How do y'all organize your photos?

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Jason Mintzer
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How do y'all organize your photos?

Post by Jason Mintzer » May 4th, 2011, 2:36 am

I seriously need to organize my photos. I was wondering what methods everyone is using to organize their herp photos. Do you organize by: date, season, location, species, etc. I have years of photos organized by species, and years organized by trips/outings and I want to organize them all the same way. Thank you.

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: How do y'all organize your photos?

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » May 4th, 2011, 3:26 am

In species folders containing subfolders arranged by dates/trips.

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Nir
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Re: How do y'all organize your photos?

Post by Nir » May 4th, 2011, 6:45 am

Same here... In folders Date/trips/species

bgorum
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Re: How do y'all organize your photos?

Post by bgorum » May 4th, 2011, 10:42 am

With digital photos there really is no need to organize by species, dates, etc. As I edit my pictures I place them into folders, so in effect they are arranged by date, but this is really not important. I keep placing pictures into a folder until I have approximately four gigabytes in the folder, then I start a new folder, (the folders are numbered chronologically). The reason for the 4 gigabytes is that that is approximately what fits onto a DVD. I then backup the filled folders onto two DVDs and store them in two different locations. (They also live on an external harddrive at my house). Now, if I need photos of Crotalus atrox I just use my database program (Microsoft expressions media) to search for Crotalus atrox. If I need pictures of herps that occur in chihuahuan desert scrub, I search for chihuahuan desert scrub and herps, If I need to make a presentation about the Gila wilderness, I just search for Gila wilderness, etc. The actual location of the files is irrelevant, so long as I entered the proper keywords I will find them with a very easy keyword search. You might want to check out "The Dam Book". The system I use is modified after the system described in that book. The system does require that you have some sort of cataloging software and that you religiously keyword every image, but the keywording is really quick and simple once you get started and the software is relatively cheap.

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Jason Mintzer
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Re: How do y'all organize your photos?

Post by Jason Mintzer » May 5th, 2011, 1:00 pm

Thanks guys. Bgorum, you really have your photo organization together. I think I will use Hans' technique.

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Kevin Price
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Re: How do y'all organize your photos?

Post by Kevin Price » May 5th, 2011, 6:56 pm

bgorum, I like your way of organizing. What software do you use? I use Lightroom for all of my cataloging, though nothing as well defined as yours. I think I would wind up pulling my hair out with Lightroom in trying to go back and redo my photos in the way you described. With images taken from now on it would not be a problem.

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Re: How do y'all organize your photos?

Post by bgorum » May 5th, 2011, 7:24 pm

Kevin,

Lightroom has cataloging and key-wording built in. It should work fine for the sort of system I use. Check out this sight- http://thedambook.com/smf/index.php. Have fun!

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chrish
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Re: How do y'all organize your photos?

Post by chrish » May 6th, 2011, 6:30 am

I use Lightroom.

My system is fairly simple.

I generally keep files in folders based on trips/localities.

I keyword each photo with the species name and a locality (if it is a common area I frequent). In lightroom I can do a large number of photos at once. I add the locality name and my copyright information when I import into LR. Then I have a keyword file with the scientific name of every reptile, every amphibian, all NA birds plus a lot of others, and all the mammals to family. It is a simple matter to add the name to a slide and I can do large numbers at once.

If the locality is a single place or I want more specific data, I add GPS data to the EXIF.

I have recently started adding the species name to the file name as well. So my photo DSC30212.ARW becomes Alligator_mississipiensis_30212.ARW. Again, I can do this for a lot of files in a few mouse clicks in Lightroom. Having the taxon in the file name is a bit redundant, but helps me when I export jpgs.

I backup my files and my LR catalog frequently.
I have file backups using a RAID array, an online service and I have a portable harddrive that I backup every few weeks.

I lost a large number of very valuable photos (to me) a few years back by accidentally backing up my files the wrong direction (from my backup to my main computer), so I am somewhat paranoid now.

What I have learned is that any system is fine, as long as it works for you. Think about how you access your files. And be consistent and don't fall behind. Back up, back up, back up!!!

Chris

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Kevin Price
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Re: How do y'all organize your photos?

Post by Kevin Price » May 6th, 2011, 10:27 am

Thanks bgorum and Chris, I'll start using keywords more often. I have been using only dates and or locations for just the folders but not the individual images.

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Re: How do y'all organize your photos?

Post by chrish » May 7th, 2011, 4:06 am

Kevin,

If you want a lightroom keyword file, I have one for all the worlds herps sorted by class, order, family and genus (and even breaking the genera into groups for large genera like Pristimantis).
It makes it easy to find all your photos of Pantherophis guttatus or all your photos of Pantherophis or even colubrids with just a mouse click.
It also includes most North American birds, plus the main mammal families (with a few species names). Its a big file, but LR handles it well.
http://www.birdsandherps.com/lists/Ligh ... ywords.txt

I also have a similar list of just the North American herps by common name:
http://www.birdsandherps.com/lists/herp ... common.txt

I'm not sure if I posted this here before or not. I find that having the correctly spelled names in your keyword list in advance prevents you from entering photos of the same species under two different spellings then not being able to find it all your photos (e.g. Hyla chrysocelis and Hyla chrysoscelis). If you mispell it, it shows up as a "new" keyword outside of the amphibians and you can see your error right away.

They are simply text files and easily edited in Excel (or lightroom) if you want to change anything, like updating the taxonomy of the bufonids or ranids.
You can import the keywords directly into lightroom.

Just in case you (or anyone else) are interested.

Chris

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Kevin Price
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Re: How do y'all organize your photos?

Post by Kevin Price » May 7th, 2011, 7:06 am

Wow, thank you Chris.

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RLewisH
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Re: How do y'all organize your photos?

Post by RLewisH » May 7th, 2011, 3:37 pm

I don't have any photos of herps, so I don't organize those in any particular way.

But I do have a collection of various High-Resolution photos on my computer, Wildlife being one of the largest subjects

I have it organized like this:

Main Folder:

Code: Select all

Wildlife
Sub-folders:

Code: Select all

Birds, Game, Reptiles, Plants
(each of those is an individual folder)

Each file goes in it's respective subject. I then name them something basic.

A Crotalus Ruber coiled up would be named "Red Diamond Rattlesnake Coiled", maybe including the background like "rocks" or "sand". If I have different shots of the same thing just add numbers after them. Also use tags, they are VERY helpful. I also use the Library function. Here's a picture to explain what I mean:

Image

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Jason Mintzer
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Re: How do y'all organize your photos?

Post by Jason Mintzer » May 10th, 2011, 3:09 pm

I downloaded the trial of lightroom and love it. Now the process of keywording all of my old photos. Thank you all for your suggestions/help.

jimoo742
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Re: How do y'all organize your photos?

Post by jimoo742 » May 11th, 2011, 7:21 pm

Logan 215 boxes, organized by location (state/country) and trip within those

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Jeremiah_Easter
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Re: How do y'all organize your photos?

Post by Jeremiah_Easter » May 22nd, 2011, 9:33 pm

I find it an unnecessary bother to file photos by species name, and had been mentioned by others there is no need in this digital age to organize by date (since date is always in the photos meatadata). I find that the best way to organize is by group. For instance, if I take a group of photos on the 4th of July, I might name the folder they are in "4th of July party", or if they where shot in Nevada, I will name it "Nevada herp trip".
Then I use Picassa to quickly find what I want to see. This system has never failed me and I can find pretty much any photo I want in seconds using picassa's search function.

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