Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Planning a DAM Makeover -- advice, articles, links suggestions?  (Read 10044 times)

mschubb

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 26
Planning a DAM Makeover -- advice, articles, links suggestions?
« on: October 01, 2014, 05:18:43 pm »

My new camera requires an update to LR5 and I am setting up a fresh install on a larger SSD to be my new system drive.  (using the old SSD for temp files and hard drives for files.)  Seems like a good time to clean house... my past asset practices have varied from project to project and now my volume of work really requires much better DAM.  

Would like to give some real thought to my asset workflow, so I'm looking for articles/sites/resources to read to help me think about what might best fits my needs.  My googling has mostly produced "LR tips" or long argumentative forum threads, so I would appreciate some more "big picture" ideas about workflow and folders to help me rethink.  

Part of my work also involves producing multimedia projects that can involve hundreds of client and stock images.  I use LR to crop/tweak/resize all those images and my date-based folder system makes a mess of this situation, with images landing in a zillion different dated folders.  While my own images often relate to the date I shot the project, these image dates are meaningless and make it much harder to clear out old junk.

Anything you've read or seen that might be helpful?  Thanks in advance for any links or suggestions.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2014, 05:21:38 pm by mschubb »
Logged

Tony Jay

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2965
Re: Planning a DAM Makeover -- advice, articles, links suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2014, 06:29:11 pm »

Try "Organizing your Photos with Lightroom 5" by Peter Krogh.
Also look at "Digital Asset Management: Where the #%*! are my Pictures" - this is a video tutorial available from this site.

Tony Jay
Logged

jjj

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4728
    • http://www.futtfuttfuttphotography.com
Re: Planning a DAM Makeover -- advice, articles, links suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2014, 06:56:36 pm »

Nothing wrong with a date/description folder heirachy - unless that is your only organisation system.
However add keywords and then you can sort/find by any subject matter you want.

Folder organisation by subject matter is most certainly a complete waste of time as all images can be a multitude of subjects. Been there, done that and moved on.

Import and store everything by date as it's quick simple and easy and can be read/understood by any human, operating system or programme, LR can do this automatically. Once that is done add keywords and you can set up smart of dumb collections to collect your images by whatever criteria you want. These smart/dumb collections are the basics of how you can easily find your work in LR.
Logged
Tradition is the Backbone of the Spinele

Tony Jay

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2965
Re: Planning a DAM Makeover -- advice, articles, links suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2014, 07:43:58 pm »

Nothing wrong with a date/description folder heirachy - unless that is your only organisation system.
However add keywords and then you can sort/find by any subject matter you want.

Folder organisation by subject matter is most certainly a complete waste of time as all images can be a multitude of subjects. Been there, done that and moved on.

Import and store everything by date as it's quick simple and easy and can be read/understood by any human, operating system or programme, LR can do this automatically. Once that is done add keywords and you can set up smart of dumb collections to collect your images by whatever criteria you want. These smart/dumb collections are the basics of how you can easily find your work in LR.
I agree with Jeremy's sentiments here.
Using a date-based folder organisation is an important fundamental building block for DAM.
I will also add shoot information after the date in naming the folder such as 2014-08-17_jack_jill_wedding or 2014-09-12_bondi_beach.
Images are renamed on import in a very similar way 2014-09-12_bondi_beach_0001.CR2 etc.
What this gives me are completely unambiguous filenames stored in folders that match the filenames.
Files are very unlikely to be inadvertently overwritten if they end up in another folder since they are unique and any file that is misplaced is easily noticed and the issue corrected.

However, we all agree here, that this arrangement does nothing to help with organising images in Lightroom.
This is where metadata and keywords are vital.
I will emphasise what Jeremy has already noted: folder-based systems are completely hopeless when trying to categorise images logically.
However, using keywords and metadata (this includes things such as ratings, ISO, lens used, labels etc etc), searches can be done and images found with common characteristics from anywhere in a particular catalog in Lightroom.
Although I do use the Library Filters on occasion to find and group images these are volatile and so I tend to create Smart collections that incorporate the characteristics that I want.
The advantage of Smart collections are manyfold but the two most useful are that they persist and also that any image, at any time that satisfies the inclusion criteria will become part of that Smart collection.
A single image can be included in as many Smart collections (or any other type of collection in Lightroom) as required without the need for any duplication of any image at file or folder level.
Inclusion in a collection is achieved by reference within the database (catalog).

So, in summary:
Although I pay a lot of attention to the folder structure of my image collection (the key characteristics for a folder structure include simplicity and scalability - hence the suggestion to use a date-based folder structure) I turn to keywords and metadata to organise images in Lightroom.

Tony Jay
« Last Edit: October 01, 2014, 07:52:30 pm by Tony Jay »
Logged

stevebri

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 211
Re: Planning a DAM Makeover -- advice, articles, links suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2014, 01:29:27 pm »

I agree that file names should be in folders with the same title and add simple key words on import.

However I find using a date system useless and name folders based on shoot subject. It can be client based name, or model or location. I don't sell stock so don't need to cross reference files.
If I need files from different source locations I create a collection in lightroom.

Hopefully you can glean bits from the thread that best help your own set up and circumstances.

Steve
Logged

NancyP

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2513
Re: Planning a DAM Makeover -- advice, articles, links suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2014, 11:11:19 am »

I have physical folders organized by date.
This requires that I keep up on keywording and set up the right collections. This is my downfall  :-[  I just am not all that prompt. As I am an amateur, I tend to tell myself - rainy day activity! - and I can get away with postponing the keywords/collections.  A second vote for the usefulness of smart collections.

The one thing that is totally illogical is that I have yet to integrate my Sigma Foveon files into a DAM system. This will require exporting small jpgs from Sigma Photo Pro into LR5 as proxy images to hold keywords/collections, as LR doesn't read the .x3f Foveon files. Sigma files are in physical folders by date, with folder size limited to 30 images - I make a second or third folder date_2 or date_3 if I have more images from that date - the SPP program doesn't work well with large folders.
Logged

Isaac

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3123
Re: Planning a DAM Makeover -- advice, articles, links suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2014, 11:59:22 am »

Using a date-based folder organisation is an important fundamental building block for DAM.
I will also add shoot information after the date in naming the folder such as 2014-08-17_jack_jill_wedding or 2014-09-12_bondi_beach.
Images are renamed on import in a very similar way 2014-09-12_bondi_beach_0001.CR2 etc.
What this gives me are completely unambiguous filenames stored in folders that match the filenames.
Files are very unlikely to be inadvertently overwritten if they end up in another folder since they are unique and any file that is misplaced is easily noticed and the issue corrected.

The virtue of "unambiguous filenames stored in folders that match the filenames" comes with date-based folders alone.

20140912
20140912_0001.CR2
20140912_0002.CR2

(As image files record the exposure date-time, the date of date-based folders can be the date the image was uploaded from the camera.)

"Wedding" "Jack" "Jill" "Bondi Beach" seem fine keywords.

Project name and client name seem fine keywords.
Logged

Isaac

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3123
Re: Planning a DAM Makeover -- advice, articles, links suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2014, 02:19:55 pm »

…the SPP program doesn't work well with large folders.

The old 32 bit MS VistaTM operating system, I mostly use, severely limits available RAM and that can slow down RawTherapee start-up if there are many large image files in the same folder. (And when I'm working on several multi-row composites there are likely to be quite a few large uncompressed tifs in the same folder.)

Whenever that makes things too tedious, I just copy the subset of working files I need to another folder -- work -- do what I need and then copy them back to their home folder (which is obvious from the file names).
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 04:36:10 pm by Isaac »
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up