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organizing photos

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by akumalic, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. Interested to hear what you all do/use to organize your photos. I've been archiving them all onto DVD for several years now and didn't do much labeling the first few years. Now I'm trying to tackle re-organizing 100,000+ images (I never deleted anything before :eek:  ).

    I'm currently using iPhoto, but it's crapped out on me about 1/4 of the way thru (several weeks of working nights on this). Now I pretty much have to start over.

    Any thoughts or ideas are much appreciated.
  2. rsprouse


    Jan 25, 2006
    Encinitas CA
    DAM (Digital Asset Management) is a big topic and I don't pretend to be an expert, but I'll share a little about where I am with it. Over the past few years I have made a few attempts to get my arms around it, and have purchased and tried several programs to help, including Bridge in Photoshop, Nikon View, Photo Mechanic, and iView Media Pro (now MS Expression Media).

    Most recently I learned about IDimager and bought it. This is the first time I have felt like I have a tool I can live with indefinitely. It is powerfule, flexible and complex, yet I find I can use it comfortably. After the previous aborted attempts to get organized, I am finally making some real progress at DAM. I think this is a robust, "industrial strength" solution that you can't outgrow, and the author is extremely helpful and supportive.

    I also bought the Controlled Vocabulary Keyword Catalog so that I can establish consistency in my keyword assignments. It is overkill for a hobbyist, but I wanted to feel I am doing this "right," for once and for all. I guess that's my compulsive side showing.

    Hope this helps.

    -- Russ
  3. Another vote for Mediapro/Expressions Media. Especially since MS and Nikon are now technology partners, there may be some integration there.

  4. Pesto126


    Apr 13, 2006
    Northeast USA
    As mentioned above, DAM tools are the ultimate personal choice - some love a product while others find it confusing or hard to use. Some are looking for just a simple browser while more still are looking for a complete package - the choice really needs to be yours.

    I recommend you download and try as many as you can and see what works best for you and your photos/collection. Since you have so many images offline, a system that includes full size previews will be important.

    I use Idimager and can't say enough good things about it - great developer, strong community, fantastic cutting edge product. But - it can be complicated to just dive into . If you stick with it for the trial period - I think you'll discover why so many have converted to it.

    In any event - please also check out my DAM review website over at www.DAMRoundup.com - I have extensively reviewed a number of products there with screenshots to show you how I feel about each application.

    I am currently working on 4 other reviews which just need to be formatted and put together from my notes - a lenghtly process but something I hope to have done by next week.

    Good Luck with your search... its an adventure!
  5. woodie


    Aug 2, 2008
    Central Ohio
    You'll get lots of suggestions and of course the best one is the method you will use consistently. That said, here's my 2 cents.

    I'm a believer in keeping as much data within the image file as possible. Others will say sidecar files and application databases are fine for data. Here is my rationale for keeping data within the image file. You've experienced a crash of some kind and say you need to start over. If your data -keywords, location, etc.- is already stored in your image file, re-reading the file will bring the data into at least some cataloging programs. I use iMatch and it will create hierarchical categories from keywords, location, etc. I tried iDImager and it would do the same. If I remember my trial of Lightroom, it also reads embedded data (although it won't write to NEF or other raw formats).

    Someone's going to say sidecar files will work just as well. Yes, they may, if they are in sync and stored with your image file. My thinking is that anytime there are two files that need to be synchronized and kept together there is always the possibility of getting out of sync or separated. Just my insecurity I guess.

    If you store cataloging data only in the database of the application and it fails and you have no backup, I don't know what you can do other than start re-entering data.

    Maybe that was 5 cents worth (or worthless, you be the judge).

    Oh, yeah. I use Photo Mechanic for most "up front" work: ingesting, culling, keywording, rating. I use iMatch as my DAM software. I could use it for everything but the pair work well for me. Both write to NEF files. Before switching to Photo Mechanic, I used ViewNX for the initial work.
  6. Thank you all for the great input. It really is a daunting task, but it's been a great exploration going back through old photos that I haven't brought out and used/shown in years. I guess I'll have to keep on with the trial/error and see what works best for me. I've been playing with iView Media Pro... something I bought a while back and never really used much. May need to look into the Adobe Suite or Aperture as well. Any other comments or suggestions are much appreciated.

    Thanks again.
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