Friday, January 7, 2011

Why it takes me forever and a day to upload photos

When I go out on walk, I'm not like professional photographers, who take good photographs after analyzing the angle and studying the area and pose. I'm pretty much a point-and-shoot guy, and once I get home to take a good look at the photos, it shows.

And unlike good photographers, my photos go up in Flickr on a pass/fail basis. I very seldom if ever retouch them. Having said that, there are other rituals I follow once I get home from my walks.

1. Map my hike. I'm very interested to know I've walked, so I plot it out in Gmaps Pedometer. Once I have the total, I add it to a spreadsheet and then create a path in Google Earth, which allows me to produce pretty maps like this one.

2. Send all the photos to the panorama manager, which stitches them. I use Autopano Giga to saw up photos like this one or more complicated shots like this one. I do have a fisheye but seldom use it.

3. Once the panoramas are rendered, I start the tagging and keyword process. I use iTag, an invaluable windows program. I am a tagging fiend, and like adding several keywords to my photos (see example here).

4. If it involves a NYC Landmarks Commission designated property, I use the designation report. I started scanning the PDFs late in 2009 and adding them to my photos. Some reports are either intelligible or scribbled over but most are legible to a degree. But for example, on Tuesday I photographed eight landmarked theaters so I had to go over the reports for each of them, and I'm still not done.

5. Geotagging. I used Picassa to geotag my images, but somewhere along the way its geotagging stopped playing nice with Flickr's finicky upload process and the photos were rejected during upload. So I now use Geosetter, which along with iTag prevents me from doing all of this on a Mac, since both valuable tools are Windows-only.

6. Once I do all that, I go back and look at the photos one by one. I select the ones I like and upload them. Usually 15 percent of all the photos I've taken make it into Flickr.

This usually takes days, considering I work full-time and a 40-hour workweek is a pipedream. It's what separates a hobby from a passion.

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