Question

How do you manage and organize your photos?

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Nic_B's avatar
2 years ago

Google Photos

It has unlimited free storage for (compressed) photos and great automated album creation...

Though would hate to know what I've agreed to let them do with my photos in the gigantic T&C's.

6 points
just2jays's avatar
@just2jays (replying to @Nic_B )
2 years ago

I got on board just as Google started phasing out Picasa in favor of Photos and haven't looked back! For all the reasons you mentioned and then some.

The albums that are automatically created for events, people, and pets. The photos, gifs, and video montages that are auto-generated and the "This day/week X years" ago functionality.

Plus you can order prints, hard cover albums, etc. directly? It's like 5 apps in 1.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @just2jays )
2 years ago

Google Photos' search is also incredibly good—which perhaps adds to the factor of worrying about what they're doing with your photos, but can be a great way to rediscover photos you might have otherwise forgotten about.

2 points
qthdh's avatar
@qthdh (replying to @Nic_B )
2 years ago

Yup, been using Google Photos since 2 years and never looked back either.

It's almost scary how well the image recognition engine works.
Sometimes I want to see picture of dogs or cats, I just type it, and voilà.
Other times I look for laptop pictures, here you go

But the craziest part is how it's been able to identify my niece from photos of her both at 16 ans 2!

2 points
abjarna's avatar
2 years ago

I use Adobe Lightroom Classic for serious photography and Apple Photos for casual point and shoot.

I keep my Lightroom catalog on a 1TB Samsung Evo 860 along with my latest photos, but my photo archive (200,000+ photos that spans 2 decades) are stored on a 24TB Synology NAS (DS918+) that I connect to my laptop with AFP. When I've completed most of the post-processing on my latest photos I move them from the Samsung Evo to the Synology NAS from within Lightroom (so everything is included in the same catalog). I then use CCC (Carbon copy cloner) to do a mirror image of my Samsung Evo to the Synology NAS as well.

The Synology NAS then does a daily online backup of all my photos (and the Samsung mirror image) to an Amazon S3 bucket using Synology's Hyper Backup. Hyper Backup work a lot like Apple's Time Machine, so if I accidentally delete some photos I can always get them back from Hyper Backup. Very easy to set up btw!

Apple Photos is backed up to iCloud, but if I do use any of my ios devices for serious photography, I make sure to add them to my Lightroom system as well.

4 points
abjarna's avatar
@abjarna (replying to @abjarna )
2 years ago

That part has been the most annoying throughout the years, since Apple has constantly been changing the file format of iPhone media files, resulting in a changed workflow as well.

A few years ago I just copied everything from my iOS devices to Lightroom on a regular basis, but more recently I've been satisfied with just copying the most "serious" photos (whatever that really means).

The most frustrating workflow was when I had to use Adobe Bridge to convert all PNG files (mostly screenshots and not supported by Lightroom) to TIF 🤯 Today, the workflow just involves selecting which files to add since Lightroom supports HEIC format...well, sort if: https://heic.imobie.com/how-to/import-heic-into-lightroom.htm

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @abjarna )
2 years ago

Oh you're right, the new HEIC photo format does make migration more difficult.

I think you possibly could automate it with Workflow on iOS, though not certain.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @abjarna )
2 years ago

That's quite the setup—impressive!

Do you have a workflow to move photos from Apple Photos to Lightroom, or do you essentially just manually copy the photos you know you want to keep longterm into Lightroom?

1 point
anibunny0's avatar
2 years ago

I use DigiKam for managing my photos—which come from cameras of different phones, screenshots, images from apps e.g. WhatsApp/Instagram, and downloaded images e.g. from Bored Panda, Reddit or Twitter.

DigiKam was attractive by virtue of the ability to automatically detecting new images added, to index and fingerprint all images in a database for adding tags, managing metadata, versions and duplicates, and to have inbuilt CV e.g. facial recognition.

Other useful features are the gallery viewing and image export plugins—supporting a variety of formats and tools.

The downside in comparison to Google Photos is certainly the ability of DigiKam to automatically categorize images i.e. sort-filter based on objects present e.g. dogs or cats. However, there are plugins WIP for narrowing the gap with tools having similar features.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @anibunny0 )
2 years ago

Does DigiKam include any RAW processing features, or is it purely for photo organization to be paired with something like Darktable for processing/editing?

1 point
asklyndon's avatar
2 years ago

Apple photos. Used to use Picasa - but started experiencing errors. Also, all my devices happen to be apple - so finally gave in.

3 points
maguay's avatar
2 years ago

I'm personally using a hybrid, replying on both Apple Photos and Lightroom, the former primarily for mobile shots, the latter for photos taken with a full-sized camera.

Since I already have so many photos in Apple Photos, and it's nice to have your library with you all the time, my goal is to combine JPEG copies of everything in Apple Photos. Essentially, import and process camera photos in Lightroom, save the RAW originals on a network drive, then export the JPEGs and add them to Apple Photos. If the photos were shot around the same time as those from my phone, it tends to group them together, so you don't need to geotag and categorize photos as much.

The problem is that I end up with so much stuff in Apple Photos, it's hard to sort through everything. Ideally I'd take time to clean up duplicates and remove photos of parking spaces and other things that I need to remember in the moment but not forever.

That would be a good use of AI...

3 points
pendolino's avatar
2 years ago

For the last few years I've fallen in love with the cohesiveness and robustness of Apple Photos. It's easy if you live in their ecosystem like I do and I've not yet found a reason to look back. I enjoyed the old Flickr days but Apple just does it so well.

That said there's a glaring gap in photo curation and organisation. I know a bunch of apps try to do this but I've yet to find one I could invest my time in.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @pendolino )
2 years ago

Yup curation's the hard part.

Apple Photos does a reasonably good job at highlighting pictures (especially of family and travel) that it thinks you'll want to see again, and even turning them into slideshows. That's fun. And its machine learning powered search is ok for some items (location search is especially handy; I've used that to track down stuff that I remembered generally where I took the picture of say a receipt but couldn't get any other search query to find the exact picture).

Do you go through and clean up your photos, or mostly just let them pile up and upgrade iCloud storage as needed?

2 points
pendolino's avatar
@pendolino (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

I clean up occasionally but they seem to be piling up. I go through the screenshots now that it categorizes those separatly quite often.

Poked around the appstore the other day and there seem to be some interesting apps that trim extraneous photos but didn't get a chance to test any.

1 point
kernowQC's avatar
2 years ago

Use icloud (accept the cost) - the ecosystem is worth the money, frankly.
Back everything up to google photos (compressed) as a) a backup, and b)improved searchability with computer vision.

1 point
klickreflex's avatar
@klickreflex (replying to @kernowQC )
2 years ago

That is also my approach.

How do you upload to Google Photos? I use their iOS app but don’t like that my phone needs to upload to both services.

But using Google Backup and Sync for Mac just backs up unedited jpegs and loses Live Photo (or upload Image and Video separately, but does not transform to Google-native Live Photos).

1 point
kernowQC's avatar
@kernowQC (replying to @klickreflex )
2 years ago

How do you upload to Google Photos? I use their iOS app but don’t like that my phone needs to upload to both services.

I do the same. I like the fact that all photos are in the cloud, and not on my hardware - but backed up by two services so have relative confidence in longevity. And both allow good downloading if ever want to put them elsewhere. Obviously privacy issues are a thing ... I'm sure google is busy diving into them ... but what you gonna do ... have your own server at home and fafff around backing up. To convenient!

But using Google Backup and Sync for Mac just backs up unedited jpegs and loses Live Photo (or upload Image and Video separately, but does not transform to Google-native Live Photos).

But this way have to have the photos on your mac, and just on cloud.

2 points
caitlinbolnick1's avatar
2 years ago

Has anyone tried Air Labs? (air.inc). I really like using it for managing my visual content!

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @caitlinbolnick1 )
2 years ago

Haven't tried it yet! What got you to start using Air?

1 point
marshallaross's avatar
2 years ago

Also a google photos fan though the Apple Photos app is getting a lot better at being searchable by content (beyond "field," "dog," etc.) I wish there were a way to organize and label in there beyond albums though. Sometimes I'll make a note and take a screenshot after taking a group of pictures to essentially put a label on them.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @marshallaross )
2 years ago

Oh you're right, having a way to leave notes on photos would be incredibly handy. You can add a description to photos on Apple Photos; select a picture, press CMD+I or click the i button in the toolbar, then you can write a detailed description and add keywords. Doesn't seem to be a way to do that on iOS, though, and Apple Photos' search doesn't seem to check the descriptions either so it's only useful if you find the photo first then check the description for your notes.

Someone convince the Apple team to push notes into Photos in the next iOS update!

1 point
capicher's avatar
2 years ago

My setup has evolved over the years as my budget to tackle the challenge also grew (note: I use this approach not only for photos but for all my families files).

Centralized storage in a Synology NAS (backing up files to Backblaze B2)
Synology Drive in our laptops syncing to and from the NAS
DS File and DS Photo in Android devices for ongoing backups

That´s the infrastructure part. When it comes to logically organizing data my key insight is that you have to organize stuff in folders named after the dates. Current I follow /TIMELINE/YEAR/FamilyMember/Month/Day - Event with family photos landing in /TIMELINE/YEAR/Photos/Month/Day - Event.

That logical structure has evolved across a number of years and approaches (CDs, DVDs, External Disks, rsync, Syncthing + Backblaze and now Synology+Backblaze).
Shortly I expect to look into the Synology Moments app to see if I can have access to the same goodies that Google Photos offers (automatic photo categorization, ...).

When I started my digital library back in 2001 I actually named each picture with what was there, toyed around with Picasa but realized that the only primary clustering that was scalable was the grouping of photos around time/event.

Hope this helps. Don´t want to sound like a Synology fanboy but I´m an happy customer and actually do trust the brand today over Google/Apple and they approaches - where my data would be hostage.

1 point
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