Digital Image Filename Management


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ST1100

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Jun 18, 2003
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#1
Scenario:

i shoot on a Canon 10D. The files i copy over from the CF are sequentially named IMG_XXXX.jpg. After 10000, they start to recycle from IMG_0000.jpg (or IMG_0001.jpg) So every 10000 (~ 3-5 months), i will have filenames that repeat themselves. Right now, i have passed the 20000 mark, so i have some filenames that are used 2 or 3 times.

Question(s):

1. Do you rename your images from your digital camera? Or leave them as is? In which case, how do you distinguish files with the same name?

2. If you do rename them, could you share what naming convention you use?

i've thot of using a date stamp, like yymmdd_XXX, but i was wondering if there were more elegant methods out there. Besides, i shoot RAW sometimes, and renaming every single .CRW and .THM file would be really tedious, not to mention i must be careful to match them.

Thot it would be good for those with their own devised methods to share with everyone.

TIA.
 

joebaye

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Jun 7, 2003
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#2
Got this from nikonians..

Don't try to name each scan. Try to come up with a numbering scheme to
manage all the images, like 000 for my baby pictures, 100 for teens, etc.
Assign the last 2 digits for the roll # and add a dash number for its
location in the roll. When reducing an image (to show on PBase of course),
add a "-R" at the end. So 108-23-R might be my prom picture. Use the folder
name to identy the topic of the collection of photos.
 

StreetShooter

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2002
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#3
You can use Irfanview (freeware) to do batch renaming, with prefixes and suffixes if you want eg kidsxxxx.jpg.

I organize folders by date and year, and rename as 8 digit pure numbers without any prefix or suffix eg 0001543.jpg. That should cover me for 100 million pictures, by which time I would hopefully have come up with another system.

By the way I rename them AFTER I have deleted the obviously junked ones, like the OOF shots and so on.
 

ST1100

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Jun 18, 2003
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#4
Thanx for the suggestions, guys. Some comments, just for discussion sake. No offence, ok?

joebaye's suggestion would require that i categorise the content of every picture i take. It would also make it tough when one picture falls under multiple categories, for example, a half body shot of a young baseball player in the rain with nice background could come under sports, portraiture, kids, scenery or even misc.

It's a bit difficult, and finding one particular picture might be next to impossible. The 'Misc' folder will grow very big, very fast. Also, i would need to manually rename every file, right?

Of course, if the original categories are well chosen, the method would work reasonably well. Joebaye, maybe can point a link to the place where this is discussed in greater detail?

Streetshooter's suggestion would cover 100 million files. A bit of an overkill. i don't think you need eight digits. My 10D shutter will fail long before the first digit changes from 0 to 1. If you shoot 200 pics a day, the naming system will last you till you great-grand children's great-grand children, and beyond. In fact, it wlll last you 1369 years. (Maybe you could consider removing the first zero? :D)

The method also requires files to be processed before being renamed, ie filtered for trash, etc. That means if i shoot, say a wedding 1000 pics, or come back from a tour with 2000 shots, i have to look through them first and do the renaming. Until i do so, future shots will either be out of order (ie later shots are named earlier), or have to wait in the queue before being renamed. Not really a problem, i guess, just that some days i'm really too tired/lazy to process, and on some other days i need to 'jump queue'.

Also, name is not informative. Preferably i would prefer the filename give me some info, say month and year at least.


Would welcome any other suggestions. Again, thanx for the two suggestions.
 

djchris

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Jul 21, 2002
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#5
i put all the pictures i shot for that day in their individual folders named "ddmmyy @ location" so repeats of numbering does not hurt.
 

HOCL

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Jan 30, 2002
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#6
I use a small freeware program (or is it shareware? ;) ). I don't have the name of it now ... it's at home. I'll post the link to it if you are interested.

Once the program detects the USB connection to my DC, and I click "yes" for download, the program will prompt me for a description to be added to the filename (eg "My.Birthday").

File will then be moved into my temp folder and renamed by the programm according to my setting (eg "2003.07.24.My.Birthday.05432.jpg"). The "05432" is a running number. Can choose more digits if u want.

I then junk the bad shots and copy the remaining into my archive according to months. (eg "2003.07")

If I post process a file, I just add a note behind (eg 2003.07.24.My.Birthday.05432.ps.bw.jpg, ps=photoshop, bw=black and white, etc)
 

Snowcrash

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Jan 18, 2002
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#7
Try using:

1)YYYY_MM_DD_xxx.jpg (Irfanview can batch rename)

2) And use a folder for event shoots (eg wedding@hotel)

3) Use Adobe Photoshop Album to import and categorise (can do multi categorise like your kid playing baseball in the rain.)

4) Adobe Photoshop album can search by date, (or by people, events, place category but must tag first)

I use the above method for edited/renamed file. Unedited file just rename and throw under another folder.
 

weg

New Member
Jul 10, 2002
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#8
For me I keep my RAW files in folders named according to dates. And the processed jpegs with the same filename as the RAW but with the date appended.
The jpegs are tagged for easy searching in Extensis Portfolio.
 

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