This portrait of my aunt, her grandson, her two sons and their wives was made near a seaside on the island of Penang, Malaysia where I was born. Conditions weren’t exactly ideal. See the original picture. The one speed light I had with me was insufficient to light this group but I was on vacation and didn’t have my usual gear. Lit by 1 flash placed on the right. If I had to do this over, I’d make sure everyone showed up at the time I asked. But having a second flash would have made this easier to remove that harsh shadow on my cousin’s face.

It just occurred to me when an “i-pal” recently asked for a recommendation for a location to do an “e-photo” session how geo-tagging may be useful.

Until now I was kind of skeptical of its usefulness.

I  have my favorite spots to for portraits,  but I never feel like I own those places.  Too often I hear photographers get very territorial about their secret spots.

I’m not that insecure. Part of the challenge as a photographer  is to be adaptable.

Some photographers are more comfortable in their studios.


Once outside, they don’t do so good.

I don’t feel like any spot belongs to me. It is after all open to the public.

Like this beach where I shot an engagement portrait.

But first, “i-pal” is something I made up, I think. Someone I don’t know but just met online asked if I knew someplace in Orange county to do an “E-photo.”

Don’t worry, I was clueless as to what “E-Photo” means. She told me that stands for engagement photo.

So there are some places which I know of. Trouble is, I can’t remember! Then I remembered that I had uploaded some images to Picasa, Google’s free webserver.

This is where I can see geo-tagging would help. I don’t use this location often enough,but when I need to again, all I have to do is remember this post and click on this link. And click “View Album Map.”

More Gear to Buy

So do you fight it? This geo-tagging business has shown up in iPhoto 09. And hardware is showing up all over the place to tag your pictures when you take them.

Besides being a memory aide, I can see in scientific application like forensics how this would be very helpful.

A friend of mine who works crime scene will likely embrace this since he will have one less chore to do when he’s in the field. Previously he had to use a handheld GPS device and take coordinates. With this bad boy, all he has to do is shoot and download. The data will show up in his EXIF data like his ISO, shutter speed, aperture, White Balance, time etc.

Here’s one I looked at for under $200 from Jobo.

I hope to be testing this soon. So far, there has only been 2 reviews. Too early to jump in for me.