Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chaos of photos and back ups

sunrise_tweaked, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

When one is new to a new stuff one pays no attention to how the stuff set. Eventually one takes a look back at how this stuff was set and ponders how'd this activity become such a mess.

Since the dawn of time when humans began to collect stuff
these stuffs were just set around stacks upon stacks be it a stack of rocks to a stack of wood. Archeologist find rubbish bins full of stuff but what if that was the 'good stuff'?

Anyone can pick up any kind of 'zine or read a web page of any kind and recognize some form of chaos control article. One can also see that through the medium that there is a form to keep things in order. This website for example has places for pictures, another for friends/watchers, and one for writings like this or feature news. Order to keep chaos under control. The typical chaos control article lays out that one is a mess and by compartmentalizing the stuff one becomes sorted. Sorted stuff who came up with the concept? My wife? Certainly not! I'm not married.

When I began taking pictures the order was prints and negatives in an envelope with a date and possibly a location if the location wasn't obvious like, camping in the mountains. Well now I've lived and visited close to 75 different mountain ranges I forgot which campsite is at which mountain. So I must rely on the hopes I took a picture of someone, deduct their age from the photo using face recognition/style recall and hope I get the age correct and place it in an approximate year time frame, give or take a month or region or so.

One of my most perplexing images which sees a lot of light is found on Caribbean-Mercy.org; page down a little on the left, one sees an image of rope, a life boat, and a sunrise or sun set. Scanned so long ago that it made the files of Mercy Ships tagged location Caribbean Mercy, port unknown, photographer unknown. Well the location would be known if I could locate that stack of prints. I really want to find the original negative for I see that image needs the TLC of a much better scan. It's one of those images that speaks volumes about foreground framing, timing, and depth of field. It also highlights one of the most common objects of life on board the m/v Caribbean Mercy - lifeboat drills and outreach locations. Even in the chaos of my files I found this image floating around on my hard drive.

On many an article on artistry sites from deviantArt to ArtistBistro pick on work flow. Work Flow? Yes, that which one participates in while participating in the process of creativity. Basically work flow is the process of staying organized while in the midst of creative chaos production. The sooner one works up a work flow that works well for them the less chaos will follow. Getting into the habit of organization could be an act of god as defined by the insurance companies.

An example of this chaos are my back ups. Spread out over 10 years of computing originally with Windows 2.x. Yes, before "7" long ago even before WinDos 3.14 was actually Win 1 but, I used Win 2.x on a xx86 laptop, there were such devices back then that had less power then microwave oven's memory. I've up dated my back ups from 5 1/4 floppies to 3 1/2's and eventually to CD's. If one ponders why CD's/DVD's are just under 5 inches look no further then the fact we already had cases for things of that size. Now CD's are in danger of becoming obsolete so I'm transferring everything to DVD's. Which with high hopes will not become legacy ware within the next year or 3. In the process of gathering I've transferred to external hard drives. Hard drive back ups are also called live back ups because one can pull a file, modify it, and put it back. All these mediums have their faults and the biggest comes from the in putter, me.

Chaos was my toy box growing up, next it moved to the garage, and finally took up residency on every electronic device I own or came into contact with. Today, with the ages of years passing it's time to tame the back up beast and get organizing.

One key element in wanting to get organized is so that when I come across a corrupt file I can deduct whether it is something of great value and in need of rescue or of little value and I can let it pass. The other reason I want to tame the beast is so that I don't have so many multiple copies of an image I can't decide which is better. For a good example of that see my flickr stream. My flickr up loader 2 years ago kept cutting out on me & didn't let me see what was uploaded, so I kept uploading the same batch of images. Image recovery is also a bit easier when one is looking for just one image and not a dozen of the same. All though having a dozen of the same and a good set of photoshop skills one can recreate an image if enough of the pieces are recovered.

So the process will be thus, 5 gigs at a time over the next month. This should get me back about 3 years then the files get smaller and easier to sort. I'll have to rename in batches, add tags, and summaries. I may even have to label some unknown for researching later.

If one's read this far so far a quick tip. Set up a standard of organizing even before starting down the creative process. May your standard include how to rename the files in such away duplicates don't happen very often and that the name is key to the date and style of event.

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