What a mess!


Prominent Member
Been slacking on the taking pictures front recently, partly because I know we have a hideous mess of photos dating back 10 years or so strewn across 3 laptops and a couple of hard drives.

As such I decided to try and finally organise them all and start removing ones that are not needed.

Several hours later I think I have all my photos consolidated onto 1 external drive, some 25,000 or more images across 400 or so folders/subfolders :eek:

Now I know there are multiple copies of some images, but I also found many files with the same name that are actually different pictures, i.e. the numbering got reset or multiple cameras using the same format.

So what I would like to do is find and use a tool that will search through my external drive and do 2 things. First, rename each file based on EXIF date of picture taken combined with the image name. Second, place the renamed file into a folder structure such as Year then Month e.g.

I will then go through the images with the Mrs and we will start removing ones we do not really need/want and we can then either add additional metadata for events like holidays/birthdays or do further subfolders to denote these events.

While there are tools out there that seem to be able to do this, has anyone here actually used one for this purpose? If so, which one did you use?

Or should I just be doing something completely different!

Many thanks in advance for you input



Prominent Member
Adobe Lightroom will do this - I use it for processing of RAW files from my DSLR.

When importing from the camera (or any other file location you specify), it will copy the files to a structure you define - I use folders per year, then within that folders per day, based on the exif date.
At the same time it renames the files - and there are a number of options on how it does this - I use Custom + original, to give me files like 'A900-2014-012345.raw', where 'A900-2014' is the custom string (indicating I used an A900, in 2014) and '01245.raw' is the original file name.

Once in light room, it has extensive cataloguing capabilities - keyword tags, collections, etc.


Prominent Member
Thanks for that. I see LR is up to v5 these days.

Is it the only version worth considering or should I look out for a second hand earlier version. (In regards this software I have no idea!)



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