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Old Mar 3, 2004, 4:56 PM   #1
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Default Image Management

This probably has been gone over before, but I?m confused as to which way would be the best way of organizing all of the scanned or digital photos on my computer.
I don?t know if anyone can help me because a lot of this is of a personal taste. I have in the past used a master folder (D:Photos) and within that folder I?ve had sub-folders
D:Photos/Family/Mom) etc. I hope you get the idea. I have been trying Thumbs Plus software and like it very much because I can view all my photos at once in the view area, or just a specific folder if I choose. But my problem comes when I try to backup or archive the photos. I would like to archive my photos by year, up to this year, and leave all of the photos from 2004 on my system. I may have photos from 1998 thru 2004 in D:Photos/Family for example. I would like to archive all the prior years but still be able to see their thumbnail in the folders. I?m I trying to make this too difficult and maybe just have one main folder for all my photos and work strictly with keywords? I?m not sure if Thumbs Plus is the right program for what I?m trying to do.
Can someone please try to give me some direction or idea before I lose anymore hair
Thank you all
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Old Mar 3, 2004, 5:06 PM   #2
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I have a similar photo storage method as you have described. I archive all my photos off to DVD disk. Exactly what is the problem you are having when trying to archive by year?
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Old Mar 3, 2004, 5:56 PM   #3
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Thanks Phil
I would like to keep the thumbnails for the offline archive in their respective folders for searching capablities. Say I would like to search for any and all of the photos of Mom from 1998 thru 2004 and have them all show up in the view area.

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Old Mar 3, 2004, 7:06 PM   #4
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Not sure about thumbs plus but ACDSee can create "contact sheets" which is a single image of a selected number of thumbnails with text desciptions. I generally make a contact sheet of 16 thumbnails (4x4) and keep all my contact sheets in a single folder so I can easily scan them and via the text descriptions find the location of a particular photo easily.

The end result ends up like this: http://gman52.homestead.com/files/Contact_Sheet.JPG
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Old Mar 3, 2004, 8:29 PM   #5
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Irfanview is a freeware program that will show thumbnails in each folder. Here is a link for download

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Old Mar 4, 2004, 5:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by esox
Thanks Phil
I would like to keep the thumbnails for the offline archive in their respective folders for searching capablities. Say I would like to search for any and all of the photos of Mom from 1998 thru 2004 and have them all show up in the view area.

I use MyAlbum. It will allow you to keep an "Album" (well lots of Albums actually) showing thumbnails, which can refer
- to your harddrive from your hardrive
- your CD/DVD from your harddrive
- your CD/DVD from your CD/DVD

in all cases it can refer to multiple Folders, or single files in Folders, and searches subfolders as well.

or it can make an exe file that actually _contains_ all the pictures that you ask it to, in a self-executing (exe) file.

Obviously, if you make any additions, you need to recreate the exe file.

You can add to the Albums. The disadvantage of the Albums is that they refer to a Folder on your PC, or whatever, and of course if you move or delete the actual pictures, you can't see them.

Free. No affiliation except mostly happy use. The only trouble I have had is trying to copy large (20MB) images from the Album display to somewhere else. Nobody else has ever agreed with me on this one <G>
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Old Mar 4, 2004, 8:55 AM   #7
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A problem with keeping your photos organized by subject (e.g, Mom) is that there are often several subjects in one photo, e.g., Mom, Dad, & Uncle Fred all standing in the shade of a giraffe. You probably don't want to keep four copies of the photo, but you do want to be able to find all photos of Dad as well as all of those of Mom.

So I keep my originals by date and keep a "shooter's diary" with entries like "Feb 4 2004 Mom, Dad and Uncle Fred visited the Zoo". I keep that in plain ASCII and put a copy on every CD as back-up. That way I can get to the originals fairly quickly - thumbnails on the hard drive wouldn't be bad for fast review. I just keep buying more/bigger hard drives.

When the images have been edited, I keep the date in the name of the final image, e.g., "MOM_ZOO4Feb2004.PSD". That points me back to the original image in case I decide later that I know how to do the editing better and want to find the original.

I wouldn't discourage using a software organizer if you find one that suits your style. I would suggest that a date/diary system is worth using even with another organizing system. Redundancy is worthwhile - esp if it is simple and cheap.
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Old Mar 4, 2004, 9:38 AM   #8
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I file my photos in the same ways as BillDrew. My picture folders/subfolders are organized like this:

- My Documents
- My Pictures
+ 2002
- 2003
- 2003-07-23 Michelle's Birthday
- 2003-08-30 Acrobatic Show
- 2003-12-25 Christmas
+ 2004

The folder name begins with the date and it can tell me what were activity/function. (Click on "+" sign to expand the subfolders).

Every two or three months, I back up into a CD-RW. By end of the year I will back up into CD-Rs on year basis. I continue to keep all the photos in the hard disk as many as I can until I need to maintain some spare space; then I will delete the oldest photos.

Actually I am very interested in getting a simple "search and play" software to play slideshows, which can begin with a menu of all the folders & subfolders. A mouse click on one folder will make the software to play a slideshow of all photos under that folder. I hope somebody can provide info on whether there is such a software.

[Edit: All my indentations for subfolders are lost in normal message listing.]
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Old Mar 4, 2004, 10:32 AM   #9
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IMatch is the best program I know of for what you are doing. If you arenít too far into the organization it might be worth switching now. It will keep thumbnails on the computer for images that have been written to CD or DVD, and search for them just as if they were on the computer. You can also use the embedded EXIF for preliminary sorting and adding dates to the keywords. That would be a big help to me as I have several cameras and usually remember which I used for a particular shot. The EXIF also identifies the camera.

It is a lot of work with any organization program to get all of the titles, comments and keywords. You can highlight all of the images with Dad, Bubba and Spot at the 03 worm eating contest and bulk add the title, keywords and comments, but it is still a hassle.

The sort by date and event doesnít help me that much. I do a lot of grab shots that arenít associated with anything special. One of the disadvantages of a small camera that I carry everywhere. Pictures with my big cameras tend to fall into categories and dates because I just carry them for specific stuff. Even with my FZ10 though I have started carrying it in my boat and often just grab stuff that isnít easily found by date and event. I have a hard time finding stuff if I donít add keywords and comments so I can find them quickly.

I have Irfanview set to display my thumbnails large at 250 pixels and spread them across both of my screens. It is fairly easy to sort through and eliminate stuff I donít need. Sometimes I click on a few to get the best of a multiple shot, but I can do most sorting in the thumbnails. It is also very fast to highlight all of the images on their side and do a loseless rotation if your camera doesnít have an orientation sensor. If you are disciplined about removing everything but keepers you can store a lot of 5Mp images on a 160Gig drive. I back them up to CD but try to keep everything on the storage drive for easy searching. Iím resisting transferring everything to IMatch but might eventually have to. I wish it had been available a few years ago when I started using Thumbs Plus. If I were starting out today there is no doubt I would use IMatch though Ė Thumbs Plus is a pretty dull tool by comparison. I think the free MyAlbum that Nickagain mentioned is probably at least as good.
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Old Mar 4, 2004, 1:19 PM   #10
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I just picked up a 250GB hard drive at Circuit City for $139 (with having to do the rebate run-around of course) after running low on space. Like waht others said above (great minds think alike as they say) - I found the best mothod was photo folders by year, then folders under there in the format MM-DD-<event>. So I'm organized like this under My Documents:


Then I just scan thumbnails or via a slideshow to find the photo I'm looking for. I keep originals ALWAYS under the camera assigned name then rename the editted versions. I back up to CD and simply write the date range on the CD (e.g. 2004:01-28->2-15) although with my recent new purchased computer plan on backing up to DVD now once I start running low on CDs (DVD storage allows 4.7GB versus 700MB - less disks to store).

I used to use IrfanView then tried Jasc Photo Album and Adobe Photo Album but recently bought a refurbished Dell that came with Windows Office 2003 profesional. Windows Office 2003 has a great little program called Microsoft Photo Album in which you can view folders in different ways (slide show, thumbnails, filmstrip). The other benefit is it lets my wife (who had trouble with other methods - I was trying to train her using several programs) do everything she wants to do all within one application (e.g. you can click a photo and select "email" whereby it will auto-shrink the photo to 640X480, and you can also print singles or groups of photos). The benefit over Jasc - is you can select ONLY the folders that you want to view in a left frame (Jasc would show your whole drive) - I found Adobe kind of sluggish and a few other things too complex for simple tasks. I don't usually endorse microsoft but this is a great little program - if you happen to have MS Office 2003 - you may want to try it.
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