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Organise your pictures on your Hard Drive

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Organise your pictures on your Hard Drive

Postby sjj1805 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:43 am

Not so many years ago we took our photographs on film and then they were developed and ended up in album books or simply remained in the envelope and eventually found their way to the wardrobe, attic or some other obscure location and probably were never looked at again unless perhaps you move house!

Film plus the cost of processing is/was very expensive and so it is likely that even on a two week holiday most people would not take more than 3 or 4 rolls of film with perhaps 36 pictures per roll.

Now that we have gone digital our only restrictions are:
1. How long the batteries in the camera last (You do carry a spare set with you don't you?)
2. How many SD (or equivalent) memory cards we have to store the pictures on.
Other than these restrictions we can happily keep pressing the shutter button all day long. On an outing we probably take over a hundred pictures every day.

So how do we store all these hundreds of photographs on a computer?
You can of course just copy them anywhere on the hard drive and let a software program sort it all out for you. Programs such as:
Photo Explorer 8.5
Photo Album 7 Deluxe
picasaweb

However even these programs will function much better if you get yourself organised with a simple yet powerful filing system.

The method I have adopted is to to create a folder on a hard drive named "Photographs"
Below this I create further folders for the year.
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
etc.
Plus an additional folder named "Albums". This folder is the one that makes the whole system very powerful - I shall describe this further on but to take advantage of this you firstly need to set things up in the manner described here.

In view of a large number of wedding albums I have created a folder specifically for those. Remember - it is YOUR filing system and so you can make it as flexible as you wish.

Next... I create 12 folders below each of the year folders. Because months are not in alphabetical order - Chronologically January comes before April but alphabetically April comes before January - I use the following convention.

01 Jan
02 Feb
03 Mar
04 Apr
and so on.

Image

Photographs are then stored in the sub folder for the specific month in one of two ways.
a. Ad-hoc photographs are simply saved in that folder.
b. Groups of photographs - such as a day out to a specific venue - are saved in another folder inside the one for the month.

Example:
Image

Now for the bit that makes it all so powerful.
I doubt that many people can remember when that unforgettable holiday of a lifetime was - probably cannot remember the year never mind which month! :o

Computers are very good at "Cross referencing" - all we are now going to do is create a simple cross reference by placing a short cut in the "Albums" folder. This is surprisingly simple.

In Windows Explorer click the "Month Folder" in the left hand pane to display its contents in the right hand pane.
Image

Now right click the "Album" and in the drop down box select "Create Short cut"
Image

This creates a short cut to that folder - if necessary you can rename it.
Image

Now using "Cut and Paste" Or simply drag with your mouse - move the short cut to the "Albums" folder.

Image

Now you can find you pictures by date or by album - using nothing more than Windows Explorer. You can of course still use software based albums to create other albums perhaps comprising of pictures of "Aunty Flo" taken on various different dates and locations. You will however find that the bulk of your albums are of a certain event and so would be stored in one specific location. This method also acts like a diary reminding you of what you were doing or where you were during a particular month/year.
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Postby Ron P. » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:16 am

I've finally got one of those things called "a round to it" :lol: :lol: and using your method started to really get my photos organized.

I had a system where I would place all photos of my granddaughter in a folder of her name. All sub-folders were dated and/or named with the special occasion. However there were numerous ones that there was no "special" occasion, and those seemed to cause things to get disorganized.

Speaking from experience in the memory (lack thereof), when trying to find photos for a project, and not remembering when you took them. It is very time consuming to pull up the properties or load photos in a program to view the exif data to locate a certain dates...;)

So thanks for the great tip/tutorial on your organizing technique..
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Using Windows MetaData to organise your Photographs

Postby sjj1805 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:53 pm

Even with a structured filing system outlined above, further improvements can be made by using the MetaData that is contained in every single photograph. One of the most useful "fields" is the Comments Field. This field is in fact searchable by using the standard "Windows Search Companion."

Image

The method I am about to outline is like our grandparents used to do in years gone by where they would write on the back of a photograph various notes - such as "Who is in the picture."

Step 1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to your photographs.
Film strip view is perhaps the most useful.
Image

Step 2. Right click a photograph then select "Properties" and choose the "Summary Tab" in "Simple View"
Image

Step 3. Complete the "Comments Field" with the name(s) of individuals in that photograph and click the "Apply" button
Image

Repeat this process for all of the other photographs in your collection.

Now when you use the Windows search assistant you can enter the name of an individual and Windows will locate all of the relevant photographs for you.
Image

This works great when you have a visitor arrive and your spouse insists you find a few photographs of that visitor to show and impress them!
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Postby Black Lab » Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:03 pm

The method I am about to outline is like our grandparents used to do in years gone by where they would write on the back of a photograph various notes - such as "Who is in the picture."

That's a great tip! 8)
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Re: Organise your pictures on your Hard Drive

Postby somneim » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:31 pm

Now there are lots of good programs and software to make catalogue of your photographs. I am using ACDsee FastStone and Adobe Bridge.
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Re: Organise your pictures on your Hard Drive

Postby kaymann » Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:41 am

Writing to comments does not work on RAW files...
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Re: Organise your pictures on your Hard Drive

Postby Kintzel » Sat May 20, 2017 6:05 pm

Easy but smart idea with adding digits next to months names. Gonna apply your method to my files today)
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