This blog goes on under a different name and new web address from January 2011. Please follow me...

Beyond the Lone Islands

Friday, 18 June 2010

Mixed Up


This week I’ve spent some time trying to come up with better ways of (re-)organizing my photos on the computer.

Right now I’m at a stage in the process where I seem to be in danger of just making more of a mess of things than I started out with.

I switched to digital photography in 2006; but for the first three years, I still only took about 3-400 pictures a year. I filed them per month, and it was not a problem. I also had prints made of the best ones and continued to paste those into proper photo albums.


Last year in July, all of a sudden I went photo-crazy. I had been keeping this blog for six months. In July on top of that I joined the shared photo blog Soaring Through The World. From then on, I started taking my camera with me where ever I went. And made use of it… It’s been fun, and I’ve learned a lot . BUT. Since 1 July 2009 until now I have taken over 5300 photos. (My camera is keeping count.) I.e. more photos per month than I used to take per year. (It should also be noted that I have not even been further than ~20 km away from my home during this time…)

The 5300 are only “straight from the camera” shots and do not include edited copies, or collages, or scanned pictures. Those come into “problem” categories of their own.


I’m sure that in this digital age of ours, I’m not the only one with photo-organizing problems. What I’d be curious to know is:

How do you do it? How do you file and store your digital photos in a clever way that makes it easy (?) to
find your way back to the pictures that you no longer remember exactly when you took?


I started out with a filing system which came with my camera. But that got messed up when I started moving pictures around, making changes in my original folder system. Then I started over. Then my (old) computer crashed. I had the originals saved, but not my edits. I started over again, on my (old) laptop. And then a few months later started over again on my new laptop; now tagging all new photos in Photoshop Elements. After a few months I find this too is growing into a complex science in itself, with Categories and Sub-Categories and Keyword tags… which, it seems, do not get automatically transferred to copies I make using other software (like Picasa).


Picasa on the other hand goes kind of crazy when I start making extra copies of folders, like I’m doing now (so as to be sure I don’t lose anything while messing around).


What I was hoping to accomplish was really to simplify things, by abandoning a system with too many sub-folders (which were not a big problem with Picasa, but causing me a lot of tiresome clicking and searching with Windows Live Writer).

If anyone has some words of wisdom and experience to share, please do so before I get even worse entangled…!



By now you’re probably wondering about the photos in this post. The common thread between text and pictures is supposed to be expressed in the title - “mixed up”…

Yesterday I went to have a look at a temporary fashion outlet in an exhibition hall (originally an engine shed). The new clothes for sale turned out to be all mixed up with old machinery and stuff borrowed from the Textile Industry Museum.

I did not find anything I wanted to buy (typical teenage fashion) but it was an interesting place to take photos!

Oh, and you should imagine disco music in the background, too (rather loud).

Mixed Up: Mixed together in an uncertain manner; confused, muddled or bewildered.


Sandra said...

Now I am Mixed up! ha ha, just kidding. this is great and I can relate. i started digital in 02 and went totaly beserk and by the time i bought camera number 4 Oh MY! talk about storage problems. i purchased an external harddrive and the only thing on it is my photos. i have them in folders that I name and inside are other folders. I have one that says park trips, that has inside, name and date of trip folder. my park trip looks like Emerson Point jun 06 Emerson Point June 07 etc. i made folders for archtecture and trees. my flowr folder is huge. it says flowers and botantainc and the folders inside are by, type or color. if i know the names it is the names if not it is by color. are you confused yet?

Ginny said...

I love this post!!! Especially the pretty spools in that see through plastic bin, that would make a beautiful poster if you blow it up! I figured you took all these photos close to home, that's amazing. You are able to see the beauty and goofiness in everything and have an extremly artistic eye!! Many people have to do widespread travel to get fresh pictures with new thoughts like you do. You were born to blog!!! Your comment about the elephants on my blog just cracked me up!!! Well, you are better off than me! I can't get down on the floor in the first place, forget about getting up! I went through the same picture progression that you are explaining! My organization is very similar to Sandra's. I don't make sub-folders, because they get lost and I don't see them from the main list. I just have TONS of picture folders, all alphabetical. When "Flowers And Plants" got too big, I made an extra "Plants In My Yard" and moved many of them there. Ihave "Sculptures" "Animals", folders with the names of places or cities where we went, one says "The Sky", and any that have no suitable category I put under "Future Blog Posts". But one trick is to delete everything as soon as you blog it. I put so much in every day that I have to take out, or it would be unmaneageable. Anything I want to keep, I keep it in the camera or print it out.

GB said...

I keep all my originals in folders by camera and by month. These are backed up as they are so I don't lose the originals.

I'll email you tomorrow with the details. It's 0130 and I'm getting tired.

rae said...

This is a great question, and one I've wondered myself, about my photog friends. I look forward to a future post where you explain how you managed to straighten it all out!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin