Andre the Giant has a Posse


Andre the Giant sticker.

I love Flickr, except that my general pool of photos has always been oddly ordered. After some experimentation, I’ve figured it out what’s going on.

On the actual camera, they’re numbered chronologically, using a different prefix, e.g. IMG_7021.jpg. When I plug in the camera, the Windows plug-and-play photo transfer widget prompts me for a “name prefix” for the pictures to which it appends a number. For example, if I type “Crappy Photo” I get a series named “Crappy Photo0001.jpg” … “Crappy Photo9999.jpg” During the transfer, the photo creation timestamps are preserved, but the photos are sometimes renumbered. It was a minor annoyance until my Baltimore trip a few weeks ago. The duration of the trip meant a lot of pictures. When the card was nearing its capacity, I deleted a few of the marginal ones and gradually reduced the resolution. Several photos were out of order.

As an experiment, I took four photos, each of me holding that photo’s worth of fingers. First photo: the nice finger pointing to something on my computer. Second photo: groovy peace sign. Third photo: Scout’s Honor. Fourth photo: time to send in the punting team. The transfer widget brought them over in the right order, but Flickr reversed it on upload. Cool. If I use the Organiz(e)r tool, I can group them and order them within the group by time or tire size or smell or whim. Unfortunately, if you go to my photos page, you’ll still see them in whatever order Canon/Windows/Flickr come up with, which is mostly reversed with late scattered thunderstorms.

I reshot the series of photos, only before taking the fourth, I deleted the second. The results:

name on camerasubjectname on computerFlickr ordr
img_1624one fingerfingers 001.jpgthird
img_1626three fingerfingers 003.jpgsecond
img_1627fourt fingerfingers 002.jpgfirst

Deleting the photo creates a “hole” that gets filled in with the next shot taken. Either the Canon does the reorganization, perhaps as a way to defragment the memory card, or the windows transfer widget is reading the directory structure wrong.

I’m seeking sponsorship for another experiment to be conducted in an exotic location, preferably sunny and warm, but I’m open to suggestions.

3 thoughts on “Andre the Giant has a Posse”

  1. The problem is that flickr stores the pictures in the order they’re uploaded, and that even includes the order in which they’re entered into the lines for transfer. Line one, picture one will end up the third picture in a series of three because flickr uploads the first one into your photostream, then the second, then the third. Looking at your photostream will make it appear backwards.

    Hmm. Is this even what you’re talking about? Suddenly I feel like I’m oversimplifying and not getting it…

    All the same, I frequently tweak the order I upload things so that people looking at my pictures can get a better sense of their order. If I’m uploading a few random pictures at a time, I’ll put my favorite picture last, so that it queues up top of my photostream, and it’s the one people see by default when they click on me.

  2. Scout – I use the uploadr tool, which lets one add a batch of photos to upload, hence my confusion.

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