Tagging and cataloging 101:
Hi folks, the topic up above is something that many newbies to photography don't concern themselves with.
They think, I don't really need to fuss with such stuff as I'm only doing this as a hobby/pastime/fun thing/etc.
There are many ways to catalog your photos, the primary one being a solid hierarchical archive system as a beginning.
That is, you may place your family photos in a folder(called a directory) named family.
You may place your Bali holiday photos in a folder called Bali 2015 or whatever.
Good(ish) but until you have collected an absolute ton of images, you don't realise the flaws inherent in such a system.
FWIW: I also use this hierarchical directory structure, and have done so from about day two!(not day one).
That is, for the first few hundred photos, I just used the folder structure that the software provided by default. So images went into folder 0006 and 0007 for a while in my My Pictures directory.
All images were called DSC_0001, DSC_0002 .. etc.
So that I had separation(in the different folders) so that different files didn't overwrite each other .. but the issue came if I collated some images somewhere else to share/display/upload/etc.
That is DSC_0001 in folder 0006 had the same file name as DSC_0001 in folder 0007. If I uploaded both those images(not the folders) to somewhere else on the same location it either overwrote one file, or asked if I wanted too .. etc. Painful and not ideal.
So your primary concern as a hobbyist photographer is to be sure you name each photo appropriately.
My file naming convention works for me in that it's quite simple where I name each file according to the camera it was shot with and then a never ending file sequence.
I like the DSC_xxxx system as it's easy to trace back to a day/date/series if an issue arose somewhere(this has happened before, and so I've used it for a long time.
As the number counter approaches 9999 and then resets to 0000, I pre-empt this point and change the file name from DSC_ to DSD_ on the camera.
In effect, I have images called D800E_DSC_0001, D300_DSC_0001 and D70s_DSC_0001.
The simple point is that it's all to easy to forget to rename something somewhere and lose stuff(which has happened to me very early on!) so with my system, which works perfectly for me, this has never happened again and if I need to trace an image somewhere called D300_DSD_0008, it's easy to do .. something like why am I missing D300_DSD_0009 in a sequence, such as a pano stitch effort or something.
The image transferring program automagically adds the prefix(or suffix if you like) to the images.
So at the most basic level of cataloging file name and directory location are really the primary start point.
Tagging: tagging is a system where a word is entered into the file somehow to give it a meaning or reference as to what that image relates too.
So I shot some landscapes in Bendigo late one day of an old ruined building. My keywords can be something like 'sunset' 'landscape' 'ruin' 'building' 'Bendigo' 'rural' etc.
it just gives me a way to find a type of image if I ever want too, or in some cases I can pinpoint where I was at a specific time and date if I need too.
If you haven't ever tagged your images and then searched them via a subsequently constructed catalog, you can't really appreciate the how important this is.
With a few thousand images and a year or two of images, it may not seem important.
I could easily locate an image of a chapel in Bendigo I shot a few years back, but what is hard to do, is locate all images of this chapel I shot in Bendigo .. ever!
I can find all the tagged images of this specific subject, but I know I have some more where I haven't tagged them.
The thing is, that I may have not specifically been to Bendigo on a particular occasion, but may have briefly passed through, so if I had been to Swan Hill, or Echuca instead and tagged the images as Echuca/Swan Hill instead .. Bendigo is a useless term to use to search for any of those items.
For those that don't know the area, Swan Hill/Echuca is beyond Bendigo and it's trivial to pass through Bendigo on the way there or back. The point is that your keywords, or more accurately tagged information are important, not where you thing you shot a series of images.
The point with tagged info is that there are a few types of this data. The one I use is called IPTC info. Keywords are another area of tagged data, as is GPS data, as is EXIF.
The most recent addition to tagged data created by the industry associations is Adobe's XMP dataset.
XMP encompasses all of the old style embedded data sets into one, but I have yet to see any real advantage of it, and have come across some limitations(for my purposes).
Those data types are separately allocated areas of a file that can be written too within an image.
This is just an intro into the IMPORTANT world of tagging images. I don't know the exact meaning of the word cataloging with respect to photography, and I've seen many notions of it ...
... but for me, cataloging is a system where the data of embedded or attached notations for a file can be searched to effect the location of a specific(or set) of file(s).
In the next post, I'll explain some of the hint's tips I've collated over the years, and some of the drawbacks of proprietary tagging systems I've dealt with.
This will include a now foolproof method I use to tag my images.
All and sundry are welcome to add their own points of views, tips, warnings etc, as well as ask questions. I'm curious as to what others do for tagging and cataloging and how they prevent a total failure of their systems too.