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Managing photos

May 15, 2011

I am still managing my photos based on directories named by date + event (e.g. “110515-person” contains photos from the person and taken today). I tried Shotwell, saw Picasa or iPhoto working but I was not really convinced. Maybe I like to be closer to the file structure (and it’s enough for my needs) and don’t like too much the idea of being dependent on a software and its internal database.

The only issue I faced is that I’m collecting photos from my camera and my phone: they both use different naming conventions. So when I look at my photos, I first have all the photos from my phone in chronological order then I am forced to go back to the beginning of the event and look at all the photos from my camera (again in chronological order).

The solution I applied is to take into account the EXIF tag concerning the date/time each photo was taken in order to rename the file accordingly. For that I use exiv2:

exiv2 -r'%Y%m%d-%H%M_:basename:' rename $(ls)

The result are names like: 20110515-1814_IMG_3704.JPG. This is easily sorted. Provided my phone and my camera date/time settings are approximately synchronised, it solves the issue mentioned before.

Now not all pictures are rotated. Most file managers and photo editing software take care of that and show you corrected photo if needed (Nautilus and Gimp do that at least). But some software do not take that into account (I think of Piwigo for instance). Here I use jhead with the following command:

jhead -ft -autorot *.JPG

Now in order to get some photos out of the computer,

  • I just use a regular USB key to give the photo shop and print some photos ;
  • I use a simple FTP client to upload some photos to our private photo gallery ;
  • I use Postr (previously mentioned here) to upload some photos to my Flickr gallery ;
  • I finally sometimes use the Picasa web interface to upload a few pictures there.

And you, how are you managing your photos?

P.S. By the way, I recently discovered a nice tip to transform all spaces in file names by underscores (or any other character):

rename ' ' '_' *

From → Computers, My life, Photo

2 Comments
  1. Great idea to have blogged about this subject!

    BTW for automatic conversion of exif rotation into physical rotation, look at exifautotran
    as alternative, which is in the same package as jpegtran (as jhead is actually relying on the presence of jpegtran anyway for its -autorot option).

    For sorting, one possible approach could also be tag-based filesystems (& avoid software-specific databases) but I didn’t find anything perfect yet…

  2. In case you want to try the same for the movies recorded by your EOS, here is a little hacky script that does the job:

    for m in MVI*.MOV; do
    t=$(mplayer -vo null -ao null -frames 0 -identify $m 2>/dev/null|grep creation_time:|sed ‘s/.*creation_time: *//;s/[-:]//g;s/ /-/’)
    mv ${m} ${t}_${m}
    done

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