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Author Topic: File organization help needed  (Read 412 times)

vanderloo

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File organization help needed
« on: January 22, 2022, 03:49:11 pm »

Somebody throw me a rope.
My photography file organization is so poor I spend way too much time trying to find files, folders, etc.
Can someone please steer me to a good organization protocol. I edit in lightroom and photoshop. I have multiple .lrcat files, (don't ask me why). And everything is scattered across 2 computers and 3 different external hard drives.
I need to- structure a hierarchy for organizing .dng's, photos edited for web, Hi res .tiffs, and .psd files.
Any help will be so appreciated.
Thank You
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PeterAit

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Re: File organization help needed
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2022, 04:57:44 pm »

Somebody throw me a rope.
My photography file organization is so poor I spend way too much time trying to find files, folders, etc.
Can someone please steer me to a good organization protocol. I edit in lightroom and photoshop. I have multiple .lrcat files, (don't ask me why). And everything is scattered across 2 computers and 3 different external hard drives.
I need to- structure a hierarchy for organizing .dng's, photos edited for web, Hi res .tiffs, and .psd files.
Any help will be so appreciated.
Thank You

I'll try to help. My first suggestion - and I cannot emphasize this too much - is to have a single LR catalog. Yes, go do it now! Seriously! You can have many tens of thousands of photos in a catalog and having them all in one place makes a big difference. If you're a pro you can have one cat for your pro work and another for personal but NO MORE!

And then make generous use of keywords. Applying KW during import is a great tool.


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digitaldog

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Re: File organization help needed
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2022, 08:14:07 pm »

Get a copy of The DAM Book.
Yes! One catalog.
Smart Collections are your friend.
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David Eckels

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Re: File organization help needed
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2022, 08:01:24 am »

In addition to the above, I use a "date place" organization, for example 2022 Arizona or 2021 New Brunswick. These are separate folders in my main "Picture" directory. Within these folders you can set LR to save images by the date taken. Works well for me.

MDL_SD

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Re: File organization help needed
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2022, 11:18:25 am »

Yes, 1, or at most 2 catalogs.  I store my images by date (you can add a location or other identifier to the file name if you wish).  The crucial step to finding photos easily is to establish a useful keyword scheme.  I use three categories: Who, What, Where.  The Who and Where categories are nested so that I don't have to enter the entire string (e.g. North America, United States, California, San Diego).
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BobShaw

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Re: File organization help needed
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2022, 03:51:56 pm »

Everything above plus, organise your file structure.
In my Image Library, which is on an external drive so that it can be used by any computer, I have all my catalogues and all of my files. The disk is backed up every hour by Time Machine.
I have one folder for Originals (raws, iPhones, goPro or anything SOOC), one Folder for Live, which is stuff worked on and one Folder for Final, which is finished photos.

In each folder there is a folder for Year, eg 2022 and in that a folder for camera 2022_Canon for example.
All files are preceded by the date at import eg 2022-01-23_IMG00024.CR2

You can always find any photo that way.

I based it on the Chase Jarvis Workflow (old but still worthwhile)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-6EQo6it7Y

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Jonathan Cross

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Re: File organization help needed
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2022, 05:52:55 pm »

One catalogue and keyword. Often more than one keyword makes locating easier. My folders are organised by year and then subdivided by project. That is much more personal choice, but keyword is most important. 
If you have not done much, it will take a long time to be done in batches. But is really worth it.

My raws are copied on 3 external drives.

Jonathan
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Jeffrey Saldinger

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Re: File organization help needed
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2022, 06:29:07 pm »

I have found this helpful: https://www.greylearning.com/courses/lightroom-mess. It speaks directly to, among other things, consolidating catalogs in Lightroom.

Also to consider: https://www.greylearning.com/courses/organizing-photos-in-lightroom-classic.

As for effective keywording, it might help in the long run to consider the manner in which you expect to use and want to find/retrieve your photographs. My own view is that any system that is prescriptive beyond a certain point can lead to a counter-productive rigidity of thinking, unless some or all of your keywording is done for a community of some sort that asks all its members to conform to certain conventions.

For example, some of my keywords begin with numbers or one or more “z”s. This makes them sort at the beginning or end of the keywording panel in the Library module and thus gets them out of the way (so to speak) of the more “normal” (i.e. subject) keywords, which leaves the subject keywords in a clean alphabetical order.  I also use keywords for everything I print so that I can know precisely what size print I’ve made on which size paper, and which box each print is stored in.

Smart collections without question, based on obvious keywords or whatever kind of likely retrieval will suit you.
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