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Author Topic: How do you organize your photos?  (Read 5933 times)
slackercruster
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« on: July 28, 2012, 08:54:33 AM »
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How do you organize your photos?
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k bennett
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2012, 01:43:44 PM »
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The same way I organized my negatives and transparencies: chronologically. One folder for each year, then sub folders for each assignment. The sub folders have the shoot date as the first 4 characters, then a short one or two word description, so if I were shooting a portrait of Joe Sixpack this afternoon, the folder would be

0728 joe sixpack

and that folder would contain all the raw files from the shoot. Well, the ones I end up keeping, anyway.

All raw files are renamed using the shoot date in YYYYMMDD format, then a very brief description, then the 4-digit frame number generated by the camera. So Joe's portraits would be named:

20120728sixpack1234.cr2

where 1234 is the frame number.

At work all my photos get a complete AP-style cation, along with plenty of keywords that make them searchable by various colleagues who need photos (designers, web content editors, etc.) At home I use a similar organizational system, but sadly I don't often add captions or keywords to the photos. At work, the raw files are converted to JPEGs using Lightroom 4.1, then uploaded to an online web-based DAM service to which my colleagues have controlled access.


Is this what you were asking?
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2012, 02:38:17 PM »
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If you are in serious need of help in this area, start with Peter Krogh's "The DAM Book" (second edition) as it  is one of the few truly essential books that every photographer should own and hopefully read and think about.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2012, 02:40:11 PM »
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That is an interesting body of work you've got there. Is there more?
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Ellis Vener
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Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
john beardsworth
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2012, 02:58:16 PM »
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Peter was also a driving force behind http://dpbestflow.org/  - see folders , filenaming and other pages.
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slackercruster
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2012, 03:14:57 PM »
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You sound very organized k bennett. But that is a ton of work having to rename all the images.
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slackercruster
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2012, 03:16:26 PM »
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That is an interesting body of work you've got there. Is there more?

You talking to me?

If so, yes lots more. Will come out with L.A. 1970's hopefully soon. Still got to learn how to spot the images.
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slackercruster
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2012, 03:16:47 PM »
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If you are in serious need of help in this area, start with Peter Krogh's "The DAM Book" (second edition) as it  is one of the few truly essential books that every photographer should own and hopefully read and think about.

Will check it out....Thanks!
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slackercruster
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2012, 03:18:47 PM »
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Peter was also a driving force behind http://dpbestflow.org/  - see folders , filenaming and other pages.

Will do, Thanks!
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k bennett
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2012, 07:03:31 PM »
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You sound very organized k bennett. But that is a ton of work having to rename all the images.

Huh? It's totally automatic with an app like Photo Mechanic or even Bridge or Lightroom. I shoot thousands of images a week, if I couldn't handle all the metadata quickly and easily, it wouldn't happen.
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Gary Brown
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2012, 06:42:14 AM »
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How do you organize your photos?

Assuming you're talking about directory structures, Thom Hogan makes an interesting point:

“A lot of you use file and folder names and structures that are date based. I strongly urge you to double check that this is indeed the way you think about your images. If you think to yourself ‘I'm going to go back and work on that image I shot last November’ then a date system is indeed what you want. If you think to yourself ‘I'm going to go back and work on that image I shot in Patagonia’ then a date system is not what you want. Understand how you think about and categorize your images. That's the genesis of the naming and structure system you should use.’

He talks about the topic in his workflow essay (although it's rather long because it covers much more than mere organization).
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slackercruster
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2012, 07:26:48 AM »
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Huh? It's totally automatic with an app like Photo Mechanic or even Bridge or Lightroom. I shoot thousands of images a week, if I couldn't handle all the metadata quickly and easily, it wouldn't happen.

Oh, didn't know that. Thought it was all by hand.
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2012, 07:45:35 AM »
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... That's the genesis of the naming and structure system you should use.’..

He talks about the topic in his workflow essay (although it's rather long because it covers much more than mere organization).

If one is using LR I for one would NOT recommend such a complicated folder structure.
Surely one would be better off with appropriate keywording and using smart collections.
Smart collections are very powerful and can be designed to use both keywords and metadata for inclusion or exclusion criteria.
The beauty of smart collections is that once the criteria are determined then images are automatically included from that time forward.

Thom Hogan's folder structure suggestions seem rather redundant.
Just start a new folder each calender year and download using LR to create a folder with the appropriate date.
Rename the images using a date_custom text_sequence.
Custom text is usually a location but can be other things such as an event.
I have a keyword collection of several thousand items and images are then keyworded.
Once keyworded it is then possible use smart collections to find any image with any selection of criteria.

I am sure that someone's specific workflow requirement absolutely mandate complicated folder strutures but if you are designing workflow from scratch then consider my suggestions. For an excellent review of these issues buy the tutorial "Where the @#$! are my pictures" from this website.

Regards

Tony Jay
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slackercruster
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« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2012, 08:03:02 AM »
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I can see you pros got to be organized or you will drown.

What I strive to do is to trash about 90% to 95% of my images if they wont produce anything for my portfolio and maybe keep a few borderline shots. That way I don't have to be quite so organized. But even then, I still need some organization for the stuff I do keep.

The biggest problem for me is when I am doing lots of shooting on different subjects to keep up with the trashing. I may trash 10% on the spot. But like to mull over the rest of the images for 3 or 4 more looks spread out over some days a lot of the time.

Do you pros / heavy shooting non pros do much trashing? Or do you keep it all other than obvious mess sups?

Also I tried the 'date first' to organize. I seem to like the location / shoot first, then the date. Does that work for any of you pros? Or is that system just plain wrong?

Now, I am organizing by hand only. So no software to feed to organize.

Thanks
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k bennett
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2012, 08:14:52 AM »
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Yes, I trash 50-70% of what I shoot, but I overshoot anyway.

The reason I use the date first is so that when I have a folder full of random selected images, they sort in some sort of rational order (by date). If, however, one prefers to have all the Patagonia photos together, regardless of date, then I can see using the subject first in the filename.

As for the Hogan article, I too prefer to use metadata -- captions and keywords -- to organize and search for photos. Having a complex folder structure is too difficult to track and manage, at least in my case.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2012, 12:43:59 PM »
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Hi,

I use Lightroom

A folder for each day shooting. So 4-th of july goes into folder 2012/07/04

Than, key-wording and collections, I just wish I was good at it.

Best regards
Erik


How do you organize your photos?
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schrodingerscat
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« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2012, 12:56:11 PM »
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Highly recommend Michael and Seth's video tutorial on the subject. http://luminous-landscape.com/videos/wamp.shtml

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john beardsworth
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« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2012, 04:46:48 PM »
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Assuming you're talking about directory structures, Thom Hogan makes an interesting point:

“A lot of you use file and folder names and structures that are date based. I strongly urge you to double check that this is indeed the way you think about your images. If you think to yourself ‘I'm going to go back and work on that image I shot last November’ then a date system is indeed what you want. If you think to yourself ‘I'm going to go back and work on that image I shot in Patagonia’ then a date system is not what you want. Understand how you think about and categorize your images. That's the genesis of the naming and structure system you should use.’

He talks about the topic in his workflow essay (although it's rather long because it covers much more than mere organization).
Although I've a lot of time for Thom and his views on Nikon gear, the fact he only mentions keywords once in that article is rather telling. Sure, "Understand how you think about and categorize your images." But "that's the genesis of got nothing to do with the naming and structure system you should use", which should be all about ensuring the physical safekeeping of your pictures, completeness of their backup and ease of restoring. You can get away with categorizing your photos using folders if the only way you think about and categorize your images is as limited as Patagonia or some other place, but most people are capable of thinking of their work in more than one way!

John
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2012, 11:49:56 PM »
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Hi,

Using a date system has some advantages. One is that Lightroom can create the folder structure automatically. The way I organize I let Lightroom put each day in it's own folder by using the "/year/month/day" option, that has the additional benefit of limiting the number of entries in each folder to one day of shooting.

I'm not saying that this way is optimal, but it works well for me.

Now, the folder structure is anyway just used the hold the images. Finding the images is best done using the database capabilities of Lightroom, but that needs proper keywording.

Best regards
Erik



Assuming you're talking about directory structures, Thom Hogan makes an interesting point:

“A lot of you use file and folder names and structures that are date based. I strongly urge you to double check that this is indeed the way you think about your images. If you think to yourself ‘I'm going to go back and work on that image I shot last November’ then a date system is indeed what you want. If you think to yourself ‘I'm going to go back and work on that image I shot in Patagonia’ then a date system is not what you want. Understand how you think about and categorize your images. That's the genesis of the naming and structure system you should use.’

He talks about the topic in his workflow essay (although it's rather long because it covers much more than mere organization).
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Jon Meddings
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« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2012, 09:45:32 AM »
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I agree with Erik completely on this point.  I use the same date based system to automatically develop folders for my images. It is also true that I can't remember what date I took a specific photo and so could not find it this way.

However, trying to remember what specific term I might have used in a directory structure is likely to be as much a mystery to me. To get around this I do two specific things. First, I use a nested set of keywords that I add to my pictures (see the LuLa video with Michael and Seth). Since most of what I do are landscapes I normally remember where I took a shot (at least the general area). My heirarchy of keywords always includes location as 'specific location'<region<country<continent and so I can always narrow down to an area. I also include keywords on season, time of day, lighting and anything else of relevance. 

So if I remember shot I took in Iceland some 4 years ago but can't remember where or exactly when I took it. I can search for all my 'Iceland' shots or I can be more specific and look for 'North Iceland'<'Iceland' if I knew it was in the north.  I find this much simpler than searching a directory tree.

The second thing I do is that I have LR automatically rename all my images on import. Within the file name I include the date the image was taken.  This means that when I have the file on the web or in print somewhere and can see the file name I know exactly where the RAW image negative is located because I know the date of the image from the file name and I store the images by date in the directory structure.

I'm sure there are many other ways of doing this but I have to say that this has emerged for me to be a very simple and easy way to manage my images and I've never had a problem finding any image that I can remember, am asked about or have in a web or print form.
Works for me!
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