Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

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Nearly A Moose
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Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby Nearly A Moose » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:59 pm

I assume some percentage of the BH community are photography enthusiasts. I could use your help. How do you organize / store your digital photographs, and what is your standard workflow? I'm a very mediocre hobby photographer, but I have enough that photos that I need to streamline things. I used to use Picassa on my own laptop, but now we have too many machines and devices for that to make sense. I'd love to see how others do this to get inspiration.

More details, in case you're interested in offering specific suggestions: Photos come in via cameras (SD cards), phone cameras, text messages, emails, and downloads. We store jpgs - I'm not fancy enough to bother with RAW at this point. Photos are currently stored on my laptop, wife's laptop, our phones, and some randomly scattered in emails and texts. We have two separate libraries we need to merge. We use mostly Macs but have a few Windows machines hanging around.

I do not like the Apple photo programs. Picassa served my needs well when it was just me, but I don't know how to manage the different machines. I don't have a problem using the cloud (and would love to not store all my photos locally on my laptop), but I like having file-folder-style access to photos, rather than using something like Flickr. I haven't been too impressed with Google Photos.

I will mainly store photos, occasionally print some for display/gifting, will periodically turn a year of photos into a book, and occasionally share with family. I'm not into social media. I wouldn't object to something that easily lets me share select photos with others (eg giving grandparents a photo stream to see). I do edit photos when I go to print them (I use Pixelmater).

Would love to hear some suggestions / examples of what works! Thanks

mortfree
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby mortfree » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:04 pm

I put them in folders by device.

iPhone 4s
iPhone 7
T5i

I also have some subfolders by occasion (not device) like xmas_2016 and vacation_2016

Novice level user.

I also backup in an external storage drive

arsenalfan
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby arsenalfan » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:11 pm

The new iPhoto works for me. I tried Aperture, Picasa, etc, but came back to iPhoto. Grabs all photos on your HD and aggregates.

I delete in-camera, then plug the SD card into our main iMAC. Periodically I sync iPhones.

It sorts by date; I like the apple photo books quite a bit - only complaint is you cannot upload all to a site (like shutterfly) and work on the project away from home on, say, a work computer.

Chicken lady
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby Chicken lady » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:12 pm

I had a similar problem and could never quite develop an easy system to save photos and other docs between my windows computer, my i-phone, and the i-cloud. A big part of the disconnect was the cumbersomeness of trying to marry the windows and apple systems. Finally, I threw in the towel and set up a file system that makes sense to me by topic on google drive. I can easily save to google drive from any of my devices - they are also synced. I share with others by whole folders or just individual docs (or photos). This lets me save everything, documents and photos, to a folder that is titled by the topic. My life got a lot more simple.

Though I've had no problem with this system, I also back up my google drive to an external drive since I'd be disturbed if something happened to many of the contents. External hard drives are small, cheap, and hold a lot these days.

Good luck!

adamthesmythe
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby adamthesmythe » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:14 pm

Not really well organized, but I tend to put them in folders labeled by year, month, and a location. And I try to have multiple backups. My ambition is to organize them better and discard the useless ones. I use RAW and edit in an older photoshop.

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nisiprius
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby nisiprius » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:17 pm

For me, it's an unsolved problem.

I have about 60,000 photos (some from digital cameras, some scanned from prints and negatives), occupying 200 gigabytes of disk space.

I've given up on all photo organizing software, because they all seem to rely on some kind of proprietary database, without any well-documented rules on how to keep the database valid if you move any photos or photo folders (e.g. when migrating to a bigger disk drive), how to repair the database should it become corrupted, how to export the database to any other photo organizing tool... and the mean survival time of the software is no more than about five years. Apple's own software has a limited life, and while they always provide a migration tool, it often doesn't work too well.

My wife, who's not a techie, invested a fair amount of time learning Picasa only to have Google pull the rug out from under her. That's typical. The issue is not "is Picasa" (or any other tool) "good," the question is "how long will it last and what exactly do you do when they pull the rug out?"

And too many photo organizing tools want you to put all your photos in one big folder that's in some place they pick that's intentionally hidden and full of obscure names that are meaningful to the tool but not to humans (because they assume you'll always be accessing the pictures via their database-driven tool).

I basically rely on a) organizing a hierarchy of folders--mostly by date, with names like "2016-01-Great-Wolf-Lodge," and, inside each folder, files with rather long names created by using renaming tools to add common prefixes or suffixes to the raw numbered files from the camera, to which I manually add descriptions--mostly first names--like DSC02581-Great-Wolf-Bob-Cindy-Diego-waterslide.JPG. Then I can do searches for "files with names containing cindy".

It doesn't work very well.

(I wish there were a tool that operated off one plain Unicode text file, and simply let me add freeform text captions and associate them with files... with some kind of smart capabilities for finding the files again if they are moved within the file system).
Last edited by nisiprius on Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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bhsince87
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby bhsince87 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:19 pm

Uggh, the bane of my existence! I've got about 3TB worth of digital photos. I used a date/time based approach for years, and it was OK.

A few years ago I switched from Adobe Photoshop to Adobe Lightroom. It was the best thing I ever did!

Lightroom is actually a database manager first, photo processor second.

I still track things by date, but it also has a great code word tagging system. Searching by rating and GPS works too. It's a very deep tool.

The learning curve can be a bit daunting, but IMO, it's worth it. There are plenty of training courses and books available. And at $100 or less, it's not that costly, especially considering that you get a world-class photo editing tool as part of the package.
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Quark
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby Quark » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:22 pm

I use Lightroom to process and organize photos. Lightroom allows you to add keywords and GPS data to photos. You can also search by date and some other attributes. I backup to google photo, which has a very good search function (although it does compress photos unless you pay for storage), and to amazon drive, which doesn't compress but is not as user friendly. On my local drive, I store in folders by date.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby Nearly A Moose » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:42 pm

bhsince87 wrote:Uggh, the bane of my existence! I've got about 3TB worth of digital photos. I used a date/time based approach for years, and it was OK.

A few years ago I switched from Adobe Photoshop to Adobe Lightroom. It was the best thing I ever did!

Lightroom is actually a database manager first, photo processor second.

I still track things by date, but it also has a great code word tagging system. Searching by rating and GPS works too. It's a very deep tool.

The learning curve can be a bit daunting, but IMO, it's worth it. There are plenty of training courses and books available. And at $100 or less, it's not that costly, especially considering that you get a world-class photo editing tool as part of the package.


Ive been toying with using this. It seems great for one computer, but do you have any idea how Lightroom works for multiple machines? (I also share Nisiprius's frustration with changing platforms, but I figure adobe will be one of the longest lived ones.) I'm wondering if I need to set up a NAS or something run as a network drive, then let Lightroom work I'm using on that?

bhsince87
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby bhsince87 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:00 pm

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Ive been toying with using this. It seems great for one computer, but do you have any idea how Lightroom works for multiple machines? (I also share Nisiprius's frustration with changing platforms, but I figure adobe will be one of the longest lived ones.) I'm wondering if I need to set up a NAS or something run as a network drive, then let Lightroom work I'm using on that?


This is an area where I know I am not taking advantage of all the features properly. But it still works for me. I've used it with 5 different PCs, one chromebook, and two phones (and 4-5 cameras).

I have one external USB 3.0 hard drive that I use for my main "catalog". The catalog is the basic database storage area for Lightroom. Whenever I use a PC other then my main desktop photo processor, I just export the files from those pcs onto another USB drive, then import them to my main PC to which my main catalog drive is attached.

You can have Lightroom active on two PCs at once. It's not hard to activate/deactivate amongst more PCs, but you need an internet connection to do so.

And note, this is for the stand alone version. I haven't tried the online "CC" version.
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JD2775
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby JD2775 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:02 am

Pretty simple...

RAW photos are uploaded to Adobe Bridge (that is where I store/organize my photos). Edits are made in ACR/PS CS6. Backups to a external HD

DSInvestor
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby DSInvestor » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:08 am

My wife takes 95% of our pictures and she uses Adobe Lightroom for the shots taken with her DSLR. Shots taken with iPhone just show up in Photos app on our macs.

Intrepyd
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby Intrepyd » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:15 am

I have given up with manual organization. Most of my photos are from my phone (and looking quite nice these days -- iPhone 7 Plus really does nice for a point and shoot), so I just use the native iOS organization. It tags them by date, and by location, and even with face recognition.

DetroitRick
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby DetroitRick » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:35 am

Your question is especially timely for me, because I'm experimenting with multiple alternatives right now. I've recently added Google Photos and Amazon Prime Photos to my methods, but mainly on a test basis, and only for more recent stuff. Photoshop Elements Organizer is my primary organization tool, and I'm using in tandem with it's Editor (for all digital photo files, regardless of source - camera, scanner or phone). My hard drive is still my primary place of storage, "supplemented" by the cloud.

My basic method is and has been this for a long time:
- All files get copied to a basic directory structure on my hard drive - under Pictures - using either date of developing/processing or a project description for those sub-directory names (probably sounds weird, but easy for me to remember where stuff is). Since I started shooting a lot with my phone, I do a manual backup of those into its own single sub-directory.
- Pull all photos into my Photoshop Elements catalog (I use that editor a lot), then edit and tag as needed. I'm still finding the tagging function to be very helpful (especially face tagging). This tagging functionality makes my directory method a bit obsolete, but I hate to tie my organization method to a software product that I may or may not use in the future.
- Put multiple backups on multiple USB keys (1 goes to safe deposit box), plus do an annual PSE catalog backup onto another rotating set of USB keys

So far, I've used Google Photos only for my phone shots. After taking a year's worth of pictures, those files are organized into albums. I'm considering expanding usage beyond my phone pictures, but I'm not totally sure of the net benefit as long as I prefer PSE for photo editing. I do like it though, find it simple and usable, and love having my photos with me and view-able in those albums on my phone.

I've used Amazon Prime Photos as redundant cloud storage for my more recent files. But I'm not convinced of advantages to continue doing so. Maybe I can learn otherwise here.

Teague
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby Teague » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:47 am

I organize by date. Anything else takes too much time for me to organize. I have 25,000 photos in 400 folders, spanning 15+ years. Since I have a rough idea when something was shot, it doesn't take more than a couple of minutes, at most, to find something.

The process goes like this:

-Shoot RAW file.
-Occasionally (like after a significant event) transfer a batch from card to computer, immediately and ruthlessly delete all out-of focus, duplicates/redundants, eyes closed, questionable shots, etc. Verify transfer was successful, and re-format card.
-Occasionally batch-process RAW files to .jpg files, retain both formats.
-Occasionally copy and add all these new files to two removable hard drives.
-One of the backup hard drives goes into a ziplock bag and into a storage shed away from the house.
-The other hard drive gets kept at work, 2nd floor of a very sturdy fire-protected building.
Last edited by Teague on Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

tuningfork
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby tuningfork » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:53 am

nisiprius wrote:For me, it's an unsolved problem.

I have about 60,000 photos (some from digital cameras, some scanned from prints and negatives), occupying 200 gigabytes of disk space.

I've given up on all photo organizing software, because they all seem to rely on some kind of proprietary database, without any well-documented rules on how to keep the database valid if you move any photos or photo folders (e.g. when migrating to a bigger disk drive), how to repair the database should it become corrupted, how to export the database to any other photo organizing tool... and the mean survival time of the software is no more than about five years. Apple's own software has a limited life, and while they always provide a migration tool, it often doesn't work too well.

My wife, who's not a techie, invested a fair amount of time learning Picasa only to have Google pull the rug out from under her. That's typical. The issue is not "is Picasa" (or any other tool) "good," the question is "how long will it last and what exactly do you do when they pull the rug out?"

And too many photo organizing tools want you to put all your photos in one big folder that's in some place they pick that's intentionally hidden and full of obscure names that are meaningful to the tool but not to humans (because they assume you'll always be accessing the pictures via their database-driven tool).

I basically rely on a) organizing a hierarchy of folders--mostly by date, with names like "2016-01-Great-Wolf-Lodge," and, inside each folder, files with rather long names created by using renaming tools to add common prefixes or suffixes to the raw numbered files from the camera, to which I manually add descriptions--mostly first names--like DSC02581-Great-Wolf-Bob-Cindy-Diego-waterslide.JPG. Then I can do searches for "files with names containing cindy".

It doesn't work very well.

(I wish there were a tool that operated off one plain Unicode text file, and simply let me add freeform text captions and associate them with files... with some kind of smart capabilities for finding the files again if they are moved within the file system).

Adobe Lightroom deals with the issues you raise pretty well I think. It uses a proprietary database, but you can easily move photos or folders around. It's simplest if you do it within Lightroom (just drag the files/folders) but if you do it outside, Lightroom will prompt you when it can't find the files and you can navigate to the new location.

Lightroom lets you store and organize your photos anywhere you want, in one big folder or lots of folders scattered across many disk drives, named however you wish.

If you set the catalog option to automatically write metadata to XMP, all your metadata (captions, keywords, etc.) are stored in the photo files themselves for formats that support it (including JPG and some raw files) or in sidecar files called XMP for other raw formats, in addition to the Lightroom catalog. If you don't have that option set, there's a command to manually do it. I prefer the automatic method so my files are always in sync with Lightroom. If you were to lose your catalog and didn't have a backup copy, you could get your files along with the metadata into a new catalog by using the import or synchronize commands in Lightroom.

As for longevity of the software? Yeah, that's a risk with any software, even the OS. Lightroom is 10 years old and is used by many professional photographers (it's part of the Creative Cloud suite). It's actively being maintained with several new releases each year. I don't think there's much risk of it going away without a suitable replacement that could import the data from Lightroom.

My main gripe about Lightroom is that it's sluggish. Even on a powerful PC it takes a long time to import files and render previews. There are things you can do with settings and cache locations and SSDs and fast memory cards that help, but it takes a rocket scientist to figure all that out. But searching files by keyword/text is fast, as long as you've taken the time to organize your files with captions and keywords.

hille141
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby hille141 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:59 am

Lightroom is my software of choice. I don't use it that much any more but it has been the only way for me to really get organized.

targ
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby targ » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:31 pm

I have a mixed bag of organization that depends on whether the pictures in question are ones I made myself or if they are scans of old hard copies. But, regardless of my organizational structure, I follow a common naming convention so that I could, theoretically, have everything in a single location and still have everything fall out in an organized fashion. Start here for a very good explanation of how and why to name your photos:
http://www.scanyourentirelife.com/what- ... os-part-1/
Also be sure to read the various comments for ideas on how this convention can be modified to your tastes.

As for software tools, I use Graphic Converter (Mac system) because it allows me to work directly on the original photo and embed tags in the metadata. I steer clear of any software that only works on a copy of the photo because (iPhoto was bad about this) the "delta" database can get corrupted and you lose your entire tagging/metadata effort all at once.

I store nothing on any cloud anywhere for a whole litany of reasons. But backups are made to (theoretically) permanent M-Discs in addition to the usual multiple hard drive backups. And for anything I really, truly, want to keep, I'll make a hard copy and put it into a traditional album so it can be scanned later if needed.

The only thing I really wish someone would do is write a piece of software that would place a bottom border (think the old polaroid picts) that we could type a caption onto and have that added to both the metadata and the pict itself.
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jhfenton
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby jhfenton » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:48 pm

I also use Lightroom to process and tag most of our photos, at least those taken with our Nikon DSLR.

I have the Lightroom folder, several hundred GB in size, in a sub-folder in the OneDrive folder on our Mac. That way they get backed up to Microsoft's cloud in addition to our other backups.

Our phone photos mostly just hang out in iCloud except for specific family events, for which folks will share with me, allowing me to copy into Lightroom for better organization.

But for the most part our DSLR photos and iPhone photos live in different worlds.

an_asker
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby an_asker » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:55 pm

Here is how I organize my photos and financial stuff.

Code: Select all

c:\an_asker\
      year\
         photos\
            device\
               occasion\
         finance\

I used to have a different order previously, but the last few years I have switched to the above format, which is easiest for me.

wcshaff
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby wcshaff » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:01 pm

Recent post mentioned Graphic Converter for Macs that enables you to write directly to the photo metadata. Does anyone use a similar program for Windows? I have tried several but to date they are all lacking.

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midareff
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby midareff » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:16 pm

I use the catalogue features of Adobe Lightroom. I shoot with various devices from a Samsung cell phone to Sony and Panasonic compacts and a Fuji mirrorless IL system. The cell shoots jpegs and I shoot raw on the other three. Depending on the expectations of the trip different devices are taken. All photos are LR auto-downloaded to a combined year/date file in time of day taken order. They then go through culling, post processing and commenting with what and where, are then "developed" to a year and trip folder, also in LR. After final review they are backed up to external drives and finally uploaded to my website.

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midareff
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby midareff » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:17 pm

wcshaff wrote:Recent post mentioned Graphic Converter for Macs that enables you to write directly to the photo metadata. Does anyone use a similar program for Windows? I have tried several but to date they are all lacking.



Lightroom lets you change or overwrite the metadata.

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climber2020
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby climber2020 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:29 pm

I'm not a fan of Apple Photos either, but it's what I use for the time being. I preferred the old organization system of iPhoto which was replaced by Photos and is no longer available.

Files get processed initially in Lightroom, and the JPEGs then go into Photos.

RAW files go into a separate folder within my Documents folder. I only keep the RAW files that are in my top 2 tiers of pictures, which at the moment is around 200 files. All other RAW files are permanently deleted.

In addition to using Time Machine to back up everything, every 3 months I export all my pictures from the previous quarter from Photos to a USB stick that is kept in my car. The file system on the USB stick is organized by year and quarter. Should anything ever get corrupted within the database in Photos, I always have the USB sticks to fall back on.

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Watty
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby Watty » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:37 pm

DetroitRick wrote:- Put multiple backups on multiple USB keys (1 goes to safe deposit box), plus do an annual PSE catalog backup onto another rotating set of USB keys


Flash drives are not designed for long term storage so I would be cautious about that.

My understanding is that solid state hard drives are more robust which is why a gig of solid state hard drive storage costs more then the $5 USB thumb drive that you buy at Walmart.

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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby nisiprius » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:38 pm

Adobe? Can you even buy software from Adobe any more? I thought they had pulled the rug out from under customers by switching completely to a subscription model--or is Lightroom an exception?

Adobe definitely has pulled the rug out before. I paid what at the time was a lot of money for me for Adobe PageMill, a much-ballyhooed product that according to the press hype "was going to do for websites what Pagemaker has done for printed pages."

And then they pulled the rug out from under Pagemaker.
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DetroitRick
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby DetroitRick » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:53 pm

Watty wrote:
DetroitRick wrote:- Put multiple backups on multiple USB keys (1 goes to safe deposit box), plus do an annual PSE catalog backup onto another rotating set of USB keys


Flash drives are not designed for long term storage so I would be cautious about that.

My understanding is that solid state hard drives are more robust which is why a gig of solid state hard drive storage costs more then the $5 USB thumb drive that you buy at Walmart.


I totally agree, and appreciate the warning. It was temporary solution that sort of became permanent. I do try to mitigate that risk by checking the keys a few times per year, buying the ones with better reputations, and only using them for photo storage for a few years before replacing. But yeah, solid state drives would be way better. Worst case for now, I also have another (automatic) backup drive set up as well for all user files. So I'm massively redundant. But the more I think about it, solid state drive and cloud backup would be better and more streamlined.

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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby Teague » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:03 pm

nisiprius wrote:Adobe? Can you even buy software from Adobe any more? I thought they had pulled the rug out from under customers by switching completely to a subscription model--or is Lightroom an exception?

Adobe definitely has pulled the rug out before. I paid what at the time was a lot of money for me for Adobe PageMill, a much-ballyhooed product that according to the press hype "was going to do for websites what Pagemaker has done for printed pages."

And then they pulled the rug out from under Pagemaker.


Unfortunately, you're right. The last version without the subscription was LR6. Grrr.

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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby an_asker » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:13 pm

DetroitRick wrote:
Watty wrote:[...]My understanding is that solid state hard drives are more robust which is why a gig of solid state hard drive storage costs more then the $5 USB thumb drive that you buy at Walmart.


I totally agree, and appreciate the warning. It was temporary solution that sort of became permanent. I do try to mitigate that risk by checking the keys a few times per year, buying the ones with better reputations, and only using them for photo storage for a few years before replacing. But yeah, solid state drives would be way better. Worst case for now, I also have another (automatic) backup drive set up as well for all user files. So I'm massively redundant. But the more I think about it, solid state drive and cloud backup would be better and more streamlined.

I read somewhere that if your normal (typical?) hard drive goes kaput, you could retrieve the data by paying an arm and a leg to the experts; but if the solid state drive goes belly up, you're up the creek without a paddle, and no one can get your data back.

Is my understanding incorrect and/or have things changed with the SSDs?

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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby Toons » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:16 pm

On the computer,
Folder heirarchy.
Year/Event.
All photos are uploaded to google
They organize.
:happy
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Nearly A Moose
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby Nearly A Moose » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:09 pm

Teague wrote:
nisiprius wrote:Adobe? Can you even buy software from Adobe any more? I thought they had pulled the rug out from under customers by switching completely to a subscription model--or is Lightroom an exception?

Adobe definitely has pulled the rug out before. I paid what at the time was a lot of money for me for Adobe PageMill, a much-ballyhooed product that according to the press hype "was going to do for websites what Pagemaker has done for printed pages."

And then they pulled the rug out from under Pagemaker.


Unfortunately, you're right. The last version without the subscription was LR6. Grrr.


Is Lightroom 6 still worth buying? I still see it available for $150 or so on Amazon. I really don't love subscription services if I can avoid it - it forces me to upgrade even if I don't want the newest "feature," and unless I'm upgrading every 15 months, I'm overpaying.

What do folks think about buying Lightroom 6, using it for as long as I want / it serves my needs, then deciding at the time whether I want to go to Creative Cloud (or whatever model they're using then)?

adamthesmythe
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby adamthesmythe » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:21 pm

an_asker wrote:
DetroitRick wrote:
Watty wrote:[...]My understanding is that solid state hard drives are more robust which is why a gig of solid state hard drive storage costs more then the $5 USB thumb drive that you buy at Walmart.


I totally agree, and appreciate the warning. It was temporary solution that sort of became permanent. I do try to mitigate that risk by checking the keys a few times per year, buying the ones with better reputations, and only using them for photo storage for a few years before replacing. But yeah, solid state drives would be way better. Worst case for now, I also have another (automatic) backup drive set up as well for all user files. So I'm massively redundant. But the more I think about it, solid state drive and cloud backup would be better and more streamlined.

I read somewhere that if your normal (typical?) hard drive goes kaput, you could retrieve the data by paying an arm and a leg to the experts; but if the solid state drive goes belly up, you're up the creek without a paddle, and no one can get your data back.

Is my understanding incorrect and/or have things changed with the SSDs?


It is possible for a flash or solid state drive to have a partial failure so that some data is still recoverable. Even so, each bit is stored as the presence or absence of a few hundred electrons on a floating gate. On the other hand, a CD or DVD at least has a material phase change.

Recovering data from a disc drive gets more and more challenging as the drives get bigger.

Personally I use BOTH DVDs AND copies on magnetic disk drives.

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Peculiar_Investor
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby Peculiar_Investor » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:15 pm

At this point I’d classify myself as a beginner/hobbyist using a Canon Rebel T5i DSLR camera, moving up from advanced point-and-shoot such as the Panasonic DMC-ZS40 which has served us well and I'd absolutely recommend. For the most part I’m using the camera when travelling, so landscape, wildlife and building photos are our most common shots.

I'm currently using Photoshop Elements 12 (on Windows 10) and have a mishmash of naming conventions under my Photos folder. Some trip or event specific, some by year, then sub-folders by date.

One of my 2017 plans was to reorganize in a more orderly fashion, so this topic is very timely. Both in terms of what directory (or folder) structure to use and also what tools/cataloging system to use.

On the first point, I turned to Google for suggestions on tools/utilities that would handle bulk reorganization and found PhotoMove 2.5 which "Automatically move photos to directories or folders based on exif date taken…" That strategy is starting to make sense to me. I've been running some tests with it.

On the second point, I'm currently near the end of a trial of Photoshop Elements 15 and accepted the default import method (I think) of Year/yy mm dd/. I just started trialling Photoshop Lightroom and their default is Year/yy-mm-dd/. Because both Adobe products essentially suggest the same scheme as the default, it does seem to reinforce the idea to move in the direction of directories or folders based on exif date taken

Of the two programs, I'm starting to prefer Photoshop Lightroom.
Nearly A Moose wrote:Is Lightroom 6 still worth buying? I still see it available for $150 or so on Amazon. I really don't love subscription services if I can avoid it - it forces me to upgrade even if I don't want the newest "feature," and unless I'm upgrading every 15 months, I'm overpaying.

What do folks think about buying Lightroom 6, using it for as long as I want / it serves my needs, then deciding at the time whether I want to go to Creative Cloud (or whatever model they're using then)?

I totally agree. Adobe will give me upgrade pricing on going from Elements 12 to Elements 15 (saving ~$20), but apparently their is no discount going from Elements to Lightroom, or at least that I can find. That's making the decision a bit harder.
Normal people… believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet. – Scott Adams

newinvestor84
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby newinvestor84 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:41 pm

I just did a huge reorganization of mine (about 100GB of photos.). Old photos were uploaded over a weekend to Dropbox to keep full quality (I pay $80 a year for 1 TB of space), as well as Amazon Prime photos and Google Photos (which compress them but are easier to search). All new photos taken by my iPhone are automatically uploaded to all three services. Once in a while I backup the newer photos off of Dropbox to an external harddrive using the rclone utility.

mclvngr
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby mclvngr » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:54 pm

Use the rule of three or 3-2-1 backup method. Three copies on two different media (including SATA and SSD hard drives, USB thumb drives, DVDs, and CDs) and one copy off-site or on the cloud. Google Photos is probably the best backup solution for photos right now. It's easy, free, and will likely be around for awhile.

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avenger
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby avenger » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:56 pm

I use iCloud. So simple. Apple organizes by date, location, people. I don't really have to do anything. On all of my devices, in the cloud, on my hard drive, backed up to my external drive.
cheers ... -Mark | "Our life is frittered away with detail. Simplify. Simplify." -Henry David Thoreau | [Four fund portfolio + Stable Value fund]

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby Nearly A Moose » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:16 pm

Peculiar_Investor wrote:At this point I’d classify myself as a beginner/hobbyist using a Canon Rebel T5i DSLR camera, moving up from advanced point-and-shoot such as the Panasonic DMC-ZS40 which has served us well and I'd absolutely recommend. For the most part I’m using the camera when travelling, so landscape, wildlife and building photos are our most common shots.


Interesting. I seem to be a step behind you. Currently using a 7 yesr old Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS7. I'm going back and forth on upgrading to a newer point and shoot like the one you had or going to an entry level DSLR. If I may ask, how significant is the difference in performance/quality/experience with the Rebel over the Lumix?

And have you been trying Lightroom CC (cloud) or Lightroom 6 (download)?

rgs92
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby rgs92 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:39 pm

Everytime my camera gets some reasonable amount of photos/videos on the current date yyyymmdd,
I put them in a folder called Pyyyymmdd on my PC.

This folder in inside a folder called Photosyyyy, where yyyy is same year of the current date..
All this in a folder call C:Documents\myphotos on my Windows PC.

So then, my computer has, within Documents\myphotos, a set of folders like Photos2002, Photos2003, etc.
Inside, each of these, say Photos2002, there is a folder for each date I saved my photos, like P20020115, P20020130, P20020305, etc.
for things I saved on Jan 15,2002; Jan 30, 2002; March 5, 2002; etc.

Everytime I save a folder of photos from my camera, I copy it to 3 separate external drives for safekeeping.
Each of the external drives has the same structure as shown earler: X:\myphotos\Photosyyy\Pyyyymmdd folders, X being the drive letter.

I also use a cloud service to keep a copy of C:Documents/myphotos on my Windows PC, updated each day automatically.

Inside each of the individual Pyyyymmdd folders, I will place plain old textfiles with meaningful filenames so I can search for things. Sometimes I will put more details in the text files. The textfile names could be anything that concerns the subject of content in the folder. I use as many files as I want in each of these folders.

So there.

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pondering
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby pondering » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:32 am

The risk of fire (and other hazards) is real: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/#causesR so consider that if you have a local only solution.

I have the last two years of photos on Dropbox

I store them by year, then day and event. I rename all the photos to begin with the date in YYYY-MM-DD format.

My long term goal is to develop my own database.

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Watty
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby Watty » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:37 am

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Peculiar_Investor wrote:At this point I’d classify myself as a beginner/hobbyist using a Canon Rebel T5i DSLR camera, moving up from advanced point-and-shoot such as the Panasonic DMC-ZS40 which has served us well and I'd absolutely recommend. For the most part I’m using the camera when travelling, so landscape, wildlife and building photos are our most common shots.


Interesting. I seem to be a step behind you. Currently using a 7 yesr old Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS7. I'm going back and forth on upgrading to a newer point and shoot like the one you had or going to an entry level DSLR. If I may ask, how significant is the difference in performance/quality/experience with the Rebel over the Lumix?

And have you been trying Lightroom CC (cloud) or Lightroom 6 (download)?


Over the years I have had several Panasonic Lumix cameras and I now have a Canon T3i. In bright sunlight there will not be a dramatic difference but in general the larger the sensor the better the image will be if you look at the closely. The big difference is in medium or low light or with fast moving objects that would be blurred or very noisy with a small sensor. That was the main reason that I upgraded to a DSLR and the DSLR is dramatically better in less than ideal shooting situations. In addition to being able to do low light "art" photos when I am at a party I can increase the ISO and take very acceptable snapshots of people with existing light and no flash.

My wife wanted a better camera so we got her a refurbished T3 (no i) which is less expensive and there are very few differences in the features(as I recall) if you don't want to do much with video. Be sure to research the differences to see if it is worth it to you to get the higher version.

The DSLR and a couple of lenses are much heavier than a point and shoot so that might be a consideration for you since they can get heavy at the end of a long day.

I have bought mostly refurbished Camera equipment that comes with a a manufacture warranty and I have not have any problems with it. All the equipment has looked like new when I received it. You can buy refurbished cameras directly from Canon for very reasonable prices.

https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/cata ... lr-cameras

Their stock changes daily so if they are out of stock on the camera you want just keep checking back every few days until they have what you want.

The most critical thing for the image quality is the sensor size not the camera format and there are a few point and shoot cameras with larger sensors.

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lthenderson
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby lthenderson » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:18 am

I'm up to around 150,000 photos (400 GBs) now. I've been scanning tens of thousands of slides from my parents and grandparents for the last ten years which has added considerably to the one I take myself.

I arrange all the photos myself on a computer hard drive that is backed up automatically to the cloud. I start with a folder called Pictures. Underneath that, I have some subfolders Trips, Home, Parents, Grandparents to help break them into larger groups. Under the Home folder I have subfolders by year. Within the particular year folder, I create a folder that is the date I uploaded the pictures and from what device, i.e. phone, camera, scanner, etc. This method allows me to keep all the pictures in manageable chunks so I'm not scrolling all the time. Under the Trips subfolder, I also use a date and then location for a subfolder name to help me locate pictures. With the slides from my parents and grandparents, I use a date and a name that identifies what each tray of slides was about for the folder name.

I use Adobe Lightroom to process any photos I want. I have mine set up so any processed photos are stored in a subfolder called "Edited" in the folder they are located. Like others mentioned, Adobe works well with my photo organization and doesn't attempt to create its own location or move things around. I also like this setup because it makes it super easy to transfer between computers when the need arises. I just bought a new computer a few months ago. It took a week for my photos to be moved from the cloud back to the new location on the new computer hard drive using my backup software and then it was just a matter of pointing Lightroom to the directory and after crunching for a few minutes, everything is back to the way it was on the old computer.

targ
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby targ » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:21 pm

wcshaff wrote:Recent post mentioned Graphic Converter for Macs that enables you to write directly to the photo metadata. Does anyone use a similar program for Windows? I have tried several but to date they are all lacking.


When I was on Windows, I just used IrfanView to accomplish the same thing. I toyed with some other metadata editors. Sorry I can't recall their names. But there were several. Irfan did everything I needed for both my (limited) editing and tagging efforts. But then, I wasn't trying to do anything photoshoppy so I didn't need much in the way of an editor.

One benefit of using the direct metadata approach is that, after you've tagged them in the metadata, your photos become searchable with the standard OS search tools. So you can quickly find photos that have "cute cats" or "uncle bob" or even photos that have "uncle bill" *and* "cute cats".
The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The willingness to learn is a choice. | -REBEC OF GINAZ

kjvmartin
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby kjvmartin » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:52 pm

avenger wrote:I use iCloud. So simple. Apple organizes by date, location, people. I don't really have to do anything. On all of my devices, in the cloud, on my hard drive, backed up to my external drive.


It took me some time to adjust to the iCloud and the $2.99/monthly fee for storage, but this really is a great/easy feature if you're in the Apple ecosystem. My only gripe is that my wife and I would like to share the album, or somehow combine our space, and have all of our photos visible to each other, Currently, I have to plug her iPhone into my MacBook and transfer the photos so they end up in my iCloud. Then, I delete them from her phone. She has no way to view our older photos.

Our current fix is to have her run Google Photos too. This automatically stores a copy of the photos she takes "free" on Google's servers. If there are suggestions for a better way to share an iCloud photos system, please let me know!

kvjm

mancich
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby mancich » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:16 pm

I use Amazon Prime Photos. Unlimited storage as a Prime member. Easy to create as many albums as you want, and dead simple to share out as desired to family and friends.

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F150HD
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Re: Shutterbugs - How do you organize your digital photos?

Postby F150HD » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:50 pm

Nearly A Moose wrote:I assume some percentage of the BH community are photography enthusiasts. I could use your help. How do you organize / store your digital photographs, and what is your standard workflow


I used to have a separate digital camera for photos on trips, but now my phone in high-def mode is more then good enough to create a memory.

I think we all take too many photos and end up w/ tons of them we never look at again.

As a result, I try to get 1 good photo of each event/trip of interest I attend (sometimes a few, but try for just 1).
From my phone I can back up directly to GDrive. I have folders for each year, then subfolders for a specific event.
Its too easy to make it too complicated and save 100s of photos of every event. Its a trap of sorts IMO.


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