Daily photo from my collection on ShutterPoint

Daily photo from my collection on Shutterpoint. http://ow.ly/a84bn

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I’m going to share 1 photo a day from my ShutterPoint collection.

I’m going to share 1 photo a day from my ShutterPoint collection. Any comments would be greatly appreciated!

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Ten Realities of Photo Organization

Fighting reality is like fighting truth…you can’t win. Many errors in taking care of a digital photo collection comes from not understanding some basic fundamentals of digital photography management. Following are ten important realities that are not likely to change anytime soon. Understanding these will make will make your digital life much more comfortable and organized.

  1. Photo organization never comes without some effort.
  2. With surprisingly little effort, photos can be organized in a acceptable manor.
  3. A photo collection only ever grows.
  4. Folders are no way to organize images, unless the collection is very small (see rule 3).
  5. A strategy, augmented with photo management software, is required to organize any substantial photo collection.
  6. An organized photo collection is worth many times that of an unorganized one.
  7. Imaging technology will continue to improve.
  8. Digital photos must be backed up.
  9. Data is the only way organize photos, be it tags, gps data, or data about faces and objects.
  10. Someday the instant a photo is taken it will automatically be placed where it belongs, and the organization of photos will be based on all aspects of the image and the person taking the photo. Alas, this is still some years away.

[This blog is also posted on DBGallery’s website at http://www.grrsystems.com/ten-realities-photo-organization]

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A Photo Collection’s True Value

A collection of photos sitting where nobody can find them is worth as much as the digital dust collecting around them. Unknown to most company leaders, these company assets can have great value. “Why, they’re just photos?” is often the response when this is suggested.

Photos are a major component of many aspects of a business and are used in marketing presentations and sales proposals, as well as in public relations and legal departments in many cases, for insurance, engineering, and sharing with customers. At a trade conference in Fredericton recently we spoke with a vice-president of a large North American sign company. They have tens of thousands of billboards put up every year by contractors. Those contractors take photos of every piece of completed work, photos kept for years for quality, insurance and legal reasons. Being able to find a specific set of photos 10 or 15 years later is often critical.

Do you know where you companies important digital photo assets are? Could you find a specific photo if you needed to?

A photo collection, organized and data-tagged, is worth many, many times more than one which is not. An unorganized, hard to find, often lost, set of photos residing on computers all over the company is terrible waste. A searchable, easy to find, never lost set of images is a great thing and can be the difference between waste and gold.

Surprisingly there is little process or effort to make this transformation if one has the correct software. Digital photography and software is a marriage made in utopia if there ever was one. Good photo database management software can make tagging hundreds or thousands of images a snap. It can apply saved sets of data, such as company address and copyright info, to any number of photos all at once. Shortcuts to frequently-used data is just one more time saver in this area. It can utilize data to create effective ways to browse a collection based on analysis of data. This data may be keyed tags, GPS stamps, or data stored by almost all digital cameras. It is able to allow many virtual sets of photos to be built, which simply point back to the original photos, saving the headaches and storage space of duplicated files. And of course searching across all data is snap. As is the option of finding images recently added to the database, the ones most often viewed, and the images recently added.

Because a good digital photo management solution shares its ease of accessibility across the entire enterprise, everyone in the company can take advantage of the importing and organization efforts of everyone else.

Add up the cost of replacing a lost set of images of an oil platform when the engineering group needs to review their design. Personnel costs, maybe $10,000 for the helicopter, and lodging? Perhaps it’s the four hours lost in expensive engineer’s time trying to find the right images? Maybe it’s just lost opportunity; or was that the lost court case?
It’s not hopeless. With just a little process and the right software tool the value of your collection can increase ten-fold. And that can’t help but make a difference to your bottom line.


Glenn Rogers
GRR Systems, Inc.
888-808-0381 ∙ 918-919-0340
Skype: dbgallery

[This blog is also posted on DBGallery’s website at http://www.grrsystems.com/photo-collections-true-value]

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I Love GPS Data

I am so thrilled with devices which stamp my images with GPS data that I could jump for joy! It’s not just because I love seeing images across a map. Its also because its yet more useful data about a photograph that I can use for years to come. And I don’t have to manually enter it. Some devices even store address information. So I send up with being able to view images across a map (Figure 1) and can search by street, city, state/province, and country (see Figure 2’s Keywords and Description, data which was automatically added).

When I return from a trip, just shooting images and adding them to DBGallery automatically provides lots of useful data. Last week I travelled to Fredericton, New Brunswick. It was my first time there. I can now simply type ‘Fredericton’ into city or keywords and up comes the images. Choose map view, and wa la! A map zoomed to Fredericton shows thumbs of the images exactly where they were taken. 🙂

Which devices stamp this info? Most mobile phones will. My Blackberry Curve does if that option is turned on. iPhones do. Some cameras have this functionality built right in. The Nikon Coolpix P6000, for example. Since many camera’s still haven’t this functionality built in I looked for another way. A great device I discovered is the JOBO photoGPS. It’s a GPS receiver which attaches to any external flash slot of a camera. It stores GPS latitude, longitude and altitude at the time a photo is taken. You then use software which was supplied with the device to near instantly stamp all the photo jpg’s with the GPS data as well as address information (I assume it picks address info up while the photos are being stamped with GPS data rather than at the time of shooting).

With the Exif data each camera stores in our images (such as camera, timestamp, if a flash was used, shutter speed) as well as this GPS data, it all adds up to rich and useful data without any effort. This is a very good thing.

Figure 1
Figure 1: Images displayed across a map. (Click for a larger view)

Figure 2
Figure 2: Address data automatically stamped by the JOBO photoGPS attachment. (Click for a larger view)


Glenn Rogers
GRR Systems, Inc.
888-808-0381 ∙ 918-919-0340
Skype: dbgallery

This blog is also posted on DBGallery’s website at http://www.grrsystems.com/i-love-gps-data

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Four Most Important Photo Organization Fundamentals

Recently I choose four of my most recommended fundamental tips for digital photo organization for a short 5 -7 minute presentation. They very important much-follow tips are:

1. Chronological Folder Names…the 1st fundamental.
2. Backup…the most important for having your photos decades from now.
3. Data Tagging…the most important for being able to find images.
4. Sharing…keep your source collection intact while duplicating on sharing sites.

The video presentation is posted here. The recording volume is a little low so you may need to turn it up. I’m a little slow getting started but it picks up!

Glenn Rogers, PMP       

GRR Systems, Inc.       

888-808-0381  ∙  918-919-0340

Skype  ∙  dbgallery


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Photo Organization Fundamentals: Chronological Folder Names

This may seem too simple to be so important: Name photo folders in the following convention: “YYYY\MM – Description”.  E.g. \2006\12 – Christmas in Banff

This simple organization habit of using chronological folder names will go a long way in allowing your photos to be found easily.  It is a time proven fundamental.

What does this gain?  It orders your folders chronologically.  While over time you may forget exactly where a photos being sought is located, most people have a rough idea of the timeframe the photo was taken.  Given that a year and season is remembered, along with the description as the last part of the folder name, a photo can usually be found in 5 or 10 minutes.

Even with the using a great photo organization and access system such as DBGallery there will be times when you will browse your hard disk for photos using something like the Windows Explorer.  Or perhaps a DVD backup may be being used.  Hence it’s important to name the folders correctly.  Using this simple naming convention goes a surprisingly long way in making it easy to find photos.  Each time a new set of photos are dropped onto your computer create a new folder using this convention.

Some prefer a slightly different alternative: \2006\12-Dec – Christmas in Banff where ‘-Dec’ is added to the month’s number.  This is equally effective.

This is obviously not for all people, especially professionals that have a more complex system such as photo shoot numbers.  Although the convention could be used in folders under folders with those names or pre-fix the photo shoot name.

If existing folders aren’t named with this convention, start using it for new folders being created.  When time permits, go back and rename older folders.  Don’t let finding the rearrange all old folders prevent starting to do it right starting right now.

Most of us, especially those reading this blog, will have digital photography as a part of their life for many years.  A little discipline and and patience to implement simple digital photo organization techniques will pay off many times over in the coming years of enjoyable shooting.  This fundamental tip is as effective as it is simple.  An example, a screenshot from my collection of photos, follows.

Chronological Folder Sample

A sample of chronologically named photo folders.

Best regards,

Glenn Rogers, PMP       

GRR Systems, Inc.    

Developer of DBGallery: Photo DATAbase System    


This post is also available on DBGallery’s website at http://dbgallery.com/photo-organization-%E2%80%93-fundamental-tip

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