Another question on organizing photos

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by donald_miller|5, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. Dayra inspired me to ask about another issue in organizing. I save all my photos on thumb drives that are 16GB to 64GB. This way I do not use all the space on my computers and I can access them on any computer. I create folders labeled camera and film type. Sometimes other relative info and dates depending.
    Now I have about 10 thumb drives and sometimes if I am looking for a particular photo (like for No Words forum). It is tedious, time consuming and not always successful. Short of creating an excel spreadsheet does anyone have a better system
  2. I think the answer to photo organizing starts with a good descriptive title. A typical title for me would be: Monterey 16b_Fourth of July_1. The location, the year, the folder (a,b,c, about a hundred each), and the event plus the photo number for that event. If you use a Mac with "Finder" they all line up nicely and photos are easy to locate. In Darya's case it should easy, if Finder is available, to go through hundreds of photos in a short time and spot the duplicates as they will be together.
  3. I keep all my photos on a dedicated 3TB data drive on my computer, and use Lightroom to manage them with tags, keywords, and metadata.
    I also maintain 2 external HD backup drives, one of which is off-site.
    My photo collection right now is about 46,000 pictures.
  4. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    You don't say what hardware / software you use, but in Windows you can sort by photo date in Windows Explorer using exif data. If you have date ranges on the thumb drives you should be able to close in a bit on what you want to find. I agree with Sanford on naming, I do it for all important photo projects, but not for every upload folder. Date has been useful. You can select a broad range of exif metrics and sort by any of them, including camera, focal length, F stop, etc. Also a great way to decide what lenses you want for a trip based on your usage patterns.
  5. Why not use Lightroom? That is what most people do. It catalogs, organizes and processes your pics and much more and does a very good job.
  6. Putting photos on multiple drives, whether CF or USB prevents you from indexing them in any meaningful way. How can you search for a single photo by subject if you don't know which drive it's on before you start?
    There are lots of content management schemes, check out "The DAM Book - Digital Asset Management for Photographers" for suggestions on how to organize and manage a collection of photographs.
  7. The most fundamental requirement is that each image has a unique name, including the folder or directory in which it resides. It is difficult to physically rename each image while maintaining it's uniqueness, and totally unnecessary. I keep the original name, and create new directories by date and title to hold them. I can assign key words and descriptions, but again it is difficult to be creative, unique and consistent over a period of time. The key to organization, under relational database rules, is in the query - how the data is retrieved. Any one image can be polled by any number of queries for any number of reasons.
    The images can be spread over many directories or hard drives, yet still organized under one database - Lightroom. You can also make copies of that database, or create new ones for different purposes. However it's best to keep one collection and many queries. Separate, linked databases are best used for isolating secure information. (Which leads one to wonder which set of rules did managers of compromised databases, e.g., Target, employ?)
    In addition to preserving the original location, Lightroom can organize images into collections, which serve the function of a database query. A collection holds the address of each image, but not a copy of the image itself. Hence, from One to Many - one object, many applications. You can also do queries based on metadata, including key words, descriptions, date, focal length - ad infinitum.
  8. It seems to me that all those thumb drives greatly complicates the job of keeping backups. Also, to all of the hazards that can affect image files (surge, fire, computer error, hardware failure, etc.), you can add another: Losing the drive.
    So, in my view, a bad idea. Those who suggested Lightroom are right. There's no need to worry about the file names at all. Lightroom keeps its own database and provides many kinds of grouping and searching options.
  9. I use flash drives to separate originals between cameras before portable hds and LR. I use a combination of camera/date/country/city/name/event etc...
  10. You can get a lot of space on an external hard drive for $100. I have a mirrored pair, one for backup.
  11. Thanks it sounds that I need one large capacity storage device. Additionally one of the reasons I used multiple thumb drives is that if one fails (or catastrophic event)I lose only a small l portion of data but managing them becomes Herculean and expensive. I am thinking also of purchasing a 1 terabyte (terabite?) of storage on Onedrive etc. ! year cost as much as 64 GB device. Supposedly they would be safe there and I can acces them any time. One of the reasons I do not use lightroom yet is because I am ignorant and just did not think of it or know it is a viable solution, thanks. As to whether I have windows or Mac I just assumed that they all have a workable system. What I get from everyone here is that juggling mutiple thumb drives is just going to be pure chaos. Thanks again everyone.
  12. I need one large capacity storage device​
    or rather at least two - one for the working files and another for the backups. To be secure, not even two copies are really fail-safe.
    1TB hard drives in small and convenient sizes (deck of cards) are a mobile and even inexpensive solution for travel. For a desktop set up, get the still fairly cheap 3T and up.
    I have lots of image files of many kinds, and use an external 6TB drive and a 5TB drive for automatic backups as I go.
    I also keep copies of many images on 4 older HDs ranging from 500 GB to 1 TB.
    I personally organize my images by "project," date, and such so that Adobe Bridge is perfect for me. This derives directly from my pre-digital organization of my slides and negatives, so was a natural way to go.
    If you have the time, there is something to be said for image management software.
  13. Like others have already stated, large hard drive with external hard drive backup. For off site stuff I back up to the cloud (for my most important stuff).
  14. I think I'm repeating myself, but I follow the above recommendation of place-date for file names. I dump the files in from the camera, back them up and then start sorting them in hierarchichal fashion. my system runs:
    Better-place-date first. ?This is the quick sort into ones I may want to work with and those that seem to be losers. Then Best place-date for the ones I really like after post process. If I have lots of duplicates I sometimes go to Best of Best-place-date.
    I back up the "Best-place-date" heavily. The others, not so much.

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