Sharing Photos on a Mac with a Windows Network

  • Posted: 14 July 2011 01:09 PM

    I work for a small engineering firm.  I keep my old Powermac here at my desk for doing all the things that windows doesn’t do.  One thing that I use my Mac for is iphoto.  I have a collection of thousands of high resolution photographs (shot in raw format).  Since I manage our project libraries, when anyone has pictures, they give them to me and i post them on the LAN.  Right now, what i am doings is that when i get pictures, i import them into iphoto, then i export the folder ( i create a different folder for every job) and place the folder on the network share location for that job.  My problem is that if i put raw files or high resolution photographs on the network, they take forever to load. I h ave been trying to make something work with picasa, but have not really been happy with it.  Does anyone have any recommendations on any photo sharing software/harware that i can post thumbnails that are easy to browse, but still allow the user to down load the high resolution original if they need it?  What about filemaker?  Does Filemaker have any good picture management plugins?

    Oh, just to make it a little more difficult, a good portion of our work is for the military so I can’t post it to the cloud.  I have to keep everything local.

    [ Edited: 14 July 2011 01:25 PM by Christopher Atkin ]      
  • Posted: 14 July 2011 02:27 PM #1

    When you say it’s slow to load the photos, how are they being viewed? Are we talking about hundreds or thousands in the same folder, and is the OS trying to show thumbnails as it browses the directory structure? Are they slow to open up when you simply double-click one?

    Do the other people who access the photos need to see the RAW versions or do they simply open and save as JPEG without any real tweaking?

  • Posted: 14 July 2011 06:15 PM #2

    They typically try to view them in Explorer or Picassa. Some folders have 300+ pictures.  Typically my workflow is that if I take the pictures (i take about 90%) I shoot with my DSLR which are about 10MB each.  I was thinking about keeping the original raw on my mac, and then coping over to the network jpegs (3-4MB each).  If a person needs any major tweaking, I don’t mind them coming to me and I can do what ever needs to be done.  The pictures mainly just serve as a reference material if there is a problem down the road.  Less than 1% will ever get looked at again, but that 1% has saved us many of times.  Typically how they are used is that a tech will call up and say that he can’t find component X, and we then pull up the pictures and say something like, “find the big blue box,and look 6 inches to your right.”

  • Posted: 14 July 2011 06:20 PM #3

    Hmm, if you don’t absolutely have to have the RAWs available on the server (sounds like maybe you don’t) you might want to try out a gallery solution such as Gallery or Coppermine.

    Both are free / open source and web-based. The server generates thumbnails, etc. as the pictures get added. Then when people browse them it happens very quickly and they still have the option to download full-size JPEGs.

    The downside is that the files would be stored separate from your RAW images, and also that someone with some basic server knowledge would need to set it up.

    The upside to such a solution would be that it’s simple to use, fast, and web-based so you can access it from any type of computer. Also, I haven’t used them in a while but I know there are iPhoto and Aperture plugins you can use to export your images directly to these galleries rather than exporting before uploading.

    [ Edited: 14 July 2011 06:22 PM by David Nelson ]      
  • Posted: 19 July 2011 03:42 PM #4

    You should have a look at DocMoto by CHLsoftware. It’s a server based file manager that has amazing meta tagging for photos. They are looking to launch a cloud based version later this year.

  • Posted: 15 November 2011 07:32 PM #5

    Might want to check out a digital asset manager such as Canto Cumulus.