This article is a pre-release chapter in Jeff Carlson’s upcoming “Take Control of Your Digital Photos,” scheduled for public release in August 2013. Apart from the introduction, these chapters are available only to TidBITS members; see “Streamed Advice for Managing Your Digital Photos” for details.
It’s easy to think that taking control of digital photos begins when you import the images into your computer, but the truth is that the process starts before you capture your first shot. For example, time stamps are the foundation of photo-management software, making it essential that your camera records the correct time. It is possible to fix errant time stamps later, but doing so throws a roadblock into your workflow. (And if enough roadblocks appear, you may decide to turn around and abandon the endeavor altogether.)
The advice in this section isn’t complicated, but it goes a long way toward ensuring the photos you shoot will be cleanly imported.
Check and Set the Clock
How many digital clocks do you set on a regular basis? These days the number is small because our devices—computers, smartphones, iPads, even some televisions—configure the date and time automatically by getting the info from the Internet. When Daylight Saving Time (DST) switches over, I need to change only a few holdovers such as the clock on my oven and an analog clock above the fireplace.
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