Photo Software

It looks like I have about 8 gigabytes of photos over >6,000 photos.  Like everything else, I’ve tried several software packages for working with the photos.  I don’t use most of the editing features, other than crop and red-eye removal (when I remember.)  I do frequently need to adjust the photo date, as many of my old pictures didn’t capture it correctly (my old camera would lose the date/time everytime the battery got changed, so lots of my photos say 1/1/1998.)

I’ve been using Google’s Picasa for the past few years.  It has the above mentioned features, and a pretty good facial recognition system for tagging.  As I add pictures, it scans them and identifies faces and who they might be, then I confirm or change that.  This has been really good for requests like this one from Bethany:  “I need a baby picture for next year’s yearbook by tomorrow.”  She was able to easily look through all of the photos where her face is tagged and pick one in minutes.

Picasa lets you upload pictures to the web, and has the ability to import from iPhoto, although it doesn’t do a very good job.  It loses the iPhoto events, albums, faces, etc., and shows them in a mostly meaningless folder structure by date.  Plus, most (all?) of the stuff in iPhoto I’ve already brought in to Picasa, so there are lots of apparent duplicates.  I want to get down to one authoritative collection, get it tagged right, post if online and back it up.

Picasa uploads to Google Drive, and you see it through G+ Photos.  15GB of storage space.

I’ve tried Windows Live Photo in the past.  It has most of the same functions, is also free, and works seamlessly with MS Skydrive.  Since they give 25GB of space, that’s pretty appealing. Of course, it’s easy to get multiple accounts in either service, or you can pay for additional storage.  I don’t think this product works on the Mac, which was a plus for Picasa.

I use an Apple MacBook Air as my notebook machine now, so have moved all of my personal photos here.  I’ve tried iPhoto, which is pretty cool, but locks me into the Apple world.  Still, since I also use iPhone and iPad, and have an Apple TV, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Still, I’ve done all of my tagging in Picasa, and would likely need to redo that if I moved the photos over to iPhoto.  I haven’t looked at Aperture yet.

Now Flickr is giving us 1 terabyte of storage, with most of the functional limits removed.  I’ve only started to look at that system and what it can do.

I’m sure you have a system that you use and love – please let me know in a comment here!


2 thoughts on “Photo Software

  1. My photo library is now North of 250Gb. I use Aperture, which is Mac only, but Lightroom is a killer cross-platform App that has similar workflow features.

  2. I played with aperture a couple of years ago, and it was just overkill for what I wanted. I settled on iPhoto after trying picasa as well.

    My only complaints about iPhoto:

    1. there is no list view to scroll through your photos. I always save them as an even using the syntax year-month-day- brief description of what happened that day. This give me something to search by and kept them in chronological order (From before I was using iPhoto and did it manually) Everything has a thumbnail, which is Ok other than I have had a digital camera since 2001 so I have 100 gigs of photos and a list is easier to scroll through.

    2. When marking faces, there is no ‘I don’t know any other person in this picture.’ option. since i go to theme parks and my wife takes pictures of me on the roller coasters, I’ll frequently end up with photos that have one face I want to tag (me) and 20 people I don’t know. I have to manually mark each one as ‘not a face’ to keep it from showing up in the suggestions when I’m tagging faces of people I know.

    As an aside, iphoto let’s you have smartfolders and I have one for ‘unnamed faces’ and then when I’m bored and sitting on the couch at night, I’ll go through that folder and tag faces until I get bored with it. It’s really convenient even though I’ll never catch up. (last time i looked, there were about 100,000 photos with faces I haven’t named yet.)

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