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Benjamin W. Herila


1. Photo Staging

First, someone has taken photos with their digital camera. When the memory card is full (or as needed), the photos are downloaded to the computer and loaded into that user's Photo Staging folder on SkyDrive, where they are uploaded. Some editing can take place here; bad and unncessary photos can and should be deleted as appropriate.

2. Lightroom Catalog and Processing

At that point, the photos are downloaded into a centralized Adobe Lightroom catalog. For extra reliability, the Lightroom catalog is stored on a volume with redundancy functionality provided by Windows 8 Storage Spaces. It's also backed up regularly to an external hard drive and synchronized using Bittorrent Sync to an offsite location for extra reliability. 

Photos may be further edited and de-duplicated in Lightroom. 

3. Photo & Video Export

Photos are exported in Lightroom into one location with a path that corresponds roughly to the following: E:\Photos\Family Photos\{Year}\{Year}-{Month} and an optional day and event. For example, E:\Photos\Family Photos\2013\2013-05 Bethany's Graduation. The photos are exported as high-quality JPEG images. The high-quality family photos directory is published via Bittorrent Sync secret, and anyone who wishes to have a copy of the high-quality JPEGs on his or her machine may sync this set of files. 

Video files are copied to this location as well and transcoded to H.264 if necessary, since the Motion JPEG codec that many digital cameras use is not space efficient. I use Vidcoder, a free program, to accomplish this (http://vidcoder.codeplex.com/).

4. Photo & Video Publishing

For mobile consumption and circumstances where someone may not want the full 80+ GB of hi-res family photos, I have written a tool called PhotoPublish (https://bitbucket.org/bherila/photopublish) which copies and converts JPEG images in the hi-resolution output discussed in Step 3 to a lower-resolution version (typically 1920 pixels on the long edge, but with a target file size of ~400 KB) suitable for sharing. The lower-resolution photos are uploaded to SkyDrive. These photos are never synced to other PCs but are always available for online viewing. 

Currently, my SkyDrive photo collection contains 43,553 files consuming 7.29 GB of space. So you can see how even the free 7 GB SkyDrive plan can get you quite far with your photo sharing! 

5. Photo Printing Services

Print services don't have a convenient sync mechanism so I typically just upload photos ad-hoc, as I want to print them.