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Thread: Photo file system for a family of four?

  1. #1
    Member Terryw's Avatar
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    Photo file system for a family of four?

    Ok , so I finally have my new PC, have moved all the old photos to a 1Tb portable Hard drive(is a bit like the box of old prints under the bed that will get sorted out one day!!) and I want to establish a new file system that will keep things in better order as we put new pics on the PC. I know that Lightroom and picassa both offer useful cataloging options but there are 4 of us use this PC. I am the only one likely to shoot RAW and spend much time in post processing and I will use Lightroom 2 for that.

    Should my file sytem be as follows:
    my pictures
    Terry
    Cheryl
    Susan
    Jenny

    with separate folders for each of us in the my pictures folder. Then each of us develop a file tree inside our names according to year, month etc.

    cheers

    Terry

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    Hi Terry,

    You might have a fun time trying to get the whole family follow one system. My suggestion is to use Breeze Systems Downloader Pro. It can be set up to run on recognition of a card reader being inserted so this might be the only challenge you have to overcome with family training.

    You can then set the preferences to download the files into different folders. Depending on how your family logs into the PC you could set up settings in DL Pro like this.

    C:\Documents and Settings\{O}\My Documents\My Pictures\{Y}\{Y}_{m}\{Y}_{m}_{D}

    The {Y}\{Y}_{m}\{Y}_{m}_{D} map out as \2009\2009_04\2009_04_22\ and if you have a Canon Camera then DL Pro picks {O} as Owner Name. You can set the Owner name though EOS Utility. If the Owner Name is the same their Windows Logon then this will work perfectly..... but fails miserably if you all share the same camera.

    Of course all this might be usless if you don't have a Canon, but it might give you some ideas. The other major hole in my suggestion is that it makes it harder for you to backup everybodies photos as they are not in one place.

    PS do you have another copy of those files on the external HD? Don't make it your only copy.
    Greg
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    My filing structure is based on

    User
    Camera
    Year
    Date and Place
    (where the place could be a specific holiday destination or whatever, not just the specific place each shot was captured.)

    I also break up particular sessions at the Year directory where I may have tested a particular lens. So that if I just got myself a lens and want to refer to those sets of images I'll make a folder called SigNikrondoodle 10-500mm /f1.4 with a gazillion images in there of the same boring lamp post, and 90% of them are blurry or unsharp!.... they are strictly for testing and thus no big deal if I forget to back them up or accidentally delete 'em.

    Other folder directories I create may be for images I capture while at work, as an example. Not work related images, but while I'm out on a job I may have time to stop for some pics.
    So I'll have a folder named Work with sub folder in there appropriately named by the destination of where my job took me too(eg Year/Work/20090421_Bendigo)

    Other examples to help could be along the lines of.. Auntie Mary's 90th birthday or Sister Sally's house warming.. etc.

    I find it's easier to create specific folders for specific events/shoots which then makes it easy to locate that shot that you took in 2006 at cousin Mohammeds barmitsva, where the folder will be called 20060401_Cousing Mohammeds barmitsva

    I have no images in My Pictures folders as I find that annoying.. and I have a dedicated 320G drive for photos only anyhow.

    if you can, now that you have a new PC get yourself a large dedicated internal drive for your images.
    If you're a magpie like the rest of us, then you'll eventually overload your current PC with 500 Terabytes of photos, all on the same PC drive as the operating system, you'll notice the slow down in performance. Keep the operating system drive as empty as possible, which should keep performance up to good levels.
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    Terryw's Avatar
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    what's the problem with the My Pictures foler?

    Thanks for your suggestions guys. Arthur what's the issue with the my pictures folder and what's the advantage in creating another folder outside of that if I don't have a separate onboard HD just for photos?

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Nothing!

    I only mentioned that, because as the number of files increases exponentially over the next year or so, the performance decreases by the inverse square root of the natural logarithm of the number of files... multiplied by ten.... thousand!

    LOL been through that a long time ago(and that was before I had a digital still camera), as I used to love making (weird/strange) home videos with my DV cam.

    secondary 120Gig drive became a 250G drive in no time, and now a 320 Gig drive.. but that's on top of the other 160 drive I had lying around and the 250G drive is a mirrored copy of the 320G drives(in RAID format) for my OS!

    Thousands of drives Gazillions of Bytes.. and it's still not enough!
    I haven't taken a video for nearly 3 years, as I've been concentrating more on digitial stills.. and very soon I'll end up getting my DV cam back off the ex.. then I'm really in trouble!

    Oh! ps. on top of the 4 drives in my PC(and believe me, if I had more IDE connectors I'd have more drives too! ) I also have a measly 1Tb external drive.

    This isn't all just for redundancy, it's taking its toll on actual space. My main photos 320Gig drive only has 60G's of space remaining. That may sound like a lot, but in reality it's only 7 or 8 more full CF cards using the D300.

    All that data on the main PC drive is not good for speed.
    As for why you'd want to separate images and not use the Windows default My Pictures folder.. future proofing!

    As every generation of camera seems to double the number of pixels that the sensor accommodates, there is a very high likelihood that your next P&S camera may have 25Meg file sized jpgs!

    As for any advantage to not using My Pictures... there is none if you don't have a separate drive.
    BUT!! starting a carefully thought out and structured system now, is going to make it easier to wean yourself off the Windows default system ... which you may appreciate later on in life.

    Try to turn off as many of those those bells and whistles the windows interface offers.. automatically opening windows to tell you that a camera has been plugged in, and those specific window explorer styles for photos or movies or files(optimise folder for specific purposes??) etc.. they all have an effect on performance.

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    You have been given some good ideas for filing so I will leave that alone: my suggestion is "delete delete delete"; we take far too many photos of the same thing; be hard (but reasonable) with yourself and delete anything that does not make the grade; after all; do you ready need those four images Aunty Jack with a cup of tea.


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    I think this sounds good. For my RAW files I have folders for each month (eg Apr09) and inside them folders named yyyymmdd and a keyword to remind me. I keep the original camera generated file numbers

    Processed images go into folders wuith a descriptive name and the date
    Odille

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