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

How to organize fragmented image library

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Member Since: Jul 21, 2011
Posts: 1
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Hello - I have taken over 10,000 pictures through the years and used to keep them pretty organized, but I've gotten so busy that I slipped into survival mode . . . that and I've switched computers several times. I know how to use software to organize photos (Bridge, Aperture) but does anyone have advice on how to clean up the mess I've created? I've got folders here and there, several different drives, etc. Goals:
delete dups from backups (afraid to delete until I'm sure I've got them somewhere else)
organize by events
then, ultimately tag and move on, etc.
At this point I feel like I need to get out the ole paper and pen and start cataloguing what's where. Anyone else out there ever get to this point and figure something out? Would sure appreciate an efficient workflow suggestion.

You know what would be cool is if I could somehow dump them all into a folder (or app), sort and then start moving. Is that a possibility. Just don't know where to start.

Thanks bunches!

PS - I have iphoto, aperture, bridge
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Member Since: Nov 19, 2006
Location: York, UK
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To remove duplicates I can recommend Find Duplicate Files from Araxis. Does a great job for my and wasn't expensive (or i wouldn't have bought it!)

Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you get.
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iPhoto will do a lot of this work for you. As you "dump" photos in it will warn you of any duplicates (after the importation process, however, if there are still any dupes you might need a super-cheap third-party utility). It puts the pictures into its own vault (by default, you can turn this off if you like) and organizes everything (internally) by EXIF time stamp but can SHOW you the pictures organized just about any way you like (a useful layer of abstraction).

Contrary to some beliefs, it's quite easy to get iPhoto to do what you want in terms of organizing -- with the caveat that you really must do it WITHIN the program, not using the Finder.

iPhoto, I find, is a good example of one of the core principles behind Apple's thinking on a lot of things, now becoming even more evident in Lion: letting go of the compulsion to manually organizes stuff and let the computer do it. It's the same reason why you no longer have "little lights" in the Dock to show you what programs are running in Lion: it's because there's no need to care anymore.
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