd like to
be able to produce a bootable CD or DVD that would come up running my
script with a best-of-the-best collection of images and full search
capability. I use Linux, while most of my relatives use Windows.
Distributing self-contained media avoids the need to port the whole
contraption to Windows. It's probably a lot simpler to just put web
content on a CD and have people point a web browser at it.

> 5. Organising images not only by category, but also where they are
> physically stored. Unfortunately I have allowed my files to get a little
> messy before they became to numerous to sort out. Now if I want to
> archive, say holiday photos from a given holiday, I'll need to pick them
> out almost one by one from multiple folders (don't ask). Doing that
> using keywords and categories seem to make sense, but then I really need
> to get the files sorted on disk, or I won't be moving the whole set
> anywhere.

The first think my script ever did was organise images physically,
so I haven't spent much effort on the problem of corralling an out-
of-control collection. Currently, it just knows how to import
everything in a directory into a folder. It's just smart enough
too avoid importing the same image twice. Currently, it recognizes
images by filename and EXIF timestamp. (It never messes with image
filenames.)

For your problem, would it be useful to be able to choose images from
a display of thumbs and import batches into folders? Would you need
a way to visually distinguish images that have been imported from
those that have not? Is drag-and-drop the most natural metaphor?
Or would "highlight some images and pick 'import' from the menu"
do as well?

My software doesn't allow images under its control to be scattered
around the disk. For efficient archiving, physical containment is
necessary, I think. But there may be usability reasons to figure
out a way to keep track of images wherever they may be scattered.
(I think that's Microsoft's Longhorn concept.) Suggestions along
these lines are welcome.

> 6. A good image browser, of course.

Yeah. :-)

What do you like in an image browser? Is it useful to be able to
see the selection dialog while you're looking at thumbnails?
Would it be useful if there was a thumbnail view organized according
to the tag hierarchy? What kind of metadata do you think an image
needs? (Currently, I keep short and long descriptions in additon
to the tags. What else is useful?) Do you want easy access to
image metadata while you're browsing? Or is metadata maintenance
completely separate from browsing?

> Anyone know of good software that will fulfil my wishes?

Well, my software will be coming to a Sourceforge project near you
at some point. :-) Whether it ever runs on Windows is an open issue.
One thing you didn't mention is the ability to handle RAW images.
My script currently only knows about JPEG images, since I don't have
a camera with RAW capability. (It's just software, however, and I'm
not going to hide the source.)

> Kind Regards,

Same to you. Thanks for posing your question. You got me thinking.

> Cobus Kruger

Paul Allen
Anonymous
August 19, 2005 4:17:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

dmc wrote:
> In article <de2tid$paf$1@ctb-nnrp2.saix.net>,
> Cobus Kruger <spamwontwork@kplanet.co.za> wrote:
>
>>Anyone know of good software that will fulfil my wishes?
>
>
> I've got much the same ideal requirements but ideally want something I
> can run on my powerbook. Anyone got suggestions for MacOS?
>
>
I'd try a trial version of PS Elements 3. And the newer iPhoto. I myself
use PS CS, and iPhoto for web pages on .mac.

--
John McWilliams
August 19, 2005 11:49:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Cobus Kruger wrote:
> Ideally, I would like something with the following feature set:

Picasa can do all of this...

> 1. Basic editing features are good enough - advanced editing will always
> require a dedicated tool. But better is... uhm better, I suppose.

Check.

> 2. Keyword/category assignment.

Check. Picasa has both Keywords and Labels.

> 3. Detailed search criteria, preferably including image size, a quality
> rating of some sort, and of course, keywords/categories.

Check. The search function takes multiple inputs, including criteria you
mention. The quality rating is basic (either starred on unstarred), but
it's easy to implement a more complex system using keywords -- "1stars"
to "5stars".

> 4. Google's Picasa seemed to do a pretty useful job of matching like
> images in the same folder, so that portraits are automatically separated
> from landscapes (or was I imagining things). Something like that will be
> much enjoyed.

I didn't notice this. Perhaps it was just the order you took them.

> 4. Creating albums that can then be published to the web, or a DVD, or
> shared with people who don't necessarily have the same software.

Check, mostly.

Web: Actions > Make a Webpage.

DVD: Create > Movie. You'll need an MPEG2 codec installed and you'll
still need an external DVD burning program. A separate slideshow program
is easier, like this freeware: http://www.videohelp.com/~tin2tin/.

Sharing: Use the Gift CD button, Export button, Email button, Hello and
Blogger buttons (if you use these) or burn the web gallery created with
Make a Webpage onto a CD.

> 5. Organising images not only by category, but also where they are
> physically stored. Unfortunately I have allowed my files to get a little
> messy before they became to numerous to sort out. Now if I want to
> archive, say holiday photos from a given holiday, I'll need to pick them
> out almost one by one from multiple folders (don't ask). Doing that
> using keywords and categories seem to make sense, but then I really need
> to get the files sorted on disk, or I won't be moving the whole set
> anywhere.

Operations done in Picasa (such as renaming and moving) are reflected on
your hard drive. You'll be able to sort by keywords and categories then
drag the selection into a new folder. The only thing that Picasa can't
do is create the new folder. For that, you'll have use Windows Explorer
and move at least one image into it so that Picasa can see it.

> 6. A good image browser, of course.

Check. Undocumented feature: Ctrl-Alt to view currently selected,
displayed or pointed at image in fullscreen.

> Anyone know of good software that will fulfil my wishes?

Yup, you're already using it. I think a lot of people underestimate
Picasa because it's free and user-friendly.

Hope this helps.

--
imp
Anonymous
August 21, 2005 3:22:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

imp wrote:
> Cobus Kruger wrote:
>
>> Ideally, I would like something with the following feature set:
>
>
> Picasa can do all of this...

Have to admit that I posted before I realised that I downloaded Picasa 2
but completely neglected installing it. As a result though, I have
received plenty of suggestions, which I am busy working my way through.

I never noticed the keyword support before because it is something I
would expect to find on the context menu, but there you have it. And to
think that for years I have been telling people to RTFS when using
software before they squeal for help :-)

Folder management in Picasa 2 is still not what I had in mind though,
and the whole album idea seems completely missing, although a collage
could probably do for a small set of pics.

> Web: Actions > Make a Webpage.

Found it under the Folder menu. Exactly what I had in mind, thanks.
Anonymous
August 21, 2005 4:14:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

That's the way I like it - a little bit of zest!

Paul Allen wrote:
>> 2. Keyword/category assignment.
>
> I call them "tags", and I've implemented them as a hierarchy.
Very interesting. Sometimes keywords overlap a bit and you end up adding
them in sets. For example, baby pics will always get the keyword baby,
and pics featuring my son will always get the keyword Llewellyn. So baby
pics of my son... and it gets repeated for all of them. I suppose a
hierarchy can help minimise that clutter.

>> 3. Detailed search criteria, preferably including image size, a
>> quality rating of some sort, and of course, keywords/categories.
>
> Interesting! Why is image size a search criterion? Would it be more
> useful to search by x and y dimensions, but pixel count, by size in
> bytes?

I always like keeping my originals in the highest possible resolution,
but pics that I receive, say via email, are seldom of that quality.
Depending on what I am searching for I may only be interested in high
resolution pics. Google's image search has simple large/medium/small
options and that will probably suffice for most people most of the time,
I'd say. Pixel count or minimum dimensions may be more useful when one
gets serious though.

> What other kinds of searches are there that a programmer would never think of?

Never ask a fellow programmer that :-)

> My script depends on a partnership with the operator's brain for that
> sort of organisation. :-)

Depending on the time of day this could be a real bummer - I'm not a
morning person :-)

> For your problem, would it be useful...

I reckoned that one could organise it by doing keyword searches and
moving the whole batch or some subset of it to its destined location.
Then I had my second cup of coffee and realised that photos containing
keywords mom, dad and llewellyn would probably end up in folders for my
parents, my son and one or more holidays/occasions/events. Bummer. So I
deal with the organisation details by neglecting to do it until someone
else comes up with a logical way. Ignoring the requirement of unique
file names, even a big folder containing everything makes sense to me in
some ways.

> What do you like in an image browser?
I like to easily (without going to a dialog box) choose a thumbnail size
- Picasa has a slider that works like a charm for this. Any kind of
grouping is useful. My camera stores things like ISO speed and aperture
size in the EXIF tags, but these are perhaps more interesting as search
criteria. I like screens that are free from clutter, so long
descriptions and plenty of editing brunt probably works best once you
have selected an image (The "Simplicity Rocks" mantra)

> One thing you didn't mention is the ability to handle RAW images.
The Canon JPEGs on the "Large; Fine" setting are perfect, and they
retain meta data as mentioned before. I think some of this don't go into
RAW images, or at least plenty of RAW image viewers cannot read it all.
So (at present) I would say that it is probably one of those features
I'd appreciate but not often use.

>> Kind Regards,
>
> Same to you. Thanks for posing your question. You got me thinking.
And to think; I did it all for selfish reasons :-)

Ciao
!