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Thread: Image filing system query

  1. #1
    New Member brucetrainor's Avatar
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    Image filing system query

    I'm new here and relatively new to photography, but I'm learning. This all started when I began archiving the family 35mm and 120 mm slides, then the photos and has evolved to over 7000 photos. I am having a problem designing a filing system. At present I with a combination of date and location with sub folders. The need for categories is a bit fuzzy in my mind, although I can see the keywords will simplify searches for future generations, it seems to me that categories is too interpretative to be useful in an archive. My main programmes are iMatch for for tagging, XnView for browsing, renaming and sorting, and either PhotoImpact or PhotoPlus for editing. I don't do drastic or interpretive editing so have left Adobe for the masochists. If anyone has any thoughts on filing systems, keywords and catagories, I would be interested in reading them. Thanks.

    Bruce

  2. #2

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    Re: Image filing system query

    7000 sounds alot, you could try getting rid of some of them, i cant imagine all 7000 came out perfectly. Probably not the quite of advice you were after, but if you can make yourself crop out even a few of them you will make it all alot easier.

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Image filing system query

    Hi Bruce,

    Welcome to the CiC forums, we seem to have got off to an uncharacteristically slow start with this query. Mind you, it is quite a difficult question

    I could suggest various options, and I may in a minute, but I would say think how you, or anyone else looking for a particular image, will be accessing them; Filename Explorer (unlikely to be very successful), Photo software (PS, PS Elements, LR anyone of a number of non Adobe products), or will they be online and web searchable? I'm sorry but I'm not familiar with any of those progs you named

    The photo software is probably going to be most successful.
    I have most experience with PS Elements Organiser; this allowed you to set up a folder structure, but most importantly, it kept a database entry for each image file, this enabled storage of a title, some keyword tags, in addition to the filename.

    At the top level of classification, I wouldn't have too many, because the danger is, if you have say Holidays and Birthdays and Christmases as separate folders (or categories), when you get a birthday on holiday, which one does it go in?

    I would suggest you use keyword tags to put the names of all people in a photo, effectively as a list, so, if you have photos of Tom, Richard and Harry, you can keep them all in a People section without worrying (or naming Tom and Richard, etc.) and let the software do the hard work of finding all the pictures with Harry in, be they holiday or christmas, etc.

    The other thing you said that puts the cat among the pigeons is "future generations", this raises a whole new problem; will the files, let alone the software and the computer it is running on still be working - maybe, probably not and very doubtful

    I told you it was a difficult question!
    I have run out of thinking time, so I'll post this for now,

  4. #4
    New Member brucetrainor's Avatar
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    Re: Image filing system query

    5 generations, 100+ years. Also a lot of varied geography and several different countries, so7000 doesn't seem excessive. I've pretty well got it sorted anyway now and the pile has grown. Just took some practice.
    Last edited by brucetrainor; 9th November 2011 at 12:43 AM. Reason: Forgot I was a great grand father=5 generations

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    New Member brucetrainor's Avatar
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    Re: Image filing system query

    Hello Dave

    Been awhile since I was here. Time flies when you are having fun. IPTC embeds the comment so there is no side file and is an excellent way to enter short descriptions. Flicr picks them up for their comments. Using manual lenses now so I enter f stops on most as well. Embedded comments should solve the future generation problem if the disks are copied every so many years. But that part will be up to the members of those generations, not me.

  6. #6
    Soma Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Image filing system query

    I highly recomend "The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers" and Adobe Lightroom.

    http://www.amazon.com/DAM-Book-Digit.../dp/0596100183

    This book explains the importance of, and gives recomendations for file naming, keywording and folder structures. It has exactly what you need to know. I have collected, even after culling, well over 15,000 photos in the past ten years (a drop in the bucket compared to many other photographers) and can locate a specific photo in moments using Lightroom.
    Long story short; they suggest storing files in folders named for the date the photo was taken and then diligently applying keywords to each photo.

  7. #7

    Re: Image filing system query

    I've been using Idimager for quite a while and like it very much...

    www.idimager.com

    Dick

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    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Image filing system query

    Lightroom, lightroom, lightroom......

  9. #9
    New Member brucetrainor's Avatar
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    Re: Image filing system query

    Lightroom is, I think, over rated and certainly over priced. I use alternate software, but to each his or her own.

  10. #10
    Zone XI's Avatar
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    Re: Image filing system query

    7,000 images is not that many, over decades of shooting, it soon adds up. Obviously a serious amateur, clubber or pro that shoots most weeks, or like me, you take a lot on photographic workshops or trips; will take a lot more than a casual amateur.

    Here's a copy of a post I recently wrote ...

    I agree with the guys that recommend LightRoom, for the following reasons, which most people have missed:
    You have a camera, you take lots of pictures, you have a computer to store them on, the FIRST thing you need is a tool to get you organised. An integrated tool designed for photographers (Photoshop is definately not that tool), to aid with uploading, cataloging, sorting, organising, did I mention organising, no? well, organising too. You can make slideshows, it has a great print module and even export to the web module.

    You can do a heap of corrections to your images in the develop module, usually all you will need, even dodging and burning selective parts of the image and a cool automatic lens distortion correction feature). It does integrate fully with Photoshop if you need it.

    LightRoom will do non-destructive edits to your files, you can easily make virtual copies of an image and apply different post-processing techniques to each. You can make collections of your images (such as flowers, doors, parties, best of 2011, whatever), you can add meta-data, keywords and rate images which will help find photos.

    In summary, it's THE tool for photographers, I don't have experience with Apple's Aperture, I think it's quite similar. Photoshop is an image editing tool for ANYone working with images, graphic designers, not just photoraphers. It's very comprehensive and expensive, and as others have said, a huge learning curve. If you're like me, you learn a new technique, then not use it for a year and completely forget it.

    I store images on my hard disk (backup regularly) in folders by year, and subfolders by date and place:
    /images/2011/2011_10_20_Tuscany
    then use lightroom to add keywords and metadata, organise collections, and to filter particular selections. If I had to chose only one piece of software to help me with my photography, it HAS to be lightroom. I can live without all the others, apps that come with the camera for uploading, photoshop, HDR, whatever, but I need lightroom to get my images organised.

    Good luck!
    --Les

  11. #11
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Image filing system query

    Hi Bruce, I know someone that manages over 40,000 images with Lightroom, and those are just the ones he hasn't had time to post process yet.

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