How to Organize Images? - Printable Version
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How to Organize Images? - EnglishBob - Feb 9, 2017
I'm not sure how others store their images, but for a number of years I have stored mine in folders by date, they are stored hierarchically in subfolders for year, month and day.
Recently I was trying to help my wife, Anna, sort out her images. They were stored by date the last year or two, but everything else was in folders named where she was, the camera she used, some cute name, anything really, with no logical order or way to find more recent work.
She also had phone images, Facebook images and backed up phone images mixed in. The result was 41 GB of images, with many duplicates of a lot of them (up to 6 copies of a single image).
I set about organizing them... the first couple of hours was me sorting through and culling the obvious duplicates, slow and very ineffective when the shear number of images was considered. I started searching around the internet and came up with a couple of free programs that really sorted out the process.
The first was dupeGuru, a small utility that just pulls out duplicates based on file name, or img details. IT is free, but the current version no longer supports PC. They still make an older version available for windows and it worked just fine.
Now it was time to cull the facebook images, I used windows search and pulled every image with either .FB. or facebook in the file names, these were the facebook version of images that we already had, lower resolution and compressed. I also noted that her original cell phone pictures had numerical file names, while the back ups had either "Cell phone" or "CAM" in the file names, these were eliminated in the same manner.
Now I was down to a more manageable 12408 files, but they were still clustered everywhere, no logical file order or folder structure.
This lead to more searching and I came across DIM 5 - Digital Image Mover. It was an automated program that would take a folder, search the images for exif data and then rebuild a catalog in date or, structured by year, month and day. It could actually rename the files, and the structure was user configurable. Perfect, now my OCD obsessed brain could deal with the pictures, in a nice logical order!
DIM 5 by Alan Light: http://www.alanlight.com/dim/Dim.htm and http://digitalimagemover.tumblr.com/
Now obviously before attempting anything like this, be sure to have a backup of the entire catalog of images, just in case anything goes wrong.
RE: How to Organize Images? - snaphappy - Feb 9, 2017
Thank you for the info Craig. I also organise my photos by yearly folders, then subject sub folders. These links may help me tidy up the older ones I haven't got round to doing yet.
RE: How to Organize Images? - delb0y - Feb 10, 2017
Mine are stored in monthly folders, with sub folders inside:
But it's a pretty poor system. Many times I recall a particular photo but not when I took it - trying to locate it is then a nightmare! Luckily anything of any artistic value gets loaded onto Flickr - not that many - and so I can usually find a photo date that way. Armed with the date I can then track back to the folder and find the original.
I keep thinking I ought to use Lightroom better, especially the key-wording feature.
What might do is draw a line under everything I've done so far and start a new Light Room catalogue and use those keywords as I load stuff. Not taking many pictures at the moment so it may be a good time to start a new regime.
RE: How to Organize Images? - Jocko - Feb 10, 2017
Craig: That DIM 5 is excellent. Thanks for the tip.
RE: How to Organize Images? - EnglishBob - Feb 10, 2017
(Feb 10, 2017, 03:00)delb0y Wrote: What might do is draw a line under everything I've done so far and start a new Light Room catalogue and use those keywords as I load stuff. Not taking many pictures at the moment so it may be a good time to start a new regime.
I started keywording and tagging my back catalog Derek, about 15% done in 6 months... only 150,000 or so to go! I don't see me getting it fone ever LOL.
I keep a log of where I shoot in an excel spreadsheet, which gives me a date for when I was in Yosemite etc, I just have to remember which trip I shot "that" shot. Where the log does come in handy is if i need to find a shoot I did for a specific client or property.
RE: How to Organize Images? - greenster93 - Feb 15, 2017
(Feb 10, 2017, 11:34)EnglishBob Wrote:Do you manually enter the data into the excel spreadsheet or can you get the catalogue software to output into a log file.(Feb 10, 2017, 03:00)delb0y Wrote: What might do is draw a line under everything I've done so far and start a new Light Room catalogue and use those keywords as I load stuff. Not taking many pictures at the moment so it may be a good time to start a new regime.
RE: How to Organize Images? - EnglishBob - Feb 15, 2017
When I remember I go into the sheet and just add dates and locations manually. I'm not real good at remembering to keep it up, so then I go through my catalog and see where I have shot.
Client shoots I am good at logging, and they are usually what prompt me to go through my own and add them.
RE: How to Organize Images? - jjford43 - Feb 15, 2017
I catalog by place taken then by year month and day I might not remember what year I took a photo but will usually rember the place this might not be the best way to do it but it works for me
RE: How to Organize Images? - EnglishBob - Feb 15, 2017
I started out that way for the first few years, but then I just wanted them in order, by date taken. (I will admit to having a touch of OCD in some areas of my life, was a compulsive lock checker for years and have to keep my CD's/books in order!)
(Feb 15, 2017, 15:10)jjford43 Wrote: I catalog by place taken then by year month and day I might not remember what year I took a photo but will usually rember the place this might not be the best way to do it but it works for me
RE: How to Organize Images? - Jocko - Feb 16, 2017
I have just used Dim and DupeGuru to sort out my images and they are excellent. I had all my images sorted as I liked them, then mistakenly used AVG to root out duplicate files in my system. Unfortunately it messed up all my images. As well as having them all filed in some sort of order I had a huge folder called "Images" with a copy of every one of them there. After AVG did its thing I had some in that folder and some in the classification folders. A complete pig's ear.
Years ago I was scanning old family photos and was amazed at how many contained people and placed I could not identify. I then found a group my father had taken, while stationed in Ceylon, during WW II. On the back he had written who, where and when and it was a revelation. From that moment on I did that with every digital image I took. Who (in groups from left to right), where (even places that are blatantly obvious to me), and the date taken (I know exif gives that, but many of my images were processed in early PS, which didn't retain exif data). So instead of the file being called IMG12345 it will be John, London 1-2-03
RE: How to Organize Images? - greenster93 - Feb 16, 2017
(Feb 9, 2017, 11:07)EnglishBob Wrote: I'm not sure how others store their images, but for a number of years I have stored mine in folders by date, they are stored hierarchically in subfolders for year, month and day.I did a search on adobe support and found this blog on using an exif tool which will search and export your exif data into a csf file. When i get a chance i will read up on this a bit more to see how it will work.
Link below with info if you are interested
RE: How to Organize Images? - EnglishBob - Feb 16, 2017
Thanks for sharing, will take a look at it.
RE: How to Organize Images? - greenster93 - Feb 20, 2017
First directory structure for raw files CAPTURE directory SELECT directory for DNG files Directory MASTER for psd files then OUTPUT directory for tif and jpeg.
Second directory structure for post production EVENTS, FAMILY, PORTRAITS, TRAVEL, ANIMALS, FLOWERS, LANDSCAPES, STREETSCENES.
Then within travel sub folders with Florida June 2012 etc.
What do you think.
RE: How to Organize Images? - EnglishBob - Feb 21, 2017
I had mine by Type at one point, but reverted to strictly date raw images, I do split processed images for Competition etc in a structure similar to that, I spit mine by PSA diviision.
RE: How to Organize Images? - Gleadly - Apr 9, 2017
I've used Daminion for several years and it has a host of options, too many to mention.
It's free for up to 15,000 pics and upgrades are very cheap.
The best feature is that one can create Categories and Keywords so it easy to create collections.
Worth trying out.
RE: How to Organize Images? - Barbara G. - Apr 10, 2017
By the way, welcome to the photography forums - Gleadly!
RE: How to Organize Images? - jogesh12345 - Jul 14, 2019
(Feb 9, 2017, 11:07)EnglishBob Wrote: I'm not sure how others store their images, but for a number of years I have stored mine in folders by date, they are stored hierarchically in subfolders for year, month and day.Same here. I always follow this. Your idea will help me a lot.
RE: How to Organize Images? - Casey1721 - Jul 29, 2019
I use Adobe Lightroom for organization and light edits. I’ve tried other things before, but nothing has ever worked all that well for me or have been this powerful.
RE: How to Organize Images? - HenryMigual - Oct 24, 2019
Step 1: Download. At least once a month, download photos from your camera and/or phone to your computer. Funnel the images directly into a photo management program such as iPhoto, Picasa, or Windows Live Photo Gallery. "It's important to at least get them downloaded so your photos aren't stuck on a camera that could get stolen, damaged, or lost," says Jody Al-Saigh of Picture Perfect Organizing.
Step 2: Edit, Edit, Edit. Review the photos you've downloaded on screen, deleting duplicate and poor-quality shots. Get tough on people-free scenics and repetitive party pics. "Fight the instinct that says every photo is precious," consumer technology analyst Kristy Holch says. "In reality, bad photos are just clutter that makes it harder to find the good ones." If editing that first big batch is overwhelming, tackle it in 15- to 20-minute increments until it's done.
Step 3: Make Folders. Decide on a method for organizing photos on your computer. Chronological is one approach; by theme is another. Al-Saigh suggests a hybrid of the two: Make a folder for each year, and inside it, a folder for each month. Label the months by number rather than name (for example, 02 for February) so the computer lists them in the right order. Inside the month folders, create themed subfolders (Mexico vacation, pizza party, etc.).
Step 4: Rename and File. Now rename each photo, replacing that random string of digits your camera assigned to it in favor of something that will help you find the image later. (Many photo programs will automatically rename photos using a keyword you specify and a number.) If you color-correct, fix red-eye, or otherwise edit your images, do that as you rename. For quick fixes, try your photo program's one-click editing tool, such as Picasa's "I Feel Lucky" button or iPhoto's "Enhance" feature. Save the renamed, edited photos into the folders you just created.
Step 5: Back Up. Once a batch of photos is organized into folders, back it up right then. Experts recommend using at least two of the following methods: an external drive, an online storage service, or prints. (Most don't recommend backing up on DVDs or CDs unless the discs are archival-rated, which are expensive.) If you go with an online service, look for one that focuses on storage. Those that offer printing often charge for downloading a photo and reduce its resolution.
Step 6: Delete. Now that your photos are organized and secure, it's safe to erase them from your camera or phone. You'll avoid accidentally downloading duplicates and give yourself a nice clean slate for the next month's photo opportunities.