How Do You All Manage Your Digital Photographs?

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Member for

17 years 6 months

Posts: 9,739

I take photographs of everything; I have a very 'visual' memory and the digital revolution has allowed me to take thousands of photographs I wouldn't ordinarily take. And now with high-definition video on cameras and with camera and video on my mobile-phone too, things are really getting out of hand...

...I must have twenty thousand plus digital images. Is that a lot?

My problem is that these images are scattered all over the place. Most of them are on the (nearly full) hard-drive of an ancient PC and I back-up these onto portable hard-drives but I can never bring myself to delete anything from the memory-cards that I use in my cameras, I just buy new ones. Then, every once in a while, I panic and back-up these randomly onto any hard-drive that has space on it.

This wasn't really a problem until I replaced my camera (it's always just the latest small CANON IXUS) and the new camera started renumbering photographs with the same file numbers as existing photographs; I'm now on IXUS number five so the file numbering system is a total mess.

And now I've got mobile-phone photographs to worry-about plus I stupidly bought a GoPro last year and now have memory-cards full of video from that too!

So how do I sort this mess out? Is there some software I can use to catalogue and manage these photographs and videos (and that will recognise two different photographs with the same file-number)?

Original post

Member for

10 years 8 months

Posts: 2,748

Get yourself an external hard drive, save your images into a folder by year and in that by month, you could save them into folders for individual events within the month folders; you don't take 9,999 images in a month do you?. You might hold a years worth of images on your computer but the external hard drive is there so that you can run out the door with it in the event of a house fire (dunno if you have a lap or a desktop but it is always useful to have something like this duplicated).
There are programmes available with which would enable you to search the images but then you'd need to caption your images so that the programme has a chance...
You could compile a diary with which to aid your memory, in a Word document maybe - although similar programmes are available, but that depends on how much effort you want to go to.

Member for

17 years 6 months

Posts: 8,983

My Canon SLR's actually save them in folders by date, can the Ixus not do that?

Software wise do you use the Canon DPP?

I use Adobe lightroom for accessing my images, but I pay for that.

For editing your pictures, you know you can get all the NIKs stuff now for Free? Google gave it all away after buying the company for the developers. It is add ons for Pshop but also can be used as stand alone programmes, it was $500.

see

https://www.google.com/nikcollection/

Member for

17 years 6 months

Posts: 8,983

Adding to that, you can get it to name the folders by day, seems the same for the various versions I looked at, that's what i use on my brick

http://univex.manuals365.com/swf/canon/ixus210_cug_en.html?page=141

also read

http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/education/infobank/storage_and_archiving/file_numbering_and_naming.do

and get it if you haven't it already here

http://www.canon.co.uk/support/camera_software/

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Member for

11 years 4 months

Posts: 1,431

Whilst not helping with the sorting as such, you MUST back up as files are easily lost or corrupted and sometimes the media fails or indeed becomes what they like to call "legacy" media which may be difficult to support in future. Do not wait to sort as, if like me, you will never find the time. The cloud is the only way to go and has many other advantages. So it is simply Flickr and if you have a lot, I am at 125K and still counting it is worth going Flickr Pro for which you get unlimited storage and an auto uploader. Just point the loader at the folder and away it goes. All saved at full resolution and displayed in date order. All digital photos are encoded with a whole host of data, exif, about the picture and the camera but just how much depends on the camera. Everything is totally private and confidential as long as you lock it and there is no restrictions on content as long as it is locked!! You can unlock the ones that you want to share and control whether they can be easily downloaded or not. It costs $50 a year and is owned by Yahoo. Google also offer photo storage and there must be many others.

You will, of course, need a fairly decent broadband connection.

I am sure you can probably use Flickr to sort your pics but I have never, and probably never will, had time to look at it. I have thousands of slides to scan first before the mildew gets them all.

Member for

14 years 1 month

Posts: 4,996

I take all of my photos in Raw mode.
I transfer them to a temporary folder, on a dedicated hard drive just for photos.
Go through deleting those which are out of focus, duplicates etc. Then rename them
The remainder go into Lightroom to be processed
Followed by exporting to another folder as Jpegs.
I then either transfer them to a folder for the year they were taken, labelled to where they were taken.
In that folder I will also have a sub folder of the original RAW files.
Aviation photos go into dedicated Aviation folder. Labelled again as to where they were taken.
Some pictures I will upload to Photobucket. I will also backup to an external drive, in a USB docking station.

This may sound very convoluted, but it is quicker to do than it sounds. It also makes it easy to find photos

Member for

18 years 11 months

Posts: 1,084

Firstly I save (copy/paste) copies of the memory card files onto a stand alone hard drive (HD) (now a set of HDs), where I later tidy and edit them and then treat that HD as my "presentable album" of images that I feel are worth viewing again, sharing or showing others etc.

Secondly I then I transfer (Cut/paste) the 'original' image files off the memory cards onto a second stand alone HD, where I do not bother to edit them at all - this second HD (in reality a set of HDs) then serve as ultimate 'back up' copies should the editted/tidied HD copies ever be corrupted/lost etc. I too find it difficult to "delete" even the poorest images completely, so they hang around on my back-up (aka "originals" HDs) forever, whereas the presentable HDs only holds photos worth showing to others etc.

In both cases I simply file the newly copied/transferred images on each HD in a series of folders indexed by year, and then sorted into sub folders within the relevant year folder giving each subfolder a tile of yymmdd and a brief description (e.g. "161022 Shobdon airfield" or "151225 Christmas Day home with family"). Windows then automatically sorts each year's folder into chronological order (by file name description). I accept this approach means I cannot easily find a particular image (or images of say the same eaircraft taken at differnt times across the years) unless I have an idea when/where I took the photo, but, to be honest, I have never found that to be an issue.

Fortunately I have followed this approach since I first started to dabble in digital back in 2004, as it would be real nightmare to have to sort a mass of I guess 250,000+ otherwise "jumbled" files taken over last 12 years, though windows can still help if you set the folder view to 'details', and then click on the header for the 'date/time' column, as it sorts all files in that folder (regardless of file name or suffix) into date/time order (assuming camera opertaing system was set to correct date/time when any photo was taken), after which you can easily cut/paste similarly dated sets of files into a new folder if you so choose.

To date I am running at about 5 stand alone HDs, but prefer the security of having my copies stored locally, rather on a nebulous "cloud based system" simply because I know that I have no need to rely on an internet connection to view them. So long as I have a PC/laptop and the relevant HD I can view them regardless of internet connectivity or speed etc. If I feel I may want to view them when I have no access to my stand alone HDs I can, of course, still copy files onto a cloud server such as Drop box, or share them with family and friends via social media of Photobucket etc, but I love the security of knowing I still retain "acess" to my photos even if the web or ISP falls apart one day.

My approach to filing also means that all files taken on the same day are stored in one folder together, even though they may have been taken on, and downloaded from, many different memory cards or from multiple cameras I was using on that day.

As portable memory is becoming ever cheaper, I guess it is not all that expensive to fill, and then keep the original memory cards as "backups", but the idea of trying to organise and store hundreds of assorted CF/SD/xD (etc) memory cards has less appeal that storing half a dozen similarly sized/shaped stand alone HDs...I find it easier to transfer/copy files off memory cards, thus freeing up the same cards for re-use.

Being somewhat (:-O) pedantic in nature, I always stored, marked up, and catalogued/indexed, my old "hard copy" 35mm photos/negatives and slides in a sequential film order, by date, so I guess I just carried on in a similar manner when I went digital.... albeit with the benefit that all those "1s and 0's" take up far less physical space than hundreds of sets of enprints and negative strips, or hundreds of boxes of mounted 35mm slides, and without the time consuming need to hand write date and location on the back of 36 photos or slides, as the camera automatically added a date to each file, and more recently it can even add a location detail too.

I do soemtimes wonder what will happen to my collection of photos when I curl up my toes, I guess the kids will wade through the HD's keeping the folders of family holidays/events of interest to them, but delete all the "boring old airshow and aircraft" image folders - or more likely they may simply wipe/dump the files on the HDs and reuse the memory space for new stuff of their own - assuming USB connectivity is even still around to allow them to "see" what is on the HDs....

Member for

14 years 7 months

Posts: 2,536

You could invest in some photo software that compresses files in bulk (such as Adobe CS4 Photoshop).
Once compressed you could automatically upload them into the cloud using dropbox or onedrive.

Member for

10 years 8 months

Posts: 2,748

There used to be Picasa, run by Google.

Picasa is a powerful, yet easy to use and attractive tools suite to manage and organize your digital images and photos. It offers one simple place to organize, edit, and share your pictures. After installing, the software can automatically scan your drive(s) for images and intelligently sorts them into virtual photo albums, ready for you to customize and organize (your original images are not moved).
Picasa offers several easy to use photo editing features that enable you to apply image adjustments, corrections and special effects that can be applied and undone without modifying your original photos. Other features include photo printing, photo email, image collages, slideshow and timeline view, image tags and much more.
Picasa also supports facial recognition, a cool feature that can automatically categorize your photos based on the person appearing in it.

http://www.snapfiles.com/get/picasa.html

But...

On February 12, 2016, Google announced that the Picasa desktop application would be discontinued on March 15, 2016, followed by the closure of the Picasa Web Albums service on May 1, 2016. Google stated that the primary reason for retiring Picasa was that it wanted to focus its efforts "entirely on a single photos service" the cross-platform, web-based Google Photos. While support for the desktop version of Picasa is ending, Google has stated that users who have downloaded the software, or who choose to download it prior to the March 15th deadline will still be able to use its functionality, albeit with no support from Google.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picasa

On the plus side you can still download Picasa (http://www.snapfiles.com/get/picasa.html) and if Google has disattached itself from it then it will not come with all the Google privacy stuff that comes with its successor, Google Photos.
I have not used it but heard good things about it, just not recently.

Member for

24 years 3 months

Posts: 16,832

I use Picasa. It is continuing to be a worthwhile option. Because it sorts by date at least the mess of files is in chronological order.

The basic editing tools that come with it are good enough for happy-snaps. Other than my work for the magazine I only rarely use PhotoShop. It's the event / place / person I want to remember, I'm not that bothered by the image quality for these. It will also search the drives you nominate and sweep up all the image files, so you can be sure you haven't missed any.

And as you'll see in the Photographic forum I have just moved to (free) Flickr for my online hosting of images to appear here and on FLYER. Thanks due to Tony T for his help with this project.

Moggy

Member for

13 years 7 months

Posts: 722

Other things to consider:

1. When memory card is full, get a new one. Use the card as a backup, write years on it.
2. MULTIPLE COPIES, copy to USB drives.
3. Store copies in fireproof case, in 2 locations.

Member for

20 years 7 months

Posts: 405

Other things to consider:

1. When memory card is full, get a new one. Use the card as a backup, write years on it.
2. --------

That strikes me as extremely uneconomical! E.g.: You can get a good quality external HD with a capacity of 1TB for the price of less than 2 Sandisk or Lexar 32Gb memory cards.

Member for

13 years 1 month

Posts: 520

I store all my photos on external hard drives, each location has its own folder with the name of the location then the date in reverse order, e.g. 20161210. Within the folder, in windows explorer, I highlight all the photos then rename the first one with the same details as the folder name. This renames all the photos that are highlighted with those details, adding a numerical suffix to avoid duplicating file names.

Member for

8 years 9 months

Posts: 8

Like everyone above I store my images on a external hard drives, both the original images and the ones that have been edited. The folders get labelled with the location and the date. The the individual images are renamed with the aircrafts serial number. Then all this information is logged on a excel spreadsheet to make it easier to find them.

Member for

14 years 3 months

Posts: 172

I don't think anyone has addressed your new camera/same file number problem.

Some cameras will let you change the prefix e.g change IMG to IMH, and I think I've got one that'll let me start the numbering from a place of my choice.

Another tip is 'Bulk Rename Utility' (http://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk/Main_Intro.php) which is free and helps a non-gifted pc operator do what clever kids do with scripts.

To explain part of what I've been doing - scanning batches of slides and negative strips I've taken a packet of negs from one film, scanned it saving each image as the same number as the negative that it came from and then putting that packet into a sequentially numbered envelope. All images from that film go into a folder with the same number as the one I've just written on the envelope.

Now I have a load of sequentially numbered folders, all with and IMG01.jpg etc. in them. Firing up Bulk Rename lets me select all of the images in one of those folders and tell it to replace IMG with something, but to leave the 01.jpg part alone.

As an example I use:-

1991 as the year

03 as the month

07 as the day

10 to tell me that it was the first film I've found that covers that date, and means that if I find a later one I'll call it 20, or an earlier one can be 05, in each case leaving me room to slot a few more around it.

204 is the number that I gave the envelope so that I can easily find the neg for a given image number.

I then tell Bulk Rename to turn IMG into 1991-03-07-10-204- Because I left the original image number and extension alone, Bulk Rename puts the two parts together and I get 1991-03-07-10-204-01.jpg It'll do this for all the files you select by highlighting in the top pane, preserving those vital digits at the back end.

One attraction of BR is that it shows me what all the file names will look like before I press the big rename button. When you do you do get prompted to make sure that you really want to.

Having done that, I can take all the renamed images and drop them into one enormous folder and delete the one that they came from.

The OP could use it to quickly rename all his new pictures from IMG***********.jpg to NewIxus***********.jpg or do something like I do.

Anyway, it's a very handy tool, its help is simple enough for me and don't be intimidated by all the other stuff it can do - just work with the prefixes in the box marked 'Replace (3)' until you're feeling more brave.

Member for

24 years 3 months

Posts: 16,832

I can instantly locate any image I want on my Flickr account within a few seconds with none of the above complications.

Mind you, there are only 47 images :D

Moggy

Member for

17 years 6 months

Posts: 8,983

A boy in a mans world........ :D I uploaded more than that in one go.

Member for

24 years 3 months

Posts: 16,832

I'm going for a total of 50 after this next few days.

Moggy

Member for

17 years 6 months

Posts: 8,983

wohooo, nearly nearer one hundred, that zero :stupid:

Member for

13 years 7 months

Posts: 722

Replying to this:

That strikes me as extremely uneconomical! E.g.: You can get a good quality external HD with a capacity of 1TB for the price of less than 2 Sandisk or Lexar 32Gb memory cards.

No it is not!
Quicker just to pop a new mem-card in then go though effort of making another backup!

You must have at least 3 copies, the working drive and 2 back ups.
Simply saving the card once full is a backup right here, and they are pretty small so easy to store somewhere.

Yes, yes, I did do what you said at one time, but with $10 for a 32GB SD card that is good for at least a year, it was more efficient backup wise just to just get a new SD card.

EDIT: Let me say, I do not take enough new photos to need lots of SD cards (otherwise I would do transfer & backup, then erase to reuse). SO I use the tiny SD card as one of my 3 backup mediums (after I DO copy the images to my other back-ups).