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Images, Graphic Design, and Digital Photography Discussion of all things graphics.

How do you organize your photos?


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BurntSmore

 
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I was wondering, how do you guys organize you photos? Can anyone give me tips on organizing with iPhoto? Rights now, I organize photos through Finder, placing them in different folders, then transfering them to albums in iPhoto. Should I just delete the photos in my Pictures folder and just keep the ones in the iPhoto Library since they are exactly the same photos? What do you guys do? Thanks! :biohazard
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Kokopelli
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Well, I had a longer response typed up but then hit <cmd>q on the wrong keyboard, so I will summarize.

You can get rid of the duplicate pictures, as long as they are in your iPhoto Album folder.

I use keywords, comments, and smart albums to stay organized. By having smart albums with different keyword combinations I can keep my photos organized. As an example I have a Smart Album called "Natatlia" for all the pistures of my neice (Keyword Natalia). Another called "Natalia Favorites" for my favorite pictures (keywords Natalia and Favorites). Then I have albums for "Backgrounds", "Web", "XMas" and so on for photos with the corresponding keywords.

Above those I have smart albums for things added in the last week and last month and finally one for pictures that do not have any keywords. This makes it easy for me to find photos I have not categorized yet.

It is important to backup your albumdata.xml, lest you want to risk losing your keywords. I am working on a program to add the keywords as metadata to the files but it will be quite a while before it is complete since I do not have time to work on it right now.
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BurntSmore

 
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Ok, thanks! I think I'll do that.
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MamaT

 
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I have found that it is easiest to organize by just doing "film rolls" within the library. You name them just like folders and then iPhoto sorts them by date. I you add old photos from scans you just have to change the film rolls date then resort by film roll.

My problem is that my library is now over 8000 photos and just scanning through it is difficult. Any suggestions on how organize such a large library but still maintain the "film roll" organization as well. Is is possible to have multible libraries?
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Odin_aa

 
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I do not use iPhoto, however...

When loading the photographs onto my computer I associate keywords depending on the shoot. The photographs are placed into a folder with the date and some name of the shoot. Any versions of the images in that shoot are then placed in a subfolder. Photographs get backed up onto an external hard drive and CD/DVD.

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I do much like Odin. I download the photos into a folder with the date and an identifier, such as "2007-04-05 Mac-Forum Get Together" and then if I make edits, need resizes, etc. they go in subfolders. Everything gets backed up to an external HDD and then one of these days I'm going to get off my lazy butt and put stuff on DVD, too, for archival storage.
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i just use iphoto and albums in that or folders.
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I create albums of the event, e.g., "Becky's Concert 4 May 2005."

If I ever get the time or inclination, I'll add keywords to photos, but I already had 4 years' worth of digital photos when I got my first Mac and I wasn't about to go back through every--single--photo.

:-)
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mac57

 
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Being a cross platform sort of guy (haved moved around a lot between Windows, Linux and Mac) I don't rely on any one application to help me organize my photos.

So, I keep them organized by date. I have a top level folder called Photo Album, and one sub folder per year that I have photos for. For me, since I have a scanner and am fairly proficient with Photoshop (hence family members send me lots of vintage stuff to restore) I have folders going all the way back to 1922.

I keep a matching top level folder of "digital negatives" called Photo Negatives - the original unretouched file off the digital camera or off of the scanner, again organized by date.

On my Mac, these two folders live directly under the Pictures folder of my home folder.

Each photo gets named according to the date it was shot on and the topic. For example: "2007-04-06, Me Typing This Entry.jpg". I then cut and paste that title onto the title of the "digital negative" and add a title prefix that indicates the device that originated the shot. For example, in the above case, the digital negative from my EOS-30D gets titled "E-2007-04-06, Me Typing This Entry.jpg".

This may seem a bit of work on a per photo basis, but photo editing is a labor of love for me - I don't mind it at all.

And it means that at any time I see a photo that I like, and perhaps would like to process again, I can easily lay hands on the "negative" - same folder structure, same name... easy to find.

Thats how I do it!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by caribiner23 View Post
I create albums of the event, e.g., "Becky's Concert 4 May 2005."

If I ever get the time or inclination, I'll add keywords to photos, but I already had 4 years' worth of digital photos when I got my first Mac and I wasn't about to go back through every--single--photo.

:-)

Its not hard to start on a "This point forward" kind of mindset if you use an application that allows you to enter some generic key words for each shoot. If you tend to shoot a particular subject, then download adding the same generic words to every image when you load them in using lightroom/aperture/any other application it is no time at all and then all your shots from this point forward would have some keyword association.

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johntalin

 
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I also keep mine in the date order.
First thing I do is to get rid of "not so good" ones, e.g. composition, exposure, color, etc.
Then, editing, cropping, etc.
I separate the ones I call "I cannot afford to lose these".
All get archived and backed up on an external drive.
"I cannot afford to lose" photos get backed up in two different places.
This way, I know where the best ones are.
BTW, I use HP Photosmart Studio.

"Do all the good you can... In all the ways you can... In all the places you can... At all the times you can... To all the people you can... As long as you ever can..." ~ Rules of Conduct
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MacBurg

 
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I shoot exclusively in RAW format, so have quite a large folder structure setup. It takes a bit of thought to get it right and usually you make a few minor changes over time.

Starting with a "Photography" folder, under that is "Personal" and "Work".

So after doing a shoot, I go into either personal or work, then import the RAW files into Photography>Personal>RAW>2007>April> and create a shoot specific folder here.

After importing RAW files, I'll open CS3 Bridge and run through the shoot quickly, deleting anything not suitable. I then select the RAW files I want to work with and take them into Adobe Camera Raw, make any adjustments to the RAW files, then convert them to Tiff files.

The new Tiff files then go into Photography>Personal>Original Tiff> and create a shoot specific folder here. Then I have a "Finished" folder which has "Large Tiff" "Small Jpeg" "Saved for Web".

I could go on really, theres a few more subfolders here and there to help with workflow, but its really just a matter of looking at how you shoot photos, and what files you end up with on computer. It may not seem so important now to have things this organized, but in the digital age you can end up with hundreds of files after only a month or two, and as mentioned above, its a real chore to go back through photos from a year or two ago and have to sort them out. Better to have them organized while they are still fresh in your mind.
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