iPads as Viable Smart Photo Albums

Behold!  My 3 iPads with 15+ years worth of photos, all automatically organized neatly by day, occasion, and face!  Thanks to Apple’s very powerful built in software.  Last year it was all about getting back to printing books, but this year I moved some of my photo archive from my Macbook to these iPads.  “I” has 2004-2010, “II” has 2010-2016, and “III” has 2016-Current.  There’s about 120,000+ photos total, which took a good long while for the software to grind in the background to recognize all the faces and different categories.  For Apple iPhone users, this is the same software (Photos) that everyone has by default.  Back in the day, all the photos just sat in your camera roll in an endless stream, but it wasn’t until “Photos” came out that the archive became alive and quite useful.  99% of these photos are all DSLR images with nice lenses, so they look pretty good on the retina screens.  Photos shot 15 years ago look like yesterday.  The only thing to watch out for is the date/time in the exif data has to be correct because Apple prefers to sort and organize by date.  Phone camera shooters have never had a problem, but traditional cameras are just behind the times.

The best feature in my opinion is the Face Recognition, which for one of my iPads, took nearly a week for it to complete.  You swipe up on an image, and if it has found a person you’ll see a face with a circle around it.  By clicking on that thumbnail you’ll get to see that the software is about 90% correct, which is pretty scary.  Every now and then it incorrectly thinks one person looks like another, but it’s easy to select the image and tell the iPad/iPhone “Not this Person.”  I never fully utilized the Faces option in iPhoto, but for touch devices where you can quickly go from Day to Person, to Category and back again, well it really makes sense now.  If you’re a stickler for staying off the grid, I believe with these older iOS devices, the face date remains local and not uploaded to the cloud (or so I’m told).

Anyways, it’s really handy to have the software automatically create memories from certain days.  It likes to name most days “Hanging Out”, which is my all time favorite thing to do! 😀 By clicking the little grey arrow on days and categories, it can easily make some slick movies with music.  You can even go in and tweak the transitions and images and export as a movie file for quick sharing.  As a person that spends way too much time editing raw files just to get the images onto these show devices, that’s just a great time saver.  EVERY SINGLE photo in my archive has been edited from the original raw files from various cameras over the years.  But putting in that much work over the years, I can live with these low res jpegs/memories, for they still look great in terms of color and sharpness.  I never really understood the usability of “Photos” on my laptops.  The magazine template never worked correctly, the ability to make individual album folders was not as simple as “iPhoto,” and the most egregious error was that it has always been made for intuitive touch screen devices.

Aside from all this technology speak, it really is cool to have an archive that I can get lost in, laying on the floor, swiping through memories.  All we are is just the times we spend with each other. 

It really is amazing to be able to see the phases of our lives in photos.  In the case here, 15+ years of folks coming and going.  Even if I met you once, you’re probably in this archive.  I haven’t “blogged” regularly in years, but these sprawling photo albums show I’m still busy documenting our silly lives.



Posted in Gear and Resources, Photography.