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What's the best way to organise photos?
IncrEdible_vEgetable
Brisbane, Queensland
2332 posts
I have a stupidly large collection of photos that I have dumped onto a couple of HDDs and i would like QGLers opinions on the best way to manage/organise them.

The pics come from a couple of different of cameras and sources, so unfortunately there isn't a reliable file convention at the moment where I can just sort them by name etc. Quite a few have been dumped off iphones as well.

When I had a basic Canon point and shoot it was quite good cos it d/l photos into folders with the date etc (many of the folders I have are still set up with that naming convention) But I have also created some folders (eg Work photos, Dogs, Holidays etc).

Essentially what I want to do is this: discard all of the dud photos (will have to do this manually in any case as it's subjective), sort photos into some sort of order (by subject, date or whatever I end up deciding is best), and most importantly eliminate multiple copies of the same image.

The last point is the first obstacle/challenge. Is there software (preferably free or close to it) that can detect identical images and highlight them? I suspect this may be possible but probably not with free software. As there are multiple naming conventions used I am guessing I am gonna have to do this manually.

All this aside, how are your photos organised? By date? subject? I am kinda leaning towards subject and also sorted by quality i.e. there are photos I want to keep but that aren't A1 quality, but I'd also like a "Best Of" type folder set up.

kgo
06:55pm 07/05/13 Permalink
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06:55pm 07/05/13 Permalink
crazymorton
Brisbane, Queensland
4102 posts
mine are sorted by event or subject and date if that's a differentiating point I need

EG. Xmas 2012, Mackay Feb 2013, etc

Sorting - It's a bit of a pain but your best is to do folders manually and copy/paste yourself to get a really good result.

Otherwise let Picasa sort them which will do dates then create folders. I reckon Picasa is great and is under rated for a freebie.
07:06pm 07/05/13 Permalink
Jayman
Brisbane, Queensland
829 posts
Once you get enough photos no folder / naming system is going to cut it. You really start to need Lightroom / iPhoto / Apature, something with some form of library management where you can tag your photos, with people in it, place it was etc. Date etc will all be done automatically from meta data.

Lightroom imo. Get into the habit of spending 5 mins extra when you import your photos, tag them and never look back.
08:39pm 07/05/13 Permalink
Obes
Brisbane, Queensland
10022 posts
Use a database, there are too many ways you might want to organise content.

IDImager was the bomb ... then it they started making shovelware apps...

Adobe products come with ugly overheads.

This post was not useful.
10:25pm 07/05/13 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
21808 posts
I've always had them sorted by date taken. Year - Month - Day and just leave the file names alone. Depending on how you do things, you shouldn't really run into too many issues with duplicate file names from different cameras unless you tell them to reset the file numbers every time you erase the card.

Then in lightroom every so often I go through them and just drag them into different categories like outdoors, pets, cars, etc. but still organised by year.

Some of them I applied keywords to, to make it easier to find them later but for the most part I don't bother because there's not that many of them to go through if I want to find something.

All this aside, how are your photos organised? By date? subject? I am kinda leaning towards subject and also sorted by quality i.e. there are photos I want to keep but that aren't A1 quality, but I'd also like a "Best Of" type folder set up.
I just throw them all in together. Phone, SLR, P&S cameras, they all go into the same setup, then later I can use metadata to weed out anything not taken by my SLR or if I know I took a photo with my phone I can tell it to sort by that.
10:45pm 07/05/13 Permalink
infi
Brisbane, Queensland
19882 posts
I use Flickr: it allows you to create Collections and then Sets underneath. All backed up online.
11:25pm 07/05/13 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
21809 posts
man I'd hate to have to upload 10000 x 30 meg raw images to flickr after every holiday or whatever.
12:01am 08/05/13 Permalink
thermite
Brisbane, Queensland
11148 posts
I organise mine into folder by year, and then subfolders in that based on subject and date

it's easy for me to find stuff, but it's not convenient to browse since it's all so split up into folders

but viewing those photos is not the same as storing them, one could always organise them in some sort of program for organising photos and displaying them, but that's a job for future me or hopefully someone else will do it by then
12:20am 08/05/13 Permalink
Spook
Brisbane, Queensland
35653 posts
man I'd hate to have to upload 10000 x 30 meg raw images to flickr after every holiday or whatever.


without the nbn, yes.
05:00am 08/05/13 Permalink
Scooter
Brisbane, Queensland
6242 posts
When I dump my photos to my computer I Put them in a Year - Month - Name folder.
Big trips I also include a bit of a write up, but most of the time (weekend camping, skiing, diving) it's just a photo dump.

Like you, I also have a few Misc. folders, but they're stored in a seperate location and are duplicates of photos in their 'proper' folders.

I would hate to have a task of arranging a massive mess of photos that aren't at least semi sorted... which is why my mp3 folder is such a mess. Too big to worry about (not as important as photos though.)
07:24am 08/05/13 Permalink
l3wd_5c0ff
Brisbane, Queensland
2505 posts
i just make a folder once a month and name it photodump (insert month and year).
makes for a great photo diary.
07:31am 08/05/13 Permalink
Twisted
Brisbane, Queensland
11860 posts

I use Picasa but have just recently installed Lightroom and am trying to get used to it. I liked Picasa because of the facial recognition stuff for tagging people.
07:39am 08/05/13 Permalink
Mosfx
Gold Coast, Queensland
1368 posts
My Olympus camera installed some program for photo management wasn't bad a bit clunky though, I might have a look at this lightroom I have truck loads of photos I manually file away

Year Month Event
2013 Jan Sea World

This naming system works better for listing by name.
12:48pm 09/05/13 Permalink
skythra
Brisbane, Queensland
6543 posts
I like using picasa. But i hate looking at photos.

I don't like how picasa pics up all those pics that were for my eyes only and offers to put them onto my google plus wall though.
01:22pm 09/05/13 Permalink
The GuVna
Brisbane, Queensland
1929 posts
I do as WHoop does

Year-Month-Day - Event
01:51pm 09/05/13 Permalink
BOOST
Brisbane, Queensland
575 posts
Do you guys leave the images at full resolution or shrink them down a bit to make the file size a bit more reasonable? Everything that comes off my slr seems to be in the 2-4mb range. If I put them in the "cloud" it would be about 15gb of uploads :/
01:58pm 09/05/13 Permalink
unclebobsticle
Sunshine Coast, Queensland
169 posts
F:\Photos\2012\2012-08-16 etc..
This way its roughly kept in diary format.

As Whoop said Use Lightroom or Aperture.
Taging photos/sets, is a must.

Do you guys leave the images at full resolution

Always leave them in .CR2 (raw) as they have a larger dynamic range for post production.
03:39pm 09/05/13 Permalink
trog
AGN Admin
Brisbane, Queensland
36961 posts
I do as WHoop doesYear-Month-Day - Event
Same. I upload them to the CLOUDZ after each big session. I use Filezilla; it queues everything and I just leave it uploading in the background capped at 10-20kbytes/sec. I don't shoot RAW but my album sizes are sometimes up to 10GB; how long it takes to upload isn't super important to me.
03:57pm 09/05/13 Permalink
TiT
Brisbane, Queensland
5602 posts
What's everyone using for cloud's these days? I have dropbox but skydrive looks pretty good too. I have rough 21.25gb on dropbox and 25gb on skydrive.
04:16pm 09/05/13 Permalink
skythra
Brisbane, Queensland
6545 posts
ahh nevermind; i had blood taken today and i'm talking crazy!
04:21pm 09/05/13 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
21813 posts
Do you guys leave the images at full resolution or shrink them down a bit to make the file size a bit more reasonable? Everything that comes off my slr seems to be in the 2-4mb range. If I put them in the "cloud" it would be about 15gb of uploads :/

I just take them straight from the camera / phone and dump them on the hard drive (RAW, sif jpeg). I only have about 50gig's worth in ~5200 files. When I upload to imgur / photobucket I use lightroom's export thing to compress to jpeg and usually resize to about 800px on the long edge.
05:09pm 09/05/13 Permalink
IVY_MiKe
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
1494 posts
I'm looking for a photo management 'solution' that is platform agnostic, and allows me to tag photo's with custom tags (what camera was used, where the pic was taken, the trip or album name etc etc).

I've got a file server at home (one of those HP Microservers) which I'd ideally like to host it on so I can dump pics onto either my desktop or laptop and catalogue them on it.

I've come to this conclusion because I like the basics contained within the 'iPhoto' software on my Mac, but as I'm running a variety of other OS' at home, restricting myself to a client hosted on my laptop just isn't practical.

Anyone here had any experience with anything I can host locally?
(I have thought of using the likes of Flickr or Tumblr, but don't really want to trust my photo's to another company.)

I would assume that what I'm asking could easily be done with some sort of SQL based web interface, but I really would prefer something that is a little more off the shelf.

I've heard plenty about the likes of Lightroom and love the idea; but really want to have a more 'client/server' based model for storing and cataloguing
09:15am 10/05/13 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
21816 posts
Lightroom runs on windows and osx, host your catalog on the file server and aim lightroom at it?

I feel lightroom is more for quick editing and storage than management. Yeah you can manage them with it but if you're not using the editing functions and just want a catalog then it's probably a bit of an overkill.

Some kind of ajax image catalog or something? I had one ages ago that used mysql for the database and image names etc but it was all manual stuff. I'm sure by now there's automatic versions.
05:07pm 10/05/13 Permalink
IVY_MiKe
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
1499 posts
I'm happy enough with 'manual' provided there's some sort of 'mass tagging' component.

I'll take a gander @ lightroom.
Any experience as to whether or not I'll get eaten by licensing? (As what would constitute 3 copies are all only for *my* use.)

The initial scope is to get what pics I have in order; the editing will come with time... probably after I get off my ass and jump on an 'intro to photography' course.
I threw some cash at an 'entry level' DSLR so I should really learn the ins and outs.
05:50pm 10/05/13 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
21818 posts
if you really want mass tagging try imagemagick / mogrify: http://www.imagemagick.org/www/mogrify.html and just write up a script, drag a folder full of images onto it and let it go to work.

I've got lightroom on my pc & macbook, it doesn't care. I don't think it activates like photoshop does.
06:38pm 10/05/13 Permalink
Spook
Brisbane, Queensland
35662 posts
date - name

and im starting to downsample all my pix, no need for the raw images, they'll never be printed
07:04pm 10/05/13 Permalink
Pinky
Melbourne, Victoria
13940 posts
I do as WHoop doesYear-Month-Day - Event

Same - and Picassa to view.
07:57pm 10/05/13 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
21819 posts
date - name

and im starting to downsample all my pix, no need for the raw images, they'll never be printed

yes but if you're s*** at photos like I am, having the RAW files means sometimes you can recover photos that would otherwise be unusable if they were jpegs
08:46pm 10/05/13 Permalink
HerbalLizard
Brisbane, Queensland
5782 posts
Tune up an import workflow in lightroom that works for you
08:50pm 10/05/13 Permalink
TicMan
Melbourne, Victoria
8604 posts
I go YYYYMMDD_Event for my naming of folders.

Like Ivy_Mike I need a storage solution. I have many picture taking devices (iPhone, Galaxy, SLR) and many picture view devices (2 laptops, PC, HTPC, iPad) and I can't find a *good* way to share the photos between all these things at an ease level the wife can understand.

She wants to plug her iPhone in and magic happens - not import to iPhoto, then export to desktop, then mount the server share, then copy the files, etc. We tried Dropbox for a while but that kills my bandwidth and I end up just creating DROPBOXDUMP_X folders on the server and moving photos out when our Dropbox limit fills up.

Even if I used something like ownCloud the risk is someone deletes a photo, folder or group of folders and those pics get wiped off all the devices. Of course not all devices have enough storage for the photos either!

So hard :(
08:55pm 10/05/13 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
21821 posts
I've got a pictures folder on my NAS, if I want them viewable on the TV I can just throw them in there. Alternatively all my devices work together and I can share the lightroom folder on the PC, browse it on my phone and use the phone to tell my TV to display the picture. It's so dead simple even a non IT savvy person could do it. The trick is, all your stuff has to be compatible.

This is what I used to do years ago, before I had lightroom.

I had apache running and image magick. I set up a script to mogrify the images into thumbnails and then some php pages to display them in a web browser. I don't work in IT, I don't know how to code jack s*** but it's so damn simple even I figured out how to make it happen and I'm as dumb as a post (no seriously, talk to me for 5 minutes and its obvious). The only down side was that the process was all manual. I had to manually dump the images onto the mogrify script, then copy them over into the proper folder in htdocs (why I said it was all manual earlier).

Just google for free image gallery stuff, there's a tonne of them out there and they'll be way better than the one I used all those years ago, if you want to go that web browser access way.

As for people deleting stuff, that's why I have my nas set up that anything can READ the folders, but you have to use FTP to actually put things on it or remove them. Not that much harder than opening up explorer though since it has a built in FTP client anyway.

She wants to plug her iPhone in and magic happens - not import to iPhoto, then export to desktop, then mount the server share, then copy the files, etc. We tried Dropbox for a while but that kills my bandwidth and I end up just creating DROPBOXDUMP_X folders on the server and moving photos out when our Dropbox limit fills up.
What kind of magic? The photos magically go where? Display on the TV? Get put on the network share? Imported into windows?
12:43am 11/05/13 Permalink
trog
AGN Admin
Brisbane, Queensland
36970 posts
Here is another interesting problem for photo organisation - reliable, redundant storage.

I have all my photos on a "master" drive at home. I have them copied onto a backup USB drive at home, and one at work. I have them in the "cloudz" on a personal website.

Trying to keep all these in sync is a bit of a problem - occasionally I forget to copy a folder or some files to one of the other repositories.

I've been working on a system to help track these repositories - just a set of PHP scripts intended to check everything was where it should be, so that I could see easily which files/directories were missing from the repos.

I quickly realised that in addition checking the actual file data itself was something worth doing, so the system also became about comparing the file contents to make sure that the mirror was in fact perfect - that each image file was a perfect copy of the others. This would ensure that if I accidentally resized or edited an image on disk or one of them was corrupted, those changes wouldn't accidentally propagate to the other backups.

The interesting thing was that as soon as I got this vaguely working, I discovered that there were some differences in some photos in one of my albums - I had a look at the ones that were picked up as being different from the others and saw a bunch like this:

http://trog.qgl.org/up/1305/corrupt-1.jpghttp://trog.qgl.org/up/1305/corrupt-2.jpghttp://trog.qgl.org/up/1305/corrupt-3.jpg

I couldn't figure out how that had happened until I ran a chkdsk on the drive (an external USB) and discovered it had some bad sectors.

So - the lesson is (as always with anything to do with backups):

- have a way to ensure that your backups are current, complete, and cover all the data you think they should
- have a way to ensure that your backups are consistent and valid and are not corrupt!!

A side effect of this though is it has made me start thinking about using par2 to provide some additionally redundancy in case of corruption, although I think once I finish my magical system that will not really be necessary.
09:23am 11/05/13 Permalink
TicMan
Melbourne, Victoria
8606 posts
trog - thought of using a VPS hosted git repository?


What kind of magic? The photos magically go where? Display on the TV? Get put on the network share? Imported into windows?


I want the photos easily transferred off the device it's on. Copied over to the network share. Viewable by any device that can view pictures. 90% of my problem would be fixed if iPhoto & iOS Photo app can view photos on a remote share.
01:26pm 11/05/13 Permalink
trog
AGN Admin
Brisbane, Queensland
36972 posts
trog - thought of using a VPS hosted git repository?
Yeh, I thought about using some VCS thing and mostly ended up going down this route because I thought it'd be a fun process. Git would prolly be a pretty good solution for it all but this lets me do some custom stuff as well (e.g., I just found a couple images that looked identical but had different hashes - their EXIF data is different, so now I'm putting in some support for separate checks for the binary image data and the exif data as separate things, so I can easily see /why/ two images are different).
02:03pm 11/05/13 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
21824 posts
I want the photos easily transferred off the device it's on. Copied over to the network share. Viewable by any device that can view pictures. 90% of my problem would be fixed if iPhoto & iOS Photo app can view photos on a remote share.


One computer to import photos onto, everyone dumps their photos onto it, run a dlna server, samba and web server. Photos get dumped into a watched directory, dlna server scans it & allows devices that have dlna clients to view, samba server for more advanced users to browse manually, web server with an image gallery for devices without dlna clients but that have web browsers. Easy. My ReadyNAS can do this.
04:49pm 11/05/13 Permalink
crazymorton
Brisbane, Queensland
4116 posts
I want the photos easily transferred off the device it's on. Copied over to the network share. Viewable by any device that can view pictures. 90% of my problem would be fixed if iPhoto & iOS Photo app can view photos on a remote share.

Can't you use Files Connect for your iOS devices? Works for me.

My setup is - I have all my images on a specific HDD in my HP Microserver. All my PC's, laptops, iPads, Xbox 360's, are connected so i can view them anywhere. (Same for Music, TV, Movies)

Is this what you are after?

I mean you can go all super nerd and write scripts and programs and algorithms and s*** but if you're a plain simpleton like me then this setup works fine.

also for bulk renaming i like this one http://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk/Main_Intro.php
10:43am 12/05/13 Permalink
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