Organizational Morass

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by paul_sharratt, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. Ok, here's the quandry over what I have: I have archived digital and scanned images on two hard drives (internal and external) and CD's (fortunately no dvd thrown into the mix). I usually have an archive file folder named: 2006 Archive I; 2006 Archive 2; 2007 Archive 1-3; and then usually individual folders named 2006 July Fourth; 2007 Birthday; 2008 Parades; Submissions (to publications). In the individual folders may be a mix of scanned images and digital images. I've owned two digital cameras so the chronological archives many have duplicate _dscxxxx numbers (which is why I have multiple archive folders by year). In the individual folders there may be dupes of the dsc files, dsc converted to DNG, a jpg folder, and photoshopped images named something like happybirthday001.psd. My scanned images are large tif files but I could save as nef if you all think so.
    What I'd like to end up with is: a searchable archive of all images (keyword search will work) duplicated on three external harddrives (two at one location; another offsite). I'd like to maintain the syncronicity between the two hard drives when images are added as either scans or digital files.
    What I need is advice on: software to help me accomplish this and suggestions on how to go about it. (Lightroom?)
    If needed: I think I have about 500GB total of images and have a Windows based desktop.
    Happy New Year in many ways...
  2. A big yes to Lightroom for this task. I've got well over 40,000 photos cataloged, keyworded, captioned and searchable in Lightroom 2.2.
  3. +1 for light room
    When I moved my 9,000+ photos to LR, it took several sessions of importing and keywording, but now it's done and I can find any picture quickly. I use LR to generate my web galleries and for printing my own small prints (8 X 10).
  4. Has anyone tested if images filed and organized in the manner described can still be searched for by other applications on the off chance Lightroom isn't available?
  5. You seem to be flying off in several directions, some of which are non-productive.
    The basic requirement of a relational database is that each record (i.e., image) has a unique identifier. You don't necessarily have to rename each file, because the identifier consists of the entire path name. It is sufficient to create a directory named based on a date code and subject, and place the image files therein.
    A related concept is that there are two sides to "organization" - storage and retrieval. It's best to stick with a simple and scalable means of storage - changing it later is costly (and the most common mistake made or "recommended" by neophytes). You can be quite flexible with retrieval functions. In particular, you don't have to store things by topic, just in a known location. The query (retrieval) can be as elaborate as you wish as long as it points to the master location(s).
    If you copy the images to several locations, you must use one as the master and the others strictly as backups. If you deliberately (or accidently) alter files in a backup, you have to resynchronize all the directories. This can lead to mistakes and data loss.
    There are several books on database management for photographers, loosely known as "Digital Asset Management", or DAM. "The DAM Book" by Peter Krogh is an excellent place to start.

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