Wednesday, January 2, 2013

600 Seconds in Lightroom

Okay, since it has taken me fifteen minutes to take a screen shot of what I did in Lightroom in 10 minutes, I guess you'll just have to take my word for it until I figure it out.

I opened Lightroom and set the time to 10 minutes. I started with 869 images in my 12-12 folder (December 2012). I had several files that were miss filed there and I realized that they were pictures from school (I do the yearbook there) and they needed to be processed and put in the HESCurrent folder. So in ten minutes I process 40 pictures, that includes keywords and put them in the proper folder. I did nothing else but keyword and move. I didn't cull or rate or edit. That's another 600 seconds.

But . . . if I continued to make this same kind of progress and worked on just this thing for five days, I would move 200 pictures and they would be ready for the next step. I cleaned out 5 folders and can now remove them before I shut down LR and go to bed.  I might have even been able to move more if the folders had a lot of pics in them, like the ones from the K-4 concert with 143 or the one from the Activity day before Christmas break on the 19th with 219. Now that's cool, huh?

600 Seconds to what?

If all I had each day was six hundred seconds, or ten minutes, to dedicate to my craft what could I accomplish? This is a list I have brainstormed, but not tested. I will revise the list as I work through it.

  • upload photos
  • cull and basic keyword photos (how many?)
  • rate and caption photos (how many? )
  • edit photos
  • organize folders of photos
  • check on my back up systems to make sure they are running properly
  • download a digi kit
  • sort and organize digital files in download folder
  • convert pngs to tiff files to upload to Lightroom
  • upload digifiles to Lightroom
  • basic keyword and sort digifiles
  • create a lightroom layout template
  • choose files, photos, and stories for a layout
  • organize a photo collection for an album
  • burn a dvd
  • create a blog post
  • upload photos to flickr
  • watch a video
  • upload to Persnickety Prints
  • place an order with Persnickety Prints
  • brainstorm a list of projects/layout ideas
  • start a digital layout in PSE
  • work on a digital layout in PSE
  • finish, save, and upload a digital layout to a share site
  • read a blog post
  • comment on blog posts
Has anyone else done a list like this? I am not sure that ten minutes is the right amount of time, but twenty minutes seems to be too long sometimes. Sometimes just getting started is the key and you can do anything for ten minutes.

What if you don't even have ten minutes? What if all you have is five minutes? How do you organize and track your activities so that you make the best use of your time? The goal is to keep moving forward, to get your photos out there to share with the people you care about, to tell your story, no matter how mundane. If you could do that in 600 seconds a day, would you? Wouldn't you?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Journal Your Christmas 2012: Prompt 2 Christmas Countdown from Childhood

Today’s prompt asked me to think about the Christmas countdown in my childhood. I remember putting up the Christmas tree with my dad and my brother. At this point my elder sisters must have been too cool to participate, but John and I had fun. I remember that we would love sorting out the parts of the artificial tree, much like I have done with my own children in the past. We would match the colors at the ends of the branches together and assemble the tree from the bottom up.
When it was time to decorate, late November, Dad would take us up to the attic and pass down the boxes of ornaments, garlands, and the tree. The attic was always a bit of a spooky place with a scary element because if you stepped in the wrong place you would come right down through the ceiling as there was no floor for the attic space but pieces of wide boards scattered about as makeshift walkways.  When we got older, John and I would retrieve the boxes on our own. Dad trusted us to pull them down.

My favorite decorations were the glow-in-the-dark icicles. John and I would hold them up to the nearest lamp then scoot into my parents' bedroom without the light on and watch them glow. We were fascinated by the process. I remember doing this over and over again. I remember the electric candles that went in the bedroom windows and the windows in the living and dining rooms. I remember being excited to plug them in at night, like a night light especially made for Christmas-time.

I also remember the big plastic candle decoration that Dad would set up in the front lawn. This was given up early on in my childhood. I don't even really remember seeing it on the lawn, but in the attic where we stored all the Christmas supplies. I remember setting out the strings of lights and inspecting them to find the bad bulbs. This could be a frustrating and arduous process that didn't always result in the strand lighting in the end. We were patient as we knew that this was one more step getting us closer to Christmas Day.

I don't remember Mom getting into the decorating very much. Maybe, like me, she was more a part of it when we were younger, and let Dad do it as the children got older and more independent. Nowadays, I really don't care about the tree much. I don't want to spend my precious vacation time taking the tree down and spending the hours it takes putting each ornament back in its box. For many years, I did this. I remember that when the girls were small there was so much to do and the tree was one more thing that I didn't necessarily enjoy a great deal. I tolerated the routine for them. I wanted them to remember the fun of putting up the tree.

The past three or so years have been different. Brett has wanted to do away with the artificial tree and appreciates a real one. I don't appreciate the cost or the mess, but I have to say it is growing on me. It is the only thing that he takes any interest in. He doesn't buy presents. He doesn't wrap. He doesn't really care about the holiday. But since he's taken over the tree thing the past few years, I am finding that I have a renewed interest in it. I still don't want to decorate it, but I like taking pictures of Brett and the girls putting up the lights and the garland. Last year we didn't put any ornaments on. The year before that, Brett bought cheap red balls to put up and we tossed them in the trash when the tree came down. I think we put up the artificial tree in the basement too, but we only put up lights. I have to admit the tree helps create the anticipation of Christmas Day and it's pretty to sit by the lights in the evening.

This year the girls selected a few choice ornaments to put on the tree. I didn't see what they had chosen until they started putting them on and had questions about which ornament belonged to who and when we had gotten it or who gave it to us.  I wonder if I am losing something as I pick up ornament after ornament and don't know their stories.  I used to. I have a list of all the special ornaments, who gave them to us, and the occasion. As a teacher I would get a lot of ornaments, some nice, some cheesy, from students. I started to lose track of the ones that we accumulated that way. This year the tree is staying up. It's beautiful and I realize that I don't have to take the ornaments down right away. Maybe I can re-acquaint myself with the stories or make up new ones with the girls as we put them back in their boxes and tins.