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Re: How do you organize your photos?

I doubt my scheme would scale to your shooting volume, but there are probably a couple of ideas you could take from it.

First, I extensively use the “select folder” feature in my cameras. If I'm shooting two different kinds of things, or I'm going on different trips, the images go in different folders, and I will if appropriate switch the camera back to using an earlier folder. Then, everything in one folder stays on the card (and nowhere else, not backed up) until I'm ready to postprocess it. This corresponds to your steps 1 to 4. Note that I have less to keep track of than you, because I probably remember which body I used for what, when.

Next, when I copy the files onto my computer (“ingest” it) all the files are renamed, and their file names are unique across my entire archive and have a “batch code” which corresponds to the folder. Once a file gets this name, it never changes. This file name looks like 202212_BATCH_007.CR3, where BATCH is a mnemonic batch code. Note that it starts with the year, month and batch code so that whatever folder the file ends up in it will be sorted that way when displayed sorted by file name. Two camera folders from the same month never have the same batch code.

On ingestion, I archive 800px thumbnails of every frame but after that am fairly ruthless in deleting crap. The thumbnails are useful to jog my memory about the sequence of events when captioning, or to get a different view of a bird or animal for identification purposes.

Once every folder on a card has been ingested, I can format the card in the camera. If it’s really important, I will wait until a macOS backup has run.

I use Capture One for my archive. Images are organised in folders on my drive; I drag them from the ingestion folder to the appropriate folder using Capture One (but if Capture One were to disappear, the folder hierarchy is still there, visible in macOS Finder). Folders are named by subject, not date; the date is redundant because of EXIF metadata and the file names. Notice that within a folder the images are sorted by month and then batch code, because of the form of the file names. A few images could be classified multiple ways, and for those I make an arbitrary choice for what will determine the folder, and place them in Capture One collections for the other attributes.

I think Lightroom, like Capture One, uses the SQLite database for its catalogue. I have no problem trusting it, as SQLite has been validated for avionics use and is super-reliable. It should have no problem handling records for millions of images, so I see nothing wrong with your decision to use a single Lightroom catalogue. I do run two for Capture One: one for bird photography, and one for the rest, but this is really for convenience.

Dec 10, 2022 at 11:32 PM

  Previous versions of melcat's message #16116785 « How do you organize your photos? »


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