I have been using Lightroom 4 since the first day they released it in beta. One of the features I was excited about was the new Map module. I am fairly meticulous about organizing and tagging all my photos. This is a major reason why I love Lightroom. It excels at that. The thing that I have had to do manually (since both my Canon 5D2 and Canon S95 don’t have GPS logging) is geotag my photos when I upload them to Flickr. It is tedious and at times very difficult when I can’t remember the exact spot I was at when I shot the photo.
Since Lightroom 4 has made it easier to geotag your photos, I decided to give it a try. In order to make this work, I had to find a way to track and import my GPS data for my photos. I should note that Lightroom only supports GPX files. After trying a bunch of GPS tracking apps on my phone and testing a bunch of desktop that exported to GPX when it was necessary, I was disappointed that most of the software out there did not work well with Lightroom. The last app I tried was My Tracks by Google. I forgot that they made one. I wish I tried it first because it works perfectly with Lightroom.
I tested it out yesterday when I was shooting along the Mississippi River. There is only one thing to remember before you start using My Tracks. You should make sure your phone has an accurate reading from your GPS signal. Acquiring your location takes time if it’s a cold start. I turned on my GPS a few minutes before I got to my destination to give my phone plenty of time to lock onto my location. After My Tracks has a good read on you, just start recording and then begin taking photos. One last thing to be aware of, you should check to see if your camera’s time is set correctly. Lightroom syncs your photos to the GPS data with that time. You can correct this by setting a time offset after you imported everything, but you’ll save yourself a possible headache if you just check the time beforehand. After everything your GPS data and your photos are in Lightroom, it can sync them up with a few clicks. It saves the location data into your photos as metadata so when you upload them to Flickr, Flickr will recognize and map them for you. You can check out the photos that I tested it with on my Flickr.
If you have any questions about this whole process, leave a comment below or you can ask me at @JavaJunky.
Don’t miss the first ever OMGLGWATPAS. “What’s that?”, you say. It stands for “OMG, let’s go walk and take photos and stuff”. Maybe it won’t be the final name. Basically, I’m organizing a photowalk for next weekend (August 14th or 15th) here in the Twin Cities. The final date is still up for voting. It’ll be a super casual and unstructured. I literally just want to hang with some photographers and take some photos. All you need is a camera. I’m not organizing a photowalk for pros being that I’m not one so bring your DSLRs, your point and shoots, your film cameras, or your camera phone. All are welcome. Heck, if you wanted to just sketchwalk with me, that is fine too. It will probably be a small group. It will be late afternoon on either Saturday or Sunday. Location is also up for voting. We will be shooting until we feel like stopping. Like I said, super casual.
Leave a comment here if you are interested in joining me. Make sure you tell me which afternoon you’re voting for and if you have a location to suggest. I would like to lock down a time and location by the middle of this week so that people can plan for it. If you don’t want to comment here, you can find me on twitter at @JavaJunky.
Update (Aug 10): So with all the crazy storming this week, I think I’m going to set a solid time for Sunday at 4pm since it may rain on Saturday. I’m still taking votes on location. I have one general vote for Saint Paul. I’m going to toss out some possibilities: Downtown Saint Paul, Minnehaha Falls, Uptown, U of M West Bank. Feel free to add your suggestions. Vote here or reply to me on twitter(@JavaJunky).
Update (Aug 13): I decided to make Downtown Saint Paul the location for the photowalk. We can meetup in Mears Park in Lowertown. If you can’t meet at 4pm, contact me ahead of time so I can give you my number so you can join up later. You can email me at email@example.com or on twitter as @JavaJunky.
Mears Park in Downtown Saint Paul (map)
4pm Sunday, August 15th, 2010
I went for another photowalk today. It was at Central Park. It was sunny and beautiful out. The clouds were big and intense. Today was also the first day I shot with my new lens hood for my kit lens. I think it made a difference. My photos look like they have better contrast and richer colors. You can view the whole set of photos on my Flickr.
*This post was written yesterday, but due to server problems, it’s displaying today.
I’ve had a long week and I really haven’t taken any good photos lately. Today, I decided to take another photowalk on Grand Avenue before dinner. I’ve walked and ran on Grand more times than I can count, but I haven’t really taken many photos.
After dinner and watching WALL-E, I decided to take another photowalk in downtown Saint Paul since I still had my camera with me. I don’t have that many night photos so I thought this was a good time for it.
Downtown Saint Paul
The first day of summer was beautiful. It was so sunny and hot, but not too hot. I took my camera out for a photowalk. I ended up going to Highland Park in Saint Paul. I wasn’t really inspired by much there. It’s mostly grass and trees. I got a couple cool plant life shots. I think my favorite shot was this spiral ladder at the playground set. I took a photo of it at a downward angle. I think it turned out quite well.
Highland Park Flickr set
I took a great photowalk today at Minnehaha Park. It really was more of a photohike. I shot a lot of photos. You can view the whole set here.
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