Digital File Organization

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by jacull, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. jacull

    jacull TPF Noob!

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    I'd like to hear from anyone who feels that they have a good file structure for organizing thousands of images on the computer. What works well for you guys?

    Thanks,
    JC
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't know if it's a great system...but here's what I do.

    When I off load my cards I put them into a folder with the date (either shoot date or upload date). Sometimes I dump all the images into this folder and sometimes I separate them into smaller batches. These are my RAW or JPEG files right from the camera. Then when I edit them, I make a new sub folder 'Photoshop'...this is for edited or working copies. I will usually save these as PSD or TIFF files to preserve the layers and quality. Then I will have at least two other sub folders. 'Web' and 'Print'...which should be self explanatory. I end up with several copies of many images...but so far I haven't filled up my first hard drive so I'm OK for now.

    I back up to DVD every so often.
     
  3. Nikolai

    Nikolai TPF Noob!

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    I do the same, but backup on an external HD.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I should add, that for finding photos...I use Irfanview, a free and fast image view/edit program. I find it faster than than the browser is Photoshop.

    On one computer, I have Picasa installed...it's very fast for finding photos and you can tag/label them without actually moving or coping the files...which makes it easy to find what you are looking for.
     
  5. Nikolai

    Nikolai TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I love Picasa. Really a helpful tool, especially since it's free.
     
  6. RCollins

    RCollins TPF Noob!

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    I used Picasa for a while but then switch to PicaJet which has much more organizing abilities.

    Jacull, I recommend you to organize your digital files using two ways:
    1. Physically. Select the file/folder naming scheme for your photographs. For example my scheme is D:\Photographs\YYYY\SEASON\[DD-MM-YYYY] Event. Keeping your photographs on the chronologically organized folder allows you to easily locate them after a while time. I also recommend to rename files using the same way: yyyy-mm-dd_#N.ext or something like that (#N image number -2,4 digits). It will helps you avoid to image name collisions during the possible further file copying. I use RoboImport which full automate this process. It's one of the valuable piece in my photo software collection.

    2. Unfortunatelly folder structure doesn't allows to keep one photo in more the one folder. But there are many organizer on the market which allows you to assign several tags/keywords/categories to one image. I use PicaJet Organizer and IrfanView for viewing photos. Don't trust your images for software which aren't be able to store your image desriptions not only on the cataloger database. True organizer should be able to sync your annotations directly into the files (IPTC/XMP section).

    Using organizers also automate some repetitive time-consuming tasks and helps you easily prepare offline archives.
     
  7. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    You shoot all RAW right? How often do you back up to DVD? I was debating on getting an external HD just because while I CAN back up to DVD for some reason I just don't feel as safe with the shots on DVD's. Plus if I shoot a TON of RAW shots (which I'd like to just set the cam on RAW and forget about it) I'd imagine that could become a beyotch to manage as opposed to just dumping everything on a HD.

    Maybe I'm splitting hairs here. :er:
     
  8. jacull

    jacull TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your input everyone.

    rmh159: In regard to your question on DVD backup, I have found that the best option is to just dedicate a Hard Drive to be your archive until it fills up and then buy another Hard Drive. DVD or CD archives can get corrupted too easily. I used them for awhile until I noticed that my discs from a year or more old would start getting corrupted. It helps to store the discs in a cool and dry area, but even then they will eventually become corrupted.
     
  9. eprog

    eprog TPF Noob!

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    I use my own software, EZ Photo Renamer, to rename all photo files. After batch renaming, the file names are something like "Italy_Travel_20061202_001.jpg". These file names can be customized and extracted from EXIF information from photo files themselves.
    If you guys are interested in my software, please visit http://www.esmarttools.com. And I welcome any emails, support@esmarttools.com
     
  10. enne

    enne TPF Noob!

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    I guess I have really similar systems as everyone else here.
    I upload from my camera into a DSLR folder, then put them into a year folder (2006) and then make a folder within that with the date & event (Nov26-06 - Kevin's Party at Cafe) I make folders within that folder for RAW photos, web, and print. I leave all the raw images from the camera in the main folder until I edit them, and then I move them into the RAW folder and the edited copies into their respective folders - that way I know what I have and haven't yet edited.
     
  11. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

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    I import all my shots into a folder with the date inside my "Negatives" folder. Any pictures that I then want to edit I save them in a folder titled usually date first then the event it is. For example "2007-2-19 The Renegades at CIA". Inside the folder with the event I save the full size .psd files. I make a new folder in this folder called "web" where I put everything I resized for web viewing.
     

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