What system do you use to organize and archive digital pics?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by drdan, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. drdan

    drdan TPF Noob!

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    Right now I create folders named Album 1, Album 2 etc with category folders for various common themes like Pikes Peak Light, Flowers, Grandkids etc. I also have an "edit pics" folder in each album where I do all my editing and saving of edited versions. Once you have created one Album you can just make more and copy the empty category folders into it and have a bunch of numbered albums (complete with category folders) in reserve. Once I get 650-680MB of pictures in an album I close that one to further additions and make two copies to CD's, one of which goes offsite. I also regularly backup my pictures to an external hard drive in case of primary hard drive failure. Even though I only transfer about 10% of my pictures to my computer I have 14.5 GB of pictures from the last year.

    By having premade category folders it's much easier to sort pics as they come off the camera so I don't have to do it later. Pictures that I know I'm going to edit I also copy directly to the edit pics folder in the currently active album as I'm picking and choosing off the camera.
    That way I can always go ahead and edit anything in the "edit pics" folder and know I still have the original safe in it's category folder. It's a lot easier to search for a picture by category also.

    I've just slowly evolved this system but it has it's short comings. What do you use?
     
  2. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    Thats a really good idea, having premade folders.

    Unfortunately what happens for me is that i occasionally get a psd file which is 100 mb and its tough to get it all in the same series.

    I have about 50 cds burned from archives. I've backed them up on my second computer with a similar naming convention. Archive 1, Archive 2. I plan to burn all of these again (I am just slightly paranoid about losing my work) with a spreadsheet of the files and descriptions. This spreadsheet will actually list all the files of the entire archive and be included once on the cd that is burned.

    I like your method of themes, I'll have rethink about how to archive in this way the future. Do you have a preferred CD that use to archive? I learned the hard way never to use no-name brands :(
     
  3. dampeoples

    dampeoples TPF Noob!

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    I categorize all of mine in iPhoto, and have albums set up in iPhoto for different picture categories. It works great because all of them are viewable at once, or I can go to a category and browse.
    I also back up weekly to an external HD, for safekeeping :)
     
  4. drdan

    drdan TPF Noob!

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    An external hard drive should save your pics in case of computer or hard drive failure. I also have My Documents located on a different partition on my main drive. I can wipe and reinstall my operating system without touching my pictures or documents. However, to protect against fire, theft, lightning etc you need a backup in a different location.

    I use an automated online backup system for critical data in my office but the picture files are far too big to make online storage practical from a $ standpoint. CD's or DVD's seem to be the best other choice. They are easy and quick to make with any modern burner and easy to carry offsite (just have to remember).

    The Langa List had some good articles on CD archiving. Apparently one of the worst culprits of damaged CD's is stick on labels. The solvents in the glue can eventually seep through the plastic. Solvents from felt tip pens also.
     
  5. mox

    mox TPF Noob!

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    I have a computer here that I use as a fileserver with a mirroring raid on it (it mirrors an hard drive on the other one in case of hard disk failure)

    For the folders, I have "Photos CD 1", "Photos CD 2", ... , "Photos CD-RW"

    I put all my pictures in "Photos CD-RW" and 1-2 times a month I burn the folder on a Rewritable CD.. When the "Photos CD-RW" folder size is ~700MB, I burn it on a non rewritable CD and I rename the folder to "Photo CD #"

    Under the "Photo CD???" folders, I put all the pictures by date - Subject.. example: "2004-06-26 - Magog Camping"

    So I have a copy on the fileserver (that have 2 copies in case of hard disk failure) and a hard copy on CD-ROM..

    Now I'm thinking to add an other level.. When I will have ~6-7CDs (~4Gigs) all the CDs will be backed up on a DVD Disk and put in the safe at the bank
     
  6. StvShoop

    StvShoop TPF Noob!

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    :shock: where did you hear about this? you think it's correct? i've got some work to do, if so... but how the heck should i label my cd's then?
     
  7. drdan

    drdan TPF Noob!

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    I've heard that about solvents from a couple of different sources and I got the impression it was confirmed but I won't swear to it. I think it usually takes 2-3 years or more for the damage to occur. I have taken to using a sharpie felt marker and just writing very small near the hole in the middle where there is nothing recorded. I don't know if that's sufficient or not.
     
  8. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    For archival purposes the Mitsui is the best CD-R on the market. It is also mighty expensive compared to other brands at $0.50-0.80/each. Sometimes you can get them on ebay for cheaper.

    I back up to Mitsui then make a copy of that to a cheap CD-R. Then use the cheap copy when I want to load the image. If that ever breaks down I can go back to the archived mitsui cd and make another cheap copy.
     
  9. Harpper

    Harpper TPF Noob!

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    If you guys are concerned about corrosion from pens you can buy ones that are specially made for labeling CDs. As for cheap no-name brands I would also recommend staying away from them. Like vonnagy I learned the hard way to never use cheapo CDs. Those are the only ones that have failed on me so far. The way I see it is if the files are important enough to save then it's worth getting good quality CDs.

    I've also heard good things from Mitsui, but I've been using TDKs myself. The oldest ones I have are about 5 years old and still works like new. Although I have noticed that TDKs and other brand name CDs are now trying to cut cost so that they can compete with cheap CDs. That's just bad news for anyone who is trying to archive their files. Basically stay away from the cheapo especially if they are no-name brands.

    Another problem with cheap CDs is that some of them aren't as flat as quality CDs. Since CDs spin at a very fast rate, it can cause them to wobble inside your CD-Rom drive if the CDs aren't flat enough. Sometimes you can tell if a CD is wobbling by the loud noise it makes when the CD is spinning. A good quality CD will be relatively quiet in comparison.

    The wobbling at such great speeds increases the chance of the CD breaking inside your drive. It happened to me. I noticed that the cheapo CD I was using got incredibly loud and then I heard an explosion. Apparently it shattered but I was lucky that it didn't destroy my CD-Rom drive. That's the last time I ever bought cheap CDs.
     
  10. mrsid99

    mrsid99 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Now that's what I call a really cheap CD! :lol:

    Glad your drive wasn't damaged.

    BTW, I use the "heap" or "pile" system for organizing my pics.
     
  11. thebassman

    thebassman TPF Noob!

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    I sort all my photographs by date... then just add a description file to the folder in notepad... then burn them on CD or DVD if they're too big...
     
  12. Slowboat

    Slowboat TPF Noob!

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    I use IMatch imaging database to keep track of my images. It is relatively cheap($50.00 US) and has powerful cataloging features. I especially like the ability to catagorize photos under multiple subjects and the ability to view RAW formats. Check out http://www.photools.com for more information.

    I always shoot RAW and then convert to a TIFF, make adjustments to the TIFF such a curves, levels, saturation. I save both to a file server in there respective folders[RAW, Processed TIFF].

    The file server has an incremental back done daily onto tape. Once the total space of images is reached at least 4gig I burn the files onto 2 DVDs, one a a working DVD for retrieving images and the other for permanent storage.

    The working DVD then gets cataloged by IMatch. From then on IMatch is used to locate/search/browse for images. If I want a specific image for editing/printing etc.. I just go to the DVD and make a copy.

    I am not worried about the archival abilities of DVDs since 10 years from now there will be something bigger and better, just copy data from DVD to new long term storage technology.
     

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