Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How to organize digital images?

Sorting and organizing Digital images
Don't we all just love the digital world we live in? The amount of time and money we save by just clicking our digital cameras and taking as many pictures as we need is just awesome. No more taking pictures on film, wondering if you got the perfect shot, then spending money on developing them and realizing that you messed up color balance or focus or something else.
I am talking from mostly the point of view of taking pictures of my pottery, which is great for keeping records, seeing how your work progresses, applying for shows, posting on Facebookblogwebsitesetc...
One big issue I have had is with the excess of pictures and trying to organize and find what you need. They land up going in multiple locations. For every purpose resolutions change, website and blogs need low res, show applications need high res but of a certain size. Sometimes color correction is required.
I just had to come up with something that would save me the frustration of finding the picture I want. I posted this question on Facebook and got some great tips. I adopted some of them and modified them to suit my needs.
I wanted to share this on my blog as I am sure there are several of you who would be dealing with this situation.
One option was to name images as per date, resolution, kind of product and many adopted this method. However this would be a nightmare for me with the current pictures I have. And because I am always in a rush, spending more time after taking pictures naming each one would just sink my time.
I came up with a folder solution which was a combination of suggestions by two of my Facebook friends, James Young and Kristen Kieffer
At first all images get downloaded from my camera to a folder called "Sort". In this folder, all bad shots are deleted and everything is moved to the "Originals" folder. And within the "Originals" there is a sub folder for every year, 2008, 2009, 2010... So at the end of it the "Sort" folder should be empty to receive new images the next time around.
From the "Originals" folder things get really sorted. Based on where and what I use my images for this is the structure I use. Images are "copied" to the respective folders and edited as per resolution needed and cleaned up. A copy of the originals in the "Originals" folder stays intact.
Show submissions
Press Submissions
Wholesale Catalog
And each of these folders has subfolders of years in them, i.e. each folder has a 2008, 2009... 2013 folder in them. It took me 3 days to clean up all the images I had, but I feel so much better now as I know exactly where an image goes and where I can find it.
I hope this helps other as well.

What tips do you have for organizing your digital pictures???

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Michael Kline said...

YES! This is something I struggle with. I keep all of my "originals" in dated folders and work from original copies for the blog and other online venues.

I like your suggestion of folders for copies of images for blog, FB etc. In the past I have considered these online venues, (Picasa, FB, Instagram) as archives of the "edited for online" copies. Except for Instagram, downloading copies from FB and Picassa/Blogger is pretty easy.

I am currently dealing with 3 hard drives of images, sorting duplicates, etc. What a pain!

So I decided to take an online course at Lynda.com on using Adobe Lightroom.

Great post, thanks.

Creative with Clay: Charan Sachar said...

Thanks for your comment. I was struggling with external hard drives to back up all the data as well. I recently signed up with Crashplan just so that the backups are automatic and more peace of mind.

Linda Starr said...

Great info about organizing photos, mine have gotten out of hand and this is a prompt to better organize like I said I'd do several months ago.

sddonlon said...

Great system! I have a similar system, but not as organized. In each 'original' folder, I have a 'psd' folder. So I have originals, the edit with all the layers, and the final. But it is sill a bit of a pain! Gonna give your system a try!


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