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Thousands of Images, Now What?: Painlessly Organize, Save, and Back Up Your Digital Photos

ISBN: 978-0-470-58208-4
224 pages
March 2012
Thousands of Images, Now What?: Painlessly Organize, Save, and Back Up Your Digital Photos (0470582081) cover image

Tackle the challenges of digital photo file management!

If you find yourself with more digital photos than you know what to do with or at a loss as to how to begin organizing them all, then Digital Asset Management (DAM) is your solution. This incredibly helpful book answers such common questions as: how should I manage the sheer volume of images? How can I make sure my pictures are safely backed-up? How can I efficiently categorize my images so that I can quickly find the one I'm seeking?

Professional photographer and author Mike Hagen shows you how to organize, save, and back-up your digital photos by creating a filing and back-up system that are both efficient and effective. He walks you through the steps necessary to successfully maintain an orderly archiving system so that you can quickly store, save, and retrieve your images.

  • Digital Asset Management (DAM) helps you organize, save, and back-up your digital photos
  • Explains how to efficiently and effectively create an intuitive filing system that is right for you
  • Answers frequently asked questions regarding storing, saving, and retrieving images
  • Encourages you to create a successful digital photo archive that, once created, will be easy to maintain and use

Say "so long" to your days of being a digital photo pack rat when you put this easy-to-understand, helpful book to use!

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About the Author iii

Introduction xi

Chapter 1 Building a Manageable Image Collection 1

Understanding the Elements of Your Digital System 2

Image Capture 3

Downloading/Ingesting Your Images 4

Renaming Your Images 4

Backing Up Your Images 5

Adding Metadata to Your Images 5

Grouping and Arranging Images 6

Archiving 6

Maintaining an Image Collection 7

Exporting, Outputting, and Publishing Your Photographs 7

Start with a New System Now—Don't Wait 8

How to Deal with Your Existing, Unorganized Images 8

Make Your Software Work for You, Not the Other Way Around 10

Organize Your Images in a Manner That Makes Sense to You 10

Don't Let Your Software Dictate How It Has to Be 12

Understanding the Terminology 13

Digital Asset Management 14

Databases 14

Browsers 15

Backups 16

Archives 16

Chapter 2 Database or Browser-Based Photo Management System: Which Should You Use? 17

An Overview of the Two Organizational Methods 18

Database Organizational Systems 19

Working in the Database Environment 22

Enhancing Photos in Database Software vs. Using Dedicated

Editing Software 25

Re-Importing Images into a Database 28

Browser-Based Organization 30

Working in a Browser Environment 31

Chapter 3 Downloading and Ingesting Your Images 35

Card Readers 36

Download Methods 39

Using Your Operating System's Automated Tools 39

Ingesting Images Manually: Should You Use Copy and Paste or Drag and Drop? 40

Using Automated Software 42

Ingest by Tethered Shooting 50

Renaming Files 51

Adding a Copyright Notice 55

Geo-Tagging Images 57

Filing and Organization 57

Date-Oriented Folders 59

Subject-Oriented Folders 60

Location-Oriented Folders 62

Initial Backup 64

Should You Convert to DNG upon Download? 64

To Delete or Not Delete? 66

Chapter 4 Keywords, Ratings, and Tags 67

The Importance of Keywords 67

How to Apply Keywords 69

Keyword Conventions 70

The Keyword Pyramid 72

Making Sure Your Keywords Are Readable in Different Programs 81

Star Ratings and Color Labels 82

Star Ratings 82

Color Labels 84

Designing a System That Doesn't Use Keywords 86

Data Details 87



XMP 88

Chapter 5 Finding Your Images 89

Searching a Database 90

Photoshop Lightroom 91

Aperture 97

MediaPro 100

iPhoto 102

Searching in a Browser 103

Mac Finder/Windows Explorer 103

Nikon View NX2 104

Photo Mechanic 105

Adobe Bridge 107

Summary 108

Chapter 6 Protecting Your Data 109

Working with Your Files 110

Distinguishing Between Working Files and Backup Files 112

Dealing with Derivative Files: Composites, Panoramas, 114

and HDR Merges

Backing Up Your Files 119

Keeping Your Backup Media Current 120

Backup Methods 122

Copy and Paste 122

Using Apple's Time Machine Backup Utility 123

Automated Backup Software 123

Cloning 124

My Disk Is Full, Now What? 127

How to Migrate to New Storage Devices 127

How to Migrate to New Storage Technologies 128

Different Storage Methods 129

Internal Hard Drives 129

External Storage Devices 130

Optical Media (DVD/Blu-ray) 131

RAID Systems 133

Network Attached Storage 134

Cloud Storage 135

Chapter 7 Working in the Field 137

The Logistics of Traveling with Camera Gear and Digital Backups 138

Backup Technologies for the Field 141

Laptop Computers 141

Tablet Devices 143

External Hard Drives 145

Camera Setup 146

Synchronizing Date/Time Across all Cameras 146

File Numbering in Camera 147

Memory Cards 148

Downloading in the Field 150

Formatting Memory Cards vs. Deleting Photos 152

Data Safety While Traveling 153

Chapter 8 A Look at Different Systems 155

A Summary of Different DAM Methods, Benefits, and Risks 156

Saving All Images on One Computer 158

Saving Images on Your Computer and Backing Up to an External Device 159

Storing All Images on External Drives 161

Advanced Systems 163

RAID Systems 163

Server-Based Storage 164

Network Attached Storage 165

Cloud-Based Strategies 165

Chapter 9 Sharing Images with Others 167

Protecting the Originals 168

Sharing Your Photos by Using Flickr, 500px, Facebook, and Google+ 171

Flickr 171

500px 173

Facebook and Google+ 174

Photo Blogs 177

Slideshows 180

Photo Books 183

Formatting Images for E-Mail and the Web 187

Formatting Images for Print 191

Ink-Jet Printing 192

Lab Printing 194

Glossary 195

Index 199

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Mike Hagen is a professional photographer who specializes in location photography and workshops. As the Managing Director of the Nikonians Academy, he is the driving force behind this highly successful organization that operates photo workshops and adventure trips all around the world.
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