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Thread: How do you organize your photos ?

  1. #1
    Senior Member asterixsg's Avatar
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    Default How do you organize your photos ?

    This has been bothering me a little bit and I guess I could use some advice from all your experienced folks.

    The rate at which we are shooting photos, we are gonna consume more and more diskspace. Right now, I have a 200Gb Maxtor harddisk where I keep dumping photos. At times, when I am not too lazy, I delete some of those junk images. But I realize that sooner or later I am gonna run out of diskspace.

    How are you guys organizing your photos ? Do you burn DVDs of selected images ?
    A friend of mine told me he burns DVDs in additional to copying to an external harddisk.
    I wonder if 5 years from now, I want to look at a particular image, how am I gonna locate it, from a cupboard full of DVDs.

    Also, keeping in mind that the IT show is round the corner, any recommendations to external storage would be appreciated. Last year, I bought the 200Gb Maxtor harddisk for S$169 on the last day of the IT show. Do you know if this price has dropped further ?

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    1. I code all my photos from 00001 to now at 10954.
    2. All images are fully captioned in IPTC.
    3. Burn all to CDs or DVDs and print out lists and file them periodically. Dates of archive are marked on media.
    4. I have two external drives to store back up for "Work in Progess" and to access files which I want to retrieve quickly.
    5.(This may not be available to you) Almost all images in their low res are on a web site fully captioned and keyworded. Meaning when I want to search for a particular tin can photo, I keyword "tin can" and all my tin can photos will appear with their codes in thumbnails. I look at the code and refer to my lists. I then will know which CD or DVD the image will be in.

    If yow have an extensive collection, probably an off-the-shelf image manangement system may suit your needs or devise your own system.
    Last edited by Sion; 9th January 2007 at 06:40 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    i hav a cupboard filled with harddisks then...external ones...once its used up...change it...and when u need a file...plug it in...

    cheerios

  4. #4
    Senior Member asterixsg's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sion View Post
    1. I code all my photos from 00001 to now at 10954.
    2. All images are fully captioned in IPTC.
    3. Burn all to CDs or DVDs and print out lists and file them periodically. Dates of archive are marked on media.
    4. I have two external drives to store back up for "Work in Progess" and to access files which I want to retrieve quickly.
    5.(This may not be available to you) Almost all images in their low res are on a web site fully captioned and keyworded. Meaning when I want to search for a particular tin can photo, I keyword "tin can" and all my tin can photos will appear with their codes in thumbnails. I look at the code and refer to my lists. I then will know which CD or DVD the image will be in.

    If yow have an extensive collection, probably an off-the-shelf image manangement system may suit your needs or devise your own system.
    WOW !!! Thanks bro, for sharing. This very valuable and useful info for newbies like me.
    It must be real hard work.
    Shoot, critic, delete, tag/caption, create low-res images and upload to website, archive, burn to DVDs.

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    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Witness View Post
    i hav a cupboard filled with harddisks then...external ones...once its used up...change it...and when u need a file...plug it in...

    cheerios
    Yo Witness...donno leh...I velly scared if got too many harddisks...those in storage too long might fail..I mainly store them in DVDs...but really..accessing them is a pain...now into my 30th DVD liaoz...harddisk definitely much easier to search and locate the files...but...reliability definitely a concern for me lor...

  6. #6
    Senior Member asterixsg's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Witness View Post
    i hav a cupboard filled with harddisks then...external ones...once its used up...change it...and when u need a file...plug it in...

    cheerios
    Bro,
    Thanks.

    I guess this is the way to go. What I wonder is year after year, storage gets cheaper. Let's say this year, the cost of a 1 Terabyte harddisk is the same as a 100 Gb disk last year. Would you copy the data from all your old harddisks into this 1 Terabyte and junk the old harddisks ?

    I believe you would also be tagging those images just like Sion mentioned. Otherwise, you will have a tough time locating an image from that cupboard full of harddisks, right ?

    >>> Came back to edit
    Do you also store these DVDs or harddisks in the drybox ? Given the humid weather in Singapore, do you think there would be fungus growth in the harddisks too ? Or am I just being paranoid ?

    Cheers.
    Last edited by asterixsg; 9th January 2007 at 09:07 AM. Reason: added another question...

  7. #7
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    Quote Originally Posted by asterixsg View Post
    Bro,
    Thanks.

    I guess this is the way to go. What I wonder is year after year, storage gets cheaper. Let's say this year, the cost of a 1 Terabyte harddisk is the same as a 100 Gb disk last year. Would you copy the data from all your old harddisks into this 1 Terabyte and junk the old harddisks ?

    I believe you would also be tagging those images just like Sion mentioned. Otherwise, you will have a tough time locating an image from that cupboard full of harddisks, right ?

    >>> Came back to edit
    Do you also store these DVDs or harddisks in the drybox ? Given the humid weather in Singapore, do you think there would be fungus growth in the harddisks too ? Or am I just being paranoid ?

    Cheers.
    Dun forget HDD's can fail over time... Plus they are not exactly shock proof, so treat them carefully.

    I prefer to go with DVDs. All indexed by date.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    I index them by Date and assignment name. Keeps a copy on HDD, another in DVD. Those I think I would NOT use for a long time, I delete it from HDD, keeping only DVDs.

    I suspect someday, this is coming back to haunt me since I did not assign key words and index each image.

  9. #9

    Thumbs up Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    I have 15 DVDs of photos to date, and a duplicate backup in one single internal non-active 200 GB hard disk. "Non-active" one meaning the harddisk which I just use to store information - not the primary hard disk which has the program files, OS, etc. This will make sure you use less of your storage hard disk.

    DVDs are not that reliable as the dye is really not very stable over time. I have 1 or 2 unreadable DVDs after a period of 3 years from some known good brands and even with proper storage. And try not to stick any labels on the DVD as this may also result in the DVD being unreadable (due to balancing problems). Use printable DVDs as far as possible. I check them from time to time and re-burn them from the hard disk backup that I have.

    To make things easier, I named the files based on the date system - YYYYMMDD_CCC where CCC is the counter. For example, the 4th picture taken on 2nd March 2007 will look like this 20070302_004.jpg. There are so many renaming tools out there. Sorting files will never be difficult as you can sort them anytime whether in ascending or descending order chronologically. I never like to categorize pictures (eg, people, scenery) as this way takes too much time!

    Finally, the pictures are put in a folder which I named similarly (chronologically) but with a description behind, so that I know what event it is eg. 20070302_Zoo_DinnerAtSwensens.
    If you accidentally moved the files, you know where it goes into the next time!!!

    You will never go wrong with this system as long as you choose relaxed Joilet file naming system (up to 32 or more characters) when you burn the DVDs.

    If you have time, create a text file and put it in the folder to describe the location, event, etc. so you won't forget the next time you view the photos.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    Use software, like Apple Aperture to organise. Backup the big files/original in DVD while keeping the thumbnails in PC. Be strict, those pictures that are really not up to the mark, delete them. Periodically, rate your photos. Those with high ratings, print in super 8R for safekeeping or portfolio.
    Last edited by hanafi; 9th January 2007 at 01:41 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    Dun forget HDD's can fail over time... Plus they are not exactly shock proof, so treat them carefully.

    I prefer to go with DVDs. All indexed by date.
    Yes, I agree. Esp with electronic stuff, they fail when left alone over time... As for DVD, the disk can last pretty long, easily 5-10yrs.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    I burn to DVD or CD for every shoot. Label them so thst i can find them easily. If a certain shoot cant fill a CD, I may combine with another shoot but usually its 1 shoot 1 DVD/CD. Some shoot may need 2 DVDs. Saving only Raw files and sometimes I save the converted Jpegs too. Currently keeping my disk in an album. If this album is gone, den all my photos gone except for those (low res) i have uploaded into the web.

  13. #13

    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    I am using 2 backups:-

    1. External HDD Storage via RJ45, V-Gear LanDisk with 200 gig HDD

    2. DVD backup. Compile all photos into 4.7 gig and burn them into DVD-R. Use printable DVD to label backup content. Store all DVD media in the dry cabinet.
    Last edited by megaweb; 9th January 2007 at 11:07 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member josho's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    Guess I need to re burn everything since everything is in a mess.

    I would get a book to put my DVDs. And each folders that I burn will indicate Year, Month, Date, Purpose. Like 2006 Dec 30th Thailand Trip. Then burn it in respective dates and jot down on DVDs for easy locate. I guess thats e the best of all.

    If I want to host on web, covert to mid res and upload it. Then delete off to clear my hdd. As long as my full res is in DVD, I had no worries. Of course, del those you think which is totally useless.

    Rem to check your DVDs when your free. You might not know suddenly your dvd failed to read due to many reason, e.g weather cause the heat to the book then on DVD..

  15. #15
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    Storing photos is the easy part in whatever medium.

    Retrieving a particular one without spending too much time and frustration is the difficult part. The filing system has to be relevant to what you shoot. For those who shoot events it may be easier than those who shoot an extensive range of objects.

    For Mac there is a simple freeware called CD Fnder. It allows you to locate which CD a coded image is but without preview. If a general amateur names his files as Chinatown_001,
    Zoo_005, Orchid_016 etc. He probably will have some idea what is the file is about inserting the CD.

    Best is to plan at the beginning without getting the collection grows too large to be uncontrollable.
    Last edited by Sion; 9th January 2007 at 03:04 PM.

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    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    I'm using a Buffalo Terastation to archive my photos. I only have copies of the newer stuff on my main drive, at the end of the week I just copy everything over to the terastation. It's set to RAID 5, so I got about 750G out of the 1TB. Access can be a little slow, but I guess it's ok since it's more for archival purpose.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Splutter View Post
    I'm using a Buffalo Terastation to archive my photos. I only have copies of the newer stuff on my main drive, at the end of the week I just copy everything over to the terastation. It's set to RAID 5, so I got about 750G out of the 1TB. Access can be a little slow, but I guess it's ok since it's more for archival purpose.
    How much is a Buffalo Terastation?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    I think the main problem in digital photography is not storage as memory (be it HDD, disc, flash or whatever) will be cheaper.

    The main problem is organisation and retrieval.

  19. #19

    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Yeo View Post
    I think the main problem in digital photography is not storage as memory (be it HDD, disc, flash or whatever) will be cheaper.

    The main problem is organisation and retrieval.
    I tend to think so too. My main prority this year should be find the right solution, or software for managing my images. Any recommendation that is value for money?

  20. #20

    Default Re: How do you organize your photos ?

    Got over 70 DVDRs to date.

    I rename each event folder to 'YYYYMMDD - EVENT" format.
    Then just burn them to DVDRs, then each DVDR i'll do a "dir /s /on >> List.txt", save the lists in my computer. Easier to search.

    And also copy out some of the better photos and store them somewhere in my HDD.


    .
    Last edited by AReality; 9th January 2007 at 01:23 PM.

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