It seems that a lot of people have a hard time settling on a file structure to use for their digital photos. There are a number of different approaches, and the tools that you use will heavily influence this but I think it’s important to settle on something independent of your tools since those will change over time.
There are a couple of things you want to make sure to accomplish with the directory structure that you use for your photos.
- Consistency is important. You want to make sure that regardless of camera, subject or any other variable there is a consistent way to find a photo.
- Uniqueness of photo name is important. Even though the directory structure would allow for multiple files with the same name, you should guarantee that every file is unique and “fully qualified” for each individual photo.
- Backup management is handled most simply through your file structure. I don’t like to rely on fancy backup programs to know what has been backed up or not, I like to be able to achieve this through chronology.
I’ve been using the following structure for over 5 years and I’ve found it to work very well. I’ve used it with a number of different photo management programs, including my current favorite, Adobe Lightroom. It is inherently driven off of the timestamp of the photos.
Let me highlight the five critical sections of this (cross-reference to numbers above, sorry Tufte).
I really liked the first take at this, but the camera was mounted very poorly. Think tape combined with a rear-view mirror and you get the idea. It was swinging around and shaking with abandon, which caused a ridiculous video. I was looking at getting a Gorillapod for my trip to Canada in a couple of weeks and it was also the perfect tripod to mount a camera on my dash. This, combined with an overcast day that gave more even light and a closer position to the windshield to eliminate a lot of the grime on the glass made for a significantly better video.
Tammy and I had a really funny conversation today on the way home from the grocery store. I prompted the question of giving up the Internet for something. For example, if you were forced, would you give up chocolate, or the Internet. Forever. Not a month, but permanently. Would you never have another bite of chocolate so you could continue to bathe in the wonders of the Internet.
To me this question was simple — I’d be passing on the chocolate. I love chocolate. Don’t get me wrong. Lindt and Vosges are very special brands in my book. But compared to the Internet, it’s no question.
I theorized that if given the choice of continuing to use the Internet or drinking nutrient complete meal replacement shakes that I would have to think for a long time. What flavors exactly? Tammy laughed at me, citing that I wouldn’t make it through a single Thanksgiving.
So, that made me wonder, what would your breaking point be? What food do you care so much about that you would abandon the Internet forever for it. Comment here…
A few weeks ago I was flipping through a recent issue of Home Power magazine and I stumbled upon an article abut solar tubes. (Sorry, I would provide a link to the article but they don’t make it available online.) Solar tubes are not new technology, but there has been some pretty amazing improvements in recent years. The author of the article had installed a Solatube in his office and was very pleased with it. Shortly after this we ran into Solar Midwest while we were at the Living Green Expo. They had the Solatube units on display and I got to ask a ton of questions. Shortly after that I got a quote and decided to get one installed.
The basic principle of the Solatube is exremely simple. You mount a light collector on your roof. You then run a 10″ or 14″ tube that is exceptionally reflective to a room in your house. There are three main areas of technical focus. Making the collector dome as efficient as possible, losing as little light as possible in the tube, and distributing in the room in an even way. This diagram from Solatube’s website sums it up well.
I’m having some more fun with the time-elapsed feature of my new camera. It has an ability to take the most trivial things and make them at least a little interesting. Check out this video of my morning drive. There is a decent amount of sun glare, and the “mount” wasn’t all that great, but it’s still fun. I think I’ll do it again after I get a Gorillapod that will give me a better mount. Until then…
Also check out the short time-elapsed video of my flight take-off.
I’ve went a little crazy over the last few weeks with some new shoe experimentation. To put this in context, I’m a really boring shoe guy. Up to this point in time, I’ve never been a fan of shoes that are “two-tone”, they had to be dark, subtle colors and generally shouldn’t stand out. My dress shoes were all Allen Edmonds, which are great shoes but as my wife points out more fitting for the 50-something crowd.
A few weeks ago we were in Macy’s looking for new dress shoes to displace the Allen Edmonds and I stumbled upon these shoes.
They were two-tone, and I shouldn’t like that, but I really liked them. I got them and decided that I needed to break out of my many year rut. These Ecco shoes broke the mold. It was time to get crazy!
One of the cool features of my new Canon SD750 is a brain-dead simple way to do time-elapsed movies. I just had to play today while putting together Mazie’s birthday present. In case you are wondering, it isn’t Mazie’s birthday today. That’s a few weeks away but the present we got her had arrived and we decided to let her have it now. Fewer things on her actual birthday make it easier for her little 2 year old self.
Anyway — here in 48 seconds is Mazie and I putting together her new table and chairs. I love it.
I’ve been thinking for a while about upgrading my small, travel-friendly camera. I’ve had a Canon S500 for nearly three years. It is/was a great camera, and amazingly rugged. But, it was a litle too heavy, and not small enough to slip into your shirt pocket so it wasn’t great for fun, light pictures on the go. On my recent trip to NY I got an hour of free time and headed over to B&H Photo and Video on 9th Avenue. I wanted to see the store that I had ordered so much from online, and it was a gadget geeks dream. If you like camera stuff, you must go.
I checked out a dozen of the Canon small cameras and decided to go ahead with the Canon SD750. It is only a month old, and has an amazing form factor. It’s about the size of my Blackberry 8800, just a couple of millimeters thicker. Pretty crazy. I seriously considered the Canon SD800IS because I really wanted optical image stabilization, but I didn’t like the older form factor.
The startup time for the camera is good. Not like my Canon 20D, but that’s to be expected. It is ready to shoot in a second. The real “wow” happens when you look at the back though.
The screen on the SD750 is just massive. It’s only 3″ in size, but it seems just enormous. You can read a detailed review if you are curious, but there are some really nice convenience features on this camera that I’m loving.
- Support for a travel timezone so you can flip your clock around much easier.
- When you are looking at photos, the orientation sensor is used to show you the photo in the right orientation. Nice touch.
- The D-pad control is almost touch sensitive. It’s hard to explain, but a nice effect in the UI.
The pictures I’ve taken so far are great. The only thing I really miss is that it doesn’t support Canon RAW, so I’ve got JPEG files back into my workflow. Oh well. It’s a great camera.
Last night we went to see Jon Stewart do his stand-up show at the Orpheum downtown. I’m a very committed fan of The Daily Show, and some friends (here and here) and I got the opportunity to actual see a taping of The Daily Show a few weeks ago. Stewart’s delivery is a riot, and his writing team is top notch.
A friend of Tammy’s saw that he was coming and called us up to see if we wanted to go. There wasn’t much thinking required — of course. The show was great.
He came on stage with almost no introduction, just five or six words, no warm-up act, he just walked out and started throwing out some great material. I laughed so hard that at the end of the 90 minute performance I was hoping he would stop soon because I was just wore out!
In addition to the expected political bits he did a great riff on dealing with technology that had me nearly delirious. He also seemed to leave Minneapolis with an impression that we have “hallways connecting people to Hooters restaurants”.
Also, by far the most popular t-shirt at the show…