Organizing your photos - software used, best methods and categories

Started Jun 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
technic Veteran Member • Posts: 8,932
Re: Who and how to retrieve?

JudyN wrote:

Jeff wrote:

But here's a question. Suppose your sister calls one day and is going to throw a graduation party for your nephew. She'd like you to bring a slideshow of pictures you've taken of him over the years doing different things, like family gatherings, fishing trips, travel, etc. How would you go about creating that slideshow?

I've done just that with Lightroom. My husband scanned in hundreds of slides of he and his ex wife and kids on long summer vacations in American National Parks. I attempted to get what I could out of them (the slides were faded and discolored -- if you have slides, scan them!) and loaded them into Lightroom. I put in keyword tags for the people in each one and identified the locations as best I could with the help of my husband who was there... I also use a metadata tag to identify trips or events so I can find all of a particular category.

I made a number of booklets from these pictures. The first were the summer vacations, one at a time. Then I decided why not select out each person and make a booklet for them. Since I had keyworded them by their names, it was trivial to find all of the pictures with each of the kids in them.

When I do something like this I use collections to save all of my potential candidates and then work from the collection to make the final cut and ordering.

I'm also busy making books from a large collection of images I took over the last 35 years.

Part of these are a few thousand scanned and restored slides + negatives, where I only know the date if I took notes at the time. Another part of them are images from the early digital era before 2000 when I used many different cameras due to my work. In those early days there were sometimes problems with the metadata e.g. wrong data settings in camera (a sure way to confuse programs that organise by metadata ...). Fortunately most of the early digital stuff was stored in folders that were organised by date, so I could still find approximate dates for most of them.

My images are currently organised in folders by type (scans of slide, negative, print; and digital images), date (year / season) and subject (e.g. family pictures) that contain images of 1 year at most, or lately 1 season. I have experience with cataloguing software or even image file types going out of date and requiring conversion or starting over again; as others have mentioned such a folder structure is almost foolproof whatever happens.

Making a book is lots of work for me now, also because my book software (Blurb) requires resized copies of images for best quality. After printing a book I often discover other images that I could have used ... I have considered Lightroom for organising like you do, but I  don't like the idea of having to import and keyword maybe 50.000 images. It would be different if I had started after 2000 or so, with all images having reliable metadata ...

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