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Thread: Photo Organization

  1. #1

    Default Photo Organization

    How do you all organize photos on your computer?

    I usually just dump my CF card and iPhone occasionally, delete the junk and duplicates, then organize by folders with date/topic like "0715_Davids_Birthday" or "0614_Camping". No bother renaming the actual files...that would take a lifetime!

    Backing up is easy since I only keep two photo folders "Canon_Pics" for my DSLR and "iPhone_Pics" for my iPhone. I like to keep those separate. Drag and drop onto a HDD when I feel like it.
    GOOD TINT!

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Str8stroke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo Organization

    I have 3 back up drives. One stays out, 2 are locked up in fire resistant safes. And two 64 gig thumb drives and several cards to take, transfer and store pics.

    I sat down a few years ago and was determined to organize all my photos in proper files. Took me a month working a few hours a day. I felt good once is was done. No duplicates or blurry or stupid pics were left. All in files by year, then event and each folder has a "Random" file. lol

    I did it on a laptop and carried one back up drive. Once completed, I backed it up on 2 other drives. Once you are organized its fairly easy to keep it up. I have one file named Phone back up. I dump there, then sort. Each year has one.
    Interested in Saltytri lights. Pm me!


  3. #3

    Default Re: Photo Organization

    Sounds good! "stupid pics" - I think that's why my camera counter has cycled around 9999 several times now! On that note, I really wish it was 5 digits instead of just 4. Who would have thought 4 wasn't enough!?
    GOOD TINT!

  4. #4
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Photo Organization

    I keep all mine in folders,such as Macro,Eyes,Study,Kids,Birds etc and organised by month.Save them to an external HD,then to a cloud and also USB stick.Transfer all folders from Lightroom to Bridge automatically.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Photo Organization

    I have a dedicated external 1TB hard drive that I upload to and edit from. (I never delete *anything* I shoot, so laptop hard drives fill up fast.) I save all my RAW files to a folder labeled "year_month_day Description1 Description2 Take." For example "2015_05_22 Flower Show Take." Then as I edit, finished images would go into a folder called "2015_05_22 Flower Show Selex." My edited-image filenames would look like "2015_05_22 Flower Show 1.psd" and "2015_05_22 Flower Show 1.jpg."

    I have a master Takes folder and a master Selex folder, and if I open both I can quickly compare them to see what events I have or haven't edited yet. (It's a little hard to explain, but I can PM a screenshot if anyone is interested.)

    I like the two-folder setup because I can easily run a process on all the finished images from an assignment, or grab them and drag them to a thumb drive. Plus I never run the risk of saving over an original RAW file.

    After I edit on the external hard drive, I drag the Takes and Selex folders onto a second external hard drive as a backup. Every 3-6 months I swap that backup drive with the one in my safety deposit box, and back up again from where that one left off. Once a year I update a backup on an external drive stored at a relative's house in another state. Obsessive? Perhaps. But I've heard a lot of horror stories.

    No bother renaming the actual files...that would take a lifetime!
    Image file management programs like Adobe Bridge will let you set up processes and do it in seconds.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Steve K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo Organization

    File organization is certainly a common problem/concern and worthy of discussion!

    I do organize some pictures by dates and events, such as "2014-12 Christmas" for a family gathering.

    Other stuff gets organized by subject matter, such as bicycles, bike parts, etc. I've got a ton of stuff that isn't connected to any particular date, and fit into the "bicycle" category in some way.

    I do try to label photos and edit or purge any shots that aren't unique or valuable in some way. This helps me when I go back to look at the photos. In the days of film, I wouldn't take a photo if it wasn't of value. Now, I take photos if it might be of value, but have to review at a later date and judge whether it is worth keeping. Otherwise, I'll just fill up a hard drive with a ton of stuff I don't care about.

    Like others, I keep backup copies on redundant USB hard drives and keep one in a safe deposit box. The cost is relatively minor, and it seems unlikely that I could lose all of the copies.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Echo63's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo Organization

    i have two systems - work pics and personal pics, but both go on the same set of HDD.

    My personal pictures are keyworded in lightroom - my camera allows me to change the filename so every time it clicks over another 10,000 i change the file name from Ben1 to Ben2 to Ben3
    each of these filename groups is stored in a new folder called Ben1, Ben2, Ben3 etc.
    only the most recent folder stays on my computer, the others are copied (along with a backup copy of the current working folder) to a pair of external HDD at home (one portable lives in the camera bag, and a powered HDD that stays at home) plus a third HDD that stays in my locker at work.
    I also have a time machine backup of the laptop.

    finding pics again is easy, i plug in the HDD and point lightroom at the appropriate folders - open the search bar and search for the appropriate keywords (i use really generic keywords and much more specific ones to make it easy to find pictures again)





    Work pics are sorted by job - and put in a folder named with YYYY MM DD (My Initials) (3 letter section code) (Descriptive title like "Joe Bloggs Leaves Court")
    these are sorted into year folders.

    Finding a folder again is easy, those asking for pics can normally give me a date, almost certainly a month and name to search for.
    I dont archive everything though, just the best pictures from each job (Eg - 100 pics at a job gets culled to the top25 and archived, i send the top5 to the office)


    All the folders are copied to both the Home and Work powered drives, i have been thinking of keeping the last months on the portable too.
    flashlight collector by day
    flashlight user by night

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* EV_007's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo Organization

    I dream of setting up a RAID setup someday, but for now I pray my HD doesn't crash since I have yet to move them onto external media.
    TWO is ONE and ONE is NONE, but THREE is more FUN.
    My beamshot gallery


  9. #9

    Default Re: Photo Organization

    Quote Originally Posted by EV_007 View Post
    I dream of setting up a RAID setup someday, but for now I pray my HD doesn't crash since I have yet to move them onto external media.
    Don't wait! With a modest outlay ($50 if you're in the US) and a couple of hours you can copy everything to a 1 TB external drive.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Photo Organization

    I sort photos in a directory structure <year>/<event>, a new directory is created for each event where I shot say, 5 or 10+ pics. Other than the usual remove blurred, doubles and a rotate here & there, I don't bother with editing or renaming. For each year I have a 'random' directory where I collect one-off shots made throughout that year. Those I do rename, like "01 funny bird outside", "02 back of the house" etc, so that in image viewers thumbnails show up in order I shot them in, but with a descriptive file name.

    I don't shoot enough photos to further refine this, and backup onto external media is dead easy since you only ever have added items in that directory structure.

    Quote Originally Posted by EV_007 View Post
    I dream of setting up a RAID setup someday, but for now I pray my HD doesn't crash since I have yet to move them onto external media.
    Ouch, at least copy the stuff you want to keep onto some external media. Even a quick & dirty copy that's done a few times a year is a loooottt better than nothing. Usually the stuff you care about most is exactly the stuff that doesn't take up much space (for example photos ). USB sticks are cheap & easy to use, when more space is needed, external HD's are cheap too.

    If someone doesn't bother to backup files in any way, that says to me one of:
    • "I don't grasp the consequences of losing all my files at once". Sometimes files are really small and straightforward to create, but still represent a lot of time/effort invested. Even if it's only photos, those often hold memories that are dear to people. And each photo shot with a digital camera (and not printed!), is a photo that's not on paper sitting in a shoebox somewhere.
    • "I don't give a *** about digital files". In which case you might as well not bother collecting those in the first place.
    • "I'm too stupid to understand that any storage media can fail at any time". And that's not counting house fires, floods, lightning strikes, a glass of soda spilt in the wrong place, theft or whatever.
    • "I have everything of interest stored online". Granted, online services may be more reliable than some people's backup procedures. Other than that, this falls under "I'm too stupid". Online services disappear, or mess with their user's data all the time. Often without warning.


    Tip for if you're really lazy: buy some memory cards in the smallest/cheapest size that's still for sale. For example a bunch of 1 or 2 GB cards at a few $ a piece that can hold hundreds of photos each. After each event where you shoot a # of photos, copy the (new) pics from card to PC - or whatever is used to hold the entire collection.

    Every once in a while (as often as you 'can afford', or for example right before going on vacation), grab a new/empty one. Toss the used one(s) together in a box somewhere, and never re-use cards that already have photos on them. For example, mark used cards with year/period.

    That way the memory cards themselves serve as backup, and you're very unlikely to lose more than what you've shot since taking the last card into service.
    Last edited by RetroTechie; 08-16-2015 at 05:42 PM.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Steve K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo Organization

    in a partial defense of some people that I know... they are lucky to even find time to get photos off of their phone or camera, much less label them, file them in some organized fashion, and especially not worrying about saving redundant copies in safe locations.

    I do wonder if they take time to backup all of their financial records and such. Some of these people really don't know that storage media can just die.. a mechanical engineer friend seemed shocked when his thumb drive failed, and he didn't have these files backed up anywhere else.
    Now he knows.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* EV_007's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo Organization

    Yeah, I buy memory cards and fill them up and store them like old school film negatives I guess. So having the originals and copies on my PC, I guess I kinda have a back up on the original media. I did just go out and get an external 2TB USB 3.0 drive. Now I need to find the time to sit down and organize and move them to it.
    TWO is ONE and ONE is NONE, but THREE is more FUN.
    My beamshot gallery


  13. #13

    Default Re: Photo Organization

    I suggest you to check the software "Beautiful Backup" to organise photos and videos. Many useful features collected in this program. Organising folders chronologically, eliminating duplicates, resizing photos, rotating photos to its correct orientation.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Photo Organization

    Although I don't consider myself a photographer, I do take a lot of pictures during my various outdoor adventures. I am currently exploring a lot of abandoned mines and ghost towns across the southwest. Rather than create a separate directory to store the pictures of each mine, I rename the pictures so they include the mine name and a sequence number, then store them all in a single directory named 'MINES'.

    Renaming the pictures is a very time consuming process so I wrote a Python script that allows me to rename photos based on a title and sequence number. Let's say I just came back from the Sunrise Mine where I took a bunch of pictures. I transfer the photos from my camera into a download directory on my PC. The Python script asks for a title to name the pictures and the starting sequence number. I enter "Sunrise" as the title and 001 as the starting sequence number. I end up with a series of pictures named Sunrise_001.jpg, Sunrise_002.jpg, etc. Only takes a few moments to rename any number of pictures. If I go back to photograph the mine at a later time, I simply start with the next available sequence number.

    I've also developed a method to find duplicate pictures across my PC regardless of where they are or whether the photos have the same name. There is a mathematical algorithm named Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) that will create a digital signature based on the contents of a file. So using a Python script, I search for all photos in a directory (or across my whole computer) calculating a CRC value for each picture. Then I run a second script to find duplicates based on the CRC value of each picture. The CRC value could also be used to verify that no error occurred when moving pictures between directories or storage devices. I've lost a few pictures when an error occurred moving the file from directory to directory. I didn't notice at the time I moved them, but later on when I had already deleted the original.

    The downside of the Python scripts I wrote is that they don't have a pretty windows type interface. They simply run as small batch files from the command line. Still, they save me a lot of time renaming files and I would never be able to identify duplicate pictures given the thousands that I have on my PCs and thumb drives.

    Joanne
    Last edited by joanne; 12-30-2015 at 02:50 PM.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic Hoggy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo Organization

    Oy, how would dread to go back to using the filesystem for picture organization.

    Using something like Lightroom, pictures can get tagged with keywords - and without any duplication, can be classified in countless different ways.

    All my pictures get imported into date based folders and renamed, automatically by Lightroom. From that point on, keywords do ALL the organizing. When I first discovered Lightroom, it was like I discovered the holy grail for image organization and adjusting!
    Love me my budget DX single AAA-size LED's!
    Photography cams: Pentax K-3, K-30 & Canon G7X, S100 - strict RAW shooter
    Go Pentax!

  16. #16
    Flashaholic Hoggy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo Organization

    Quote Originally Posted by EV_007 View Post
    Yeah, I buy memory cards and fill them up and store them like old school film negatives I guess. So having the originals and copies on my PC, I guess I kinda have a back up on the original media. I did just go out and get an external 2TB USB 3.0 drive. Now I need to find the time to sit down and organize and move them to it.
    Storing the data on memory cards like that is a Really Bad Idea® - the memory cells in those fade over a relatively short period, like in the order of a year or two for a brand new unused card. They need to be hooked into a power source every once in a while, where the firmware inside the card does housekeeping. Same goes for SSD drives.
    Last edited by Hoggy; 02-21-2016 at 08:22 PM.
    Love me my budget DX single AAA-size LED's!
    Photography cams: Pentax K-3, K-30 & Canon G7X, S100 - strict RAW shooter
    Go Pentax!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Photo Organization

    I have a dedicated partition on my hard drive for photos as well as important documents. I store them in named folders, mostly by year, but sometimes by event if quantity dictates. I also DO rename each file with a name closely matching the folder name (Ex. Folder name: 2016 Brady & Girls, file name: 2016_brady_girls_001). I use Microsoft Office Picture Manager which gives the ability to batch rename files making renaming files a simple process. I use an external hard drive as my main backup and I also have a couple of flash drives as a secondary backup.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic Hoggy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photo Organization

    You guys really need to look into the leading industry-standard DAM (Digital Asset Management) for image management: Lightroom. It can do all that batch renaming and folder organizing too, automatically - with metadata tokens possible for just about everything under the sun, including a custom name token that you can enter manually.

    As far as cost, what you could do is sign up for Adobe's Creative Cloud Photographer's membership - for $10 per month (includes Photoshop CC & Lightroom CC).. THEN cancel your membership after 1 month.

    ALL the image management library functions remain working, including some rudimentary non-destructive image adjustments - and the ability to export them in countless different ways - INCLUDING the ability to use publish collections for things like posting to Facebook and whatnot (without needing to save them somewhere else first).

    I just can't begin to emphasize just how wonderfully amazing Lightroom is, even just for image organization/management alone! It's really THE cat's meow!
    It puts everything else to utter shame!


    So, for 10 bucks...... Or you can buy the perpetual license for $150, and use ALL it's features, like printing, book making, map module, slideshows, web galleries, and of course the non-destructive Develop module for editing. I think maybe the printing module might still continue working, too, for that $10 - but I can't quite remember - maybe even the the book, slideshow, and Web modules too. I know for sure, the Develop module and Map module stop working though.

    As I say, it's really the fricken holy grail to me - light shone above me and everything when I found it.

    You guys really might want to check it out: http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop-lightroom.html
    Last edited by Hoggy; 02-21-2016 at 10:12 PM.
    Love me my budget DX single AAA-size LED's!
    Photography cams: Pentax K-3, K-30 & Canon G7X, S100 - strict RAW shooter
    Go Pentax!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Photo Organization

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoggy View Post
    You guys really need to look into the leading industry-standard DAM (Digital Asset Management) for image management: Lightroom.
    I couldn't agree more about Lightroom... It's the only way to go! It's a virtual one-stop-shop for image organization.

    I would make the small correction that it's "rudimentary non-destructive image adjustments" are far from rudimentary. Unless you have some seriously advanced editing abilities in Photoshop, 9 times out of 10 I'll wind up with a better edit using just Lightroom than most people will using anything else out there (of course I've been using the program since it's beta release back in 2007). It's editing capabilities are great, and getting better with every release!

    I will give you huge props for figuring out that Lightroom essentially costs you a mere $9.99 if you sign up for the 1st month of Adobe's Creative Cloud Photographer's membership, then just cancel after one month... How could I not have known that till now??? Great tip!

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