Organizing your photos - software used, best methods and categories

Started Jun 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jeff Veteran Member • Posts: 5,087
Re: I'm absolutely not

ljfinger wrote:

Jeff wrote:

OK, I now get your meaning and think I understand your point.

But I have to respectfully disagree. The most useful thing for a filename, imho, is that it be unique serial number for the image. The most useful thing about folders is storage containers for managing location on disk, backups, and the like. For some folders are a useful way of organizing materials related to discreet assignments, which makes sense. For me chronological organization of folders by year, season, perhaps major event makes sense. But the to embed more detailed meaning to the folder names, imho, is using the wrong tool for the job.

Use metadata for metadata.

Path names ARE metadata! That's what the DAM book seems to miss and what it's loyal readership seems to totally fall for.

Use filenames as serial numbers, folders as storage object. Separating these functions is a basic principle of the DAM book, with which I agree.

And which, in my opinion, is dead wrong.

Path names are by far the most compatible form of metadata - everything can read them, even across OSs and devices. Only Lightroom can read LR collections, and they aren't stored with the files. Lose LR or lose your catalog, and you've lost your collections.

Keywords are a little better than collections as they can at least be stored in the files (but are not, by default, using LR), but only some applications can read them, and there are often conflicts between applications when it comes to hierarchical keywords and synonyms. The problem with keywords for me is, I had more than 60,000 images before I got LR 1 (the first application I used that supported keywords) and not one of them had keywords. I never got time to go back and add them, and I've never had time to properly keyword my new images meaning I now have 200,000 unkeyworded images. Fortunately, using the path names and the embedded metadata means I can find what I want usually in seconds.

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Lee Jay
(see profile for equipment)

To each his own. You seem to be arguing that since you never bothered to use keywords, that they must be a bad idea.

Keywords and other metadata transfer just fine to Flickr, for example.  For $79 you can get a prepopulated an elegantly design controlled vocabulary if you don't want to work out your own. (I used controlled vocabularly plus names of family and friends).  If you're worried about the portability of collection tags, keep in mind that you could add collections as heirarchical keywords, and port them to other databases or flickr, for that matter.

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