GoPhoto Blog

The Big Photo Problem: Curation… Nearly Solved? (Part 1)

I take more photos than I have time to sort through.

And, I'm not about to stop. The people I love in this world are growing up and changing, and I want to capture as much as I can. But, every month, I look at the ~300 pictures I've taken, and try to pick the best ~10-30 to save as highlights for sharing & coming back to later. You can call this "filtering", "editing", "selecting", "sorting". But, I call it "curation". My personal/family photos are the most precious images I'll see. So, my job, done right, is like a museum curator, to select, highlight, & preserve the best images for the future.

But, curation work gets boring! I'd rather not go through thousands of images. And, I don't always trust my decisions. I mean, will my wife, kids, family & friends rather see this photo or that? It's very subjective. This curation problem is what holds many of us back from properly capturing life events.

Finally, I see some hope! Google has just released a powerful feature within Google+, which Automatically Creates Highlights from your photos!

How can Google do this? Well, they have billions of images & billions of R&D dollars, and very sharp engineers, who have built automatic curation based on:

  • Selecting images with faces/people.
  • Picking images that have smiles
  • Removing duplicates (or near duplicates), & getting the best one based on the above.
  • Removing the blurred images or otherwise poor technical quality.

This doesn't just work for new photos, but works just as well for old photos that you get scanned. When you get your old 35mm slides scanned, or photos scanned by GoPhoto, they provide you a DVD with all of the images. (GoPhoto specifically provides an easy/fast upload directory on the DVD. The "web_friendly" directory is the same images as your full resolution images that are scanned, but the "web_friendly" directory has pre-compressed/shrunk images that are best for web uploading & sharing. They are 10x smaller & faster to upload to Google+ for instance.)

This will save me time, my most precious commodity lately. Sure, for key life events like weddings, I'll do the manual curation. But, 80% of the time, I'll just take all of the images from an event, and drop them into Google+, for the auto-highlights, and then send those out to the people who attended the event. That's so much easier, & quite good enough, if not better, than me "intending to do it" (but not), or picking the best photos (in my eyes), which are not "the best" that most other people would want to see.

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