Photo Organization - Tips and Tricks Needed

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by dcmountaineer, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. dcmountaineer

    dcmountaineer TPF Noob!

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    Hello - first time poster here.

    I'm am not new to photography, but I am at a cross roads in terms of organzing and was hoping for some ideas. I have ~15k photos and need a good strategy for storing, filing and editing.

    I currently have all my photos in folders according to the year and month they were taken. (ie, '2008'-> 'March'-> photo1.jpg, photo2.jpg, etc.) I am using Picasa for editing and storage, so when Picasa opens up I can sort through all my photos by creation date fairly easily. But I am not convinced this is the way to go. Under my current system, I am forced to browse through many duplicate/garbage images while trying to find the good ones. I know what you're thinking "picasa albums". Well I've tried that before, but it doesn't really help when I am trying to find the choice photos from my trip to the Grand Canyon on hard drive using Windows Explorer.

    Ideally, I would like to setup a system where I have "unedited" files in one place and "edited" files in another. This way I can maintain orginals then have the finals someplace else. And using this method, I would be able to find the good/final images quickly using either a photo manager (flickr, iphoto, etc) or windows explorer. Does this make sense?

    And just a quick poll -- what is the best photo management software out there. I like Picasa, but I'm thinking about Elements. Thoughts?
     
  2. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I'm just starting to learn how to use it, but Adobe Lightroom seems to be the best that I've found. I know you can get the Beta of Lightroom 3 right now for free trial until April.
     
  3. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    Lightroom is absolutely brilliant. It's easily the best organizational tool I've found. The other plus is that 90%-ish of all the editing that I need to do with a pic, I can do in Lightroom without having to jump to Photoshop.
     
  4. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    DC, I have the same organization
    yyyy/mm/dd, file names are yyyy-mm-dd_###
    For you, wanting to keep editied and unedit seperatly, why not make a folder EDITED and keep pics in same format there that are edited and UNEDITITED - same idea.

    Photo Management:
    I'm a freak and admit it, I use LR, ACDSee, PS, CaptureNX. For me they all have different purpose and I use them all.:thumbup:
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    Sub folder...nice and simple.

    Also, do you keyword or rate your images? Never did before, but now I keyword most of my images in LR. It makes it quite easy to pull similar images from all over my archive...or easy to track down where a group of images are (when they were taken, etc.)
     
  6. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    He did say he wants to keep them separate. Then again, it can also mean on two different hard drives :thumbup:
     
  7. dcmountaineer

    dcmountaineer TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the quick replies. I think the sub-folder idea might work. it would keep them separate enough. "Originals" would have the originals; "Edited" would have the save as'ed versions. I was never really happy with the way Picasa operated when it came to saving files.

    Is the file organization better on LR than it is on Elements? Lightroom is a bit more than I'd like to pay right now, but I'm not opposed to springing for it if it's worth it.

    And does any serious user out there use Picasa? I also have PS7 as my chief-editor. Picasa only serve to correct small fixes (crops, etc) and file management.
     
  8. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is not to say Lightroom isn't great, but by the time they came up with this software i already had something in place , and since it works for me i have continued

    i tend to work with project, each project has a folder with the following sub-folders all linked together, one folder has orginals, one has edited and one has files for printing.

    I make 4 copies of everything and they are copied to four different external hard dives, one of which is kept off site.

    At one time i did recommend Picasa to my students as it does allow for quick fixes, but i found i didn't care for the way it copied every image on my computer and then i personally don't use it for making editing changes.
     
  9. dcmountaineer

    dcmountaineer TPF Noob!

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    Ann - that seems like a good work flow. Mind if I ask what software (if any) you use to manage your photo library?

    And I like the idea of having sub folders, esp a print folder, under a common umbrella ("GRAND CANYON" -> 'originals', 'edited', 'print').
     
  10. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Don't forget that Adobe has an educational store. If you are a student or faculty anywhere (From grade school through post-graduate), there are excellent prices available (LR 2 is $99). If you're not, do you have a brother, sister, parent, or child who is? You could get them to order it for you. Additionally, LR3 Beta is FREE right now ... you'd have to pay in April if you want to keep using it.
     
  11. dcmountaineer

    dcmountaineer TPF Noob!

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    Hmmm, so a third grade teacher is eligible to purchase LR2 for $99? How are their credentials verified?
     
  12. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Yes, a third grade teacher IS eligible and Photoshop CS4 Extended is $299. I think they just need your ID or a letter from the school. Here's the link:

    https://store1.adobe.com/cfusion/store/html/index.cfm?store=OLS-EDU&event=displayEduConditions
     

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