Event management

I’ve imported a lot of photos into iPhoto over the years: 28,000+ more or less. (Does that count as a lot? I imagine there are people out in the world who have ten times as many photos as I do, but 28,000 seems like a lot to me.)

Some of them were imported from my old PictureIt photo library, when I bought the iMac (in 2006, that was); and a goodly number came from the negative-scanning project of 2010. The rest were imported from various digital cameras we’ve had over the years.

(Handy things, digital cameras – or used to be. The iPhone & iPad both take better pictures than our camera – a Nikon Coolpix Something-or-Other – so we seldom use it any more. There are cameras better than the iPad, but they’re expensive.)

iPhoto groups imported photos into events, one event per day. (Earlier versions may have called events something else. I don’t remember.) After seven years of importing & general foolery, my iPhoto library contained almost 2,000 events, most of them unhelpfully (and somewhat paradoxically) titled ‘untitled event’.

I never paid much attention to iPhoto’s events, instead maintaining my own set of albums and folders. I have a set that replicates my Flickr account (modulo recent uploads from the iPad and iPhone), and another for my (small) WordPress media library.

I decided over the weekend to consolidate all those previously-neglected events into considerably fewer (albeit larger) ones, grouped by year+month, and by camera. It’s going much faster than I expected: two days in, I’m almost finished.

That may be optimistic. Prior to 2006, the metadata – timestamps, camera identifiers, etc. – is scarce, and also unreliable. Grouping the oldest photos is going to be more difficult. Then again, pre-2006 photos came from PictureIt, and appear to be grouped by month already.

Did PictureIt do that on its own, or did I do that myself? I have no idea.

A followup project – once this one is complete – might be to look for significant events: vacations, road trips, that sort of thing. These really ought to have their own events.

It’s been fun, looking at old pictures. Jake & Sam used to be babies, imagine that! Also a bit sad at times, seeing those we’ve lost.