Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Of picture clutter and the quest for a better way

I obviously have a tendency to neglect this blog. The problem is not lack of material -- anyone with small kids in the house knows that there is no shortage of that -- the problem is that I take too darn many pictures, so I'm always overwhelmed by the sheer number of pictures that I need to upload, sort, delete, edit, etc. I tend to forget to upload pictures from my camera to my computer every day, which is really what you need to do when you are as camera happy as I am. If I wait even three days, I may have 600 pictures to deal with. I know the beauty of digital photography is that you can instantly see your image and delete it if it's bad. But I never do that, just as I never toss the Frontgate catalog straight from the mailbox. I prefer to let my clutter pile up. I figure I'll just delete the bad picture off the camera later. But just as "later" Frontgate is covered up by Wisteria, J. Crew, Growing up with Garnet Hill, Restoration Hardware Outdoors, and PajamaGram, "later" there may be 400 other pictures (350 which I should delete) behind that initial bad one I should have deleted, and by then it's too tedious to go through the pictures on the camera. So I figure I'll just dump them on the computer and sort through them there. Or I go to bed. Whatever I do, I don't do blog posts.

I always think that as soon I go through and edit a few pictures, I'll load them onto the blog and write something. But I'm so backlogged on pictures that this simple task can seem overwhelming. I'm almost certain I won't have time to really devote to the pictures until the kids are in college. So if I'm going to keep up the blog, I need to come up with a better system.

I thought about opening a screen of thumbnails, having the kids close their eyes, spin around, and then point to a picture. Kind of like a "pin the tail on the donkey" concept, but without the pinning or the donkey. I would then upload whichever pictures the kids pointed to and write the first thing that came to mind about them. Might do that yet.

I was also thinking about a "picture of the day" concept, where I would force myself to upload one picture a day to the blog no matter what. That might have to wait until next Lent.

The reason I take so many pictures: I took an Intro to Digital Photography class last fall, and now I know generally what the buttons do on my camera (i.e., enough to be dangerous), but I do not know enough to take consistently good pictures. I can get a halfway decent picture every 75 or so pictures I take, and that one good picture somehow motivates me to keep shooting and trying. I'm taking another class with Heather starting next week. I hope the class helps with my picture quality, but whether it does or not, I have little doubt that it will result in even more pictures that need to be dealt with.

The design was okay, but my outline piping really needs some work

Confectioners' sugar dusting could use some work too

Okay, to summarize, I need to work on my photography skills, my photo management skills, my organizational skills in general, my sugar cookie piping skills, and my cake dusting skills. Fortunately, having so many weaknesses can make for great blog material, if I could just get that picture situation under control . . .


Gary said...

Pretty blog.

I hope Jacob gave David his light saber back.

Mom to 3 C's said...

I wish I could offer some suggestions, but I am facing a year + of picture backlog myself. I keep saying I'll get around to it... right after I change the closets from winter to summer clothes, clean the dining room for a birthday party this weekend, list all the outgrown clothes on eBay... yeah, I get it!

Love the new blog design! The second photo (of Elizabeth) is totally a mini-you! And, I love the one of Jacob and Elizabeth with Caroline looking so forlorn and left out in the background... it is never easy with 3, is it???

Kayte said...

Love all the photos. I think the photo a day thing sounds fun. Jacob has really got older this year, lost some of that baby look, getting more into that young master look now. It happens. All the photos were great, you are capturing the everday moments so nicely. Your sugar cookies look great...I might try doing some of those next year. Might, since it will be the last Easter at home before college...YIKES. Here's what I do with photos/memorabilia/school programs/etc etc etc.: I get one of those plastic rectangular boxes with a lid at Staples or Office Depot or wherever you shop like that...they a ridge inside for hanging file folders. Then I hang file folders marked with the month/year (one box for each can stack them in a coat closet, mine are navy blue, so I can use them for extra seating at parties as I put a cushion on top, point is to keep them handy so you will USE them). Inside the file folders go all the things from that month that I want to scrapbook or keep, and all the stuff I mentioned above...I also write bits on odd pieces of paper and toss them in there...stuff like cute things they say, funny things that come up, highpoints of some event, printed off blog entries that I want to keep, etc., stuff I want to remember but I know I will forget. THIS WAY, all the stuff is organized in a chronological manner and off my desk, countertops, etc., and someday when they are off, I will be able to sit down and document it all much better than I am doing now. It works. Don't try and go back, just start from this day forward and try it. You can always go back if you have time. One box per might end up with 2 boxes per kid by the time they graduate, etc. Some months don't have as much as others, so at the end of the year, I might condense a couple of the files into (Spring 2010 to eliminate excess file folders for that year). The great thing about this system is that I know it is semi-organized, that I don't have time now to do it all, so it will be there waiting for me, and I feel a great deal of peace about things not just getting away. You like?