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Subject: "Image Naming in Lightroom and more..." Previous topic | Next topic
gorji Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2007Sat 06-Apr-13 12:26 PM
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"Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."


Jamesville, US
          

Dear friends:

I'd like to know how folks rename their files in general. I am very familiar with renaming files but want to know what convention most of you use? Right now I do the following:

Subject <space> location (if not obvious) 4.5.2013.

In lightroom, my top folders have descriptive names like Travel, Landscape... but the next subfolders are named with the year.

Thank you
-------------
Please visit my galleries: Reza Gorji Photography

  

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Reply message RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more...
Ferguson Silver Member
06th Apr 2013
1
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walkerr Administrator
06th Apr 2013
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gorji Silver Member
06th Apr 2013
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Ferguson Silver Member
06th Apr 2013
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quenton8 Silver Member
06th Apr 2013
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pdekman Gold Member
06th Apr 2013
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cod
06th Apr 2013
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liamtoh1ps
07th Apr 2013
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gorji Silver Member
08th Apr 2013
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sabbey51 Silver Member
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mervamos Silver Member
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gorji Silver Member
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Ferguson Silver Member
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pdekman Gold Member
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gorji Silver Member
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Ferguson Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004Sat 06-Apr-13 01:30 PM
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#1. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 0


Cape Coral, US
          

I don't. I let lightroom have that in title and caption and keyword information, and rename the files only to append a date so I never have name conflicts.

I also do nothing (much) about subject in folder names, they are strictly date oriented (once in a while if there are two unrelated shoots for a day I'll separate them and append a name).

I got away from physical file naming some time ago in favor of doing it all logically in the catalog and metadata as having it in two places just seemed a bit pointless. To me. But organizational things like this are very subjective, like whether you file contact names in outlook by first name or last name first.


Linwood

Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

  

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walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Nikonian since 05th May 2002Sat 06-Apr-13 01:48 PM
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#2. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 0


Colorado Springs, US
          

I use a file naming structure that looks like this:

walker_20130406_1234, where the middle string of numbers is the date and 1234 is the sequence number coming from the camera. I could shorten it by using my initials instead of my last name and using two digits for the year, but it doesn't cause me problems and it's easier for me to quickly read the date if the year is four digits.

I don't change file names to reflect the location or subject - that goes into the metadata as keywords.

For my folders, I like to be able to locate a shoot whether I'm using LR, Bridge or something else. For that reason, I'll have the top-level folder named something like Rocky Mountain NP, and then lower-level folders with dates: 2013-04-06. I have LR create both the top-level name, which I enter in manually unless it already exists, and then have LR automatically generate the dated folders and place the image files accordingly. With this structure, I'm not completely dependent on metadata, but can use it when I want to.

There's definitely not just one way to do this. It should be something that's easy for you to use, makes sense to you, and ideally not result in a lot of added work. I've used my scheme for many years now and don't foresee changing it. It works for me.

Rick Walker

My photos:
GeoVista Photography

  

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gorji Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2007Sat 06-Apr-13 01:56 PM
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#3. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 2
Sat 06-Apr-13 01:57 PM by gorji

Jamesville, US
          

Thank you for your detailed post Rick and Linwood. Digital Assett managment is very important yet can be difficult to do.
-------------
Please visit my galleries: Reza Gorji Photography

  

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Ferguson Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004Sat 06-Apr-13 04:26 PM
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#5. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 3


Cape Coral, US
          

>Thank you for your detailed post Rick and Linwood. Digital
>Assett managment is very important yet can be difficult to
>do.

Yes, but I wonder how many of us, like me, fixate a bit on the last few years of digital and forget about the decades of film negatives in the closet that I really should be doing something about.

Or if you want to be depressed, think about the negatives you HAVENT organized, and how little difference it really made, how seldomly you look for something, and wonder why you are spending all the effort on the digital ones.


Linwood

Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

  

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quenton8 Silver Member Awarded for bringing his experience to the Nikonians community helping members with printing and the use of post-processing software from the perspective of an IT professional. Nikonian since 11th Apr 2010Sat 06-Apr-13 04:40 PM
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#6. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 5


Toronto, CA
          

I retain the name and suffix a sequence number to it -- I need that to uniquely identity the photo when one gets posted at our Church so I people can ask for copies.

Otherwise, and certainly for the folder structure, I just let LR take care of it.

I would prefer to be able to assign a sequence number (unique across the catalog) to metadata -- but that does not seem to be possible.

----
Dennis Smith.

  

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pdekman Gold Member Winner in The Nikonians 10th Anniversary Photo Contest Awarded as a regular contributor who offers in-depth knowledge to members who are interested in building efficient work flows. Nikonian since 17th Nov 2005Sat 06-Apr-13 03:06 PM
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#4. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 0


Swisher, US
          

When I first got Lightroom, I gave some thought to what I used filenames for and how I wanted to organize them to help determine my scheme.

No duplicate filenames
Easy/Automated renaming using metadata
Provide some ability to sort and find image groups at the O/S level to assist placing images into subfolders

I settled on a date-based scheme with some camera and time info:
(Date) (Hour) (Camera ID) (Camera Sequence Number)
The Camera ID is just a single letter that I increment with new equipment vs. the entire metadata string.

I place these images into a folder structure as
(Year)/(YearMoDay) (descriptor)

I find this gives me good granularity at the O/S level to keep things organized and accommodate backups. The rest of the organization and searching is left to Lightroom features.

Do what's best for your needs!

Paul
My Nikonians Gallery

  

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cod Registered since 12th Apr 2009Sat 06-Apr-13 10:11 PM
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#7. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 0


Winnipeg, CA
          

I use initials_date_subject for file names. Date is always in the format YYYYMMDD. That way the files always show up in correct date order in any filing system. So a typical file might be cod_20130406_stuff.nef

I organize folders by date too and rely on keywords and collections in LR for organizing subjects.

Chris O'Donoghue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
codonoghue.prosite.com

  

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liamtoh1ps Registered since 17th Apr 2012Sun 07-Apr-13 01:14 AM
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#8. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

FWIW, here is my rename template used in LR4

{Date (YYYYMMDD)>>}_{Hour>>}{Minute>>}{Second>>}_D800{Filename>>}
20130106_152111_D800_DSC5556.nef

  

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gorji Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2007Mon 08-Apr-13 09:11 PM
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#9. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 0


Jamesville, US
          

Great Information here.
-------------
Please visit my galleries: Reza Gorji Photography

  

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sabbey51 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Jan 2010Thu 11-Apr-13 02:03 AM
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#10. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 9


Saddle river, US
          

Folder structure is Year, then "YYYYMMDD shoot name". Sometimes dated folders within that for muti-day events.

Images are YYYYMMDD-shoot name-{my initials}_{camera sequence number} - pretty much guaranteed to be unique forever, even if I exchange images with another shooter.

  

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mervamos Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Mar 2006Sun 14-Apr-13 08:37 AM
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#11. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 0


Brisbane, AU
          

Hi,
I make extensive use of keywords for location, type of photo etc.
I then use a directory structure of year / month / filename of yrmonth-seqquence.
ie Top directory 2013 next 2013-04 filename 1304-0001 etc.
All the other info: camera, lens, date time is stored in the file so why duplicate it in the file structure.
I then use collections to describe batches of photos. ie Italy 2008 trip, Daughters wedding ...
I also use keyword subsets with keywords broken up as follows Family, Merv, Wife, Son1, Son2, Daughter. Also Europe , France , Paris ; Europe, Italy , Rome Etc.

With this method I can search keywords for France and find all photos taken in France, or search for Paris and only find photos taken in Paris.

Merv Amos
Retired IT Systems Administrator

Merv Amos

  

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gorji Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2007Sun 14-Apr-13 12:39 PM
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#12. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 11


Jamesville, US
          

I am appreciating all the input from fellow Nikonians. I have underutilized the power of LR with respect to the use of Keywords and Collections.
Thank you again.
-------------
Please visit my galleries: Reza Gorji Photography

  

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Ferguson Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004Sun 14-Apr-13 12:39 PM
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#13. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 0


Cape Coral, US
          


As a bit of an aside, I just started taking photographs of old slides and negatives and filing in lightroom, and it gives a whole different perspective when there's no EXIF (or more precisely there is EXIF that is related to the reproduction not the original).

I've filing by date as best I can guess, leaving a folder for unknown, and then using keywords to link them back to where I plan to store the originals (though I'm not sure why I am storing them). The nice thing about keywords is they are additive and not mutually exclusive like a directory structure.

Since reading this I've been trying to figure out why I file by date, and frankly there's not a good reason with date in the EXIF. It makes me wonder if I should just be creating one new directory with each shoot, just to have some segregation. But at this point I've got a lot of inertia going.



Linwood

Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

  

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pdekman Gold Member Winner in The Nikonians 10th Anniversary Photo Contest Awarded as a regular contributor who offers in-depth knowledge to members who are interested in building efficient work flows. Nikonian since 17th Nov 2005Sun 14-Apr-13 01:22 PM
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#14. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 13


Swisher, US
          

I struggled with this as well while scanning a number of old slides for our family. They seemed to belong together so I dumped them into a separate project folder without the date structure. I did update the EXIF info to match the slides date/location etc. and added keywords.

Giving this some thought, the date structure for folders provides an easy method to form reasonably sized and uniquely named folders, so is more about organization than about searching. If you do this a lot, I'd consider treating it as any other shoot and maintain the folder structure as present capture date, or create a separate folder(s) for things such as this.

In the end you want to maintain ease of workflow, and changing folder names and locations just because you finally discovered what date that old pickup photo was taken doesn't seem right.

Paul
My Nikonians Gallery

  

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gorji Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2007Sun 14-Apr-13 01:36 PM
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#15. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 14


Jamesville, US
          

I am glad that I brought this topic up as it has bothered me for years. I am not glad that I see others are also struggling!! I am making changed to my library only for 2013; steady as she goes...
-------------
Please visit my galleries: Reza Gorji Photography

  

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gorji Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2007Tue 04-Jun-13 08:20 PM
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#16. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 15


Jamesville, US
          

I like to give a little progress report.

I have now named my files as YYYY-MM-Day_Gorji-filename given by camera.extension
It has made life alot easier. I have now used keywords in LR following the advice given above.

I'm still struggling a bit with folder structure. I like to take lots of pictures and do it almost daily. I'm stuck at 2 decision points:

Either: 1. Put all the above pictures in their folders YYYY then subfolders YYYY-MM-Day- Subject
OR
2. I have large categories: Gorji. Family, Nature. Misc, Travel and then under each category do YYYY followed by the folders as above.

I realize that each way is only good for certain needs.
Problem with 1. above is that one will have many subfolders (perhaps 100-200 /year)

Thanks for your insights.
-------------
Please visit my galleries: Reza Gorji Photography

  

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quenton8 Silver Member Awarded for bringing his experience to the Nikonians community helping members with printing and the use of post-processing software from the perspective of an IT professional. Nikonian since 11th Apr 2010Tue 04-Jun-13 08:53 PM
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#17. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 16


Toronto, CA
          

For me personally, I have to wonder why?

Why do you care what the folder structure is??

I use what LR provides, YYYY/YYYY-MM-DD -- so they get spread over 52 (max) folders per year.

If you have keywords for your categories, why do you need the structure to follow that??

I have seen one semi-valid argument, which is having some other application accessing the photos directly -- but if you are using RAW or even if you are applying LR editing, that kind of access doesn't work well anyway.

----
Dennis Smith.

  

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danshep Silver Member Charter MemberTue 04-Jun-13 10:00 PM
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#18. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 17


Olympia, US
          


One thing I have noticed Dennis, is that I would prefer an additional grouping, such as YYYY/MM/YYYY-MM-DD

That way, I can click on the month and choose to see all those photos I shot for the month.



"Today is the tomorrow that yesterday you spent money like there was no"

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Bob Chadwick Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jan 2006Tue 04-Jun-13 10:20 PM
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#19. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 18
Tue 04-Jun-13 10:50 PM by Bob Chadwick

Norcross, US
          

You really don't need a bunch of date based folders. The metadata filter in LR already allows you to pull up all your pictures easily for any given year, month or day or groups thereof.

I use one folder for each year (I'm questioning even doing this now though it made sense at the time) and then use the naming structure that others have mentioned of "YYYYMMDD Shoot Name" plus keywords.

Visit
My Nikonians Gallery
NorcrossPics.Com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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gorji Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2007Tue 04-Jun-13 11:14 PM
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#21. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 19


Jamesville, US
          

I am keywording all my pictures now. But the thought of putting all of them in one or 2 folders sends chills down my spine. Perhaps old habits are difficult to break.
-------------
Please visit my galleries: Reza Gorji Photography

  

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quenton8 Silver Member Awarded for bringing his experience to the Nikonians community helping members with printing and the use of post-processing software from the perspective of an IT professional. Nikonian since 11th Apr 2010Wed 05-Jun-13 01:39 AM
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#26. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 21


Toronto, CA
          

>I am keywording all my pictures now. But the thought of
>putting all of them in one or 2 folders sends chills down my
>spine. Perhaps old habits are difficult to break.
>-------------
>Please visit my galleries:
>Reza Gorji Photography

I took me a little while, and I still have folders named "Mikes Wedding" and "Italy Cruise" from back in my PSE (pre-LR) days.

Now all my photos have multiple keywords, ...
- Family, Liam, Birthday
- Pets, Brodie
- Family, Liam, Pets, Brodie
so I can find all photos of Liam (my grandson), and all photos of Liam with Brodie etc etc.

I can narrow by date already in LR, so I stopped using keywords like "3rd Birthday" or "2012 Cruise", and now stay with the simpler "Birthday" or "Cruise".

If I really need to find a photo's file, I use LR to take me to it.

----
Dennis Smith.

  

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pdekman Gold Member Winner in The Nikonians 10th Anniversary Photo Contest Awarded as a regular contributor who offers in-depth knowledge to members who are interested in building efficient work flows. Nikonian since 17th Nov 2005Wed 05-Jun-13 01:14 AM
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#24. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 18


Swisher, US
          

I'm using <YYYY/YYYY-MM-DD descriptor> as well for the reasons stated above. I do avoid adding another Month hierarchy as I frequently select multiple day shoots in a contiguous block (such as a week-long vacation). These have the same descriptor but different days, and too often they would overlap the month which then spreads the group into two folder structures.

Not too big of a deal either way of course...

Paul
My Nikonians Gallery

  

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gorji Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2007Tue 04-Jun-13 11:11 PM
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#20. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 17


Jamesville, US
          

Great question Dennis. I think the answer is that I am used to finding pictures by not using keywords but by looking at folder name and structure. Only recently have I learned some of my "defecient" practices of the past. One issue that I have not solved is the appropriate use of keywords. For example is there a standard keyword set. Let say you have a picture of family members at a party. Do you keyword it with the key folks in the picture or do you do just keyword family party? Will there not be too many keywords as opposed to a few folder names?
-------------
Please visit my galleries: Reza Gorji Photography

  

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walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Nikonian since 05th May 2002Tue 04-Jun-13 11:19 PM
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#22. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 17


Colorado Springs, US
          

>I have seen one semi-valid argument, which is having some
>other application accessing the photos directly -- but if you
>are using RAW or even if you are applying LR editing, that
>kind of access doesn't work well anyway.
>

I actually do this fairly regularly and go into the file structure via Bridge and then update something with ACR. It's not hard to later sync the edits back into Lightroom. While it's not something I absolutely have to be able to do, I prefer to have the option.

Rick Walker

My photos:
GeoVista Photography

  

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scopeland Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Apr 2009Wed 05-Jun-13 01:00 AM
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#23. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 17


Rochester, US
          

Several have mentioned that "you don't have to" use a folder heirarchy (just let LR organize them), and while that's true, I still use folders for a couple of reasons.

Quickly, I have a folder for each year, then each shoot will likely go in a folder named YYYY-MM-DD-Keyword.

Within LR, I like how this lets me quickly find a shoot by knowing roughly when it occurred. For me, that gets me to most shoots very quickly.

The other benefit though has to do with where my image files are actually stored and how I handle backups. My Macbook Retina is now my main workstation. It has a 500GB internal drive on which I store the LR catalog, the current year's image folder, and (as space permits) one previous year. Years prior to that are stored on an external hard drive. At the end of the year, I can move an entire year's folder from the internal drive to the external drive. If needed, I can also easily move a portion of year since I have the folders inside the year folder also date coded. (By the way, as long as I do the moves from within LR, the catalog as no problem keeping things straight from LR's perspective.)

This works well for me to manage my internal drive space, but also doesn't wreak havoc with my backup software. I use CrashPlan, which helps me easily maintain backups to another computer/drive in a different part of the house as well as off-site storage. CrashPlan is smart enough to recognize folders (and files) that have been moved, even to new drives.

Steve

Visit my Main site or my Sports site

  

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gorji Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2007Wed 05-Jun-13 01:37 AM
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#25. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 23


Jamesville, US
          

Thank you Steve. Nice explanation. No doubt one solution does not fit all.
Rick's explanation is also very important. One may want to look at the photographs with a non cataloging software like Bridge or Preview (mac).
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Please visit my galleries: Reza Gorji Photography

  

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coolmom42 Silver Member Awarded for her enthusiastic support of the community and exemplifying the Nikonian mission “Share, Learn and Inspire” Nikonian since 30th Nov 2011Thu 06-Jun-13 12:25 AM
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#27. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 0


McEwen, US
          

You have to do whatever works with the way your mind works. I have a terrible memory about dates, but a much better recall of locations & names.

A few years ago I went to several locations in Wisconsin, including EAA@Oshkosh, & Door County. Now if I really think about it hard I can remember that it was 2008. But in a few years I might have a hard time remembering if it was 2007, 2008, or 2009. But I will easily recall that I went to Wisconsin.

So my photos of that trip are in a folder called Wisconsin & EAA August2008. I have a couple of subfolders within it. This was before I started using LR so I did not have them tagged in any other way, but I can always find them.

I had a lot of folders with location and people names before I ever heard of Lightroom, and I've continued to use that format. In the larger folders I have subfolders by year and month. My images are also tagged but I don't find I have to use the tags very much to find anything.

working on it in Middle TN
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gorji Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2007Thu 06-Jun-13 10:49 PM
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#28. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 27


Jamesville, US
          

Thank you Diane. Your point is very valid. My 2013 photos in lightroom are now in their own folders YYYY-MM-DD subject. There are so many folders so far in 2013, that I have to scroll down the page in LR to see the various folders. I like using Keywords now, but I see their limitation as well. This is still a work in progress for me but I have a feeling I will have to create subject folders followed by internal YYYY-MM-DD subject folders.
-------------
Please visit my galleries: Reza Gorji Photography

  

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coolmom42 Silver Member Awarded for her enthusiastic support of the community and exemplifying the Nikonian mission “Share, Learn and Inspire” Nikonian since 30th Nov 2011Fri 07-Jun-13 03:00 AM
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#29. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 28


McEwen, US
          

>Thank you Diane. Your point is very valid. My 2013 photos
>in lightroom are now in their own folders YYYY-MM-DD subject.
> There are so many folders so far in 2013, that I have to
>scroll down the page in LR to see the various folders. I like
>using Keywords now, but I see their limitation as well. This
>is still a work in progress for me but I have a feeling I will
>have to create subject folders followed by internal YYYY-MM-DD
> subject folders.
>-------------
>Please visit my galleries:
>Reza Gorji Photography


You can collapse the folder structure in Lightroom so you don't have to scroll so much. I believe you double-click on the folder you want to be the "top" folder.

working on it in Middle TN
Nikon D3100

35 mm 1.8 Nikkor
18-55 mm Nikkor VR
55-200 mm Nikkor VR
55-300 mm Nikkor VR
150-500 mm Sigma OS
Feisol CT3471 & Markins M20 ballhead

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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gorji Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2007Thu 13-Jun-13 06:03 PM
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#31. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 29
Thu 13-Jun-13 06:05 PM by gorji

Jamesville, US
          

Dear All:
I appreciate all the info given here. Its a work in progress no doubt. Here is a screenshot of my organization. The subfolders do have the scheme suggested here.


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Please visit my galleries: Reza Gorji Photography













Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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gorji Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2007Thu 13-Jun-13 03:52 PM
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#30. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 31


Jamesville, US
          

Reflecting: Life was much simpler when I had my Nikkormat and kept the negatives in a shoe box!!!
-------------
Please visit my galleries: Reza Gorji Photography

  

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dagoldst Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2012Thu 13-Jun-13 11:42 PM
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#32. "RE: Image Naming in Lightroom and more..."
In response to Reply # 0


Little Rock, US
          

I don't modify the file name. What I do that works for me, is to create folders like, "Fall 2012" or "London 2006" and place appropriate images in those folders.

David

"Sawed that board three times and it is still too short... "

  

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