Picking Your Pictures

If you have a phone in the 2020s, you likely have a camera as part of it. That camera could have multiple lenses, slow-motion video capabilities, and special AI effects – all of which make it way more powerful than a camera used to be.

What do we do with these amazing cameras that so many people are carrying around with them all the time? We take pictures. So many pictures.

A drawback to how common photography has become is that us amateur photographers now have problems only professionals used to. The more pictures you have, the harder it can be to find the right one. Especially if we took three versions of the photo we wanted to capture because different people were blinking. This doesn't feel like a big drawback until you start amassing a big collection of pictures, since sifting through 50 is a lot easier than sifting through 10,000.

Smartphones have built-in tools in their photo organizing apps to group similar pictures together. For example, if you take pictures with a phone, it will usually have GPS data embedded in the file which allows you to see where a picture was taken. Some of these tools let you have more control, like manually creating albums and putting pictures in them, and some give you less, like turning on facial recognition so the app will recognize people you've named for it.

One of the most common technology tasks we help people with at the library is learning how to manage their photos. The best first piece of advice we have is to delete photos you don't need (things like alternate takes, blinks, blurry shots) and do it soon after taking the pictures. It's far easier to organize your pictures in little chunks rather than tackling a lifetime in one mammoth task.

If you are looking for more help, we offer Photo Management classes for both Apple and Google Photos or you can book a tech help one-on-one so we can help you sort through your options (but sadly, we can't sort out all your duplicates).