July 20, 2006
Recently, I’ve been having issues with my photos on orangefever. For the last couple of years, my workflow for my photos consisted of:
- selecting some better or interesting ones,
- cropping them to a manageable size (800×600 but more recently 1024×768),
- rotating them if necessary,
- uploading them onto my web server,
- running a script to add them onto orangefever,
- adding a title, captions and tags to my photos
When I was not at home, I was OK with this doing this since I didn’t really have much to do otherwise, but now with the availability of TV and other random stuff at home, I’m too lazy to go through this process, especially when I have thousands of photos to go through from China and France.
So, I’ve been scratching my head about how I want to handle this. I still want to share my photos to other people, but I want to make it easier. The first solution I thought of was to use my backup. For the last maybe year or 6 months ago, I’ve been uploading all my photography online and slapping gallery2 in front of it to act as a UI. This seemed to be a good solution because I had to upload everything anyways (for backup), and if people are more interested in my work they had an opportunity to see everything. However, I soon found numerous drawbacks:
- I take too many photos so it’s almost impossible to view all my photos (even I get bored looking at them),
- Some of my photos are public and some are “private” but the permissions system in gallery2 sucks ass,
- I had to manually rotate each photo individually, and 50% of my photos are vertical,
These may seem like small nitpicks, but they are not. In fact, if I had a better alternative, these disadvantages would be show stoppers!
So for solution #2, I looked at Flickr. Almost as long as I’ve been hosting my own photos, I’ve had a parallel Flickr account for some arty photos, but honestly I haven’t really uploaded photos nor used Flickr. With Flickr, I decided that I should pick only my best pictures and upload those. This idea also sucked because:
- I like a “tiles” type of navigation and don’t really like flickr’s method of viewing photo (not really) thumbnails,
- Flickr’s navigation makes it difficult to go through a large number of photographs without sets,
- I don’t have a pro account so I can only have 150 photos, 3 sets and upload 20 mb per month,
- I can’t rotate photos in my primary browser so I need to start up another one whenever I want to do this,
- I don’t want to pay for a pro account because I already have tons of webspace, and Flickr’s UI sucks,
So there goes that idea.
Next, I found another webalbum type software called Zen Photo. It wasn’t really better than gallery2 aside from being more minimalist and simplistic at the cost of features (although it wasn’t so dead slow). This in itself wasn’t a great idea (at least gallery2 had permissions) but I also decided to limit the amount of photos I would be displaying. I decided on something called Annuals, which would be a set of photos that best described what I did in a particular year; not simply better or interesting photos from my collection. This means my photos are more viewable (i.e. there are not more than 50 per year) and because I plan on only updating them maybe every year or 6 months (or 3), it won’t be a lot of work. Unfortunately I lose my ability to tag photos and navigate in that manner.
Of course, because I don’t necessarily have confidence in this approach yet, I have kept all the previous options and my old photos online! You can choose what you want to do.