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How do you organize you photos?


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I take mine off of the the camera and put them into a folder. From there I delete them or put them into the correct folder or folders.(See photo below.)

photos.jpg

Edited by Kevin
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Well, I am very new to photography so I only have three folders. And I only do it by month. So I started photographing birds in November of 2020 and have a nov folder a December folder and a Jan 2021 folder. Then I usually know when I took a pic, so I go to that folder and find the photo. I can’t imagine what I would do if I had that many folders

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I have about 25,000 unorganized photos on my desktop from 2016-2020, but in October I've started keeping an orginized group of select edited photos on my laptop organized by family, then species, then date.

Edited by Connor Cochrane
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2 minutes ago, Connor Cochrane said:

I have about 25,000 unorganized photos on my desktop from 2016-2020, but in October I've started keeping an orginized group of select edited photos on my laptop organized by family, then species, then date.

Neat! I might try that.

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I have some on my laptop, some on a hard drive that was a backup for a computer and some on my phone. Then almost every photo I’ve ever taken is still on the SD card it was taken with. So I have many SD cards laying around...

Should probably get better organized 😬

Before I got overrun, I’d create a folder by location and date for each trip, but since I barely delete photos (even bad ones) my laptop is way too full to do that anymore. Plus, I don’t trust that it won’t crash and it all will be lost. 

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21 minutes ago, Aaron said:

 

Before I got overrun, I’d create a folder by location and date for each trip, but since I barely delete photos (even bad ones) my laptop is way too full to do that anymore. Plus, I don’t trust that it won’t crash and it all will be lost. 

Good thing you have all those SD cards! :classic_tongue:

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1. Raw files are imported to a YEAR 2021 main folder as yyyy/mm/dd. I add a brief description to each sub-folder - for birds usually location and anything interesting.

2. Edited files are transferred as jpegs to Topic/Sub-topic folders such as Travel/Year/Location.

3. Each edited bird file is given the bird name with a short form location such as "Belted Kingfisher 1m EcoP".

4. Bird files are transferred to a main Bird folder, this is the hardest part to keep up. I used the National Geographic Birds of North America for the layout.

   If you put a page number in front of each family it keeps them in the same order. A little bit of effort but if you end up with decades/thousands of files it may be worth it.

5. Backups to the cloud and an external drive.

image.png.e3e4b987a543a10c69e9aafa245834e8.png

Probably overkill for most people but if you take hundreds of photos on a regular basis maybe not.

 

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On 1/22/2021 at 9:43 PM, AlexHenry said:

I put them on eBird. That way I can search by species, location, etc. Also that way they are saved on the internet and I can download the original onto any computer.

ALL of them?!?!

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I do everything with Windows File Manager.  I don't like third-party apps that require me to import my files and prevent me from moving them around as I wish.  I'm a network admin; I learned file management decades ago.  I don't need some app that imports all the photos from all over my computer and then puts the family shots and landscapes in the same folder with the birds just because they were taken on the same date, and then stores them in a vault I can't access with editors or eBird's media importer.

I group photos by location.  I have a folders for states, sub-folders for counties, and sub-sub folders for specific locations.  The location names match the location names in eBird, either the public hotspot name or the name I assign to a personal location.  Everything is in my MS OneDrive cloud account.  I don't keep anything on the camera's SD card.

I upload from the camera to a temporary folder, then toss the images I don't want.  I use File Manager to tag each remaining photo with the species' name ("American Robin", etc.).  Once I apply a tag the first time, I can select it from a menu so I know it's spelled the same way every time.  I can apply the same tag or tags to multiple photos at the same time.  If there's more than one species in the photo, I add a tag for each one in alphabetical order.  I attach the best ones for each species to my checklist, then move them all into their permanent home in the appropriate location folder.  I usually try to do this within a week of having taken them, so I can remember the circumstances if I need help with the IDs (anyone know a good web site for that?).

I've never seen a point in grouping by date.  Every file has a date assigned to it in the metadata when it's created, so I can already search by the date without needing to group them or (horrors!) adding the date to each file name.  I add tags because that adds the ability to search by species.  That allows me to apply the same tag to all photos of the same species without having to come up with unique file names to replace the sequential names the camera assigned.  I group by location, and that lets me search by all three legs of the date-location-species triangle of a complete listing. 

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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15 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

I add tags because that adds the ability to search by species.  That allows me to apply the same tag to all photos of the same species without having to come up with unique file names to replace the sequential names the camera assigned

Big plus one to a tag-based approach, this is what I do as well. I store my tags in the description field of the photo EXIF data and then have "smart albums" that match on those. That way I don't have to spend time moving things into different folders. Instead I can just leave them where they are after doing an import.

As for the actual tags, I use a semi-structured, hierarchical scheme. Species are tagged with `bird|<group>|<species>`, so an American Robin would be `bird|thrush|american-robin`. The groups are roughly based on existing bird taxonomies but differ in places, e.g. I use `bird|duck|...` and `bird|goose|...` rather than `bird|anitidae|...`. I do the same thing for other wildlife, `mammal|...` or `flower|...`.

I also sometimes add additional behavioral or other characteristic tags to the photos. These look like `bird:flight`, `bird:courtship`, etc.. So to find all flying ducks I can create a smart album where the description includes `bird:flight` AND `bird|duck`.

This is also quite portable since the tags get embedded in the photo files and lots of photo management tools offer similar smart album functionality.

 

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9 minutes ago, neilpa said:

... I store my tags in the description field of the photo EXIF data and then have "smart albums" that match on those. ... This is also quite portable since the tags get embedded in the photo files and lots of photo management tools offer similar smart album functionality.

That's the advantage of tags in the EXIF / metadata - they're completely customizable to fit the way you want to work.

I'm big on any approach that doesn't require tying the photos directly to a separate application on a single computer.  That often leaves no way to access the photos from other applications or systems.

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On 1/22/2021 at 7:43 PM, AlexHenry said:

I put them on eBird. That way I can search by species, location, etc. Also that way they are saved on the internet and I can download the original onto any computer.

I also put a lot on ebird

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I sort mine by date and location then  put in monthly and yearly folders directly copied from the chip from the camera.Seems like the easiest way to keep them separate if they are from the same locations. Then looked thru for crappy shots to delete, then move them to a 2 terabyte storage drive.other stuff apart from birding is just named for the event ect.

Works great until the drive partly crashes and recovery of the files just puts everything in random folders. I'm still trying to sort out when the photos were taken.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Johnd
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I organize by date (of course separated into years and months). I have a new folder for each day that has the names of the best species I got photos of or rarest species of the day. Then I can do a quick search and find my best pictures of a bird.

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