Help me organize my digital photos!
February 19, 2013 5:23 PM   Subscribe

Pretty much all of my photos exist on my laptop, a networked hard drive and Flickr. I am looking for a good way to keep the three locations synced with each other.

This is my current setup:
  • My camera saves the photo to a raw file as well as a low-quality jpeg file.
  • Lightroom imports the photo into its system and copies both the raw file and jpeg onto a folder on the local computer eg 2013-02-18.
  • Every once in a while I will copy the new folders onto a hard drive on my network which is my local backup (the hard drive enclosure runs linux so the thing is a mini server, but it is not exposed to the outside world).
  • Every once in a while I will upload all the photos taken to my Flickr account with a default setting of them being visible only to me.
  • Once they are on Flickr I will do things such as mark some of them public (ie viewable to people other than myself), organize them into albums and add things like tags or geo-coordinates. I am rarely at my home computer so I would not be able to enter these things into Lightroom directly.
To me, the downsides of this setup are:
  • Flickr doesn't take my raw file, it only takes a jpg of the image, meaning I can't use it as an online backup of my photos.
  • Any metadata I add to the photos on Flickr doesn't synchronize with either my local collection in Lightroom or with the actual raw files on either the local computer or the local backup.
  • It is not very automated in general. Once the photos are in Lightroom they don't automatically end up on either Flickr or my local backup.
This is what I would like to happen:
  • I connect my memory card to a computer and all new photos get stored somewhere on the local computer.
  • The local photos also get backed up to the network hard drive.
  • Either my computer or the hard drive automatically uploads the raw files somewhere online (either alone or with the jpg file) but it should not be publicly viewable/accessible.
  • The online service will allow me to display the photos as well as edit their metadata either individually or in a group.
  • Any metadata entered online will sync with either the local computer or network hard drive.
How do I make what I would like to happen actually happen?

Zenphoto seems to be the closest thing to what I want, however there doesn't seem to be any hosted option so I'd have to get my own hosting and run it off that which I am not interested in doing. Also, I do not know if it supports raw files.

I am not wedded to either Flickr or Lightroom. My laptop runs Windows 7. As mentioned above the hard drive runs linux, specifically an old version of Debian (Sarge I think).
posted by any portmanteau in a storm to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I've got a system up and running that does this extremely well. Unfortunately, it's all Mac.

The components:
1) A Mac
2) A Time Capsule (contains HD that backs up Mac in a smart way)
3) A DropBox membership (syncs your image folder--or whatever--to the cloud. Side benefit is that is easily manages content between multiple computers--works extremely well).

You're asking for too much to get the level of choreography you're asking for out of a PC/Linux frankenstein. The Mac works beautifully: you get what you pay for.
posted by Murray M at 9:54 AM on February 26, 2013

Thanks for the answer Murray M!

I've got DropBox and what it does it does well. But I don't think it does what I need it to. Specifically:

How do you tag your photos or add locations using the DropBox web interface?

Are RAW files viewable in the browser? Alternately, does it have a way to link a RAW file to a jpg so that any metadata I add to the jpg will get added to the RAW file as well?

I am never at home so all the metadata gets added from my phone or my computer at work. If the online component doesn't work then I don't think my home setup really matters.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 5:37 PM on March 6, 2013

I think you could use IFTTT to automatically send jpg files from Dropbox to Flickr. It is not going to sync the metadata back to your personal copies, though. You could look into the other channels they support and see if anything else would work for you.
posted by soelo at 9:14 PM on May 23, 2013

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