How do I proceed organizing photos I've saved over the years?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by oxband, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. oxband macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #1
    I keep backing up photo over the years and I want to try and organize them. A few questions:

    1 - If I keep a non-bootable hard drive for media, can I keep my Photos library on there?
    2 - If a photo is brought into my Photos library, does it get moved into it? Is it then saved twice on my computer?
    3- On the meta level, what's the best way to try and organize everything? Move it all into the Photos library?Another app or service?
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    The answer to #1 is yes. It's what I do.

    The answer to #2 is -- it depends.
    You can either choose to import the original "into" the Photos internal db, or...
    ... you can choose to "reference" the originals (i.e., to leave the originals "where they already are" on the drive, and Photos will create a preview in its own db but leave the originals "in place").
    You can set this in Photos' preferences.

    How I handle #3:
    I don't use ANY digital management/processing app for storing my originals.
    Instead, I created a "media" partition on one of my drives.

    In that partition, I have created a folder/file hierarchy for all my originals.
    I give each folder a distinct and recognizable name, with the date as well.
    Into each folder goes "the day's shoot".

    For post-processing, I set up whatever app I'm using to "reference" from my originals folders -- that is, I -do not- "import" the original into any program's internal database.

    Previews, yes, but the originals always remain in MY OWN folder/file realm.

    My media partition gets backed up on its own. Goes quite quickly.
    Then again, I don't handle tens of thousands of images.

    I'm sure others do things differently.
    But this is how I do it...
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    Are you sure you want to use Apple's "Photos" app? It is not the best one and is rather weak when it comes to organization and editing. I think this is the first step, select and app to manage your library.

    Then you bring all the photos into the library that app uses and you sign meta data to each photo so it can be selected back out based on content, location data and so on.

    Which app depends on how many photos you have, or will have and what you do with them if you only have a few casual iPhone snapshots and you don't edit and "correct" your images then Photos is not bad. But for other use cases Adobe Lightroom is best. There are others.

    1. Yes. If you have lots of images taking up lots of room you will need another disk or even a RAID system to hold the files. specially if you shoot video, those files can be huge.

    2. you normally have a choice in this. Best to move it into the library. Software is better at managing tens of thousands of files then you are.

    3 as said above. Assign lots of meta data and comments and rate the photos and later you can search on this
     
  4. JimPitch macrumors newbie

    JimPitch

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    #4
    Try using PhotoFiler on the App Store. It can archive away all your photos and videos in nice neat year/month/date folders.
     
  5. Murgatroyd macrumors member

    Murgatroyd

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location:
    Staten Island, New Yawk
    #5
    I'll suggest three top-level tags: person, place, thing, and to leave the other tags to your own device.
     
  6. oxband thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #6
    Cool beans. Any other potential program recs besides Photofiler? I hadn't thought about this as a possibility!
     
  7. jjk454ss macrumors 601

    jjk454ss

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #7
    I have a question based on the same subject. If I use another app to organize photos, like lightroom or photofiler, what happens with iCloud? Are all the same photos still sitting across all my devices?
     
  8. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #8
    I use Photo Mechanic to cull and organize my images into folder subfolders in the file system. So any raw converter (ACR, DxO Optics, Lr, Ps), Photo Ninja, Affinity can see and work on my images. The same goes for styling apps or plugins such as Luminar, Aurora, Ps, ....etc.

    During the import/ingest process Photo Mechanic will let you fill in all the keywords you want to put on each photo, add in the IPTC info such as copyrights,....etc.
     
  9. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #9
    Photos can only sync one library, the System Library, with iCloud Photo Library. And that must be a managed library, i.e. all the photos are copied into the library package itself. So rather hard for Lightroom to also reference those images, since they have to be out in the Finder's folders for Lr to access them. They can work together after a fashion, but usually with different images. Dunno about Photofiler; it looks like it browses those same Photos packages.
     
  10. jjk454ss macrumors 601

    jjk454ss

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #10
    Thanks
     
  11. davybe macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    #11
    Oxband, do you use RAW files or never? That can change the recommendations for you quite a bit. As of now it is clear there are many recommendations around, which indicates IMO that there isn't a clear, pervasive all encompassing solution as there was before : Aperture. Today the closest is arguably Lightroom since it does offer the mobile app, the cloud etc. on top of both library management and photo editing fit for photography. But it, and another strong contended Capture One (known for its amazing tools and image quality) do not elegantly integrate with Apple's ecosystem, iCLoud Photo Library in particular. Hence my second question: is it valuable for you to be in Aple's ecosystem? In other words if you like your photos synched everywhere and with Apple's ease of use, cool books & slideshows etc. then yes. If so i generally recommend Photos to hold all your 'finished' images and tag places, faces etc. there so that you can retrieve your photos easily and 'consume' them with Apple's awesome tools (memories, faces, keywords, categories etc.). And then you feed that with JPEGs directly (and edit with Photos and with Extensions, or even ahead of time with any software), or if youy have RAW files you process them elsewhere and easily bring the final JPEGs in Photos. Doing so requires to piece together Photos, extensions and your JPEG/RAW processor of choice but pushing JPEG files is easy enough, and keywords are universally supported, giving you a way to tag images anywhere and see that work carry into Photos. Sorry my response is a bit dense.
     
  12. oxband thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #12
    Davybe, dense is good!

    I don't care if I"m in the Appe ecosystem and I dont have a smartphone. I also dont edit my photos. I just want the most bare bones way of saving them in one place that automatically puts in info (like date of photo or date file was made).
     
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #13
    OP wrote:
    "I don't care if I"m in the Appe ecosystem and I dont have a smartphone. I also dont edit my photos. I just want the most bare bones way of saving them in one place that automatically puts in info (like date of photo or date file was made)."

    Then re-check my post #2 above?
     
  14. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #14

    Here is the problem with just using folders and file names...

    Let's say you are family active and shoot 50 images per week. That is roughly 2500 per year. Keep this up and in ten years you will have 25000 images on file

    Then you remember that one shot you took in 2025 or was it 2017 or 2020? Well you remember it being some year back. It was shot in Los Angeles but like me you live in or near LA and most of your shots where done in LA. The shot was of a street vendor and why you want it now is there is a dog in the photo who REALY wants one of the vendor's tacos.

    Believe me there is NO WAY you would have thought to file the image in "dog wants a taco". And it you files it under the vendor's name then you'd not likely remember his name 5 years later. Fileing by date would not help you either because now you can't remember the date you took the image, now event eh year you took it. There is no realistic folders and filename system you could use

    But if you have uses a LIBRARY system or a some kind of media manager you would have been able to use several keywords to describe the image. Then later you could search on the words like "LA taco vendor dog street" and get back 100+ images shorted by the number of keyword matches

    Another example is that image you took oy Mary and her dog Rover with the Bay Bridge in the background about 8 or was in 10 years ago. Did you file it under "Mary" or "bridge" or worse the date you took it. You will be happy it you used a bunch or keywords so you can search later.

    Many people just don't understand media management systems. They work like a public library. Books are on shelves and given numbers. Then there are card catalogs where you can hunt by author, tile or subject. The software managers automate this process for you.


    In my work, I do under water photos. When I file a photo I can't imagine when I might want to pull it back and use it. I can't make a meaningful tile so I just describe it using a bunch of words. Later I can search across 100 drive trips for images of say an anchor chain or a certain species of crab.

    I almost always rate my photos too. So I can find a 4+ rated magma of chain from a wreck and I have maybe 50,000 images and it finds it in well under a minute. The image would NEVER be foubd had I filed it under the location of the wreck or the name of the wrecked ship or the date. You have to describe the CONTENT
     
  15. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #15
    logical folders and subfolders.....+......good key wording = finding photos later.
     
  16. oxband thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #16
    ChrisA,

    Can i do all those things easily in Photos on the mac?




     
  17. cSalmon macrumors newbie

    cSalmon

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Location:
    dc
    #17
    personally I like the system Fishrrman outlined by using a logical folder naming structure and not being dependent upon an app. While I understand what ChrisA is saying 100% true (although a bit of a hypothetic unless you are a media agency) I also know from my own personal experience I lost an archive of info when I didn't update info imported into Appleworks, Aperture is all but gone, I am happily moving away from Adobe products plus other software that the simpler I keep it the easier for my own long term archival use.

    Having worked on an archeological project where we were reading info from images over 100 years old and then writing text for researchers to decipher years from today the more complex any info is the less info actually gets communicated.

    Keeping it simple allows for YOU the user to know for certain that files are truly on multiple drives for backup. Having worked with images for many many years it's surprising how well we can narrow down searching if we just start with a date. I label all folders with the prefix six digit date 170420_ it would be nice if in the file/folders title you could designate different fields to sort from the _ marker at the OS level but I personally will stay with a more hands on approach than assuming a software library is doing the work for me. Geez how bad is "Photos" for hiding where the actual image files are located if you want to manually move (backup) them to a different hard drive!
     

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