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Solved: Unorganized files; need simple solution

Discussion in 'Digital Photography & Imaging' started by ungeek, Jan 19, 2013.

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  1. ungeek

    ungeek Thread Starter

    Dec 9, 2009
    Oh wise ones...

    Currently running Win 7.

    My online images are a real mess. I either download from camera or SD card... recently downloaded Dropbox and now everything goes there.

    Everytime I change computers (and OS) I drag all the old stuff with me. There is a different way to do something and/or different names for the same thing with each version, it seems.

    I usually use the Windows default programs, but was using Photoshop Elements for a while. Then Picasa 3 and with Win 7 Live Photo Gallery, before Dropbox took over.

    I now have about 6K images. Some are in folders by file names I've created, some by dates, some folders have altered images, yadda, etc. At least they are all on my hard drive, I think... I have a few CDs laying around, as well.

    Presently, I am getting some images ready to sell some stuff and post online. Photo Gallery doesn't allow me to resize to post online. (I don't think.) Would Picasa 3 work better?

    Very appreciative any any input you can contribute to help solve this for me.
  2. Peano

    Peano Banned

    Feb 10, 2006
    Any organizing system is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Regarding yours: When you go looking for an image, what prompts you to look for it? A few possible answers:

    1. I need those shots we took on vacation in Europe.

    2. I need samples of children's portraits that I shot in my studio over the past couple of years.

    3. I need pictures from 2003.

    You get the drift? An organizing system makes sense only if it serves your needs. Are your needs specific enough to be defined? (Studio clients. Vacations, birthdays, anniversaries and other important personal events. Dates. Etc.)

    So before you settle on any system, take a look at your history of looking for images.

    - How often have you had to look? If you rarely need to find any needles in your haystack of images, then you probably can't define any system that makes sense. Just leave them in a haystack.

    - How often do you need to search on the same "criterion" (clients, or personal events, or dates). If your searches are prompted by a variety of unpredictable criteria, then no organizing system is going to make much sense.
  3. ungeek

    ungeek Thread Starter

    Dec 9, 2009
    Excellent advice; that would likely never have occurred to me. My requirements may be erratic enough to get a lot of help from simply tagging images. I also probably need to eliminate junk before I download.

    It will likely be helpful to be able to sort by date, so I can find those 2009 road trip pics. Any business or legal stuff I can just throw into a separate folder.

    Picasa has a feature that will allow me to import all my .jeg into their folders. See any pitfalls in that? Fortuntely, I don't have a lot of files other than photos.

    Btw, you do nice work.

    Thanks, Peano
  4. ChuckE


    Aug 30, 2004
    Peano has probably said the best advice I have ever seen in one place on why and what you should be thinking in organizing photos (or anything else).

    Heed that advice and you too can become organized.
    Don't do as I do, do as he says.

    By the way, Windows does have the ability of setting up "libraries" where you do not move your collections around, by identify the exact same photos, wherever that are, as different organizations (by date, by subject, by function, etc.) and you then don't need to have multiple copies of the same images, but different ways of finding the same images.
  5. ungeek

    ungeek Thread Starter

    Dec 9, 2009

    i do use libraries, but things are all messed up and I am hoping to obtain some semblance or order. :) I didn't make multiple copies for filing purposes, but to save the orignial in case I want to re-edit it.

    Appreciate your input.
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