6 Responses to Basics of Digital Photo Organization

  1. Sarkie says:

    I know it probably is totally different use case, but I love Picasa and Instant Upload with my Android Phone.

    It will upload all the photos during a day, event, weekend, and do it per date, then when I charge my phone with wireless on, it’ll upload them.

    Then once I get home, I’ll copy the ones I want into an Album, “Day Out at XYZ” or “X’s Birthday 2012” or whatever, I can then touch them up online and tag people etc. If I want anything more I’ll use the Picasa app to download them, to touch them up or what not, and with Picasa you can certain info the the meta data.

  2. geidav says:

    I totally agree on the points you mentioned. Especially, I like the idea of the star-based rating instead of separating good and bad photos. Though, I would add one more step between your step 1 and 2, which is coming up with a proper directory structure for the photos. I use the following naming scheme. In my /photos directory I have for each occasion at which I took some photos one sub-directory. They start with a date in an alphabetically sortable way (e.g. YYYYMMDD) and it follows some description (e.g. “Graduation party”). For really large photo collections of course parent directories like “travelling”, “friends”, etc. might be a good idea. How does your structure looks like?

    • brucedawson says:

      I decided to stay away from the question of how the folders of photos should be arranged since that is so much a matter of personal taste — and search makes the specific layout less critical.

      I have a folder per year, and inside those a folder per month, and inside those a folder per ‘event’. For vacations I add a folder per day inside the event folder. The structure isn’t rigid, it’s just to temporally group photos.

      I added the per-year folders when I had hundreds of per-month folders and it became unwieldy — it’s a tradeoff to balance between excess width and depth in the hierarchy.

      Some of the old photos are a problem because it can be quite tricky figuring out what year they belong in. Sometimes it’s an amusing puzzle (I see a newspaper headline in the background of the fifth photo in this roll!) and other times it’s just impossible.

  3. mikev1946 says:

    Bruce, for those of us who tagged not only their photos but hundreds of video clips, the tags, ratings, etc. are only captured in the pictures.pd6 database. Migration to other PCs seems to be impossible. Have you faced this problem or is all of your metadata saved successfully in the image files themselves?

    If I had known about the lack of portability, I wouldn’t have invested so much time in adding tags, captions, ratings, etc. For media that cannot store all WPG metadata, it would be nice to have portable “sidecar” files.

    Perhaps an enterprising programmer might develop a pictures.pd6 to media “sidecar” converter…

    • brucedawson says:

      I find it quite frustrating that Windows Live Photo Gallery will let you tag media files that it doesn’t know how to store metadata to. The WLPG team understands very well the importance of storing the metadata in the photos, so that they can be moved around, and yet they silently ignore one of their prime principals.

      To be clear, metadata should be stored in the photos themselves. I haven’t done exhaustive testing (maybe I should) but the testing I have done shows that face tags, 5-star ratings, and captions are stored into .jpg files. I know this because I have a program which extracts this metadata and lets me query it.

      Some video files and raw files are a problem. WLPG doesn’t know how to write metadata to them. .mp4 files can have star ratings stored in them, but some other files cannot. Sidecar files would solve this quite nicely. Or, a way of exporting the .pd6 file and then importing it later.

      Exporting .pd6 files can be done — it is a SQL file that can be queried with a bit of effort, although I am not expert at doing that. But then you have to import the data into a new instance of WLPG and I don’t have a way of doing that.

      Try copying the files to a new machine and see how much of the metadata shows up. Much will, but not for all file types. Good luck.

  4. arrandenham says:

    I like picasa more than windows Live photo gallery,we can edit and organize photos easily comparing to Windows live photo gallery.

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