Still struggling with photo organisation

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bp1000, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2011
    I can't seem to settle on 1 method of organising all my photos.

    I have become more of an iPhone photographer this last year with the 5s.

    Previous years i would normally carry a camera quite a lot. Now i contribute photos from my iPhone (pretty much always via photo stream), a D610 and an X100s.

    I'm not a contract / project shooter. I don't typically go on projects. I'm a street / urban art / portrait photographer so i'm taking pictures anywhere of anything.

    It takes an unhealthy amount of effort and time to try and categorise photos. As my locations are fragmented i can't group via that either. So i just have a bunch of photos from different times, dates, places, things and subjects.

    I tried to use the nested project / folder approach in aperture and that i find too limiting.

    About the most i do now is star rate my photos but every time i open aperture now i just feel annoyed at the messy state of the library. I'm ready to do option open new library!

    Any tips?
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    physically or logically?

    Physically there are two main approaches: database and file system folders. Aperture, Capture One, and maybe other Digital Asset Managers (DAM) let you put your original/master image files (raw or jpg) inside a database package. If you go that route, make sure there are tools to repair the database if something goes wrong. Note that a database full of masters, preview jogs, and edits can make for a large package...perhaps too large for a laptop drive. Other DAMs like Lightroom only do the route of file system folders. If it up to you to decide the structure of folders and subfolders. Personally in LR my top level folders are years with a date for each day with images.

    Logically there are several options: In Aperture there are Projects, Albums, and I forgot the third logical container name. Using those logical containers you can sort photos my time, location, customer, project....etc. LR lets you do collections and collection sets of photos as logical groupings. And in both Aperture and LR you can sort and resort based on key search words you put add.

    The good news is you have choices......that is also the bad news. ;)
  3. themumu macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2011
    The only sensible thing seems to be to use good keywords. If you haven't done that already, it might be a bit tedious to go back and add keywords to all your existing photos, but it's about the only thing that will matter in the long run. If your shooting is fragmented and not event based, dates will hardly help you for organization.
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    This was my immediate thought too…. Keywords.

    And frequent imports to a DAM. The reason why 'frequent' is that it is likely that you will have been in just one or a limited number of communities. Easier to Keyword. Also probably a limited number of subject matter. Again… easier to Keyword.

    As you go on you may find that you are repeating the same searches constantly. At that point you can set up a Smart Collection/Smart Folder (depending on the DAM)… essentially a permanent search. As you continue to Keyword images on import they will automatically be placed in the SC/SF - based on the criteria. No extra work for you.
  5. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    Keywords in Lightroom works very well for me. I like the flexibility of keywords, because you can assign more than one keyword to a photo. In addition, I use the star ratings to keep track of my favourites. I mostly use a DSLR but photos taken on my phone are automatically uploaded to my Air via dropbox, and then I import them into LR if needed.
  6. Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    For my family snaps, I organize using folders and subfolders that act as sub events. For example, I have a 2014 folder, with sub folders for whatever events that happen for the year. For example 2014>Nephew's 1st Birthday. I also rename every file like Dropbox to prevent over-writes, duplicates, and confusion if the EXIF data goes missing. My file name is basically "2014-09-17 16.54.17. This give the exact date and time and puts the photos in order chronologically.

    For my more pro/serious work, I just have folders for the genre of photography it mostly belongs. If I shoot street photos, I have a folder called Street Photography. I have a folder for Architecture. A folder for Macros. Etc.

    I keep it simple. I don't get too involved with structuring Lightroom.
  7. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2014
    As others have said, Keywords. Folders within Finder and Aperture are 6 broad categories (travel, street, etc), by date within. Then anything rated high is keyworded. I keep mine down to a dozen broad categories that have meaning to me. Others have near as many keywords as photos, whatever. Works well for me.

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