After going on a short vacation, which explains the lack of posts lately, and being infected with the Flickr virus I usually end up with a large number of digital photos to process afterwards. Since machines are the ones that I prefer to do most of the work organising all sorts of stuff, I use a number of simple tricks and tools to sort those flicks out quick and easy as well.
A number of simple tricks using some freeware tools are all I need to get things like this done in a jiffy. And you know what, why not spill the secret right here in my fabulous blog:
- Copy all pictures to a folder somewhere on your computer. Giving it a meaningful name like “Lille vacation 2006” for instance saves you a lot of work afterwards trying to find those pics again later on.
This folder is stored in a “Vacation” folder, where all my vacation sets are stored. Again, this makes it real easy to find the pictures in the future, as long as you keep the subfolder structure simple, and not too deep.
- Then rename all of the pictures using the exact same filename as you used for the folder. Yes! Totally not creative here, I know, but it’s for the best, I swear. Renaming all those files at once is done quickly using the Windows shortcut key F2 after selecting all the files. By doing this you simply have to enter the new name once, and the system will rename all files using this name, while adding a sequence number at the end to avoid duplicate filenames.
Nice and easy, sweat as pie, and more shizzle like that.
That’s it when it comes down to organising. Pretty simple isn’t it? Now I can use a simple file search if I remember a part of the name I used for the folder since all my pictures now have relevant keywords in it, or simply browse through the simple subfolder structure and find the session I want. This naming scheme also comes in handy with some of the following tools I use to manipulate the pictures later on.
What tools you say? These ones dammit!
- Google’s Picasa. Damn right, it kicks ass. It’s fast, it’s slick, gives you a nice thumbnail overview of all your pictures, and it adds a sweetass search functionality. Remember that renaming? Well here’s where it comes in real handy.
Search for “vacation” and you have all the pics in the vacation subfolder. OMG, I know!
You can also use Picasa for simple color corrections and some fun filters without actually messing with the original files, which is always a good thing.
- There’s also the excellent Irfanview, free for personal use, and I use this one as my default picture viewer. A must-have for anyone that needs a bit of cutting, cropping, resampling, color/contrast adjustment or a minimal filter now and then. A very versatile and resource-light piece of freeware which I recommend to anyone who needs to do some picture manipulating now and then. For the more experienced user, you can also use this one to do batch manipulations on pictures, like resampling, resizing and converting a ton of images to any format in a split second.
If you don’t want to install Picasa, get this one instead, and hit the T key to get a nice thumbnail preview as well.
- For the more heavy duty manipulations you can use the GIMP GNU Image Manipulator Program. Use this to add custom texts, mashup pictures using a vast amount of filters, or overlap them with layers, whatever. This baby can compete with Photoshop, so the possibilities with it are so vast that they exceed the scope of this blogpost like Lolo Ferrari’s boobs exceeded… well,… any size of bra cup I guess.