Each day, I tell myself I will work on uploading my backlog of observations. And then I go out and make a lot more observations and by the end of the day my backlog has only gotten larger. Clearly, I need a new approach. This backlog is more than a nuisance, it encourages me to skip going outside on walks for fear of making more observations (Is it even possible to go on a walk without photographing everything anymore?), feels like a lot of work which leads me to procrastinate by writing topics on the forums instead of sorting through observations, and means a lot of my observations will end up lost since I will forget where I saw them or misplace the data.
What ways do you all have of doing this whole iNat thing more efficiently in general?
My specific situation is to take a bunch of photos of each thing with a DSLR that can link to my phone to get GPS coords, but which I often forget to link up and so have to enter coords in manually. I transfer files to my computer, crop the photos, delete the blurry ones and select the best few of each obs to use, and only select one individual for each species I encounter on an outing. I then upload them using the website and often spend a bit of time at this stage trying to ID them. And then after upload, I usually have to go into a few of them to add crosslinks and just to check for any mistakes.
The cropping and deciding which photos to keep part takes the longest, and is the part that feels the most like work.
But that’s just the process I use for normal camera observations. I mostly do microscopy these days, and that is where I get into real trouble. It only takes a few minutes to collect a sample of water, but then many hours to look through it and photograph everything. So I usually end up taking more samples of things than I can look at in a day, hence my growing collection of water filled plastic bags.
Some ideas I’ve had to improve things are:
- Use the app for things I don’t care about as much but still want to upload
- Resist the urge to document everything; be more selective in what I upload
- Use lightroom or something like that to edit, organize, and upload observations to iNat instead of using the web interface
- Get a dedicated camera gps
- Find a decent microscope image acquisition program. The one I use now has soo many annoying things about it and crashes regularly.
- Learn to use automatic modes with camera instead of always adjusting everything manually for each shot.
- Find a decent, easy-to-use program to cut and crop videos and export them as gifs.
- Try not to take 50 photos of a single organism, or excessively long videos
- Label everything immediately (I am good at doing this now, but it merits repeating)