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  • Filing System for Digital Photos

    Living withing the age of digital photography, I am finding an ever increasing backlog of SD cards and photo folders in my virtual and physical inboxes.
    I remain stumped for a solution to easily organize the photos and back them all up safely so a computer failure will not result in years of lost family memories.
    I am thinking there is somehow a solution with Google's Picasa, but haven't completely worked it out yet.
    Criteria - simple to use, quick to use, easy to review, retains resolution, and can be easily backed up to external media.
    Are there any suggestions on what application works well to file and backup photos? What filing system is working well for you folks to manage your digital photos?

  • #2
    iPhoto

    I am only a casual photographer, and find myself using my phone camera much more than my nifty camera, so my opinion is not worth much to a serious amateur, let alone a professional. But iPhoto gives you a lot of organizing tools.

    Comment


    • #3
      I just posted a podcast I did with someone who is an expert in organizing and storing photos, Victoria Bampton. You might want to listen to hear her helpful tips.

      https://secure.davidco.com/connect/f...ew.php?t=13950 (21 min)

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks so much Kelly, I will check it out.

        Originally posted by kelstarrising View Post
        I just posted a podcast I did with someone who is an expert in organizing and storing photos, Victoria Bampton. You might want to listen to hear her helpful tips.

        https://secure.davidco.com/connect/f...ew.php?t=13950 (21 min)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Christopher13 View Post
          Are there any suggestions on what application works well to file and backup photos? What filing system is working well for you folks to manage your digital photos?
          I use Adobe Lightroom, and ham working on thousands of my own digital photos. separate catalogs for hundreds of scanned historical photos and also scanning a backlog of my own running into the thousands of old slides, negatives and prints.

          Powerful, hard to learn on occasion but very good once you get it.

          Buy Victoria Bampton's book, very useful!

          Comment


          • #6
            I use a simple file-folder structure under My Pictures to store photos.

            \My Pictures
            \Photos
            \<year> e.g. 2012
            \<mm-dd - collection Name> e.g. 10-01 - Sunset Photos
            \pxxxxxxxx.jpg
            Each year I back up the current year's photos to CD/DVD and take a copy offsite. I test the backups annually as well. I back up current year photos to Mozy.

            Comment


            • #7
              File naming and metadata?

              Originally posted by ellobogrande View Post
              I use a simple file-folder structure under My Pictures to store photos.

              \My Pictures
              \Photos
              \<year> e.g. 2012
              \<mm-dd - collection Name> e.g. 10-01 - Sunset Photos
              \pxxxxxxxx.jpg
              Is pxxxxxxxx.jpg the original file name created by a camera?

              What about the metadata - for example names of people on the picture?

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              • #8
                Don't Forget the Stories

                I should note that my Lightroom catalog is the metadata part and that I store the picture files in a folder by year then in a folder by day taken within that year.

                To me there are 2 parts, the actual files themselves and the metadata that describes them.

                A third storage for me is that I print out many of my pictures and make physical scrapbooks. That allows me to write the stories the pictures illustrate, something that is missing form the Lightroom data.

                I'm hoping to explore a bit more with digital scrapbooking but I enjoy cutting the paper and laying out the pages physically so not sure I want to go digital.

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                • #9
                  I'll make a couple of very simple suggestions which will save no end of issues.

                  1. Rename to a unique name at the time of import, and then don't rename it again. A dated filename such as YYYYMMDD-HHMMSS (year, month, day, hour, minute, second) based on the Capture Time is ideal for that. The simple reason is it makes it easy to go back to backups if you need to, and it means you never accidentally overwrite photos.

                  2. For really easy backup, use a dated folder structure i.e. YYYY/YYYY-MM/YYYY-MM-DD so you can easily see which folders are new and need backing up offsite.

                  3. Back up to hard drives rather than optical media (apart from possibly a first import backup to optical) as you'll save yourself hours. Automate it using file sync or backup software.

                  4. Don't duplicate the same photo in different folders (i.e. a photo of Jane and Karen needs to be in a single folder, not in a Jane folder and also in a Karen folder).

                  5. Use Metadata like keywords to find the contents of the photos - i.e. store them in dated folders (and by all means add a descriptive phrase like Kate's Wedding to the end of the folder name) and add keywords to show that the photo includes Jane, Karen, Kate, Fred, it's at a wedding, and the dresses were blue. I'm not usually a fan of keywords, but this is the one place I highly recommend them.


                  As far as software goes, I'm clearly a Lightroom fan. It's not always the most intuitive program, but it's well worth the effort to learn it. If you want something a little lighter, the Photoshop Elements Organizer isn't bad. Picasa's ok but it tends to have a habit of hiding your photos from you, and has been known to write non-standard metadata, which I tend to shy away from.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Christopher13 View Post
                    Are there any suggestions on what application works well to file and backup photos? What filing system is working well for you folks to manage your digital photos?
                    On Linux, the de-facto standard here is Shotwell, and it runs circles around anything I've ever seen on any platform. Very, VERY slick, fast and organized. It uses the JFIF data embedded in the photo files themselves to organize the photos. It can detect dupes, import directly from media as you insert it, etc. It supports tags, ratings and all the usual things you'd expect.

                    HIGHLY recommended, and free!

                    http://yorba.org/shotwell/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by vbampton View Post
                      I'll make a couple of very simple suggestions which will save no end of issues
                      [...]
                      Do not reinvent the wheel here, use an app (such as the one I recommended above) that does all of this for you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        too many sources, no unified location

                        Christopher, you've touched a really, well, touchy spot. (Yeah, there was a better way to say that... so let me try again)

                        Our household has three people, three copies of Aperture, one copy of Lightroom, two digital cameras, two photo-filled phones, four photo-filled iPads and three desktop computers with, yes, lots of photos. The challenge is finding one repository for all and one slick, streamlined system for getting images off of each device and onto a centralized network. Everyone (me, too) feels sort of possessive of their own photos and, at the same time, we also want to view everybody else's photos, so much frustration ensues.

                        Does anyone have any experience with multiple users funneling photos into one big bucket of an application?

                        Thanks again for posting that question, Christopher!

                        Dena

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by artsinaction View Post
                          Does anyone have any experience with multiple users funneling photos into one big bucket of an application?
                          In our house we have a private server set up that is our backup server and also has a folder on it called Camera pix. Within that I keep all my digital pictures in a folder called Oogie Pix and within that by year and within that by day. I only have 2 devices for pictures, my camera and my phone. My husband has a folder for each of his cameras and within those he puts pictures in folders by quarter "Q1 2012" etc. One of the Lightroom catalogs I am working on is an index/catalog of all the pictures on our server. I am the only user who add photos to the Lightroom app but it does contain all of our photos.

                          You might be able to set it up so that each person adds their photos to the Lightroom app from a single computer and just make sure 2 people don't try to add pictures at the same time.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by artsinaction View Post
                            Our household has three people, three copies of Aperture, one copy of Lightroom, two digital cameras, two photo-filled phones, four photo-filled iPads and three desktop computers with, yes, lots of photos.
                            So far you've described a pretty normal "technical" household. Some (like myself) have even more dispersion than you describe.

                            In any case, here's a solution, baked into an app you probably already have/use:

                            https://www.dropbox.com/help/289/en

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              photography

                              Originally posted by ellobogrande View Post
                              I use a simple file-folder structure under My Pictures to store photos.

                              \My Pictures
                              \Photos
                              \<year> e.g. 2012
                              \<mm-dd - collection Name> e.g. 10-01 - Sunset Photos
                              \pxxxxxxxx.jpg
                              Each year I back up the current year's photos to CD/DVD and take a copy offsite. I test the backups annually as well. I back up current year photos to Mozy.
                              I use picasa with this method. I find that the face recognition and tagging features really helps me sort out my photos. Most of my photography falls under the Family and Frienship area of focus.

                              I also use 3rd party backups. Google and Amazon have 5 gig free storage. but there are paid ones that give you much more.

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