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Charlie Spencer

How do you organize or manage your photos?

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I have several hundred photos, not many compared to some people's libraries but to the point they're getting difficult to sort and organize.

Right now I sort them into folders by location or trip, but I'm getting tired of renaming them 'Blue Jay #4', 'Blue Jay #5', etc.  I'm thinking of using Windows' File Manager to tag the photos with 4-letter codes.

I'm hoping to avoid any solutions that require me to upload the photos to the web; as a network admin, I'm a bit paranoid about sharing sites.  I'd also prefer not to use a software solution that alters or changes the files in ways that aren't accessible from outside the application.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions, hints, or tips!

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On ‎7‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 6:16 PM, Charlie Spencer said:

I have several hundred photos, not many compared to some people's libraries but to the point they're getting difficult to sort and organize.

Right now I sort them into folders by location or trip, but I'm getting tired of renaming them 'Blue Jay #4', 'Blue Jay #5', etc.  I'm thinking of using Windows' File Manager to tag the photos with 4-letter codes.

I'm hoping to avoid any solutions that require me to upload the photos to the web; as a network admin, I'm a bit paranoid about sharing sites.  I'd also prefer not to use a software solution that alters or changes the files in ways that aren't accessible from outside the application.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions, hints, or tips!

I'd like to know, too. I'm not a network admin so this might end up over my head. Right now I am using Picasa, but the writing is on the wall. I would personally like a dedicated photo software program. One function that I liked in Picasa was the location pin on each photo (required having location set to "on" in your camera). Click on the pin and a map opens showing where the photo was taken. That function lo longer works, for me anyway.

In the past, JASC had some great products, that if I'm not mistaken have all been taken over by another company and run deeply into the ground.

Here is one possibility: For saving receipts to my PC, I am using a scanner and a program called FileCenter Professional Plus. There may be several versions of FileCenter that are less professional and not as plusy, but I like the version that I have. I think it could work for organizing photos. It does not alter anything about the files inside or outside of the program. Uninstall the program and your files/folders are still in place. I think it just puts a user-friendly dashboard (cabinet, drawers, folders) on the Windows File Manager. Of course if a person is adept at using Windows File Manager, the same thing could be accomplished.

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8 hours ago, chipperatl said:

Lightroom, by date, with keywords for species (at least I try to keep up with them).

Thanks, but that looks like overkill for my minimal requirements.  I don't edit photos or share them, and I back up photos the same way I backup my other files types.  $10 a month is more than I want to spend just to organize photos.

Hopefully the service will fit someone else's needs.  Thanks.

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I store my raw photos by date on a portable backup drive  which leads to organized chaos. Processed/edited pics are stored alphabetically  by species on my computer and also in a jumbled mess on flickr.  This results in more organized chaos.  

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7 minutes ago, Spyonabird said:

I store my raw photos by date on a portable backup drive  which leads to organized chaos. Processed/edited pics are stored alphabetically  by species on my computer and also in a jumbled mess on flickr.  This results in more organized chaos.  

I hadn't thought about storing by species.  I think I'm more interested in using the photos to remind me of the locations where I saw the birds - local hotspots, trips, vacations, etc.  Perhaps deciding HOW I want to use the photos themselves is something I should consider in the organizing process.

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Posted (edited)

I do something similar to what Spyonabird does.  I have over 8,000 photos and videos of birds and I have a hard time finding photos or videos of certain species when I need them.  They are organized by month, year, and general area (home and not home ), but basically the only thing that helps me find where a certain photo is is my memory... 😐 That's why I'm following this thread.

Edited by The Bird Nuts
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13 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

I do something similar to what Spyonabird does.  I have over 8,000 photos and videos of birds and I have a hard time finding photos or videos of certain species when I need them.  They are organized by month, year, and general area (home and not home ), but basically the only thing that helps me find where a certain photo is is my memory... 😐 That's why I'm following this thread.

:classic_blink: Over 8000!!! I'm just like you except on a smaller scale. And I'm certain I have a photo of a European Starling but I can't find it! :classic_laugh: But yes I'd love to find a better way of classifying photos. On occasion I have started on eBird which gives me a date for certain species which then narrows it down in Picasa. This works for my Greater White-fronted Goose, but not so much for more common species.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, HamRHead said:

:classic_blink: Over 8000!!! I'm just like you except on a smaller scale. And I'm certain I have a photo of a European Starling but I can't find it! :classic_laugh: But yes I'd love to find a better way of classifying photos. On occasion I have started on eBird which gives me a date for certain species which then narrows it down in Picasa. This works for my Greater White-fronted Goose, but not so much for more common species.

Yep, when you bird every day for nearly 900 days straight (BN #2 has) you accumulate a lot of bird photos......................  I have used the My Media feature on eBird to find out where my photos are on my computer as well.

Edited by The Bird Nuts
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1 hour ago, The Bird Nuts said:

I have used the My Media feature on eBird to find out where my photos are on my computer as well.

What's 'My Media', and how do I get to it on eBird?

For whatever reason, I don't upload many photos, to eBird, to here or anywhere else.  When I do it here, it's almost always for ID purposes.  For eBird, it's to support a challenged listing.  Otherwise, I don't have any motivation to upload photos.  There are plenty of better photographers cranking out better focused and composed photos for people to access.

But if 'My Media' can work as a management tool, I like to investigate it.  Thanks.

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1 hour ago, Charlie Spencer said:

What's 'My Media', and how do I get to it on eBird?

For whatever reason, I don't upload many photos, to eBird, to here or anywhere else.  When I do it here, it's almost always for ID purposes.  For eBird, it's to support a challenged listing.  Otherwise, I don't have any motivation to upload photos.  There are plenty of better photographers cranking out better focused and composed photos for people to access.

But if 'My Media' can work as a management tool, I like to investigate it.  Thanks.

In Search Photos and Sounds there is a My Media button to the right of the search bar (if you are signed in) which shows all of your eBird photos and recordings.  You can search your media by species, location, date, etc. using the buttons below the search bar.

eBird encourages people to upload photos and recordings no matter how good or bad they are (okay, if it's not even identifiable, then probably not) or how common or uncommon the bird in the photo is.  And no one's going to know if you identified a bird incorrectly if you didn't upload a photo or recording.  We eBird Power Users are looking out for those misidentified birds. 😉 

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

In Search Photos and Sounds there is a My Media button to the right of the search bar

Okay, I see that, but how does it help you with the photos on your computer?

For whatever reason I don't take many photos, usually less than 10% of what I see.  Many trips I don't take any.  Often I forget I have the camera with me, even while I'm leaning on the monopod as a walking stick.  I usually only photograph something I'm completely freaked out over or when I need ID help, something that reminds me I have the camera in the first place.  Sometimes the bird leaves while I'm transitioning from binos to camera, or getting the camera settings (somewhat close to) right, or I can't find the bird again when I'm ready.  There are probably techniques to juggling hardware in the field but I'm not discovering them as I go.

I went through a period of trying to use the camera manually, but the results were so discouraging that I quit taking shots except for the most dire of ID challenges.  I've gone back to automatic for most cases, although there are some manual features I'd like to take advantage of.  I can make some of them work on the back porch with the user guide in my hand, but I can't replicate the steps when I hit the field.  In short, most of my photos are rushed, blurred, unfocused, over / under exposed, etc.  Yes, there are classes for improving these, but I don't want to wind up spending more time documenting what I'm seeing than actually looking at it.

Edited by Charlie Spencer

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1 minute ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Okay, I see that, but how does it help you with the photos on your computer?

All it does is help me find when and where I took a certain photo of a certain species so that I can find it in my many bird photo folders.

You don't have to take or upload any photos if you don't want to, it's just very helpful to have media on eBird, and I'm glad you do upload photos of rare/uncommon birds.  For me, photographing birds is enjoyable and I try to upload at least one photo to eBird for each birding trip.  When we started birding, our cameras were all we used and we didn't have binoculars for years, so I guess that helped us get good at using cameras.  But I understand not wanting to go through the trouble of taking photos and instead using that time to enjoy the birds and outdoors.

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I guess it's a matter of prioritizing limited time (until I retire :classic_biggrin:) - Improve my birding or my photography?  I get to spend my work day with technologies, and birding is my way of escaping some of that.  Sometimes photography brings too much work back into my recreation.  I'm sure I'd feel differently if I was any good at photography, but then being a mediocre birder doesn't seem to bother me too much.

I tried birding with a camera instead of binos a couple of times but I was unable to get comfortable with the camera as my primary tool.  Binos are just so much easier because there's only one adjustment (okay, two if you count adjusting the diopter every few months).  Obviously, the downside is bino images are ephemeral.

Thanks.  I think I'm going to try applying tags to the files and see how much trouble that turns out to be.

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I have a couple of external hard drives that I store photo's on and I now use Flickr for online sharing.  I used to use Photobucket before they royally screwed up.

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On 7/12/2018 at 1:58 PM, The Bird Nuts said:

it's just very helpful to have media on eBird

Holy cow, we can upload photos here from eBird / Macaulay!  Why am I putzing with Imgur (which has suddenly stopped accepting new photos to my library)?

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Mike_56 said:

Why you don't like use Flickr -1(one) TB space

Our network firewall settings where I work block access to Flickr.  Imgur is not blocked.

The only reason I upload photos to a sharing site is so I can link them here for identification.  I already have an eBird account.  If I can link to pictures on eBird, there is no reason for me to create an account on Flickr.  Flickr would just be one more account, username, and password to keep up with

I have only 10Gb of photos and plenty of storage space on my hard drive, so having 1Tb of space doesn't matter to me.  If I can organize my photos without having to use a third party or sharing site, then I'm not locked into an application or resource that could be closed down.

Edited by Charlie Spencer

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@HamRHead ... You use Picasa, right?  I use it too....you may already know this but just in case you don't this is what I do to find photos quickly.  After your photos have been loaded into Picasa from your media card...open the folder and click on a photo that you want to locate again...below the photo there is a light gray bar with and icon on each end...put your cursor on the bar and click...a flashing line will appear...type  whatever you want into that bar [ ie: European Starling, front yard, eating from suet block, sunny with light breeze, ] ...then hit enter twice...that photo has now been ''tagged'' so to speak without altering/editing it.  To find it ...go to the very top of the Picasa program...in the white bar with magnifying glass type the name of the subject you are looking for European Starling...any/all photos that have those words will come up and you can scroll thru to find the photo you want. I hope this helps. 🙂

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18 hours ago, lonesome55dove said:

@HamRHead ... You use Picasa, right?  I use it too....you may already know this but just in case you don't this is what I do to find photos quickly.  After your photos have been loaded into Picasa from your media card...open the folder and click on a photo that you want to locate again...below the photo there is a light gray bar with and icon on each end...put your cursor on the bar and click...a flashing line will appear...type  whatever you want into that bar [ ie: European Starling, front yard, eating from suet block, sunny with light breeze, ] ...then hit enter twice...that photo has now been ''tagged'' so to speak without altering/editing it.  To find it ...go to the very top of the Picasa program...in the white bar with magnifying glass type the name of the subject you are looking for European Starling...any/all photos that have those words will come up and you can scroll thru to find the photo you want. I hope this helps. 🙂

Thank you. That's very helpful. I'll definitely give that a try. Although, I haven't searched for my European Starling lately.:classic_laugh: ...or my English Sparrow.:classic_laugh::classic_laugh:

I've always loved Picasa. I'm sorry Google abandoned it. Picasa was the only way I knew how I to see a photo's location on a map. But alas, that feature has stopped working. I would gladly pay for a similar program. Suggestions anyone?

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Hi!  I have my photos organized by file folders.  If I take a special trip, I use that for the file name.  Otherwise, I use the date downloaded as the file name.  Any lifers or real exceptional shots a copy to my lifers folder which is organized by species.  I keep copies on the hard drive and 2 RW DVDs.  I tried to organize all my bird photos by species, but that was too much work.  For instance, I have maybe over 100 osprey photos.  To take the time to move those photos all around and they do eat up DVD memory.  So at least one photo for each photographed lifer, and then a few favorite shots when I get them, all organized by species.

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On 7/25/2018 at 8:01 AM, HamRHead said:

Thank you. That's very helpful. I'll definitely give that a try. Although, I haven't searched for my European Starling lately.:classic_laugh: ...or my English Sparrow.:classic_laugh::classic_laugh:

I've always loved Picasa. I'm sorry Google abandoned it. Picasa was the only way I knew how I to see a photo's location on a map. But alas, that feature has stopped working. I would gladly pay for a similar program. Suggestions anyone?

Lightroom has a maps feature if you have GPS on your photos, or you can map them manually.  

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