Friday, December 09, 2005

iPhoto and Flickr!

I like to keep all my photos backed up and available locally, but after using Flickr! for a few months now - I'm actually finding myself using Flickr! to view my photographs rather than iPhoto. This has the benefit of viewing my photographs on any computer.

I am a bit of a fanatic for keeping things organised and I find the tag system used in Flickr! and keywords in iPhoto a great way of acheiving this. Each photo I have is tagged by location, subject, names of those in it, context (i.e. holidayJul2005) and time of day or something similar (i.e. night). I'm not really keen on uploading my photos directly to Flickr! and then tag them, so I use iPhoto to do this combined with some special tags and what I have called action smart folders.

First of all, every photo in my iPhoto collection is tagged, this is made easier with the utility Keyword Assistant which gives a dialog box which allows you to simply enter tags - it will autocomplete and autoadd depending if the tag exists or not. Each photo is then organised into smart folders. The smart folders are based on keywords - for example photos tagged "barry" or photos tagged "holidayJul2005". Some images may be in more than one smart folder, but that doesn't matter as there is only 1 image and 1 set of tags for that image. None of my images are in any folder or album - they are all in smart folders.

I manually go through each smart folder and ensure every image has the keyword IMAGEPROCESSED, this way I can create an action smart album called @UNFILED which contains all photos without the IMAGEPROCESSED tag. After importing a new batch of images, all the images will be in this smart folder (and probably not in any others). Using Keyword Assistant I can go through and tag all the photos appropriately and then manually add IMAGEPROCESSED to all photos in smart albums. This should leave @UNFILED empty unless I've tagged a photo in such a way it doesn't fit in with my current smart albums - I'll normally create one in these instances, for example I had some pictures taken in Glasgow which didn't fit anywhere so I created a new smart folder called "Glasgow" and these unfiled photos, along with all other photos tagged "Glasgow" appeared in this smart album.

The next step is ensuring all these photos get uploaded to Flickr! correctly and in an organised way. I don't like showing members of my family or my friends public on Flickr! as I don't see any reason why people should be looking at these photos - they're available, you just need to be one of my Flickr! friends or family to view them. I have a couple of Flickr! specific tags, OnFlickr, FlickrFamily, FlickrFriends, FlickrPrivate. Then I have some action smart albums:

Upload public is all photos not tagged FlickrFriends, FlickrFamily, FlickrPrivate, OnFlickr
Upload Friends only is all photos not tagged OnFlickr, FlickrFamily, FlickrPrivate, but tagged FlickrFriends
Upload Family only is all photos not tagged OnFlickr, FlickrFriends, FlickrPrivate, but tagged FlickrFamily
Upload Family Friends is all photos not tagged OnFlickr, FlickrPrivate, but tagged FlickrFamily and FlickrFriends
Upload Private is all photos not tagged OnFlickr, FlickrFriends, FlickrFamily, but tagged FlickrPrivate

I can then use FlickrExport to upload all photos in each of the above action upload folders in an organised manner setting FlickrExport to export accordingly. Once FlickrExport has completed I usually tag the photos I uploaded with OnFlickr and then use the following smart albums to double check Flickr!

  • ONFLICKR PUBLIC (OnFlickr, not FlickrFamily, not FlickrFriends, not FlickrPrivate)
  • ONFLICKR FRIENDS (OnFlickr, not FlickrFamily, FlickrFriends, not FlickrPrivate)
  • ONFLICKR FAMILY (OnFlickr, FlickrFamily, not FlickrFriends, not FlickrPrivate)
  • ONFLICKR PRIVATE (OnFlickr, not FlickrFamily, not FlickrFriends, FlickrPrivate)
I can select more than one smart folder and compare with Flickr! and ensure the total photos match.

Next on the agenda is to get FlickrExport to automatically tag the photographs once it has been uploaded successfully to Flickr!

Took me some time to sort this out, but the mechanism is easy enough once implemented and makes it so much easier to see what's on Flickr! and what isn't. Also iPhoto is a much easier tagging interface than Flickr! once the Keyword Assistant has been installed.

Hope you've found this blog posting helpful!

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