Joys and pains of SkyDrive albums

The recent visit of the “Tall Ships Challenge” to Savannah provided many photo opportunities. Days later, it was another pleasure choosing the pictures to share from the hundreds of photos that I had taken. You can see my photo blog over at Gallery Ludwig.

Using a WordPress photo blog, prepared with Windows Live Writer, and tying in to a SkyDrive photo album is a great way to show off and share photos. I received many enthusiastic and complimentary comments on and about this post.

Two of the ships, the Etoile and the La Belle Poule, are almost twins. The were docked next to each other. You can see them on the left in the photo here. Turns out, they presented me with quite a problem. But I am getting ahead of my story.

Four Tall Ships at River Street

GalleryLudwig-TallShips-postLet me again share my enthusiasm for using a photo blog as a “front end” for a SkyDrive album. Back in the days of Windows Live Spaces, that service provided an nice way to introduce viewers to albums. When Microsoft discontinued Spaces the recommendation was to start a WordPress blog. I did several, this is the oldest, for photo topics there are a couple: at WordPress: Café Ludwig , at Blogger: Café Ludwig, and for just photos I have Gallery Ludwig

The features and versatility of Live Writer and WordPress make photo-blogging a pleasure and allow creating good-looking posts.

Live Writer has a neat tool for inserting a collage of photos from a SkyDrive album and linking to the album. You can chose from several layouts. In the photo post I used the “scatter” album style. Shucks, let me just put one in here right now to illustrate another style:

This one is called “spread”.

As you can see, by moving the pointer over the image you get a little box with the legend “View album”. The other images in the post, and also in this article right here, similarly show the image title in the tooltip or popup. Live Writer takes care of that and uses the image title. If no title is provided the file name is used.

Now a file name is of little use to my readers. So I wanted to make sure that I have useful and correct information. For photos of the tall ships I titled each photo with the ship’s name.

That got me to the problem with the French ships, the Etoile and the La Belle Poule. They were clearly identified on the dock, but when they left to join the departure parade I lost track and could not tell them apart in my photos. So I did not title the photos of these two ships. The post was published, but that little flaw bothered me. Etoile and La Belle Poule

La Belle Poule - EtoileI tried to inspect the photos for some distinguishing marks and found some. Friends helped me with the maritime knowledge about the “Plimsoll Line” and “draft marks”. The draft marks were readable in the photos of the departing vessels. I could make out enough detail in the photo of the ships at dock, the photo at the top, to match the markings to the ships. The Etoile has the top edge of the black paint going through the number “32” whereas the La Belle Poule has the number clear above the line. The Etoile is slightly larger with a draft of 13 feet vs 12 feet for the La Belle Poule.

La Belle Poule


Hurray, identification was achieved, I could now go back and edit the post to show the correct information. For the tooltips that was just a matter of editing the “title” and “alt” tags in the HTML source in Live Writer and re-publishing.

Each of the images in the post not only shows the photo title or the name of the ship in the tooltip, it also links to that photo in the SkyDrive album. That is a really neat feature. You can see it work with the two illustrations above.

So the next step was to go to the SkyDrive album and add the photo titles, giving the correct ship names. Alas, my friends, here we run into the pains of SkyDrive. There is no way to add the title. If the photo had a title, it is shown below the picture. No way to change that in SkyDrive. Nor are the photo tags visible, although they are in the EXIF data of the images. Comments entered in SkyDrive are not related to the file metadata and are lost when a photo is downloaded. For the want of a nail …

For my full photo story about the Tall Ships see the Gallery Ludwig photo blog post: Tall Ships in Savannah.


© 2011 Ludwig Keck

About Ludwig

Lending a helping hand where I can. . . My motto: If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
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3 Responses to Joys and pains of SkyDrive albums

  1. Technogran says:

    REALLY good post Ludwig showing just how much in advance Live Writer is when compared to some of the other programs it has to sync with. For example, how long has it had the ability to add a watermark to your photos? Yet that feature is sadly lacking in Photo Gallery! Also the Photo Album feature (and its relevant methods of display) were engineered by the Writer team and then copied over to Hotmail and Live Mail.
    The Writer team have always been one step ahead of everyone else in introducing and including innovative features. I’ll spread word of this post around the internets.

    • Ludwig says:

      Thank you Technogran,
      Indeed Live Writer is the best tool in its class. Every review I have seen praises it. There are some other tools and technologies languishing at Microsoft that deserve wider recognition and use. These are the things that make me stick with Windows and Microsoft Office. I am sure that is true for many others out there. Letting Live Writer die, like Microsoft Photo Tools and others, would be plain dumb. This is where resources should be employed not cut.

  2. Pingback: The power of the SkyDrive desktop app | This 'n That

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