The Digital Photography Junkpile

Ahh yes, Digital Photography, the best invention since... well, since photography. No more long waiting for photos to be developed, no expensive cost to pay, and no more hesitation to make snapshots.

So I also got a digital camera about 3 years ago, and I made quite a few Photos with it. Since it's a 1 Gigabyte Card, and since it's possible to just delete pictures, I made hundreds of Photos. But I also encountered one common issue: Most of my pictures are crap. No, I don't mean stuff like "the picture is not good", I mean stuff like "I have 25 Photos of exactly the same thing".

I have started to upload my public photos to Picasa now, and also I have started adding them to Facebook. Now, Facebook has a limitation of 60 Photos per Album. At first, that sounded like an ancient relic in todays "Everything unlimited for free" Internet, but this limitation actually made me think which images to upload. I see soo many photo albums with hundreds of pictures, of which only 20 or so are really good, while the others are all just useless clutter. So I started to actually LOOK at my photos and decide which ones to upload.


The Web 2.0 is a gigantic pile of junk, which is especially a problem with Videos and Photos, because even in 2008, they can still not be properly indexed. And with sometimes 150 or 200 Photos shot in a single evening, managing them all is a lot of work. (Geo-)Tagging, Staring, Adding Captions and Descriptions... That takes time. But in the end, I think it's worth it, simply because it adds a lot of value to the Album, and it allows search engines to properly index it, which means that you can actually find photos in a big pile.

I just do not know if the Picasa 3 Desktop Application is the optimum solution yet. The timeline is a Full-screen application and not something that allows me to easily filter by date (i.e. show me the pictures made on February 15, 2008). Also, the fact that I can not star/unstar photos with the keyboard is a bit annoying. Well, time to look around for some other Applications, but the ease of Uploading to Picasa and Facebook is obviously a big plus on that app.

Oh, and to all the analogue photographers: You are right when you say that Photography used to be an experience in the past. The careful setup and adjustment of the Camera, Tripod, working with Lightning, making sure that the motive is nice and that the Background is good... That may be mostly lost now (and the fact that Polaroid is bankrupt just underlines that), but previously, it was near impossible or at least impractical to capture some unexpected moments in life. For a wedding, I would still hire a professional photographer, but for a party I prefer my own digital snapshots. Just like that motto "Digital for now, Analog for ever" from some microfilm company.

Comments (2)

RodDecember 24th, 2008 at 20:13

Even in the digital age I believe it is a great investment (especially for those who have small kids) to spend some time learning the basics about lighting, composition, shutter speed, etc etc, and then get an entry-level DSLR, it's the best 400 bucks you can spend.

One will thank him/herself 20 years from now for having those quality photos, instead of the usual 30.000 flat, red-eyed, "let's cram everyone together and pop the flash" photos that unfortunately is all that most people have.

mstumDecember 25th, 2008 at 00:43

Looking at some more Photos, I agree. My Problem with DSLR's was that they tend to be really bulky and heavy at times, but I saw that they now make them in a lot more compact way.

But yes: The first steps of your Baby is definitely something that should be properly captured - there are some things where you simply do not get a second chance to make a nice picture.

It takes a bit of time to get comfortable with a digital cam (That's the "I can always remove the red eyes in Photoshop"-Phase), and then the next step is to actually play around with those settings. Even my cheap old PowerShot A410 (cost $120 three years ago) has some manual settings that can really make or break a picture.

Photography is a science, and so is digital photography. Once I am more comfortable, a nice Canon DSLR will be on my watchlist.