Flight Podcasts [en]

On my flight back home, I listened to a certain number of podcasts. I had some fitful sleep too, but not enough (overnight flight).

After finishing the episode of Heavyweight I was listening to, I immediately went for part 2 of the Search Engine piece on ADHD medication. (I talk about part 1 in a previous post.) As promised, and expected, the story it told was much closer to mine: a woman who discovers methylphenidate in her mid-thirties, which is life-changing for her – and she wonders why it took her so long.

Her story and mine are at the same time very different and very similar. Very different: she started really struggling with reading in childhood after surgery to remove a brain tumour when she was eight. I had none of that. I did, however, have heart surgery when I was six. And what she describes about how her operation is talked about (or not talked about) in her family feels very familiar. What she says about getting the implicit message, again and again, that “everything is ok”, “it’s normal”, “nothing is wrong”.

She was very objectively struggling as a child, and I think I can honestly say I was not. Academically, that is. Socially was another matter. Being good at school ended up defining me. At one point in the podcast, PJ and his guest talk about the two different paths they ended up going down, regarding their difficulties in school: “I’m not even going to try” and “I’ll manage, whatever the cost”. I think I spent a lot of my life “managing” without even realising there was a cost. It was “normal”, right. I do remember one episode, though, where I was getting a bad evaluation (it had to do with presenting science reports). I made some effort at improvement, and still got the same bad evaluation. My reaction was clearly “forget about this”. Thankfully my parents intervened, we talked things through with the teacher and started over with more support for me and an assurance that my efforts would be rewarded.

This reminds me of the Hidden Brain episode on perfectionism I listened to a few weeks back. It was a revelation to me. I’ve always seen myself as “over perfectionism”. I understood, as a teenager, that wanted to do things “too well” was keeping me from doing them. So I made a deal with myself that it was better to “just do, even not well” than “not do, perfectly”. And generally, what I do still is viewed as at least “very good”. I thought I had cracked perfectionism. For me, perfectionists are people who spend hours doing and redoing their tasks until they are perfect. People who are hard workers.

I’m none of that. I’m a first draft person. Quickly throw something together and be done with it. One might even say, on my internal compas, minimalistic. You know, Pareto’s Law – I do the 20%.

But listening to the podcast, I was shocked to hear that my strategy was in fact another kind of perfectionism. The drive behind is the same. The bar I set for myself is still impossibly high. Only, I set myself up to fail reaching it, from the start. If I don’t really try, then it makes sense I won’t reach it, right? If I didn’t really give it my all, then it hurts less when it’s not as good as it could.

Looks like I’ve been fooling myself all these years, and I am indeed a perfectionist, despite my frantic attempts not to. I have to say this realisation upset me – not because I was wrong, but because it forced me to realise that there is where lies the source of the excruciating pressure I put on myself.

Back to the Search Engine episode: the first part had bothered me also by the use of “amphetamine” (and “speed”) to cover ADHD medication. Methylphenidate is not amphetamine, and at least in Switzerland, amphetamine is not prescribed unless there fails to be a result with methylphenidate. I thought the tone was a bit dramatising of the drug (which is understandable given PJ’s personal history). So, I’m really glad this second part showed another type of ADHD story. In a way, it’s all very well to want to throw away the meds when you’ve lived your whole life on them, but that’s also maybe forgetting that they helped you bring you where you are. I’m surrounded by so many people who have gone through life with no diagnosis and no meds (like me), only to come crashing down somewhere in their forties or fifties. And at least in Switzerland, getting an ADHD diagnosis as an adult is hard, so imagine try to get that sorted out when you’re reached a state where you’re barely functioning anymore.

Unlike PJs guest, I take my medication even on my days off, because what I struggle with (without) is simply managing daily tasks, emotions, life in general. It’s not “just” for reading or concentrating. It’s to reign in some of my hyperactivity so that I can actually get somewhere, and not feel too shitty while I’m getting there.

So, definitely an episode to listen to, probably before the first part, actually.

After that I continued with Radiolab’s Poison Control. A rerun that I hadn’t heard the first time around (I think), and as always, very interesting. I’m not sure it’s the kind of episode that’s supposed to make you cry, however – the fact I was in tears listening to it probably says more about my mental state on that plane in the middle of the night than about the podcast itself. Do listen.

One of my very favorite podcasts is Meta de Choc, a French podcast on “why we believe what we believe”. It often covers topics linked to New Age spirituality – not as innocuous as you may think. The host, Elisabeth Feytit, does an extraordinary job of explaining very clearly what is at stake, why these beliefs are problematic, and where they stem from. This episode was on modern day witches (think wicca) and the sacred feminine. If you understand French, I definitely encourage you to listen. It’s possible that like me, you’ll feel a mixture of gratitude (and relief) that somebody is putting in words your concerns, and discouragement at how difficult/impossible it is to talk somebody out of this type of belief. As somebody said, you can’t reason somebody out of the position they didn’t reason themselves into in the first place.

To continue losing hope in humanity (what was I thinking?) I followed with the first three episodes of The Kids of Rutherford County. Seriously, in what dystopian world is it even imaginable to consider throwing elementary school age kids into jail (handcuffs, jumpsuit and all – as young as 8 years old) for a schoolyard fight scene? I listened at those three episodes in shock and disbelief. What is WRONG with people? I just don’t have the words (and you know me, usually I have more than enough words). It boggles the mind.

For good measure, I did include two Heavyweight episodes (Nick & The Elliotts) in my listening queue. That’s probably what saved my remaining sanity.

Aside from podcast recommendations: I made it home, tired (couldn’t stay awake in the train from Geneva, was afraid of missing my stop) and drained, but happy to see Oscar, who was visibly happy to see me too. It’s rainy and foggy and windy and stormy and cold here. I’m glad I planned on having a day off to settle before going back to work on Tuesday. I’ll go back to trying to fix my Lightroom sync problems (very annoying), eat something, watch a series or two and have an early night (easy with the jetlag). Bright side of things: I should be up nice and early tomorrow morning!

Apple Photos to Lightroom Classic CC: Step 2 [en]

[fr] Le suite de mes misères pour revenir à Lightroom après mon passage dans Apple Photos...

Here’s where I left things in March:

  • I had a catalog of my exported Apple Photos
  • I was hoping to merge them into my Lightroom master catalog.

One little problem: importing from catalog didn’t recognize any of the photos in the temporary catalog full of photos from Apple as duplicates of those already in the master catalog. So my bright idea of using this system to update the metadata of photos in the master catalog came crashing to the ground.

I figure it has something to do with the hash Lightroom uses to identify photos. Anyway… off to find another idea.

My next hope had to do with using the Syncomatic plugin to sync metadata between files with similar names or capture times. A little scary to run on the whole catalog, and I haven’t managed to get it working predictably enough to trust it. Might still come, thought?

So I ended up looking at Photosweeper and LR/Transporter. There was my solution, though it was tedious, and the result is not perfect.

Here’s a bunch of thing I did, best I remember.

I used Photosweeper to weed out duplicates from my Apple Photos. I tried various settings and experimented quite a bit. This also allowed me to get rid of “Edited in Apple Photos” photos which were so close to the original photos it wasn’t worth importing a duplicate bloated JPG just for fun.

LR/Transporter allows you to import metadata to a photo based on a filename or a capture date.

That meant that if I could export a list of keywords of my Apple Photos (with LR/Transporter) and import it onto photos that were already in the catalog, matching the keywords to files with the same name, I could avoid importing duplicate files and having to hunt them down afterwards.

I would have to find a way, however, to flag the photos in the Apple Photos folders from which I had extracted and imported the metadata — because those that remained, “non-duplicates”, would need to be moved to the main folder. Thankfully, LR/Transporter flags photos that have last been modified by it. So once I had imported the keywords from Apple Photos, I had only to:

  • use the metadata filter on my master folders to select all photos that had just been modified by LR/Transporter
  • export a list of those filenames
  • edit it in Google Sheets and add a “delete” flag column
  • import that metadata back to the Apple Photos folders, matching the delete flag column on the “job identifier” field (for example)
  • select those photos through a filter or smart collection and delete them

I did this on the Apple “original” photos I had in my collection.

You’ll not that it’s totally uninteresting to go through this exercise with Apple Photos that don’t have keywords. As I had previously keyworded all apple photos to identify if they were master photos, edited photos, master photo of an edited version, HDR, panorama, etc, I couldn’t easily filter out photos with no “real” keywords. I started out by replacing all those “status” keywords by flags in the “job identifier” field. For exemple

  • I selected all apple edited photos
  • added “apple edited” in the job identifier field
  • removed the “apple edited” keyword
  • used the “job identifier” filter to display those photos again
  • now I could see which ones had no keywords
  • selected those and gave them a slightly different job identifier, etc.

So when doing the LR/Tranporter export above, I was able to select only the photos that actually had keywords to work with.

What about those that had a different name? I used a similar process, counting on the capture time. Her’s what I did, year by year (to avoid having unending tables to open in Google Sheets — max 10k photos, roughly).

  • I selected a year of photos with keywords both in the “master” and “Apple Photos” folders
  • I exported them with LR/Transporter. Fields: size, filename, path, keywords, capture time
  • I opened the CSV in Google Sheets and added four columns to help me “sort” them and generate for the correct file in each matching pair either the updated list of keywords or a delete flag (see example spreadsheet here)
  • I replaced the path for all the files in the Apple Photos part of my directory structure with “apple” for readability’s sake (useful when scanning to check things)
  • Ordered the photos by capture date (with Apple folder photos first, so sort them A-Z by that column first) to let the formulas do their magic
  • Duplicate the sheet, then copy-“paste special” (values only) the columns containing the formulas
  • I went through the list checking that the formulas worked correctly (this is where filename and size come in handy, as well as conditional formatting in the spreadsheet to create a visual pattern that is easy to scan for anomalies), corrected manually when necessary
  • Once that was done, used some A-Z sorting to delete the lines of all the photos that did not match anything
  • Duplicated the sheet once more (trying to be safe) and removed all unnecessary columns
  • Duplicated it one last time so I could have to clean “export” sheets: one to update the keywords, one to set the delete flags
  • Import the “keywords” metadata sheet onto the photos in the master folder
  • Import the delete flags metadata sheet onto the apple photos folder photos.

Once I had done that for each year, it meant that all the Apple Photo original photos with keywords had been processed to see if they had a “twin” already in my Lightroom photos, and keywords imported accordingly (and source file removed).

I then was able to import the remaining Apple Photos files into my main folders, knowing there should be no obvious “same time” or “same name” duplicates — except of course for edited photos. (For that, I deleted them from the main catalog and imported/moved them using the standard “import”, so that they would sit in the right monthly folders.)

The saga continues, as my reduced list (12k from 20k!) of Apple Photos is now integrated with my main catalog, but there are still duplicates in there.

Ideally, I’d get syncomatic to work how I want it to, sync keywords, then use Find Duplicates 2 to delete duplicates. But that’s not going well for the moment.

In addition to this, somewhere in the process a pile of my photos have lost their capture date, or seen their capture date replaced by “today’s” date (the day I was obviously doing whatever caused them to lose their capture date). So I have about 2k badly dated (or undated) photos I need to find a solution for. Many of my videos seem not to be read correctly by Lightroom anymore, and have metadata/date issues. My catalog is also sprouting metadata conflicts, and Lightroom very helpfully (not) asks you whether you want to import metadata from the file or write Lightroom metadata to the file without showing you what the conflict is made of. Not much chance of troubleshooting what is going on in there.

So, what’s left to do?

  1. Identify duplicates with FD2 and figure out a way to be systematic about which versions I keep (I’m doing a test on a month of photos to see how it goes). The key seems to be smart collections, and using color labels like I remember doing in March: for example, color all the “most edited” duplicates identified by the plugin green, then go and look at the full list and figure out if that is a good criteria or not.
    But for that to work I need Syncomatic to work, or to mess around with LR/Transporter again, because many of these duplicates do not have synced keywords. *sigh*
  2. See what’s going on with those videos. Not too sure where to start, but I was pointed to this, and need to dig into it. Reminder, there are three problems: systematic metadata being flagged as up-to-date though in a smart collection it’s indicated as changed; mess-ups with capture times; unreadable videos.
  3. Look at the photos with a bad capture date (or none) and see what I can salvage. One idea is to find a back up of my master catalog before all this mess started happening, use LR/Transporter to match those “lost” photos to their “ancestors” in the old vers of the catalog, and use a process similar to the one described above to fix their capture times. But I’d still like to know what created this situation so I can avoid it in future.

    I’m not sure how understandable all this is, these are mainly notes for myself for when I pick this up again, but if it’s useful for you, all the better! Feel free to ask questions if certain parts are unclear and you would like explanations.

LR/Transporter: Renaming Files With Excess Whitespace in Lightroom CC Classic [en]

I’ve spent a large chunk of my leisurely holiday in Pune trying to continue my “return to Lightroom“. Amongst the various problems I’ve had to solve, one of them was that many of the filenames in my library had one or two leading spaces. How, why? I don’t know. But it creates problems when you want to match files by filenames to weed out duplicates (with Photosweeper for example).

Here’s how I did things, using a plugin called LR/Transporter, and messing with .csv files. Warning: don’t do this if you don’t understand what you’re doing — you can really mess things up!

Adapted from my post on the Lightroom Queen forum:

  1. I sorted my whole catalog by file name so that those with the leading spaces would be listed first, and selected them.
  2. I used LR Transporter to export File name + file name base to a file
  3. I edited this file in Numbers (Excel messed up the encoding, some of my file names have accented characters in them, Google Sheets removed the leading whitespace)
  4. Copied the column containing the base file name to another table, did a search and replace for two spaces to remove them
  5. Trickier: what about one leading whitespace? Some of my filenames have spaces in them, so I can’t just “remove spaces”. I used the “concatenate” function to add a second leading whitespace to those files, then did another search and replace for two spaces, then copied the formula results back onto the original cells.
  6. I now have a two-column spreadsheet with the filenames (whitespace included) in the first column, and the second column has the base filename with leading whitespace stripped off.
  7. I export as CSV after having removed extra columns and empty cells
  8. In Lightroom, I go back to my selected photos, and Import metadata with LR Transporter: I map the “file base name” field to a metadata field that I don’t use, but that can be used as an “ingredient” in a file renaming preset. I chose “Instructions”.
  9. After import, these files should all have their future filename base listed in the “Instructions” field.
  10. Rename the files, composing the new name with the metadata field that has been used to store the whitespace-stripped base filename (in my example, “Instructions”)
  11. After that, just empty the “Instructions” metadata field if you wish!

Hope this might come in handy to someone!

Moving From Apple Photos to Adobe Lightroom Classic CC [en]

God have mercy on me. A few months ago I decided I was coming back to Lightroom. Now is the time to actually move my stuff out of Apple Photos and into Lightroom. It’s not so much emptying Apple Photos that concerns me as transferring albums, favorites, and editing over to Lightroom.

I had foreseen the headache, and so I am documenting what I’m doing here first of all for myself (because I might end up abandoning halfway through, as usual, and picking up six months later, having forgotten everything), and also for other poor souls out there who might be in the same situation.

First, the easy part: exporting from Apple Photos.

  1. One thing I wanted to “export” was my albums. I went through each album I wanted to keep, selected all the photos in it, displayed information and added a keyword like “my cats album” to all the photos. Kludgy and a little tedious, but does the trick.
  2. When viewing photos Apple lets you display “only edited” photos. This allowed me to export both the edited photo and the unmodified original for photos I had edited in Apple Photos. I then exported the unmodified originals of photographs I hadn’t touched in Apple Photos separately.
  3. I exported these photos into three separate folders, without any subfolders: “Apple edited”, “Apple originals”, “Apple unedited”. I renamed the edited photos to avoid file name conflicts later on, but left the originals/unedited file names untouched, in the hope it would help Lightroom detect duplicates/updated photos later on.
  4. For the original files, I told Apple Photos to write IPTC to XMP. This works great for RAW files (Lightroom grabs the metadata from the XMP sidecar) but not for JPG originals (who are not supposed to have a sidecar). After fumbling around I found my solution: a simple command-line command for exiftools. The person posting had pretty much the same problem as I did, and I just used the solution offered as-is. It throws some errors (when XMP files don’t have anything interesting in them, I think) but works fine.

Now for the real fun: importing into Lightroom.

  1. For this, I used a temporary working catalog, rather than mess up my master catalog directly. I made the working catalog by exporting some photos as a catalog from the master catalog, and then removing those photos from the temporary catalog (not the files though, beware!)
  2. I started with the edited photos, followed by their original files. I moved them into a month-based folder structure parallel to the one I use for my main library (in a folder called “Apple import”). Upon importing, I gave each batch a keyword to be able to figure out who was who later on (“appleedited” and “master of apple edited”).
  3. I ran Find Duplicates 2 on those photos and it turned out quite a pile of them. Not that surprising. I decided to have a look, and saw that there were indeed a lot of “edited” photos that were so close to the original (or unimportant) that I wasn’t going to bother importing a bloated redundant JPG of those “edits”.
  4. I proceeded to cull those “duplicates”. I started out by giving all those photos a keyword to recognise them later (see how I abuse keywords?). I then rejected all the “mess” (screenshots, photos of bank statements…) that comes with exporting photos from your phone.
  5. I then went painstakingly (but as efficiently as possible) through the unflagged photos and used a label to identify those where I was indeed going to keep both the edited version and the master. I could have skipped this but I figure less bloat is better.
  6. Amongst the unflagged and unlabeled photos with the “duplicate” keyword, I filtered for those with “edited” in the file name (remember how I renamed the edited photos upon export from Apple Photos? handy; I could also have used the keyword I attributed the edited versions upon export, come to think of it. Oh well.) I rejected all those edited photos I decided not to keep.
  7. Similarly, I selected the originals for those photos and changed their keyword to indicate they were not a master photo for an edited version anymore. I also removed the duplicate tag and then cleaned up my mess of coloured labels.
  8. I am not deleting any rejected photos until I get everybody back into my master catalog. Hopefully this will clean up a bit of the “smartphone mess”…or not.
  9. I then proceeded to import the photos from Apple Photos which hadn’t been edited. Just 20k of them. It was loooooong.

Now… how to merge all this back into the master catalog without losing any information and without multiplying photos excessively… I’m not sure I have the solution, and I’m going to err on the side of not losing data. I can always hunt for duplicates later.

I picked a year where I had only a couple of hundred Apple photos, and exported a working catalog from the Apple import catalog for only that year. I then imported those photos into my master catalog, without moving the files. To my dismay Lightroom didn’t recognize any as duplicates or updated files. After looking at things manually it’s clear there are duplicates and I was very wise to not try and move the files to their right place in the catalog yet (filenames are identical!)

I set Find Duplicates loose on all the photos for that year. As I’ve previously cleaned up my whole catalog of duplicates, and marked “fake duplicates” with a keyword that allows me to filter them out, I end up with a shortlist of duplicates between my newly imported photos and those that were already in the master catalog. The “edited” photos in the duplicates are not much of a problem, as they are strictly speaking “fake duplicates”. The master photographs are more of a problem: I’d like to retain the keywords from the new photo and whatever keywords/ratings were on the old photo. I can do that by manually synchronising metadata, but it’s super tedious.

For the time being I’ll just mark those duplicates “appledupes” until I can figure out what to do with them.

Next in line:

  • moving those photos into the “final” folders (will involve renaming the Apple photos)
  • trying a year with more photos.

Back to Lightroom [en]

[fr] Retour à Lightroom après deux ans et quelques d'infidélités avec Apple Photos.

Two and a half years ago I took the plunge and started using Apple Photos “seriously”. It quickly became my main photo library, and the comfort of having photos sync seamlessly across devices became something I was not willing to do without. Lightroom was just not there yet (I tried, it was a nightmare), so Apple won.

Over my holidays I peeked back into Lightroom, which I’d neglected since then. And it clearly wins when it comes to organising and editing photos. Time has done its magic, too, and syncing across devices now works! It’s still reasonably early days, but it’s good enough for me.

Here’s what I’m looking at:

  • my main photo library is (and remains) Lightroom Classic CC — or “good old Lightroom” that we’ve known for years
  • I have the mobile version of Lightroom on my phone and tablet
  • I have created a collection called “mobile” in which I stuff the photos I want to sync with Adobe Creative Cloud and have available on phone and tablet (right now, all my 2018 photos)
  • I have set my phone to “auto-add” any new photos from the camera roll into Lightroom: this means that if I take a photo with my phone or tablet (omg), it will be added into Lightroom mobile, synced over Creative Cloud, and downloaded to the correct monthly folder on my computer (“Lightroom sync” setting in preferences in Lightroom Classic CC)
  • I have also installed Lightroom CC (desktop client built from the ground up specifically for dealing with photos stored in Creative Cloud), without making it download originals (it’s in the settings), so that I can benefit from the AI subject detection to search photos
  • I also use the web client so that I can benefit from the AI “pick my best photos” functionality — this is seriously the killer, as far as I’m concerned
  • I have a monthly “photography” subscription which includes Lightroom Classic CC, Lightroom CC, Photoshop CC (+Spark&Portfolio), and a measly 20Gb of cloud storage
  • I’ll certainly shell out what’s needed for the 1TB plan at some point, but as I’m only syncing Smart Previews to the cloud from Lightroom Classic CC, the 1000+ photos I have in CC don’t even take up 8Gb (my library is 70k, but a few thousand photos in the cloud is enough to play with it for a bit)

I do have a few headaches:

  • RAW and JPG: I’ll let you read the thread for details, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I should be working with JPG. I’m happy to not retouch photos if I can avoid it.
  • I’ve taken a lot of “RAW+JPG” photos with my camera, which means I have the JPG handy, but there is no way in Lightroom to say (like in Apple Photos) “hey, use the JPG for this one”; either the JPG is simply there as a sidecar, or it’s a separate photo, and there is no way for Lightroom to “know” that photos A and A’ are in fact the same photo in two different formats
  • I don’t like the idea of throwing away the RAW file, but the way Lightroom deals with RAW+JPG pairs is making me consider doing JPG only
  • I’ve taken some “RAW only” photos… so I’m going to have to deal with those. My photo post-processing skills aren’t great, and it’s not something I take pleasure in. I did get a Huelight camera profile for my old Lumix G2, which seems to help a bit.
  • I have a pile of albums in Apple Photos, and retouched photos, that I’d like to import into Lightroom. Apple Photos lets you export either the originals or the edited photos of any album, which can then be imported into the Lightroom catalog, and between the Find Duplicates and the Teekelesschen Duplicate Finder plugins I can figure out which version of each photo I actually want in the catalog. I’m still fiddling with the process but it’s workable. (I discovered the use of temporary working catalogs doing this, yay!)


Photo Sync: Figuring Out Lightroom Mobile and iCloud Photo Library [en]

[fr] En train de me dépatouiller avec la nouvelle application Photos d'Apple et la version mobile de Lightroom. Pas encore tout à fait là (la connexion internet un peu lente et le grand nombre de photos n'aident pas).

In the background of my many days of “doing nothing” here in Kolkata, I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around how sync works for both iCloud Photo Library and Lightroom for mobile, particularly as I’m in the process of giving up on Google Photos. Agreed, it’s not exactly the same part of the workflow (getting photos onto my computer archive vs. getting them online/backing them up). But you know how my thought processes work by now, don’t you? 😉

Apple’s iCloud Photo Library seems to be working pretty well. The photos and videos sync, deleting one somewhere deletes copies elsewhere. It’s really clear they are “stored in the cloud” and you can download the full versions if you want. The copies are stored in one of these “Document Packages” which you can open like a folder (right-click!) — I’ve even created a shortcut to the 2015 folder in “Masters” so I can access the photos through Finder if needed. Added advantage, as it’s the native OSX way of doing things, photos show up in the “Photos category” when browsing for files to import into Lightroom, for example.

No Parking

So, simply using iCloud Photo Library would be a way to get my photos into Lightroom without having to physically connect my devices to the computer.

But… Lightroom has its own system for this, so if it works, wouldn’t it be even better? So far, it’s not working as seamlessly as the Apple system. First of all, because I sync everything on my iDevices with iCloud photo library, Lightroom for mobile seems to import a copy of each photo from each device. Although there is an OK plugin to find duplicates in your Lightroom library, wouldn’t a workflow that doesn’t create them in the first place be better?

Two things that I wasn’t sure about, but I now know:

  • photos from your iPad/iPhone are added to the Creative Cloud and Lightroom Desktop full-sized; photos from Lightroom Desktop shared to iPad/iPhone through Creative Cloud are shared through their smart previews
  • the photos synced from your iDevices are made available in a folder on your hard drive, so you can easily drag-and-drop them into your normal archive folders.

I’m running a few tests to see what happens to photos I delete. The photos app seems the best place for quick-and-dirty sorting (if only because when taking photos I’m directly in that app). What I am thinking of doing is turning on Lightroom syncing only from either the iPad or the iPhone, to avoid duplicates. The iPad, probably.

But does that mean I need to open Photos, wait for everything to sync, and then open Lightroom mobile to do it? So far it seems that it’s the way it works — Photos doesn’t seem to be uploading anything in the background from my iDevices, and Lightroom definitely isn’t. This is good when you want to save bandwidth, but less good when your various photo containers are up-to-date and you want things to “just work” invisibly, behind the scenes.

As I’ve been saying for a while, I’m really looking for the day this stuff “just works”.

Ménage numérique [fr]

[en] Musings on backups (my first real hard drive failure) and on trying to keep digital stuff (smartphone photos, anyone?) under control. Oh, and Hazel. Try Hazel if you haven't yet.

Entre hier et aujourd’hui, ménage numérique. Il faut que je vous parle du workshop que j’ai donné hier au Swiss Creative Center, mais d’abord, le ménage.

En rentrant de Neuchâtel, j’ai branché Time Machine, parce que ça faisait 2 semaines que je n’avais pas fait de backup, me disait mon ordi, mais surtout, parce que j’avais vu passer un petit tweet de Matt Gemmell un peu plus tôt dans la journée:

Oups, me suis-je dit. Avec toute l’énergie que je mets à encourager mon entourage à faire des sauvegardes, ce serait bête que je ne suive pas mes propres préceptes. Bon, ce ne serait pas la première fois, non plus.

Je branche aussi mon disque dur externe, celui qui contient plus de 10 ans de photos et bien d’autres choses. 600Gb de données. Au bout d’un moment, je me rends compte qu’il couine. Et qu’il n’est toujours pas visible dans le Finder. Re-oups.

Je vous passe les étapes pour vérifier qu’il était bien mort (il l’était). Le coeur battant un peu, je vérifie où en était ma dernière sauvegarde Crashplan (2 jours, ouf). Celle de Time Machine date d’il y a deux semaines… j’ai fait un peu de ménage dans mes photos depuis là. Je lance le “restore”:

  • Crashplan: 10 jours (la sauvegarde est sur mon serveur à l’eclau)
  • Time Machine: 10 heures (la sauvegarde est sur un disque dur externe que je peux brancher direct dans mon ordi)

Je récupère les fichiers dans Time Machine, et ceux “qui manquent” dans Crashplan.  Ça tourne toute la nuit. Aujourd’hui je vais chez STEG pour rendre le disque dur cassé et en ramasser un nouveau (3 mois de durée de vie… heureusement il y a une garantie).

Bref, cette histoire aurait pu être un désastre si mes sauvegardes n’avaient pas été plus ou moins à jour! C’est la première fois de ma vie qu’un disque dur me claque entre les mains. Heureusement ça arrive à une période où j’ai un système de sauvegardes qui roule. Il y a quelques années, j’aurais pu perdre des choses irremplaçables.

Ne jouez pas avec le feu, faites des sauvegardes, et dites-moi si vous voulez mon code Crashplan pour avoir une sauvegarde distante sur mon serveur. Quand on se fait cambrioler ou que notre logement brûle (Dieu nous en garde), c’est déjà assez horrible comme ça sans qu’on ait en plus perdu toutes les photos de nos chats ou de nos enfants.

En parallèle de tout ça, j’ai remis le nez dans IFTTT et Google Plus. Avec iOS7 (ou peut-être même avant mais je dormais), il y a plein de portes intéressantes qui s’ouvrent. Par exemple, Auto Backup uploade automatiquement vos photos de smartphone dans Google Plus (elles sont privées bien sûr, mais on peut ensuite les partager d’un simple clic). J’ai joué donc du coup avec les albums et les photos dans Google Plus. J’aime bien, sauf que j’ai la sale impression que Google Plus duplique les photos quand je les partage, et je n’aime pas sa manie de faire des albums sans me demander quand je partage plusieurs photos d’un coup. Je suis peut-être un peu formattée “Facebook”, mais j’ai l’impression que c’est un peu plus le pétchi.

Autre chose testée, le partage de photos dans Facebook directement depuis l’album photos d’iOS7. J’aime bien, en passant, comment iOS7 regroupe les photos en “moments”. J’aimerais bien que Lightroom en prenne de la graine. (Tiens, peut-être temps de passer à la version 5.)

Le problème récurrent que j’ai avec les photos que je prends sur mon smartphone, c’est que je les partage (Facebook, Google Plus maintenant, et même Flickr) sans qu’elles ne transitent par mon ordinateur. Et mon ordinateur — enfin le fameux disque dur externe qui est mort, là — c’est quand même ma “master copy” de toutes mes photos. Je gère le tout avec Lightroom, qui gère également la publication sur Flickr, Facebook, et Google Plus. Vu que Auto Backup met automatiquement toutes mes photos sur Google Plus, je préférerais par exemple que Lightroom aille les “chercher” là-bas pour les importer dans son catalogue.

L’autre souci, c’est que beaucoup des photos que je prends avec mon iPhone sont vouées à finir leur vie dans Evernote. Photos de tickets, de documents, de livres que je lis… Pas besoin que ça finisse dans Lightroom ni que ça y passe. Jusqu’à maintenant, j’importais de temps en temps les photos de mon téléphone dans Lightroom (avec le câble), puis je triais celles qui allaient dans Evernote, les glissais-déposais dans l’application, et déplaçais les fichiers originaux dans un dossier “dans Evernote”. Comme ça, la prochaine fois que j’importe les photos de mon iPhone dans Lightroom, celui-ci ne me propose pas de les réimporter.

En zieutant les nouveautés de IFTTT (depuis la dernière fois que j’avais regardé), je me dis que je pourrais avoir sur mon iPhone un album Evernote, et une règle IFTTT qui envoie dans Evernote toute photo mise dans cet album. Malheureusement, ma recette ne semble pas fonctionner. Problème d’IFTTT? d’Evernote? d’iOS7? Allez savoir.

Bref, après toutes ces explorations je me dis que je vais rester à mon ancien système un peu manuel, même s’il provoque des doublons de photos partagées sur Facebook et Google Plus.

Alors que je réfléchis à ces questions sur Facebook, un ami m’aiguille sur Hazel. Hazel vous permet d’établir des règles pour votre Mac afin de faire un peu d’ordre dans vos fichiers. Par exemple, toute image qui se trouve dans le dossier téléchargements depuis plus d’un jour sera déplacée dans mon dossier photos. Tout .dmg trainant là depuis plus d’une semaine sera balancé. Vous pouvez tester gratuitement Hazel pendant 14 jours avant de l’acheter (et le prix est raisonnable). Moi, une heure après, je l’aime déjà.

Photos Online on Flickr, Facebook, and Google+ With Lightroom [en]

[fr] Comment je fais pour publier mes photos sur Flickr, Facebook et Google+ depuis Lightroom, avec les plugins de Jeffrey Friedl.

I like Lightroom a lot and have been using it for a few years now to manage my photos. I don’t do a lot of processing/retouching, and it fills my needs perfectly:

  • I can organize my photos on my hard drive the way I want (monthly, then “events” if needed)
  • It doesn’t touch the original photos (non-destructive editing)
  • I can retouch, crop, and do the stuff I deem necessary to improve my photos
  • I can batch-rename photos according to pretty much any template I want
  • I can upload photos to Flickr, Facebook, and Google+ directly from Lightroom.

Autour du chalet, lumière

I’ve been using Jeffrey’s Flickr plugin for a while now. The neat thing about Lightroom is that when you “publish” photos somewhere rather than “export” them, Lightroom maintains a relationship between the published photo and the one in your catalog. This means that if six months later you go over it again, crop it differently, or retouch it again, Lightroom can update the photo on Flickr for you.

Of course, you don’t have to: you can make a virtual copy of your photo in Lightroom and work on that one, without impacting the published photo; and you’re also the one who hits the publish button to update the photo on Flickr. It doesn’t happen completely automagically.

The only problem with this is for the person who has included one of the updated Flickr photos in a blog post. Updating changes the photo file name at Flickr, and breaks the insert. Thankfully, there’s a plugin for that.

I love my Flickr account and it contains pretty much all my (published) photos. I can’t deny, however, that a lot of my online social activity happens on Facebook, and that it’s a great environment for photos to circulate. Unfortunately Facebook has really crappy photo library management, so I’ve limited myself to uploading the odd album of photos every now and again. I needed a more sustainable process which didn’t involve exporting photos from Lightroom to my hard drive and uploading them manually.

Autour du chalet, coeur en dentelle

Enter Jeffrey’s Facebook plugin. As Facebook sucks, however, you shouldn’t really use the publish relationship to update photos that you’ve changed since you uploaded them to Facebook. Initially, as all I wanted to do was simplify my export-upload procedure, I used the “export” capability of the plugin. That means that instead of creating a “publish service” I created an “export preset” (File menu) to send photos directly to Facebook. Once sent, they’re sent, and live their lives on their own.

What’s nice is that I can also export photos like that directly to my pages (Tounsi and Quintus will appreciate).

Jeffrey also has a plugin for PicasaWeb, which for all practical matters pretty much means Google+ (Google Plus). Google Plus seems better at handling photo updates, so I set it up as a “publish service”.

I realized that I could use “smart publish collections” to make things simpler. My sets are already defined on Flickr. For example, I have this set of chalet photos, and I just want to reproduce it on Google+ (and Facebook). With a smart album or collection, I can tell Lightroom to “just publish those photos which are in that Flickr set”. Easy! This made me set up Facebook as a publish service too.

Autour du chalet, vue matinale du balcon

I love Jeffrey’s plugins because they are very well-maintained (up-to-date). There is some clunkiness in places because he really pushes beyond the limits of what Lightroom was designed for, but if you’re willing to see the odd error message or use the odd workaround, that should bother you too much. The clunkiness is amply made up for by the extensive documentation you will find both on Jeffrey’s site and in the plugins.

One such workaround is required to create a smart publish collection: because of a Lightroom bug, you have to edit the publish service and add the collection from there. But thankfully Jeffrey is really good at documenting stuff and telling you what to do and how, so you just have to follow the instructions on the screen. Basically you create a smart album or set in the “edit publish service” screen, then once it’s done edit that album to set your “smart” criteria.

Two useful things to know:

Finally, Jeffrey’s plugins are donationware. He spends a lot of time on them, and if you find them useful, you should definitely chip in.

Autour du chalet, crocus sous la neige

Fiddling With Video: Lightroom, YouTube, and iMovie [en]

[fr] Je m'amuse avec iMovie. Ça donne une vidéo de chats, bien sûr.

In November, I had Thierry Weber come and give my SAWI students a short practical course about YouTube and online video. It gave me a kick in the pants to (1) accept that YouTube has grown up a lot since its early days and is now a nice platform and (2) decide to put more video material out there.

I still have issues with video: either you edit heavily, and it takes hours of work to get a few minutes out of the door, or you share raw, unedited clips and it takes a long time to consume, requiring the viewer’s undivided attention. Also, like audio, there is no way to really speed through video: if it’s an hour long, that’s the time it’ll take you to watch it. You have way less freedom than with text regarding which bits you skip, pay attention to, go back to, or pay little attention to.

I have hours of video shot in India in 2004 that I have not yet done anything with. And that’s just one example.

So, between the kick in the pants, the HD iPhone always at hands, and cats (the primary source of all online content), I’ve been doing more video these last months. Some of them have ended up on my YouTube channel, but not many (can you imagine I actually have the username “steph” on YouTube? yeah.) But most of them are sitting on my hard drive due to logistical difficulties in turning them into something. (Ugly sentence, sorry.)

Today I had made enough progress sorting my photographs that I felt it was time to tackle my videos. Here’s a peek at how I’m doing things.

  • Firstly, I import all videos into Lightroom with my photos, be they from the iPhone or my proper camera.
  • I use Lightroom to organise them in a separate folder than the photos (per month) and topical subfolders if needed. This means that in my 2013/03/ photos folder, in addition to the various photos subfolders I may have (2013/03/Cats at the chalet or 2013/03/Mountains) I will have a folder named 2013/03/videos 03.2013 which might contain 2013/03/videos 03.2013/Cats in chalet garden and a few others, feline-themed or not.
  • If anything needs trashing, I do it in Lightroom, ditto for renaming. Clips can also be trimmed in Lightroom if I haven’t done it before on my iPhone (oh, a note about that: a clip trimmed on the iPhone isn’t recognised for import by Lightroom; it seems that restarting the phone gets rid of the issue.) If I’m going to upload individual clips to YouTube I keyword them “YouTube” and upload them directly to YouTube from the website.
  • For stuff I want to edit: I import the clips I need into iMovie (hopefully I will have collected the clips needed for one project into one single directory in Lightroom, like 2013/01/videos 01.2013/India snippets and keyword them with “iMovie” in Lightroom. This means they exist twice on my hard drive, but I don’t think there is a good way to avoid that (except maybe trash the Lightroom versions, which I’m loathe to do because I like the idea of having all my video stuff organised somewhere, and I like the way Lightroom does it better than iMovie).
  • My video editing skills are extremely limited: today I figured out (without access to iMovie help, which is online!) how to add a title and credits to my little series of clips stuck together end-to-end to create a mini-movie. Head over to YouTube to see my cats explore the big outdoors are the chalet for the first time.

There we go, more cat videos on the internets from my part!

A Plugin to Compensate for Flickr Broken Embed Suckage? [en]

[fr] Quand on met à jour une photo dans Flickr, Flickr change le nom du fichier. Idée de plugin WordPress pour faire la chasse aux liens cassés.

A few days ago I started noticing this kind of thing in my posts:

Missing photos due to Flickr suckage

The explanation? I’ve used my week of holiday-at-home to fool around quite a bit in Lightroom. Lightroom publishes my photos directly to Flickr. When I change a published photos, Lightroom updates it. But Flickr changes the file name when you republish a photo. And that breaks embeds.

(And yeah, Lightroom replaces the whole photo even if you’ve just edited metadata.)

To make things worse, my browser cache shows me all my photos, even the missing ones. So I don’t see which ones are missing.

Idea! A plugin that would crawl through all the embedded Flickr images in a blog, and make sure that all the photos display correctly. Produce a list of the posts and photos that need updating. Or even better, do it automatically (even if the link to the displayed photo is broken, the link to the photo page still works, and it should be trivial to get the updated embed code and replace it in the post.)