Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?
I can't decide how I am going to store all my pictures I have taken. The system I have for several years is to store in folders with first a year folder, then a sub folder with my picture contends. That works but sometimes I want to see all my pictures in ViewNX as they wore in the same directory. And to have every picture in the same directory is not a good idea either.
How should I sort and store my pictures and movies?
I have a backup disk with all my pictures and movies that I have taken.
Thanks in advance
#1. "RE: Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?" | In response to Reply # 0mklass Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Tue 14-May-13 12:17 PM
I use Photo Mechanic as an image browser. I store the images by subject, because that makes more sense to me. In PM you can view more than one folder in a browser window, combine folders into one tab (without duplicating or affecting the storage location on your disk) and save your customized view for use again later.
It isn't a catalog program like Lightroom, but it is fast and very flexible. You can get a trial at www.camerabits.com.
Visit my nikonians gallery
#3. "RE: Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?" | In response to Reply # 0
I use Lightroom. As I've accumulated more and more images over time, I've grown to appreciate its capabilities even more. I use a directory structure that should theoretically help me find certain images relatively quickly, but there's sometimes no substitute for the ability to quickly query for keywords or other metadata across all my images.
#4. "RE: Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?" | In response to Reply # 0
you have a very common problem what comes to managing photos. It is impractical to categorize them by one property only. For example, now that you have them stored by date, how are you going to find photos of sunsets? You would have to go through every folder by date, right?
Lightroom (and other similar cataloguing programs) let you store your photos any way you like and allow you to set keywords (e.g., sunset, california, beach) to find what you are looking for, easily. You can also set up collections the way you like, without having multiple copies of the photos on disk. In fact, once you set up the software, it stores the image files consistently so that you can back them up easily. For example, they could be stored in folders of the shooting date under a certain "root" folder.
If you take more than just a couple of hundred snapshots, I recommend Lightroom (or others) to manage them. You should try one of them for a month and see how it works for yourself. You'll see how much it helps.
#5. "RE: Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?" | In response to Reply # 0
You probably want to basically leave the directory based cataloging approach and instead go for keywords utilizing a modern archive and image management software like Lightroom, Aperture or potentially AfterShot Pro.
I have been using Aperture (available for Mac OS X only) extensively and there you do not care about file structures any more. Key wording is key. I have been very pleased with Aperture over the years.
Since I ended (again) moving to Linux for my main workstation in the shack, I took basically the only available solution for serious photo management on Linux, which is the former Bibble Labs product meanwhile acquired by Corel and renamed to Aftershot Pro. I am pretty happy with it. It does not have the big binary blob of things like Aperture or LR (for good and bad) but instead you are storing your files filed based. I actually do store them in a simple directory structure with maybe some 20-50 folders per year according to main projects or types of shooting. Then I am using its well behaving keyword facility. Filtering, searching etc is dirt simple.
It is a very fast program, but does not come with the same amount of features like the other two mentioned. It has though Noise Ninja integrated which is cool, available as plugin for the others as well.
Hope this helps och många hälsningar från kontinenten
Bo Stahlbrandt - Founder & Administrator. I am mainly located in Bratislava, Slovakia.
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#6. "RE: Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?" | In response to Reply # 0
The major photo editing software programs all include robust file management. ACDSee Pro, for example, has a wonderful RAW/NEF converter and editor, and a wonderful JPG editor, but it also integrates powerful file management. With the volume of image files we all now have to deal with, being able to use, e.g., ACDSee Pro to simply search for all 2005 image files is fast and easy.
As has already been suggested in this thread, if we also take the time to tag all of our photos using ACDSee Pro by using keywords that help describe each photo, we can do searches using any of or several of those keywords at any time in order to find exactly what we want.
It takes some time to tag a large collection with keywords, categories and ratings in a program such as ACDSee Pro or Lightroom or Aperture, but the effort is completely worthwhile and will give you full control over your photo collection. If you then also backup your photo collection to the cloud using a service such as BackBlaze, Carbonite or CrashPlan, you'll be secure as well.
#7. "RE: Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?" | In response to Reply # 6plgreco Nikonian since 24th Dec 2009Wed 15-May-13 03:34 PM
I use Phase One Media Pro to catalog all my photos. It is a professional photo management system that allows you to not only see all your photos' thumbnails but you can create sub sets by any criteria. It is also a good idea to group your photos using hierarchical and regular keywords so you can quickly finds the ones you are looking for.
Finally make sure that you backup your photos in more than one place. I backup on two external hard drives and the Cloud.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#8. "RE: Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?" | In response to Reply # 6noneco Nikonian since 12th May 2009Wed 15-May-13 05:57 PM
I'll add to agitater's post: I have used ACDSee for years. It started out as a $15 DOS shareware universal graphic file viewer back about 1984. For what it can do, I think that it is very inexpensive. ACDSee Pro 6 is on sale for $60 until today, May 15, 2013. They also have a free “personal digital asset manager” which I have not used but free is free. http://www.acdsee.com/en/products
I organize my photos in directories and subdirectories that mean something to me. If I add or delete a file using ACDSee, or not, it finds the change the next time that I start the program. It does not get choked if I use Explorer or some other app. When up-loading from a card, I rename the file by automatically adding the EXIF date and time to the camera file name and have them loaded into a temporary directory which is automatically created using the EXIF date as a subdirectory off of a directory called “photos_new”. There is an option to delete the files from the card after they are copied. I then cull them and add category names and move them to the directories that make the most sense to me. I usually sort the files by name or date so the latest image comes up first but there are numerous other sort options. Adding words to the category word list is simple as is searching for images by word.
As for editing, it does a fairly good job on its own but, if you want to use a different editor just add the desired External Editor to the External Editor List and right click to open the image in your preferred editor. If you save your work back to the same directory, make a new sub-directory to put it in, or place the edited file any ware else, ACDSee will see it when you open that directory. It also includes a “Sync” command that will back up your images at a time of your choosing. It does nothing to the file, it just copies the file with the option to over write if the previously synced version is older – or not. Nothing proprietary.
Well almost nothing proprietary; it uses its own data base to organize the thumbnails and categories. There is a very flexible data base search engine. E.g. it can search your files’ EXIF data and find all of the images that were taken with a particular lens.
Just mho. Cal
#9. "RE: Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?" | In response to Reply # 8Wed 15-May-13 07:19 PM
Thanks you all for writing a such a complete guide to storing my images, I think I have too look a closer look at Lightroom 4. I have a trial copy installed but I still learning how to use it. I am a Linux user that have converted to Windows but not 100%. I have dualboot so I am going to test AfterShot Pro too if it is open source.
I think I am going to do about the same with folders but I will tag pictures in the future, I didn't know that smart function.
It is pretty nice to have the a search by category function, that is what I need to have.
Thanks for all the tips from all of you, this is a very friendly community
(In Swedish - Tack så mycket Bo, jag trodde jag var ensam svensk här
#16. "RE: Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?" | In response to Reply # 9barrywesthead Nikonian since 06th Nov 2006Thu 16-May-13 10:49 PM
I'm not sure about other cataloguing programs but if you think you might end up with Lightroom there is one important consideration in setting up your folder structure:
All folders and subfolders containing your images should be under ONE SINGLE ROOT FOLDER. In Lightroom you can then search your entire library using all of LR’s search parameters, including keywords by searching on the root folder.
#10. "RE: Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?" | In response to Reply # 0
I have been using iMatch for several years. Fairly cheap, and very flexible. A bit of a learning curve... But it works well. I now have about 22k images catalogued.
Etna, New York, USA
My Nikonians Gallery
#11. "RE: Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?" | In response to Reply # 10Thu 16-May-13 07:13 AM
I have another question.
Any suggestion to a free cloud service? I have a Ubuntu one account but it is only up to 5 gb. Any better suggestion? I want to have it as a backup for all my pictures.
Thanks in advance
#12. "RE: Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?" | In response to Reply # 11kodiak photo Nikonian since 28th Feb 2013Thu 16-May-13 08:01 AM
Nope! This is the idea with the cloud:
If, like me, you archive or backup your files to a local HD,
you may access it only locally or a server setup.
If you want to access your archive from anywhere, the cloud
is your thing but they tease you with 5GB so if you like the
system, you may rent more space. I don't need the cloud!
A friend on mine is storing only his "actual" folders on the
cloud and then, backed unto a local HD
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In photography, light is free but catching it is not!
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#13. "RE: Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?" | In response to Reply # 11Thu 16-May-13 08:35 AM
>Any suggestion to a free cloud service? I have a Ubuntu one
>account but it is only up to 5 gb. Any better suggestion? I
>want to have it as a backup for all my pictures.
There is currently no such thing as a free, high capacity, cloud backup service because it's too expensive to securely maintain even on a promotional basis (e.g., to attract users in order to try and sell them something else). That's what all the free, tiny cloud storage accounts are all about - upsell to higher capacity.
Consider looking into both BackBlaze and CrashPlan. They're both very good, very inexpensive and secure, and their client software works extremely well.
#14. "RE: Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?" | In response to Reply # 13Thu 16-May-13 11:09 AM
Thanks very much for all the answers. I may consider to pay for more cloud space.
But if I pay for the cloud service, and next time I need to pay and forgot to pay. Do I lose all my picture material then? I guess it works like a subscription service.
#15. "RE: Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?" | In response to Reply # 14mjhach Nikonian since 17th Dec 2010Thu 16-May-13 04:43 PM
I have about 30000 images and took the plunge into LightRoom 4 and I'm glad I did. Bought the book by Scott Kelby for LR4 and read it cover to cover (several times, stopping at particularly applicable sections). It is very worthwhile, as long as you are able to learn from a well-written book.
I still use plugins like Nik and PSE10 via LR4 to adjust images and that is after my first pass with DxO Labs software and then import into LR4 for keywording
I used to use PSE10 for my cataloguing but it seemed cumbersome and not as versatile as LR4.
LR is for serious photographers and PSE10 is for not-so-serious photographers is how it was described once in Nikonians. LR can also be used to print from very easily.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#17. "RE: Sorting and storing images? How are you doing it?" | In response to Reply # 14Thu 16-May-13 11:27 PM
>But if I pay for the cloud service, and next time I need to
>pay and forgot to pay. Do I lose all my picture material then?
>I guess it works like a subscription service.
It's quite difficult to forget to pay because the cloud services send reminder after reminder and then still provide anywhere from 30-60 days after expiry of your subscription during which you can download anything or everything from your storage that you don't already have locally backed up.
A cloud backup should be one part of a multi-located backup plan. A semi-annual backup to a portable hard drive should be kept at someone else's home or in a bank safety deposity box or at your business office (if you have one). You should also have a cloud storage backup. You should also have a local hard drive backup that is easily accessible to you (an external hard drive or a second hard drive in your PC or Mac). Many photographers also establish a fourth copy of all their files using a solution such as a Drobo or a local network storage drive.
Backup, backup, backup, backup to multiple locations. You can't have too many backups.
#18. "Photo Mechanic - my choice for sorting and archiving" | In response to Reply # 0
Another vote for Photo Mechanic. Like Mick, I've found this browser to be an excellent, super fast program for ingesting photos, keywording, colour tagging, affixing stars to delegate as favourites, sorting, archiving, and more. In the IPTC field you can add location and caption detail, licensing info, file names, categories, keywords and so on.
You can archive and name your photos anyway you like, which works fine for me, as I prefer to name my folders either by event, destination, job or project, with appropriate subgroupings.
PM lets you set all kinds of presets and preferences, and you can easily create custom contact sheets with photos for sending as PDF's to clients for previewing.
The FTP (File Transfer Protocol) facility makes it a breeze to send photos direct to a client server. I use it frequently in my freelance work for a local daily newspaper.
I recently purchased Lightroom 4 - more for its Develop Module, Lens distortion correction and photo soft proofing facility. I may or may not use its archiving facility, mainly because I'm not sure I trust Adobe now that they have announced future PS and eventually LR updates will only be available by subscription on their "Creative Cloud" service.
That said, after using it for more than 5 years, I highly recommend Photo Mechanic. Attached a couple of screen saves from how I use it.
As you can see on the left, my files have all kinds of different names, listed in Alpha order. The slider (top left) allows you to enlarge the
thumbnails to whatever size you like. Next to the very effective 'Quick search" top right, is the upload button to send images via FTP.
Just select the images directly from the tumbnails, press the upload button, select the destination server and press OK. That easy!
In Preview mode, a very effective Histogram (way better than PS Bridge) will display blown highlights or shadows by selecting your
choice bottom right. You can zoom the photo to view sharpness and detail, and colour tag it here, assign a star rating or both.
Pressing the letter "E" brings your image directly into Photoshop or your image processing software of choice (set up in advance
in the Preference section). Display options allow viewing thumbnails on the left or bottom - even side by side comparison.
Camera Bits has a very detailed and easy to read PDF manual and User Guide you can download from their site. (visit here: http://www.camerabits.com/support/ )
I had it printed at a local photocopy service and keep it at my side. Their knowledgeable telephone support in Oregon is excellent!
(yes real people... here in North America and NOT Bangalore!!!) Try getting that from Adobe!
Hope this helps
Frederic in Montréal
Nothing ventured... nothing gained!
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