Newbie would like to know how you organize your digital pix!

CassBH

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I am about to start the daunting task of organizing my digital pix into folders, etc and would love some feedback on systems that you have developed that have worked well for you.

So far, I know a few people organized folders by year, then subfolders by month, then further by events within each month. Does this system make sense?

Also, do you all go so far as to name each picture as well?

Thanks for the help!

Cass
 

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I dump my card to a sub folder called SORT, then I look at every pic I think might be worth keeping. If I decide I want it I 'save as' (from RAW) to a folder with a logical name such as Birds, Trees, Landscapes, People, Surf or any new category I come up with. I do take the time to rename files something other than a number, but I can understand how many people do not have the time for that due to the number of shots they take.

Particularly good shots get backed up to a 2nd hard drive before I stand up.

There are tools to help with this task and many ways to approach it. I'm sure you will get a few more ideas from other TPF surfers.

-Shea
 
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CassBH

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I dump my card to a sub folder called SORT, then I look at every pic I think might be worth keeping. If I decide I want it I 'save as' (from RAW) to a folder with a logical name such as Birds, Trees, Landscapes, People, Surf or any new category I come up with. I do take the time to rename files something other than a number, but I can understand how many people do not have the time for that due to the number of shots they take.

Particularly good shots get backed up to a 2nd hard drive before I stand up.

There are tools to help with this task and many ways to approach it. I'm sure you will get a few more ideas from other TPF surfers.

-Shea

Great, thanks for the reply. I, too, cannot imagine leaving all those pix unnamed. Complete chaos! Since I am not a professional photographer by any stretch, I would think that as long as I get in the habit of doing it when I load the photos, then it shouldn't be too cumbersome.
 

ann

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i also use subject matter, or perhaps a project if the image fits into a project file
I don't re-number or name the files. But i make 4 backup copies, (i know, it is a bit much) and every two years i copy a new cd and throw away the old one. I keep a work cd at my desk, a back up copy in my darkroom, a cd back up copy at the office and a back up on an external drive.

The images that i do decide to use have a number or name and a special folder for work files, print files, etc.

I also take each cd and run a contact sheet and print it out and place it in a binder. It has the same name and number as the cd. This is a habit from film. That way i can review the contact sheet and keep track of where specfic files are located.

it takes time and i start by downloading what is on the card to a cd, either a new one or the subject cd.

it is a matter of doing the same t hing each time so i don't reach a point of oh, no. i forgot............

when i started out, i just download everything from one card to the same cd and then i found i was forever trying to find something, when i discovered that i could make a contact sheet which really made a difference for me.

with time i have made a few changes as i found myself needing more specific folders; i.e. sharpening for specific types of paper surface, that sort of thing.

so it all comes down to what your comfortable with, etc.

i usually put a movie in the dvd player and sit and push the clicker when i am making all these copies as it does get boring.
 

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Lightroom! lol.
Sorts it for me by date.
It doesn't rename them...though it can if I ask it to. I don't care what the name is...the thumbnail tells me what's in it.
Much easier than doing it myself.
 

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I agree with Ann about the contact sheet. It really helps.

I start with SORT folder then move these to an Eventname and date for the folder. I use Bridge to tag the image with waterfalls, family, etc. Once I've cleaned out the shots and have printed out the contact sheet, I move the entire folder to another folder named PHOTOX as well as a thumb drive until I get enough data to fill up a burned DVD. Had a bad experience with a rewritable DVD...

Wow. That sounds more complicated than it really is...
 
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CassBH

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I agree with Ann about the contact sheet. It really helps.

I start with SORT folder then move these to an Eventname and date for the folder. I use Bridge to tag the image with waterfalls, family, etc. Once I've cleaned out the shots and have printed out the contact sheet, I move the entire folder to another folder named PHOTOX as well as a thumb drive until I get enough data to fill up a burned DVD. Had a bad experience with a rewritable DVD...

Wow. That sounds more complicated than it really is...

Yikes! I think most of you guys are much more into this than I am. I am really just organizing day to day pix of the family, kids, holidays, etc. You guys sound likee pros!

Right now, I use Microsoft Digital Image Suite, as I like how seemlessly it works with the folders in Windows Explorer.
 

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For my day to day snapshots, I do the following:

I use Picasa (free software by Google) and it makes it pretty easy to scroll through all your thumbnails. You can also add tags to your photos so they will show up in multiple different views.

I keep my photos in folders by date (year, month, day), although I will put multi-day events (i.e. vacations) all together in one folder. Then, in Picasa I can add tags with different categories if necessary (i.e. family, friends, etc.).

I'm just starting to get into photography as more of a hobby and taking creative shots, so I'm not sure how I'm going to organize those, but it will probably be different than my snapshots (i.e I don't think the date is as important for creative photography, so I would probably do those by subject (landscapes, flowers, birds, etc.).
 

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I just put mine in a folder saying what they are. Animals,Landscapes, Architecture and, so on. I really only keep the ones I like. Then I have a folder for ones that are in need of some work to be acceptable.
 

iriairi

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Yikes! I think most of you guys are much more into this than I am. I am really just organizing day to day pix of the family, kids, holidays, etc. You guys sound likee pros!

Right now, I use Microsoft Digital Image Suite, as I like how seemlessly it works with the folders in Windows Explorer.

Not even close to pro... I just got tired of not finding what I was looking for. I also lost some stuff not backing it up right... The biggest thing would be to be able to find what you are looking for and make sure you have it backed up, I guess. Everything else is personal preference.
 
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CassBH

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Not even close to pro... I just got tired of not finding what I was looking for. I also lost some stuff not backing it up right... The biggest thing would be to be able to find what you are looking for and make sure you have it backed up, I guess. Everything else is personal preference.

Makes sense. Do most of you back up to external hard drive or CD/DVD?
 

ann

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regardless of how few images you may have it gets very tediuos and madding to hunt for things,

with my students, both in the darkroom and for digital work recommend that they start immediately with some sort of organization plan so they don't waste so much time in the future.

i back up to both cd's/dvd and external drives.
 
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CassBH

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i back up to both cd's/dvd and external drives.

May I ask why? Is this for "double protection" or certain things get backed up to DVD and others to Ext Drives?
 

mrodgers

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Yikes! I think most of you guys are much more into this than I am. I am really just organizing day to day pix of the family, kids, holidays, etc. You guys sound likee pros!
That's me. 95% of my pictures are kids, family, birthday parties, holiday parties, stuff like that. I send them from the camera into a "new pics" folder to look at. From there, I have individual folders of the people's names that are the subject and select all the thumbs of the individual people and move them into the folders. Then use batch renaming to put the date and person's name or event in front of the file number that came from the camera. Then I move it all over to my main folder structure that is sorted by year, then by month. The pics are then sorted by year, then by month with folders and by individual names and dates and original file numbers within the filename it's self.

I do plan on separating the family and holiday snapshots from the landscape type pics eventually here soon, since my landscape pics will probably expand more with the new camera. Maybe then I'll just have "Family, Landscape, and Misc" and sort within those by year and maybe month.

It's a difficult thing to decide I think. I started with a simple point and shoot only (no manual at all) a few years ago and have not so many pics the last 5 years. Now since Christmas time with my new camera with manual control, I've doubled the amount of pics I have just these last 2-3 weeks. I've changed my sorting and file naming "organization" quite a few times since I bought my first digital camera in 2002.

I just got my first photo printer for Christmas as well and I'm post-processing for the first time with PaintShop Pro, so I probably could use a "WIP" and a "Print" folder as well. Also probably should do an "Upload" folder since I just joined Flickr.
 

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I post in sub-folders that are driven by priority. Clients, then by name then in 3 sub folders; RAW, *Batch Processed and then Edited-ordered.

If they are for personal use: I make Monthly Folders and then use the date (But, I import them by the date and then event, i.e. 010108-New Year After Party)

And when I shoot for clients: I save the RAW and Batch to a dvd immediately, then edit the images at their request and after around 6 months (or when they're done ordering) I back that up too. (btw - I also back up copies of the paperwork associated with this client too - assuming you use photography as any kind of business)

*batch is for my proof cd's; which are low quality heavily watermarked proofs.
 

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