Organizing your photos - software used, best methods and categories

Started Jun 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 53,386
Re: I'm absolutely not

Jeff wrote:

The trouble with using pathname *and* keywording is that they have very different roles in managing a large image library. pathnames refer to a logical location in the file system and in the backup. I use pathnames to manage where images are located in my filesystem and backup.

This is false.  Use the root name ("My Pictures" or whatever) to locate your images.  Use the subfolders to give some identification to the contents.

Keywords tag image content. Image content is a complex matter with questions of who, what, when, and where. That's what keywords (and other metadata handles so well) describe, and which I want to editable and maintainable. I don't want changes I make in keywords to require me to move images around, rename paths or files, or worse, keep multiple versions of an image or filename alieas in order to include it in several places in the keyword hierarchy.

Your library analogy is an interesting one. Books in well run library are actually located by unique ID, not title.

Funny...the Dewey Decimal system is exactly the type of topic hierarchy I'm promoting:

In essence, the DAM book recommends against doing exactly this, and instead using something like publication date, which is already stored inside the front cover of each book anyway.

You can search catalog by title, subject, author, keyword, all kinds of other metadata, of course, and then you're given a unique ID (i.e., filename) and location (i.e., pathname) where to find it. By separating the physical location from the content description, librarians make their catalogs far more usable than if they were to simply place books on the shelf by major subject. I prefer to organize my images as a library with real catalog, rather than as a massive Barnes and Noble bookstore with subject headings hanging from the ceiling.

This is one thing the DAM book has caused that's harmful.  Folder names have nothing to do with "physical locations".  They are metadata, like all other metadata, except much more universally used and accepted.  The physical location is stored elsewhere in places such as a "File Allocation Table" (FAT) or the modern equivalents depending on OS (MFT, and such).

The DAM book points out the limitations of using pathnames to encode image content, and recommends separating the two functions.

Yes...very bad advice, and based on a wrong understanding of path names (which are just metadata).

This strikes me a generally good advice for the reasons mentioned above. Imho you're way off base to dismiss these distinctions out of hand as 'crazy' or 'nuts'. What you do may work for you, but it wouldn't work for me for the typical use cases I've described in other posts on this thread.

There's no problem with keywording your images that are also in folders, same as being able to search for Title and Author even though the books are already in the Dewey Decimal categorical hierarchy.

With regard to robustness, EXIF metadata and keyword features are supported by essentially all photography software these days.

And have almost no OS support to speak of (some can read some of this, and display it for a single image).

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