Thursday, December 22, 2016

Managing Photos on a Boat

I've selected "People" in the menu and photos appear
of all the faces recognized in my collection, several
dozen, this is just a sample
Aren't digital cameras fun! No more trips to the local photo shop or, worse yet, a mail order developer. But what do you do with all those photos? The digital cameras keep increasing their pixel count resulting in larger and larger file sizes and that's not even counting RAW format which is another whole story of big. Since there are no longer brakes on how many photos you can take, we wind up with a lot of photos. I turned digital in 1996 with the first Kodak camera out, 640 x 480 image size at the time. I'm currently at 102,972 photos using up 196 GB of storage space! How do you keep track of all those photos? I started with good intentions by organizing folders but now I have thousands of folders. One could just resort to a timeline organization but then how do you find that picture of you with your wife dining out? In other words, how can you find the photo you want that you can remember taking but have no idea when or where it's stored in all those folders?

Until recently there was really no good solution to all this unless you wanted to spend hours organizing your photos and tagging them with access words that you could search on. Then the face recognition revolution came to digital photo storage and made all that unnecessary. In fact, it's even better because the automatic recognition catalogs more than just faces. It also recognizes "Things" which consists of images of a long list of non-people objects such as cars, the beach, food, pet, playground, and much more. Add to that the ability to include other people in the search so you can find that picture of you and your oldest grandchild taken at the beach. Select yourself, your grandchild and "beach" and up pops all photos in your collection with all three in the same photo. The real power of the auto recognition is when you start combining selections to narrow the search such as a location (if you're not sure which location that photo was taken at, then select more than one), a person or persons (no limit), which things are in the photo and there can be more than one. For example, I was at either Key West or Marathon, with Matthew and Hoolie was with us by a tree. Up will pop all photos with all three selections in the picture at either Key West or Marathon.

You can also narrow down the search to a time period if you desire. Of course, you have to label each person collection with the name of the person the computer recognized but you only have to do that once for each collection.

If your camera has a GPS chip (e.g., iPhone) then your
photos will automatically be sorted by location too
If all this has your interest then here's what you need:
- A fast internet connection for the initial upload of all your old photos. A 10 Mbps line is fine although I have a 50 Mbps connection to the internet.
- A photo service offering face recognition. There are several out there but they can get expensive. I already belong to Amazon Prime where I get free two day delivery of packages from Amazon for $99/year. The benefits include Prime Music with two million songs available, Prime Video with hundreds of on demand movies and TV shows, and; most importantly, Prime Photos with unlimited storage for all your photos - now with face recognition. Amazon also has apps for the iPad, iPhone and Android devices so you can access and upload from those devices too. Amazon even offers automatic uploading if desired. See Music, Videos, and Photos.

You can choose those photos
that have these "things" in
the same photo along with
other selections
When Amazon Photos first came out it was terrible but eventually Amazon fixed things and now the cloud drive is organized by the same folders you uploaded (it didn't used to be). They have an app you can download to your PC or device that will automatically upload any photo placed in the Amazon Drive folder, it's just like any other folder on your PC. I have all my photos stored in folders under the Amazon Drive folder. Just recently Amazon added a sync'ing capability so the cloud storage always reflects what's on your PC. You can chose not to sync which is a wise choice for my iPad since the cloud storage would quickly overwhelm the iPad's meager storage limit. However, anything I put into the iPad app will still automatically upload and later sync with my PC storage (I have a 5 terabyte drive there). Tip: Amazon Drive automatically loads itself onto Drive C: which you may not want since your largest capacity drive is probably a later add on like mine. Just open the Amazon download app, go to File Explorer and erase the Amazon Drive folder. You will get a popup screen asking where you want to put it. I selected my 5 terabyte G: drive.

My files are safe on Google Drive and my photos are safe on Prime Photos, all at no cost other than my membership on Amazon Prime which I would have anyway for free shipping (we buy a lot of stuff from them while traveling on the ICW, speed of delivery is important to us) and access to the video and music streaming.

Now it's time to move on to Christmas, we have a house full coming, 13 so far. It will be fun.


Seadyce said...

Bob, Referencing your earlier GPX post. Which Garmin app are you using on your Ipad? Garmin blue chart mobile? Thanks in advance.

Bob423 said...

Fordyce, I'm using the Garmin BlueChart Mobile App for the iPad. Here's a link:

The app is free but you have to buy the charts which are much less expensive than charts for your Garmin chartplotter. The last time I bought charts, the package of charts for the entire US coastal area including the Bahamas and major inland rivers was only $30. If you wanted Canada too, it was $45 - all very reasonable. It's one of only two nav program I'm aware of that allows easy importing of routes that actually works. The Garmin advantage is that they can be imported without the use of a PC. Routes in GPX format can be downloaded and installed directly from a cloud source such as Google Drive.

Unknown said...

I'd like to move photos to Amazon. What is the program for a mac and how do I sync pictures from an external drive to Prime. Thanks very much!

Bob423 said...

Charles, I have not used the Mac version of the photo apps from Amazon. There are two apps needed. One places a folder on your computer which uploads and sync's anything saved in the folder. That program is Amazon Drive Desktop, the Mac version is at:

The app will place the Amazon Drive folder on your C: drive. If you want it on another drive, then just delete the folder and you will get a menu asking where you want to put it. I placed mine on the G:, a 5 terabyte hard drive. I haven't tried placing the Amazon Drive folder on a USD connected Drive but I don't see why it wouldn't work. You also can access the menu for the app to specify which folders to sync.

To view your photos you'll want the second app, Prime Photos fron Amazon:

This is the viewing app that shows the results of face recognition software I discussed in the article. It works on a PC and I believe it also works on a Mac but I haven't tried it.