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Subject: "How do you manage your filing system?" Previous topic | Next topic
kathiemt Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2012Tue 09-Jul-13 01:37 AM
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"How do you manage your filing system?"


Selby, AU
          

This is something I'm always interested in hearing about from other photographers. I did what just seemed systematic to me but find that others do it differently.

I use Lightroom4 to import the images into the cataloging system. As the images are imported they are keyword tagged before they're saved into their relevant folder. I tend to file all my images by dates - a folder for each day, inside a folder for that month and inside another folder for that year. I can do a search on a keyword and find the images I'm looking for. Or, if I remember something relevant from a certain time period I just go straight to that folder. I have a 2TB external hard drive for back ups but also backup/save all my best shots online at Dropbox.

How do you manage your photos?

Kathie M. Thomas
Nikon D90 & D60, 35mm, 60mm, 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 70-300mm and...
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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: How do you manage your filing system?
NickMilner Gold Member
09th Jul 2013
1
Reply message RE: How do you manage your filing system?
kathiemt Silver Member
09th Jul 2013
2
     Reply message RE: How do you manage your filing system?
NickMilner Gold Member
09th Jul 2013
3
          Reply message RE: How do you manage your filing system?
kathiemt Silver Member
09th Jul 2013
4
          Reply message RE: How do you manage your filing system?
NickMilner Gold Member
09th Jul 2013
5
          Reply message RE: How do you manage your filing system?
kj_fi Silver Member
10th Jul 2013
6
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kathiemt Silver Member
10th Jul 2013
7
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barrywesthead Silver Member
10th Jul 2013
8
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kathiemt Silver Member
10th Jul 2013
9
     Reply message RE: How do you manage your filing system?
barrywesthead Silver Member
11th Jul 2013
10
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kathiemt Silver Member
11th Jul 2013
11
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paulscott Silver Member
11th Jul 2013
12
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nwcs Silver Member
11th Jul 2013
13
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kj_fi Silver Member
11th Jul 2013
14
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ericbowles Moderator
12th Jul 2013
15
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kathiemt Silver Member
12th Jul 2013
16

NickMilner Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2013Tue 09-Jul-13 08:32 AM
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#1. "RE: How do you manage your filing system?"
In response to Reply # 0


Manchester, GB
          

I do pretty much the same thing as you (a folder per day) except that I also create collections as an extra dimension, especially when images are taken over multiple days. I don't tag nearly enough as I should!

I also use Carbonite to back up everything online; both PC and external drive. This allows me to access everything from any PC or even a mobile device, and Carbonite has no maximum limit so it's quite handy when a single raw file is 30MB!

Finally, I convert to DNG format during import - I'm told it's the best thing to do but I'd love to hear other opinions.

Thanks!

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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kathiemt Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2012Tue 09-Jul-13 08:40 AM
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#2. "RE: How do you manage your filing system?"
In response to Reply # 1


Selby, AU
          

>I do pretty much the same thing as you (a folder per day)
>except that I also create collections as an extra dimension,
>especially when images are taken over multiple days. I don't
>tag nearly enough as I should!
>
>I also use Carbonite to back up everything online; both PC and
>external drive. This allows me to access everything from any
>PC or even a mobile device, and Carbonite has no maximum limit
>so it's quite handy when a single raw file is 30MB!
>
>Finally, I convert to DNG format during import - I'm told it's
>the best thing to do but I'd love to hear other opinions.
>
>Thanks!

That's interest. I haven't converted to DNG format. I convert to JPG. I'll have to investigate the other to find out the difference.

Thanks for sharing. I've been using Dropbox (as I use it for work too) so haven't tried Carbonite.

Kathie M. Thomas
Nikon D90 & D60, 35mm, 60mm, 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 70-300mm and...
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kathiesphotos
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Melbourne-Nikon-Lovers/
Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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NickMilner Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2013Tue 09-Jul-13 08:42 AM
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#3. "RE: How do you manage your filing system?"
In response to Reply # 2


Manchester, GB
          

DNG is "Digital Negative" and it's essentially a RAW file but in an open format. If you convert to JPG it's sort like the equivalent in the old film days of making prints and then throwing the negatives away (don't do it!)

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kathiemt Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2012Tue 09-Jul-13 09:27 AM
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#4. "RE: How do you manage your filing system?"
In response to Reply # 3


Selby, AU
          

>DNG is "Digital Negative" and it's essentially a
>RAW file but in an open format. If you convert to JPG it's
>sort like the equivalent in the old film days of making prints
>and then throwing the negatives away (don't do it!)

Thanks for that. I keep the RAW images but convert to JPG ones I want to upload to the web. Been doing it for years and didn't think there was a problem with that. Perhaps I'm wrong?

Kathie M. Thomas
Nikon D90 & D60, 35mm, 60mm, 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 70-300mm and...
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kathiesphotos
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Melbourne-Nikon-Lovers/
Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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NickMilner Gold Member Nikonian since 01st Jul 2013Tue 09-Jul-13 09:31 AM
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#5. "RE: How do you manage your filing system?"
In response to Reply # 4


Manchester, GB
          

No, that's fine. I thought you meant that when you imported images from your camera you converted them to JPG and discarded the RAW. My mistake.

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kj_fi Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Jul 2007Wed 10-Jul-13 01:30 AM
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#6. "RE: How do you manage your filing system?"
In response to Reply # 3


Vantaa, FI
          

Hi,

if you consider DNG is your way to go, just remember that when converting to DNG, you lose whatever bits of data cannot be currently converted from the NEF file format.

For example, Lightroom 5.0 does not understand the focus point, so, it won't be there for future use - unless the whole NEF file is also copied (I think someone wrote that it is an option to contain the original file?).

Kari

  

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kathiemt Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2012Wed 10-Jul-13 03:04 AM
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#7. "RE: How do you manage your filing system?"
In response to Reply # 6


Selby, AU
          

>Hi,
>
>if you consider DNG is your way to go, just remember that when
>converting to DNG, you lose whatever bits of data cannot be
>currently converted from the NEF file format.
>
>For example, Lightroom 5.0 does not understand the focus
>point, so, it won't be there for future use - unless the whole
>NEF file is also copied (I think someone wrote that it is an
>option to contain the original file?).
>
>Kari


Ok, thanks for that - I love exploring and trying things out!

Kathie M. Thomas
Nikon D90 & D60, 35mm, 60mm, 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 70-300mm and...
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kathiesphotos
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Melbourne-Nikon-Lovers/
Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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barrywesthead Silver Member Awareded for his continued support of the Nikonians community, freely sharing his expertise, particularly in the areas of digital post processing and printing. Nikonian since 07th Nov 2006Wed 10-Jul-13 12:31 PM
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#8. "RE: How do you manage your filing system?"
In response to Reply # 0


Kleinburg, CA
          

My file structure is similar to yours but in practice I find Lightroom's "Metadata - Date" search to be a much quicker route to an image search by date than looking through dated folders.

Barry
http://art2printimages.com

  

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kathiemt Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2012Wed 10-Jul-13 09:01 PM
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#9. "RE: How do you manage your filing system?"
In response to Reply # 8


Selby, AU
          

>My file structure is similar to yours but in practice I find
>Lightroom's "Metadata - Date" search to be a much
>quicker route to an image search by date than looking through
>dated folders.
>
>Barry
>http://art2printimages.com
>

Perhaps so but where do you put your photos? IN one big folder Barry or how do you structure that?

Kathie M. Thomas
Nikon D90 & D60, 35mm, 60mm, 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 70-300mm and...
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kathiesphotos
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Melbourne-Nikon-Lovers/
Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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barrywesthead Silver Member Awareded for his continued support of the Nikonians community, freely sharing his expertise, particularly in the areas of digital post processing and printing. Nikonian since 07th Nov 2006Thu 11-Jul-13 03:38 AM
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#10. "RE: How do you manage your filing system?"
In response to Reply # 9


Kleinburg, CA
          

>>My file structure is similar to yours but in practice I
>find
>>Lightroom's "Metadata - Date" search to be a
>much
>>quicker route to an image search by date than looking
>through
>>dated folders.
>>
>>Barry
>>http://art2printimages.com
>>
>
>Perhaps so but where do you put your photos? IN one big folder
>Barry or how do you structure that?

Individual folders for each shoot "yy-mm-dd_Shoot_Descriptor".

Barry
http://art2printimages.com

  

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kathiemt Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2012Thu 11-Jul-13 04:25 AM
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#11. "RE: How do you manage your filing system?"
In response to Reply # 10


Selby, AU
          

>>>My file structure is similar to yours but in practice
>I
>>find
>>>Lightroom's "Metadata - Date" search to be
>a
>>much
>>>quicker route to an image search by date than looking
>>through
>>>dated folders.
>>>
>>>Barry
>>>http://art2printimages.com
>>>
>>
>>Perhaps so but where do you put your photos? IN one big
>folder
>>Barry or how do you structure that?
>
>Individual folders for each shoot
>"yy-mm-dd_Shoot_Descriptor".
>
>Barry
>http://art2printimages.com
>

aaahhh, not much different to what I do. Thanks for that.

Kathie M. Thomas
Nikon D90 & D60, 35mm, 60mm, 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 70-300mm and...
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kathiesphotos
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Melbourne-Nikon-Lovers/
Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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paulscott Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Oct 2009Thu 11-Jul-13 01:42 PM
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#12. "RE: How do you manage your filing system?"
In response to Reply # 11


Crickhowell, GB
          

I use LR4 too, but it is a secondary step. First, the NEF files are stored direct to an external backup disc, and copied to a different work drive. The work files are then used for import into LR4 and conversion to DNG. The work files, incl DNG, are backed up daily to an internal drive, which itself is backed up weekly to the external backup drive. Probably a case of over-kill, but rather that than perhaps lose something.

All files are stored by year, then by shoot name + month/year, so it is easy for me to relate original NEFs to workfiles if I need to.

Processed / edited files when complete are transferred to another hard drive, also filed by shoot and year, and this also is backed up weekly.The workfiles are then deleted (after ensuring backup of edited files).

Paul

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nwcs Silver Member Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Landscape and Wildlife Photography Nikonian since 15th Jan 2006Thu 11-Jul-13 02:27 PM
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#13. "RE: How do you manage your filing system?"
In response to Reply # 0


Knoxville, US
          

I use a pretty simple structure:

-Year
--Subject (like Birds)
---SubType (like American Goldfinches)

And that's about it. I'll keyword sometimes if I remember. Been doing that since 2002 and it's worked very well for me.

  

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kj_fi Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Jul 2007Thu 11-Jul-13 06:15 PM
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#14. "RE: How do you manage your filing system?"
In response to Reply # 13


Vantaa, FI
          

Hi,

the advantage of using keywords is that they are non-exclusive.

In your case of shooting birds, you may have two subtypes of birds in the same photo. Then the question becomes obvious: which folder to select to store the photo? Or, how do you remember which folder contains a certain nice picture of a falcon when the image was stored by the sparrow being hunted instead? Or, in the worst case, do you import each photo to a different folder?

I would find it much easier for you to add subject(s), subtype(s) and a very short description (e.g., "everglades") as keywords and store the images in folders simply just by the capture date, without any (very limited) descriptions part. In order to optimize the file access for speed, I would not put many thousands of images in the same folder; I have never taken more than a few hundred images in a single day and so that part of the process is automatically kept optimized.

Kari

  

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Fri 12-Jul-13 07:20 PM
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#15. "RE: How do you manage your filing system?"
In response to Reply # 0


Atlanta, US
          

I think its important to have a file and folder structure regardless of whether you use a catalog like Lightroom. In the event you drop Lightroom or wanted to switch to another catalog, you don't want to have to manage a complete mess.

I've been using my current folder and file structure for about 6 years for well over 150,000 images. I don't use Lightroom. I use Photo Mechanic to keyword every file - both at ingest and more detailed keywords as part of my workflow.

Folders are created for each download. Folder names include the location, client, or topic, the date, and a two digit sequential number for multiple cards.

Smokies_01_07132013
SmokiesIR_01_07132013

I archive folders by the same or a similar location, client or topic name. For high volume locations I have a subfolder for each year. So I have a folder called Smokies with a subfolder called Smokies 2013 and the image folder called Smokies_01_07132013 .

I generally keep folders at 400 images or less. This makes opening folders and viewing thumbnails much faster. I will make folders larger at initial download or ingest, but when I rate images I typically reject enough to get me in the 400-500 range. Each card has a separate download and potentially a separate folder. I choose cards that help with this approach - a 32 GB card for a D800 and 16GB cards for my D600.

Images have a similar naming structure, but each image has a non-repeating sequential number.
Smokies_0135678_07132013

With this approach I can always find a file or folder with just a piece of information - the date, the image number, or the location.

All of this is backed up on three external hard drives. I use a straight copy for backups so I can plug in any drive at any time and find my images. I also keep an extra copy of my top images both on my computer and on a separate drive. Once files are no longer being used, I confirm the file is backed up and delete it from my computer so it just resides on my backup drives.

One nuance of this. I have found that with social networks like Nikonians, other forums, Facebook, Google+, etc. - I create a number of web size files. I save all of these files in a folder for that year. So I have folders of small files called Webpost 2013, Webpost 2012, etc. These are small folders and allow synching images on my iPad and iPhone, images for slideshows and screen savers, etc.

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
My Gallery
Fall Workshops - Golf Photography at the Tour Championship and Fall Color in the Smokies

Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

  

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kathiemt Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Nov 2012Fri 12-Jul-13 11:24 PM
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#16. "RE: How do you manage your filing system?"
In response to Reply # 15


Selby, AU
          


>One nuance of this. I have found that with social networks
>like Nikonians, other forums, Facebook, Google+, etc. - I
>create a number of web size files. I save all of these files
>in a folder for that year. So I have folders of small files
>called Webpost 2013, Webpost 2012, etc. These are small
>folders and allow synching images on my iPad and iPhone,
>images for slideshows and screen savers, etc.
>
>Eric Bowles

I use Flickr for that same purpose Eric and use their keyword search and their embed codes or links for sharing images on different sites and social media.

Thanks for the detailed explanation. It's been so good to see what other people are doing and to learn that I do have a system that's worthwhile after all.

Kathie M. Thomas
Nikon D90 & D60, 35mm, 60mm, 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 70-300mm and...
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kathiesphotos
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Melbourne-Nikon-Lovers/
Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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