10 January 2013

Digital Photographs - how, what, where, why

The year is 2013 and it's well into the 21st Century now so it's safe to say we are in the digital age.

In the digital age almost everyone has a digital camera (either a dedicated one, or a cellphone, or a tablet, or a friend with one, etc.). It goes without saying, then, that with these digital cameras we are making digital photographs. As time goes by, and as storage expands, and as life goes on, we are taking more and more pictures and before we realise it, we are heaped with thousands of pictures that take up a whole lot of space. Finding a way to store these pictures securely is one thing, finding a way to organise them is another. Both are challenges that some of my friends and I have been facing for years, and since we live in South Africa and seem prone to house invasions, the need to store our pictures securely is a most pressing one.

Of course, it doesn't just end with "where" to store the pictures - being able to store our pictures securely AND preserving the metadata that we've spent hours of our lives adding to each picture is first prize because no-one wants to have to redo the metadata each and every time we recover our pictures.

Over the course of the next few posts, I will endeavour to unwrap the solution/s that my friends and I have considered over the years and which solutions we've settled down with. Hopefully someone out there will find this information useful, and if there's something even better than what we've settled on, you'll tell us about it!

Most of this conversation is derived from my buddy Hoky and I deciphering the best way forward to preserve our pictures (or in Hoky's case, what ones he has left after several unwarranted home invasions).

Our primary objectives are:

  • Find a site that 
    • allows unlimited photo storage, 
    • provides unlimited lifetime, 
    • stores original photo sizes, 
    • permits bulk downloads.
  • Find software that allows us to 
    • embed metadata into the images rather than rely on a 3rd-party installed application that manages the metadata (if it crashes, we don't want to lose the metadata)

Below are some of the areas we'll explore in these posts (TBC):

  • FREE storage - Facebook, Google+, Flickr
  • Photo printing sites - Snapfish, Shutterfly
  • Organiser software - Picasa vs. Windows Live Photo Gallery

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