Efficient Digital Image Management


TPF Noob!
Oct 24, 2007
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Hi Everybody,

So we've had our first DSLR for some time now and we love it. Picture quality has taken a quantum leap (mostly because we pay more attention to what we are doing) and we are enjoying taking photos more. But real usability of our photos has gone down. On our point and shoot it was pretty painless. Copy the photos to our hard drive, upload them to zooomr.com and we were done.

Now we are taking more photos, they are larger and I'd like to start working with RAW. Zooomr (on line photo host) can't handle the larger photos nearly as well. Working with the raw files is a pain. I'd like to delete more files. I'd like to review the settings I used when I took the photos so I can improve. I'd like to manipulate my photos more. But its all too hard (or at least fiddly and time consuming).

Maybe I can learn something from the collected wisdom of these boards.

What I'd like to be able to do:
1.) Easily import the photos. This is not too hard now really. But I'd like to think it could be done with a nice short text entry (like "Tokyo Trip") and then be all done for me. Right now I make the folder "called Tokyo Trip" copy the files over. Move the raw files into a subdirectory (never to be used again) and then use a command line tool to rename the photos "2007_12_01_Tokyo_Trip001.jpg". I shoot in Raw and Jpeg, though in a perfect workflow it think would just be raw.

2.) Quickly prepare the photos for viewing
This is easy because right now I just fire up Picassa and view them. But it would be lovely if I could view the pics with Exif data and delete them and the associated raw files quickly and easily. The size of the pics as I view them now makes my picture review _much_ slower than it was with the smaller point and shoot pics.

3.) Send pics to the web. The main reason I do this is so I can link to them from my website and so my family and friends can view them. I'd host them myself except that I worry about something I write becoming popular overnight and think (perhaps wrongly) that an online company can handle the traffic. Even if it couldn't my site that doesn't host many pics could still show the text if it doesn't hold the images. Zooomr has unlimited upload and has worked nicely for us. But it struggles with the larger pics and the interface is not the greatest. Perfect would be a free site that allows me to upload quite a few pics via a script. If it were really easy then I could reduce the resolution for hosting. Right now I just upload the very large jpgs generated by the camera.

4.) Work with my raw files. I almost never do this now. So they are piling up incase I decide to use some of them.

5.) Delete redundant information and make sure the pics are available for me to show people. I'd like to delete more of them.

I would like a real photo handling workflow application. Or a series of scripts/procedures that can handle these things.

We have a Nikon D80. I run Windows 2000. I also run Linux (which might be better for a scripted solution). My pics are on a little server accessed by me and my wife.

I'm not looking for a complete solution to the problem. I'm not looking to spend a lot of money. I'm willing to put in some time to make something that works for me. I'd love to hear about image handling efficiencies that people use so I can use/adapt them and come up with a solution for myself. I'm thinking something like:

connect my camera and the raws are imported, small jpegs containing the pertinent exif data are created for quick review. I view the photos deleting and flagging them as I go, the raws are deleted too. I play with any raw files that I flagged for editing. When I'm done I click a button and jpegs are created and uploaded to a webhost. jpgs are created. RAWs for all but the best images are deleted? If it were possible to somehow create little sets or tags that would be lovely. It would be very nice to show people the best images from our trip to Tokyo or the images of our 7 years in USA or whatever.


Adobe Lightroom sounds like the perfect fit for that!

Google's Picaso has similar sorting features and stuff, but lacks the image editing.

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