Re: tags vs albums

On Wed, 2004-10-20 at 16:32 +0200, Jakub Steiner wrote:
> *food for thought*

Munch munch munch.

> With the current interface, it is not possible to query for Event AND
> Person so that one could get images of a person appearing while at an
> Event.

Laurence sent a patch for that yesterday... that should definitely be
integrated, IMO.

> There is no clear metaphoric link to tags. In the physical world, we
> structure our photos in albums or piles.
> Human Language
> --------------
> Album is a real world object that easy to understand. The term Virtual
> Album clearly exhibits the difference from the physical Album.
> Reuse & Consistency
> -------------------
> The concept of stored queries isn't new. We have them in Evolution and
> hopefully thanks to beagle it will appear in the file-manager, file
> dialogs and elsewhere on the desktop.

I think tags are orthogonal to albums as you propose them.

Tags are exactly what photographers wish for but cannot do with physical
media.  A pro photographer stores a metric assload of photos, and when a
client comes by and says, "I need a picture of a foo hugging a bar", the
pro photographer has to go through his archives, looking for such a
thing.  With tags, it would be easy to find.

For non-pros, like myself, I like to use tags with a dual purpose:  to
let me classify my images according to content, and to let me improve my

Classifying according to content is cumbersome, but it can't be helped
without automatic categorization (insert dreams about the UWash
categorization stuff here).  This is so that when my wife asks me, "do
you remember that picture of such and such person in Veracruz, about
three months ago", I can find it easily.

I have a tag for "stuff I've put in my web page", which are images that
I think are worthy of being shown around.  I have a tag for
"portfolio-quality stuff", which is for pictures I wouldn't mind hanging
on my wall --- it only holds very few photos, but it allows me to think
what was it that *really* made them work.

I also have a "near misses" tag, which allows me to easily go through
pictures that would be worthy of showing around if it were not for a
stupid flaw that I didn't notice while shooting.  It's the tag for,
"here, dumbass, pay more attention to *this* next time".

My workflow goes as such:

1. Import images

2. Delete the complete disasters --- bear-in-a-cave shots, completely
wrong exposures, shaky images, etc.

3. Tag by content.

4. Pick the ones I like.  Pick the near misses, tag them as such.

5. Pick a few of the good ones for my web page, tag them as such.

6. After a while, go through the ones in (5) and see if I have any
portfolio-quality stuff.

For near misses, I'd like to enter comments in a text field.  See the
book "Walker Evans at Work"; this is a little gem about how W.E. would
choose among his negatives for the best pictures.

An album would be "good images of related content".  If you were
building an album of your last vacation's photos, you'd drag the good
images from that time period into a list of some sort.  If you were
building an album of pictures of your wife, you'd hand-pick among the
ones that have her name tag, and likewise drag them into a list.

Here's some workflow and editing-type advice from People Who Know What
They Are Doing:

So, I think tags are orthogonal to albums.  The former are for your
personal organization, the latter are to let you put together the stuff
you'd like to show to people.


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