Photo Catalog Woes

I find myself incredibly frustrated with Adobe products again. I don’t know why it’s so hard to make sorting and tagging software that just works, although I suppose having over 465,000 photos may stretch the limits of any software. But my recent woes are not directly related to that…

I normally use Photoshop Elements 9’s organizer tool to organize and tag all of my photos. This works decently well, except when I got a new hard drive. For some reason, the software associates photos to a drive ID (rather than the drive letter), and is extremely stubborn about keeping that drive ID mapping intact when the drive letter changes. This was already a bit of a problem a year ago when I got a new (bigger) hard drive, found that all the photos were no longer found on the new drive (but still searchable with thumbnails, thankfully), and found that the built-in “Find Missing Photos” tool was a huge piece of unusable garbage that was completely impractical to use to fix everything.

It seems like newer versions of Organizer has the concept of “offline hard drives” and has an easy way for you to re-assign an entire drive or folder groups when they’re moved. But my version doesn’t. So it’s generally a horrible combination of “tries to detect drives” and “doesn’t have a way for you to fix things when the drive changes”.

So I lived with it for a year, assuming that I’d just have to deal with any photos older than November 2018 being unable to be directly opened. (Instead, I had to right-click, view the photo properties, and open the corresponding folder on the new hard drive and find the filename. Frustrating, but not completely unusable since I don’t deal with older photos all that often.)

I had the misfortune last weekend of plugging in my old hard drive at the same time as the new one while Organizer was open. The result is that now all photos, even the ones I imported in the past year, are now pointing to the old drive and are therefore running into the missing file problem. (I can’t think of why this would possibly happen, because clearly the new photos were never linked to the old drive ID.)

In any case, I had bought Lightroom a couple of years back (thankfully before they started their subscription-only garbage with it), and it seemed like a potential solution. So… install it, convert my Organizer catalog over and… great… none of the photos have imported their metadata and everything is displaying metadata conflicts and effectively have lost their ability to be searched by date, which is one of the major use cases I have for my organizer. (But at least fixing the drive letter change was easy in Lightroom after I figured out you have to use the folder view and collapse parents to the root. Which was also completely non-intuitive.)

Ignoring the fact that this is also incredibly stupid behavior (why would you take over 30 minutes to convert over a catalog file and then effectively throw away most of the data in that file… it didn’t copy thumbnails nor date data, and seems to have not gotten all of the tags/keywords), I found that the only way to really fix this is to tell it to import metadata from the actual files. Which means it needs to run through all 460,000+ photos. It takes about a second per photo, which wouldn’t be totally horrible if it didn’t also constantly “stick” on random files requiring me to manually remove the file from the library and re-add it before it can continue. So I can’t even just tell it to handle everything and leave it for a week… I have to do it in batches and monitor it fairly constantly.

But fine. Okay. I’ll eat the cost of doing that. Which brings us to today’s fun, where starting another batch of metadata syncing caused the video driver on my computer to crash, eventually requiring a hard reboot. Internet searches seem to indicate that this is a problem many people have with Lightroom in random use cases, maybe caused by a lot of keywords, maybe caused by a specific photo, but generally with no solution.

So I guess my option at this point is… upgrade Photoshop Elements to a version that properly supports drive changes and hope the catalog upgrade is compatible? Except I’m really loathe to give Adobe even more money at this point.

This should not be this complicated.

Maybe it’s time I stopped doing photo tagging.

Photo Stats

It’s been a while, both for this journal and for photo stats. However, in the past few weeks we’ve finally managed to cross the 450,000 photo mark, so here’s some new stats and graphs to celebrate!

First, the table of photos by camera. The last several months, in particular, have seen me shift from carrying my iPod and a DSLR (D90 or D7100), to my work iPhone and a DSLR, and finally to primarily relying on my work iPhone. The camera quality, at this point, is decent enough for what I shoot (random snapshots), and a phone is a lot easier to carry around than a DSLR. The shutter releases are also a bit out of control because of *how* I shoot… it’s still a lot simpler for me to take most photos as bursts and sort it out later, which leads to the crazy statistic of me keeping about 6% of all photos “shot” on the iPhone 8 Plus.

Intel Pocket PC camera October 6, 2000 – September 18, 2003 1077 days; 2.95 years 15,829 photos $200 14.7 photos per day 1.26¢ per photo
Olympus C3000 Zoom September 28, 2001 – December 5, 2003 798 days; 2.186 years 10,647 photos $450 13.3 photos per day 4.23¢ per photo
Kodak Easyshare DX6490 December 8, 2003 – March 17, 2006 830 days; 2.274 years 49,413 photos $500 59.5 photos per day 1.01¢ per photo
Nikon D50 March 22, 2006 – November 15, 2009 1334 days; 3.655 years 105,067 photos $570 78.8 photos per day 0.54¢ per photo
+$250 repair cost 0.78¢ per photo
106,916 shutter releases $570 80.15 shutter releases per day 0.533¢ per shutter release
+$250 repair cost 0.77¢ per shutter release
Samsung SL30 July 27, 2009 – December 1, 2016 2684 days; 7.35 years 21,616 photos $70 8.05 photos per day 0.32¢ per photo
Nikon D90
(Current)
February 26, 2010 – November 30, 2018 3199 days; 8.76 years 208,699 photos $780 65.24 photos per day 0.37¢ per photo
289,872 shutter releases 90.61 shutter releases per day 0.27¢ per shutter release
iPhone 5 June 23, 2013 – December 23, 2014 548 days; 1.5 years 130 photos $0
(Provided by work)
0.24 photos per day 0.00¢ per photo
149 shutter releases 0.27 shutter releases per day 0.00¢ per shutter release
iPhone 6 Plus January 8, 2015 – January 11, 2018 1099 days; 3.01 years 4883 photos $0
(Provided by work)
4.44 photos per day 0.00¢ per photo
23,352 shutter releases 21.25 shutter releases per day 0.00¢ per shutter release
Nikon D7100
(Current)
December 2, 2015 – December 24, 2018 1118 days; 3.06 years 24,112 photos $620 21.57 photos per day 2.57¢ per photo
64,702 shutter releases 57.87 shutter releases per day 0.96¢ per shutter release
iPod Touch 6 December 2, 2017 – September 28, 2018 300 days; 0.82 years 4955 photos $160 16.52 photos per day 3.23¢ per photo
55,269 shutter releases 184.23 shutter releases per day 0.29¢ per shutter release
iPhone 8 Plus
(Current)
March 8, 2018 – December 28, 2018 295 days; 0.81 years 4838 photos $0
(Provided by work)
16.4 photos per day 0.00¢ per photo
80,236 shutter releases 271.99 shutter releases per day 0.00¢ per shutter release

Here are the dates on which I took each 25,000th photo as well as the number of days between each 25,000th photo. The data confirm my suspicion that I’m still slowing down on photos.

25,000 50,000 75,000 100,000 125,000 150,000
January 12, 2004 October 20, 2004 April 10, 2006 April 20, 2007 December 4, 2007 February 7, 2009
282 days 537 days 375 days 228 days 431 days
150,000 175,000 200,000 225,000 250,000 275,000
February 7, 2009 July 4, 2009 April 14, 2010 September 4, 2010 June 23, 2011 December 23, 2011
147 days 284 days 143 days 292 days 183 days
275,000 300,000 325,000 350,000 375,000 400,000
December 23, 2011 August 24, 2012 June 2, 2013 February 17, 2014 March 21, 2015 November 13, 2015
245 days 282 days 260 days 397 days 237 days
400,000 425,000 450,000
November 13, 2015 April 29, 2017 December 2, 2018
533 days 582 days

Here’s the usual graphs. First, number of photos taken by month, log scale y-axis:

Same thing but with a linear y-axis (second graph only includes time after graduation from CMU):

Total number of photos taken through time (second graph only includes time after graduation from CMU):

And amount of time between 1000 photos (second graph only includes time after graduation from CMU, so it starts at 131,000):

There’s not much happening otherwise, life-wise. We’re now in the Christmas break time, which is really nice. :)

San Francisco, Life, Photo First (David R.)

It’s the end of another four-month period, so life’s stats and journal have been updated.

I’ve added David R. to the stats page, so here’s my first photo of him:

January 12, 2011 in Gates, at Greg’s practice thesis proposal talk.

I was in SF last week for Matt’s wedding.

Being there over a weekend meant I got a chance to do other things, like some bouldering.

I was also there for some work-related training, so it was a week of mostly sitting in a classroom, and some nice meals and syncing with people.

As usual, photos of everything are at photos.

I was also expecting to break 450,000 photos, given the several weddings in a row, but Photoshop Organizer reports I’m only at 447,866 tagged photos. I’ll give stats an update when that threshhold is hit, which should probably be by the end of the year.

Life, Photo Firsts (Grant)

It’s a new year! life’s photo journal and stats pages have been updated. Not many surprises or changes this time around, which I suppose makes sense. I did add Grant to stats though, now that we see him around for board games. So…

First photo of Grant:

September 6, 2004 in front of Doherty, with Howard and Many.

It’s otherwise been both an incredibly productive, and rather relaxing break. I’m really not looking forward to returning to work later this week.

Other than finishing some housework, and dealing with my backlog of photos, I also made a lot of progress on the video game I’m working on. It’s kind of exciting to see things coming together.
I also finished a playthrough of Persona 5, which I think now stands as my favorite RPG of all time (surpassing even Skies of Arcadia), and possibly also my favorite video game… and all this despite not really caring for the ending of the game.

It’s amusing to me that the Christmas present I was perhaps most excited about this year was a Swiffer Vac, so I can now swiffer the downstairs without having to pull out the vacuum to pick up the remnants afterward. So yay for that!

We had some people over yesterday for New Year’s, and it was a nice evening of games and food and friends. There was a Sharon in town, which was also nice.

Hope everyone had a nice break, and here’s hoping 2018 ends up being a better year than the last one, in terms of the world…

Photo firsts (Isaac, Chris), life

It’s the end of another 4-month period, so life’s photo journal and stats pages have gotten updates. New to stats this time around are Isaac and Chris.

Here’s my first photo of Isaac:

April 11, 2010 working on the Allies booth at Carnival.

And my first photo of Chris:

September 10, 2004 in 15-200 lecture.

The craziness of August is now over. In addition to all of the crazy traveling that we did, three separate groups of awesome people left forever: Kevin and Jenny moved to San Francisco, Ryan and Jenny moved to Switzerland, and Ryan and Emily moved to New York. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t know any other couples here with an “Emily”, or they’d clearly be next.

This makes me sad, because I wish awesome people would stay in Pittsburgh forever. It’s making me kind of worry about what will happen in a couple of years when Yubin and Austin graduate… at that point, there will be very few people to play board games with left in Pittsburgh, despite my efforts to expand the gaming group. We shall see, I guess.