What to do….. Part 1

05Mar13

I often get customers asking about what is the best way to store digital images, what program should they use to organise/edit photos, and whats the best way to print my pictures.

I am going to tackle this one over a couple of posts as all those questions deserve an answer on their own.

First question is storing images.  In todays digital age, most people download the pics to their computer and forget about them. This is leading to a generation of images being lost forever when Hard disk drives or computers fail.

Backing up images is always and i mean ALWAYS a must do thing.  Personally, i go over the top in backing up my images,  i have 2 external Hard Drives that i back up to, plus i back up to DVD and i have started using USB drives as well to back up to. USB drives being so cheap now, i buy a stack of them when they are invariably on special, and each project gets put onto a USB drive and stored. I give my DVD copies to a family member to store at their place so if the unthinkable happens, i will have a copy of the 150,000 odd images i have taken over the last 7 or 8 years.

Why do i back up to so many different media,  External Hard drives because they are cheap, and having a couple of them allows me to keep my computers free of thousands of images which helps to keep my computer fast, it also allows me to if i need to, edit an image and still have a virgin copy if i stuff it up.

Thumb drives make it easy to take a particular project to a client and the flash memory is reliable.

DVD is now considered old school, but again, easy to store with someone else and not take up acres of space. Having said that,  i am slowly starting to replace the DVD copies with USB drives as well, why because CD’s & DVD’s over time, degrade, the dyes used slowly desintegrate which effects the disc and corrupts the data on them, which makes them useless.

How do i organize such a vast setup…  this is how i like to do it, but what works for me, probably will not work for others.

on my external hard drives,  i have a folder named Images,  then that is broken down into folders depending on the type of shoot, so for me, there is Aviation, Sport,  Automotive, People, Landscape/Architecture and Other. From there, i put each shoot into a folder for that particular shoot, so each Airshow gets its own folder, Each Sport has a folder etc etc

With My USB Drives, Each shoot gets its own USB drive, i generally use big drives, 16GB or 32GB, and it gets numbered, and i log each number to a book with the shoot date, and subject and it goes into a file with the book, so if i need to get a USB drive, i look at the book, get the USB number and grab the stick and away i go.   I use this method with my DVD backups as well, though as i upgrade these to USB i have started another book and use the same numbers as the disc i am replacing.

What about organizing albums on the computer?  I do not use computer software to organize things, Personally i do not need to with my file paths.

If i am editing images, i have a Folder for images i have completed editing named complete/print files, and inside this it is set up like the main Images folder and the tree repeats itself, though inside each project folder, there is also a folder named web, which i use for images going onto various photo sharing or social media sites.

Some people find using computer software an easy way to organize their image libraries. Most camera companies have such a piece of software on the Disc’s supplied when you purchase a new camera. These are normally ok and allow you to organize by date, location and event among others.  There are other pieces of software available that do this and more.  There are free programs such as Apples iPhoto (included with most new mac computers) or Google’s Picasa, this is actually a pretty powerful little program, you can organize, do basic editing and then share the images to the world via Google+ directly from the program.  At the other end of the scale are programs like Adobe’s Lightroom, and Apple’s Aperture. These are programs designed like Picasa, but on a bigger scale, the level of organization possible is almost mind boggling, and the editing features are much more in depth and allow much more to be done to the images.

There are many ways to organize your images, but it comes down to finding the best thing for you.

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6 Responses to “What to do….. Part 1”

  1. Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect
    against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked
    hard on. Any recommendations?

    • having backups that are not on your computer are the first line of defence, making sure the backup device is not connected to your computer also helps. As for apps against hackers, a good internet security program with firewall protection is a good start, also make passwords combinations of numbers and letters that are reasonably long help as this makes it harder for hackers to crack.

  2. First of all I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick question which
    I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious
    to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing.
    I’ve had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Thanks!

    • Hi, thanks for the comments 🙂 I find i have an idea i go for it, starting is often the hardest part for me too, but if i have an idea of what i want to get across i find it pretty easy to start, its just thinking about what i want to blog about.
      As for tips, if you have an idea, start blogging, you do not have to write it all out in one go, i can take 4 days to write one post.

      Cheers and happy blogging

  3. My brother suggested I might like this blog.
    He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time
    I had spent for this info! Thanks!


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