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Old Saturday 27th March 2010, 22:28   #1
Jim Lundberg
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Organizing Photos

I use Windows Explorer to organize my photos. I have folders for each species, and sub-folders for the location where the bird was photographed. End of each year, I burn a set of DVDs for that year's photos. I burn another set of DVDs for all year's photos, saving the best photo(s) of each species. It's all very cumbersome and time-consuming. It would be easier to look at all the photos of one species in a single folder, but I don't care to title each photo by their location. I don't know, I'm ready to look at other programs or methods...

Thank you, Jim
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Old Sunday 28th March 2010, 10:46   #2
HokkaidoStu
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Something like Adobe Lightroom is what you're looking for. I keep all my photos in monthly folders on an external hard drive and import them into Lightroom as referenced files leaving the folders intact (in case i want to use the images with other programs).

You can assign keywords, ratings, collections etc in Lightroom. It's easy.
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Old Friday 2nd April 2010, 19:34   #3
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If you want to use Lightroom to edit your photos as well then it is probably worth it. You may also have another adobe photoshop program already that contains an organizer (Bridge in one version).

I have used none of the above, but instead use ACDSee which is shareware (I think that means available for a free try). I have a slightly older version. This allows you to do basically the same things that Stu mentions for lightroom. I do not fully trust the editing part of the software, but it might have improved since I bought my version.

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Old Saturday 3rd April 2010, 03:33   #4
Jim Lundberg
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I downloaded the 30-day trial version of Lightroom and have spent a few hours importing and organizing photos from Windows. For me, there is a bit of a learning curve involved. I know what I would like it to do... I need to spend more time with it to see if the purchase is right for me.
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Old Saturday 3rd April 2010, 19:31   #5
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I just place in files under major categories such as Raptors...and use Zoom Browser to view when I want to. Also, I split up further by which continent or country.
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Old Sunday 4th April 2010, 11:13   #6
hollis_f
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Originally Posted by lmans66 View Post
I just place in files under major categories such as Raptors...and use Zoom Browser to view when I want to. Also, I split up further by which continent or country.
Roughly how I used to do it. Problem is it becomes unwieldy after a while. You end up with a folder structure like this -

Raptors
Africa
Botswana
Fisheagle1
Fisheagle2
Tawnyeagle1
Tanzania
Fisheagle1
Blackkite1
Brownsnakeeagle1
Kenya
Fisheagle1
...and so on.

If I want to compare all my Fish Eagle images then I've got to hunt through loads of different folders. Using some sort of catalog system with decent keywording means I can see all those Fish Eagle shots with just a few clicks.
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Old Sunday 4th April 2010, 17:57   #7
Jim Lundberg
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Originally Posted by HokkaidoStu View Post
Something like Adobe Lightroom is what you're looking for. I keep all my photos in monthly folders on an external hard drive and import them into Lightroom as referenced files leaving the folders intact (in case i want to use the images with other programs).

You can assign keywords, ratings, collections etc in Lightroom. It's easy.
Stu,

Using your technique of leaving photos on an external hard drive, I import all of a certain species into the Lightroom library from Windows folders and I create a Smart Collection of that species. Now I want to see where I took a certain photograph, so I reference the Windows folder where the photo resides, becase my Windows folders are named by Species and sub-folders show Location. I find the Windows folder information by using "Folder -- Go to Folder in Library" or opening a separate Windows page. Is this the most efficient way to find the folder path? It would be nice to see it displayed automatically when opening that photo in Lightroom.

If you leave your photos in monthly folders in Windows, do you create Collections in Lightroom of, say, species?

Thank you,

Jim
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Old Sunday 4th April 2010, 18:14   #8
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If you leave your photos in monthly folders in Windows, do you create Collections in Lightroom of, say, species?
You could create collections for individual species. But you may as well just use the keywording to tag indivvidual images with the species name. Then, when you want to look at all images of a particular species you do a quick filter on that keyword. If you want to only see the best images then you add a 5-star rating to that filter. If you want to see where it was taken then just look at the location keywords.

When you start using Lightroom's keywords and metadata it becomes totally irrelevant where the actual images live on your hard drive. They could all be in one big folder and it would still be just as easy to find whatever you want.
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Old Monday 5th April 2010, 07:22   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Lundberg View Post
Stu,

Using your technique of leaving photos on an external hard drive, I import all of a certain species into the Lightroom library from Windows folders and I create a Smart Collection of that species. Now I want to see where I took a certain photograph, so I reference the Windows folder where the photo resides, becase my Windows folders are named by Species and sub-folders show Location. I find the Windows folder information by using "Folder -- Go to Folder in Library" or opening a separate Windows page. Is this the most efficient way to find the folder path? It would be nice to see it displayed automatically when opening that photo in Lightroom.

If you leave your photos in monthly folders in Windows, do you create Collections in Lightroom of, say, species?

Thank you,

Jim
Hi Jim. Actually I have a Mac but the process should be pretty much the same.

Basically my photos reside in an external Hard Drive in monthly folders which get imported into the Lightroom library. After they are imported I give them keywords (only the species name, that's it for me. You could also give them keywords for location or whatever you want, or others like 'shorebird' etc). You can also rank them (from 1 star to 5). I use the keywords inside Lightroom as the basis for collections.
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Old Tuesday 6th April 2010, 01:14   #10
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Gentlemen,

It is starting to come together for me - not one ah-ha moment, but several. I import the sub-folders, tag the all photos from each folder en masse with species and location. Later, I can remove all the tagged photos from their species/location folders and save them by month or year.

I noticed that one of the bits of information in metadata is Location. Is that only for GPS enabled cameras? I could not find anyplace in the camera menus to input Location for a day's shoot.

Thank you all, Jim
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Old Tuesday 13th April 2010, 00:26   #11
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The funny thing is that the features that have been touted here for Ligthroom can be done just as well in ACDSee. Unless you also use ligthroom for editing I would consider that overkill: $270 on amazon vs $68 for ACDSee on their website.

And no, I don't have any economic interest in ACDSee.

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Old Monday 19th April 2010, 21:43   #12
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another vote for Lightroom. On import my photos are automatically put into a daily sub-folder of my main folder 'Photos'. Key words that apply to all photos are added automatically, also on import. (Sounds horrendous but is quick and easy to locate a particular shoot.) Any key words that apply to individual photos are then added. All photos are easily backed up to external hard drive by copying the 'Photos' folder.
Any photo I particularly like I give it a star rating and this automatically goes into a Smart Collection.
Collections are brilliantly useful as they are just pointers to photos that stay put in the daily folder. Any photo can feature in as many collections as you like.
hope that made sense!
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Old Monday 14th June 2010, 13:18   #13
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Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
The funny thing is that the features that have been touted here for Ligthroom can be done just as well in ACDSee. Unless you also use ligthroom for editing I would consider that overkill: $270 on amazon vs $68 for ACDSee on their website.

And no, I don't have any economic interest in ACDSee.

Niels
Does ACDSee do keywords?

Another program similar to Lightroom is DigiKam, which is open source. I used it for a while, but got sick of reporting little bugs, only to be told I was using an old version. Getting a new version usually seems to involve compiling it, and something's always missing so you have to ask how to fix it. I got it compiled once, it took a few days to work out all the compilation errors, then 15 hours to compile it. Good program, good usage support, poor distribution support - but it's free.

I gave up and got Lightroom. I use it to assign keywords, post process, and export low res versions and composites for the web. Very good for comparing shots, and the non destructive editing is a great idea.
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Old Saturday 19th June 2010, 03:27   #14
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The regular version of ACDSee does keywords, categories, captions, etc. As opposed to lightroom, you don't have to first import the pictures, if a picture is found in a folder you navigate to and that folder has not been added to an exclude list, then the picture will be added to the database. You can also batch write metadata to the picture.

The pro version of ACDSee has non-destructive editing, even though the editing tools vary in quality from one to another. The program does include a raw converter. The really advanced editing you will need other programs for, but it is my impression that is the case for LR as well. I have not used LR but would hope that the editing tools are better then ACDSee -- what I have read about the organizing tools make me prefer ACDSee. (I have an old regular version of photoshop and ACDSee pro3).

Images edited in ACDSee are directly visible in other programs, you don't have to do export or other things first.

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