Why do I want control of my photos?
The first step to feeling more in control of your photo library is to know what you have.
So says Jennifer S Wilson of PhotoCrush, the second photo organising ‘specialist’ that I have resorted to as part of my quest to get my photos in a library that pleases me because it means I’m in control; I have what I want, where I want it, when I want it and this also means that you get to see those photos that so many of you have patiently waited years to see. My inventory of photos, and here we are simply talking digital photos, not the old school silver halide analogue photos, runs to many thousands, spread across all sorts of media.
I have listed every location that we have on which we have digital images stored, there are :
- external drives
- memory cards, SD and CF
- DVD’s / CD’s
- thumb or pen drives
- Google Picasa (soon to become Google Photos)
- Canon (possibly as they have a members area)
I’m also listing every photo taking device that we have in current use by us as a family and will need to look at the storage of photos on these devices.
You may have gained a sense that this is a big task. Well yes it is a big task but I have a few useful tools to help me with this first stage of the exercise. I decided to make my written record using pdfEditor software, that way I could practice a skill I use only occasionally and also build up my information file, so two practical pieces of work being done at the same time bring added time saving benefits.
Since I started I now have three closely typed sheets of A4 paper that show exactly where my digital images are today and that friend is a huge relief. Follow my journey as I proceed to step two.
- Have a basic heirarchy
- There is a suggestion towards using dates so year/month
- Use constant naming
- The structure should only be as complex as is needed, no more
- The structure should be easy to add to and remove from
A suggested format to start might be :
- before 2008,
- 2008 – wedding
- 2009 – vacation
- 2009 – 2010
- 2014 – we may choose to have monthly or perhaps weekly folders, depending on the number of images we make, etc
We have bundled years and then years broken up… This allows us to divide To Sort in to pre and post 2008, we can then use metadata in LR to sort post 2008 into the folders we have now created. When time permits we delve into pre-2008 and sort these manually using such clues as are available.
And then it stopped. Some other task assumed greater priority. This is the way of life, competing priorities, limited resources as Graham Edwards once said to me.