Keeping photos organized

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ejb190, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. macrumors 65816


    I am looking for suggestions on keeping digital photos organized. Right now I have been creating a new folder on my external HD each time I download the images to my computer. Is there a better way to keep things organized? The second problem I have is previewing RAW format images (Nikon D70). No thumbnail image is available, which means I have to open them up in photoshop to see what I am looking at. Does RAW have any significant advantages over shooting in jpeg?
  2. macrumors 6502


    Sep 5, 2005
  3. macrumors 68030


    Aug 7, 2004
    On a jet plane
  4. macrumors 68030

    Nov 16, 2004
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    If you're shooting raw images DO NOT use iPhoto. I did for a while and it worked adequately until my quantity increased to around 100 images. Past the 100 point things got hairy and iPhoto got very very slow.

    I created a folder in the Pictures directory on my Mac named "20D Images". Within that I label folders for each shoot/day. The folder names run like this:

    (05.12.30) Shoot Name

    I use that method because it keeps them chronologically arranged and easy to remember based on date and event name. Within each folder I make two folders, "Captures" and "Processed". I stick all of the new downloaded shots into the Captures folder and the shots I think are good enough to PP i set copies of in the Processed folder and save the changes to that image (preserving the original for all eternity....on multiple drives).

    As far as benefits to raw vs. can go read Ken Rockwell or whatever, but it's basically a requirement of PP to make an image 'good' (raw) vs. a decent finalized output direct from the camera w/ little PP required (but usually welcome). raw has some other amazing benefits but I don't know them all and even the ones I do know about are not necessarily completely understood. A great one is the WB though, since you can alter that as the actual colors aren't written to the image (they are alongside the image) so they can be easily altered w/o adverse effects to the image's colors.
  5. macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree
    i use *exactly* the same organization and it works great for me. however, i also have a folder within each shoot folder for in-camera jpeg's if i used jpeg for some shots
  6. macrumors newbie


    Mar 19, 2005
    I do something similar, except I use iPhoto as well. I download my images to iPhoto and then copy the photo folder off the cameras drive on my desktop. I then keep the cameras photo folder on a separate drive from where I have iPhoto, so if I lose one drive, I still have my pictures.

    As far as naming the folders goes, I name them all something like "D5020060101", the date being the day I downloaded the pics from the camera.
  7. macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location
    Well I just downloaded iPhoto Buddy and I'm a little nervous about using it.

    I don't wanna go through all my photos and start sorting them by date or event. It sounds like a bit much right now.

    Several questions:

    1) If I create a new library for iPhoto Buddy (and iPhoto) to use, does it mean that my photos will now be kept in 2 different libraries (ie: the main iPhoto library, and the new library that I can now create and use due to iPhoto Buddy)??? I'm just asking because it will seem weird if I have a library that only contains photos that are from Jan 02, 2006 and before, while I have separate libraries for

    2) I generally like looking at lots of different photos (eg: when showing friends my photos over the past 6 months), and if I break up my photos from different events into their own library, won't that make finding photos more difficult? I mean, I have to relaunch iPhoto to use a new library, no?

    I have more questions, but I'll have to fully think of them later.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    I shoot raw as well, and since I don't sit down to name each image with the keywords, I just use Automator (10.4) to add Finder comments to the selected pictures, and then just type in my keywords (without , or .) and so far I haven't had any problems finding images. Although there's no preview, it's much easier than opening subfolders of each day/month and opening each image to find the one I'm looking for. Sure, you don't have albums like in iPhoto and can't sort images into a specific category very easily, but if you add keywords correctly, you can find what you're looking for.
  9. macrumors 68030

    Nov 16, 2004
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    I use iPhoto Buddy not as an event sorter but as a gross topic sorter. For instance, I put all my family stuff in one iPB library be they birthdays, xmas, reunions, whatever. I have another iPB library for Autos, any and all things cars from wallpapers I wish I had to actual shots of my car or cars I have seen in person. I have another for the ladies....quite full :p (again with the dreamers mostly), etc etc.

    If you wanted to keep your general school pics together, do that. Make a iPB library called school or general and put the basics in there. If you take a trip somewhere for a week, you may want to sort that trip out into albums and that becomes the limiting factor of iPhoto. You have this mass library but you can only sort one level, so once you are in albums you're done. I have another iPB library for when I worked in France, even though it may fit into a travel library, I chose to make a new one called France '05 because if I take vacation to Vegas I may want to have specific albums within Vegas, not just one mass lump called Vegas.

    I hope that makes sense, and if not, well then I'm done anyway so don't worry about it ;)
  10. thread starter macrumors 65816


    Thanks for all the suggestions so far. Here is another one for you... Do you eventually backup on CD and delete or do you images stay on your hard drive?

    I need to spend a bit of time learning about file formats, compression, dpi's, and printing.

    As far as the organization goes, I made a slight attempt to straighten out my files while being layed up with a nasty head cold for the last couple of days.

    I was hoping someone would mention the Nikon software that came with the D70. So far I have found no way to get the software to look for photos in any directory other then its default. This makes its RAW viewing capabilities (and the software in general) utterly worthless.

    And Sorry - Automator is not an option. Still running 10.2!
  11. macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    So far I have them on a hard drive, since it's not worth it (IMO) to burn 400 images to a DVD and then have to swap them out everytime I want to find pictures. Just slap them all on an external 250GB drive... should last you a little bit.

    Maybe it's a good excuse to upgrade then. ;)
  12. macrumors 68030

    Nov 16, 2004
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    I usually leave recent (per your definition) photos on my local (backed up elsewhere) until I start to come low on space. When that time comes I usually start to go through the folders for various events and pull out all of the old ones (useful to have date in folder name as I stated above) and burn those to DVD (as a second backup to the copies elsewhere on external/pc).

    When I had my D70 I never used the Nikon software. Some people love it, but I found it counter-intuitive and difficult to use. I just browse w/ image preview on for find them tiny, then blow them up in Preview pre-PS to make sure I have the right shots. I'm not sure if Preview in 10.2 supports raw files or not, but it does in 10.4 (another reason to upgrade ;) ).
  13. macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2003
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    i burn my raw photo's and their jpeg counterparts onto CD's for back ups ... for disk space consideration and for fast preview ... i keep a lower rez jpg in an index that i just run search for and when i find the photo i need i have all the information i need to where i can quickly find my high rez photo's
  14. thread starter macrumors 65816


    It might be time to fork out some doe! The funny thing is when I get a system to do what I want it to do, I typically stop upgrading. I have a G3 Powerbook that I don't do much with other then my accounting and a few games. I have no reason to upgrade it past 9.2 and haven't seen any reason to buy a newer version of Quicken then 2000! (I don't do any internet banking and this notebook never hits the web.) I need a reminder once in a while that upgrades exist for a reason!

    And efoto, thanks for mentioning I have been to his pages before and visited again last night. He makes a very compelling argument for skipping RAW in favor of JPG.
  15. macrumors member


    Jan 2, 2006
    Bucks, UK
  16. macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Your hard drive WILL fail. It is only a matter of time. Typically they last about five years before they die, some fail in the first year lucky ones maybe tens years but the drive will fail one day and you will loose everyhting on it.

    So, yes, the best thing to do is to burn a CD just as soon as you've finished downloading the images to the computer before you do anything else. If you have a 512MB flash RAM in your camera the images will all fit onto one CD. Them write the date on the CD, put it in an CD jewelcase and put it in a media safe.and never look at that CD again (hopefully)

    On top of this backup you should be making periodic backups of the entire photo library,
    your iTunes library and anything else you value. The drive will fail and it will give no warning.

    Do you leave the photos on the hard disk? I'd say yes unless they all don't fit and you can' afford to buy more disk space.
  17. macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    That kinda depends on whether you want to archive everything or just the good shots.

    I have my pics in iPhoto on my hard drive. I've got a LaCie external drive that my PB is backed up to (so there's another copy there), I use my iPod as a data device to with my iPhoto library on there as a secondary back up. And I burn each year's photos (titled appropriately and having been edited) onto a DVD and keep that at my mother's house. I figure that hopefully I should never lose too many memories.
  18. sjl
    macrumors 6502


    Sep 15, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    Erm ... no. Burn it onto CD by all means, but I would strongly suggest revisiting your image collection CDs once a year (or once every two years), and copying everything onto fresh CDs. Burnable CDs won't last forever, either. Plus, doing the refresh every year means that if, by some as-yet-unforeseen happenstance, CDs go out of fashion for something else and new systems can't read them, you can migrate to the new technology whilst you still have the older technology to read the disks.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    I have a firewire backup drive that I use SuperDuper! on to do a carbon copy of my main drive every week, and also backup certain folders every day. It's true that drives will fail, but so will CDs. I'd rather have a backup on one 250GB drive than 300CDs that would take forever to go through and restore from. ;)
  20. macrumors 6502


    Sep 18, 2004
    Why not both? Or better yet, use DVDs instead of CDs. (No more 300 CDs you refered to . . . )
  21. macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    Oops, I meant to say DVDs (like I did in my first post).
  22. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    You bring to mind a sensible backup plan. CD's or DVD's can be a great alternative. Depending on the size of your backup. And can be more affordable and portable than external HDD's.

    For many will tout that they have an external HDD that they backup to each day. That is all well and good if your primary drive fails. But what if there were a fire, or heaven forbid a theft of your computer gear? That external HDD that you had next to your computer is also lost.

    Depending on the overall storage size of your files, CD's, DVD's, or extra HDD's that you can regularly add to or swap out are great for the peace of mind it brings.

    One of the joys of moving to digital for photographers is not having to worry about theft or fire of their negatives.
  23. thread starter macrumors 65816


  24. macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The problem is this stuff was to last for decades

    Statistically what is the most common reason for data loss? It's "user error".
    Like dragging the backup to trash one night at 2:00am

    2nd most common is some kind of system failure
    Let's say you are doing a backup to a USB disk. Say its a 30GB "photos" folder and the power fails half way through the backup operation there is a small but not unreasonable chance BOTH disks will be corrupted. Ifnot the power ailing then maybe system memory.

    The problem here is that you'd like to keep this data for _decades_ and over that long of a period the chance of a failure as describbed above is such that it will occure several times over. Same for floods, earthquakes and fire. If you wait a lifetime or two it's going to happen.

    The basic rule is that at a minimum you need three copies of the data and the data needs to be stored in at least two geographic locations. Wetter you use CD, DVD, Tape or hard drives on an INternet server does not mater much.
  25. macrumors 6502


    Apr 12, 2005
    The will last enough until we can all aford blue-ray burners , they i will reburn everything onto blue-ray discs mainly to have less disks around, hopefully the blue-ray disks will last enough until I can afford whatever comes next and so on and so on and then i'll die and then you'll have to go to the national galllery to see my pictures! :cool:

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