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
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.
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.
and so on.
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.
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!
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.
Now right click the "Album" and in the drop down box select "Create Short cut"
This creates a short cut to that folder - if necessary you can rename it.
Now using "Cut and Paste" Or simply drag with your mouse - move the short cut to the "Albums"
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.