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How do you organise your photo folders ?

hot-fuzz

Banned
Hello all,

Having taken a fair few photos in the past 9 months i wanted to go through most of them to see if any were deemed suitable for the competition.
I thought of a few i had taken but couldnt remember where i had taken them, only when so I had to trawl through all my folders to find it.

I have my library set up such as :

The Moon
Holiday 08
Poole
Waterfall
etc etc, but they arent in date order.
What id really like is to have it in date order but with a description. But if i renamed all my folders then surely the 1st of September (01/09/08) would sit before 3rd August (03/08/08) wouldnt it??

So i was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to organise my folders better for lightroom.

Oh and whilst im on it, i remember in LR1 i could sort my photos by Camera, Aperture, mm etc, but cant find how to do that, any ideas ??

Ta for any help, im starting to get a bit bogged down with photos.

:thumbsup:
 

Ian_S

Distinguished Member
Lightroom lets you sort by date taken, so for example, even if you had a folder called holidays, and then things like Aug 08 under that, if you click on the holiday folder, then the pictures from all subfolders will be shown in correct date order. Is that what you are looking for?
 

springtide

Distinguished Member
I organsie mine all by folders of the Year - folders of the month - then folders of the subject/event/ holiday etc

Makes for a very good diary too :thumbsup:

Snap! (ish) :)

I keep all the RAWs in a single folder, but put into collections with the same names.

I tag the collections and output directories with

<year>-<month>-<subject/event/holiday>

e.g.

2008-08-Bristol-Zoo-Trip
2008-08-AVforums-Meet
 
Last edited:

hot-fuzz

Banned
I organsie mine all by folders of the Year - folders of the month - then folders of the subject/event/ holiday etc

Makes for a very good diary too :thumbsup:

Didnt think of that, making a load of folders within folders :). that should do it.

And the vids are going to be a help.

ta
 

Nikumba

Established Member
I have 3 folders.

1. RAW - In this is a folder with the date and the location eg 2008_09_28_locationanme
2. WORKING FOLDER - When I work on a RAW file, i copy it to this folder preserving the original RAW
3. SAVED - This has the same structure as the RAW folder, and will often contain a PSD

Kimbie
 

Manic78

Established Member
I go for folders...

RAW
TIFF
JPEG

Then split into Months, if necessary I have a sub folder for a big event in that month.
 
Images >
Events​
Family​
Film​
Holidays​
Temp​
Places​


Inside temp is everything I am currently working on. Once finished I then move them. Sometimes it spans about 6 months worth of images. Each sub folder is then split into year and then folders are made for what the event was.

So if I wanted Xmas 06 images it would be Events / 2006 / Xmas Party. This way I don't have to worry about which year that much. It works for me so thats all that matters.
 

Tobers

Prominent Member
One thing I really like about Lightroom is not having to worry about exactly where my photos are on my hard drive.

When I import, I use a template to make the filename stored on disk to be yyyymmdd-zzzzzzzz.cr2 (or .jpg) where yyyymmdd is the date the photo was taken and zzzzzzzz is the name given to the file by the camera. This means I can always have a unique filename for every imported file and I can find them easily.

I also get Lightroom to put the files in a folder hierarchy like this Originals>yyyy>yyyymmdd so they are easy to find if I know the date I shot the pic.

Within Lightroom, I have a hierarchy of collections (or collection sets as they seem to be these days with v2). For example, I have a "Landscapes" collection, a "Urban" collection etc. Once imported, selected, pp'd etc I'll then drag pics into the relevant collection. Some pics might go into two collections e.g. into "Landscapes" and "Competition Entries" - it doesn't duplicate the file, it just points to it from two separate places.

For more complicated stuff like the polo I do, I have a "Polo" collection, and sub-collections underneath that, one per game. This means it is easy as pie to export a whole game's shots up to my Smugmug (using the "Export to Smugmug" plugin).

Lightroom can be a bit confusing with this stuff, but once you realise that you dont need to worry about folders on your hard disk and start using collections instead, then it all becomes so much easier.
 

hot-fuzz

Banned
Lightroom can be a bit confusing with this stuff, but once you realise that you dont need to worry about folders on your hard disk and start using collections instead, then it all becomes so much easier.

Thats the thing that i think is holding me back, i like things to be neat on my PC and be the same in LR, guess i dont need to care about that.

Is this the kind of thing i will learn at your upcoming lecture on a Monday ??
 

Tobers

Prominent Member
Ah - the Monday lecture. Still need to work out what I'm going to say for that one :D.

But yes young man, you must let go of folders. Just walk away. Let Lightroom put the pics into date order folders automatically and then use collections. Far far easier especially when you need one pic in more than one collection.

Also, did you know that you can automatically back up your RAW/JPEG files as you import into Lightroom. Great if you have an external disk - just back the whole lot up without worrying about it. However, it will back up all the rubbish as well as the good stuff as its pre-processed stuff. I usually wait until I've deleted the rubbish then backup my "Originals" folder which has all the date ordered RAWs in folders beneath.
 

kBm

Distinguished Member
Thats the thing that i think is holding me back, i like things to be neat on my PC and be the same in LR

Sounds like me! :thumbsup: Has to be neat and organised! If i use a software package (ie Lightroom) to organise my photos, what if i stop using it? At least with my method, i have a back up plan.:smashin:

Interesting to see some renaming the file - i just leave it as the photo file number.

I get into trouble though when i start editing - sometimes i add 'copy' to the edited file, or what ive done eg;

file num-crop-6x8.jpg

or if i work in layers I'll flatten the image and add 'flat' to the name so i know its finished.

..but reading that back - man, i work in a complicated way! :suicide:
 

Ian_S

Distinguished Member
There's no easy answer really.

I have two main photo areas, one now controlled by Lightroom which is where all my RAW files live, and another controlled partly by Photoshop Elements.

My reason for this split is that I use a Windows Media Extender (in the shape of an Xbox 360) to view photos on the TV downstairs, which is 100x better than squeezing round a laptop screen. Media centre knows nothing about Lightroom, so if I let Lr manage all my files with dates in folders, finding them on the TV would be difficult. PSE does have a Windows Media Centre plugin that allows you to view by keyword or slideshow created within the PSE organiser, or what seems to be the family favourite, view photos by the calendar option.

I find this dual approach works quite well with Lr, as to me, the beauty of Lr is that I can make all my adjustments etc, but do not need to keep a load of 16-bit TIFF files hanging around. I can do a quick export to the PSE area of those photos I want, and print direct from RAW in Lr if needs be, or create TIFF as and when required.

I still manage my folder structure, partly becuase it makes it easier if the negative area matches the JPEG area for Windows MC viewing, and also becuase Lr collections and keywords mean within Lr you can be much more flexible. Also like others, whilst I like Lr, should something better come along, I really don't fancy having to try and reorg 20,000+ photos because the Lr structure doesn't suit the new application.
 

Tobers

Prominent Member
Also like others, whilst I like Lr, should something better come along, I really don't fancy having to try and reorg 20,000+ photos because the Lr structure doesn't suit the new application.

My plan should this happen is simply to export my Lr files from their collections into whatever new structure the better software app uses. In the meantime I'm happy to live in blissful ignorance of where everything is. Life's too short etc..
 

Ian_S

Distinguished Member
No.... What Bridge (CS3+) will do though apparently is understand keywords written to XMP files. However, personally the idea of having all those XMP files about the place is quite scary, and my experience with Bridge on CS2 didn't leave me that impressed. I'm sure it's a better tool if you share files between lots of Adobe apps, but beyond that, not so sure.
 
No.... What Bridge (CS3+) will do though apparently is understand keywords written to XMP files. However, personally the idea of having all those XMP files about the place is quite scary, and my experience with Bridge on CS2 didn't leave me that impressed. I'm sure it's a better tool if you share files between lots of Adobe apps, but beyond that, not so sure.

You can dump it to a database just like lightroom. I am sure I can group images but I have never looked at sorting out my collection in this way. The only issue is that I use other tools to look at my images. I have maybe used lightroom just as much as you have used bridge.

I do like the date_cameraname file format and might use this.

The XMP files only work on raw files. I don't have a camera that supports raw. I only have jpg raw and thats very handy with bridge and camera raw.

I might have another look tonight at it.
 

mrm3

Established Member
picasa3 has great view/folder options not matter what folders you put them in

really has come a long way

plus the integration with uploading to picasa or other sites like photobox for prints

new features like collage etc

sorry sound like an advert
 

Ian_S

Distinguished Member
You can dump it to a database just like lightroom. I am sure I can group images but I have never looked at sorting out my collection in this way. The only issue is that I use other tools to look at my images. I have maybe used lightroom just as much as you have used bridge.

I do like the date_cameraname file format and might use this.

The XMP files only work on raw files. I don't have a camera that supports raw. I only have jpg raw and thats very handy with bridge and camera raw.

I might have another look tonight at it.
Sorry, I thought you meant can Bridge share stuff with Lightroom, in which case XMP's are the only way I know of.

If you mean using Bridge instead of Lightroom, and having things like collections then you're right, I've no idea in CS3 or above. ;)
 

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