I had a moment with a lens this weekend. It was with the rented lens that took these pictures, a 85mm lens to be exact. It was a lovely moment. I think I need to purchase one, or maybe someone will purchase one for me.
Are you there?
(He always acts like he can't hear me.)
I am still quite new to this whole digital photography business. I sometimes look back at the old pictures from my manual camera and I get a little sad. There's a yumminess to them—an atmosphere, a quality, a look that I can't explain—especially the wider, lanscape shots. But in any case, the 85mm changes what's possible and that is very exciting.
Another thing that happens when I look at old pictures is that it reminds me to go through my digital files and figure out what the heck I even have. With a film camera it's so easy—you take the pictures, you get them printed, you put them in the album and there they'll stay for the next hundred years (give or take). But with digital pictures, it's more complicated: Do you label each picture? Do you back them up? Where should you back them up? Should you print them? Which ones should you print? I really don't know the answers to these questions but I have developed a routine (of sorts) to help me (somewhat) manage the overwhelming number of digital pictures on my hard drive.
This is what I do:
- I create a folder and label it with the event or theme of the pictures I'm downloading (i.e. "Hamster Derby") and put that folder into the corresponding month/year folder (i.e. "November 2010").
- When the photos are done downloading, I drag them all at once into Preview, look through them quickly and trash the ones I know I don't want, right from Preview.
- I open the photos I know I want to keep into Photoshop, edit them and save them in a folder labeled "Hi Res." I used to rename my photos something like "a_p_sw_hr.jpg" which was just a total pain and never really helped me anyway so now I just leave the "_DSCwhatever" that the camera gives them.
- From those, I'll pick which ones I want to use on my blog and save them down as jpegs and put them in a "Lo Res" folder.
- At the end of the month, I upload the hi res jpegs of the photos I want to print to Shutterfly. I use Shutterfly because in addition to printing, they give you an unlimited amount of free storage.
- I order prints from Shutterfly and pick them up at Target (you can have them mailed to you, if you want) and then put the prints right into my photo albums.
- I also back up all of my photos and the rest of my files onto an external hard drive. We recently got this one but I'm not an expert in these things and was just the person who placed the order.
So that's it! Do you have a system that works for you? Do you use Flickr or other online photo storage sites? Do you print your own photos at home or do you not worry about printing at all?