Old 01-21-2016, 01:52 AM   #1
bigiron
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Default How do you catalog your photographs?

I'm sure this has been covered to one extent or another but the way things get outdated so quick I wonder what routine you photogs have to file away your photographs? If you had an ideal system what software would you label and file away the shots? What systems (software) has a good search feature to either search for certain engine numbers or train ID's?
Any input would be appreciated as I would like to weed through the options and hone in the more desired ones and thanks for your time.

Rich
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Old 01-21-2016, 02:13 AM   #2
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I'm just starting to organize my photos but the system I've settled on is putting all the edited keeper in a folder and name them Date_TrainID_Location. Then in a spreadsheet in the same folder add a entry for each photo with filename, railroad, locomotive type, locomotive number, train ID, state and city location and the path for the original directory.
I'd be interested to here how others do it too.
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:11 AM   #3
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Spreadsheets? Software? Isn't life complicated enough? If your file names have the date (preferably year-month-date e.g. 2001-09-27), the relevant RR name, and the location, Windows file search will do nicely.

Where to file a particular image gets tricky if you have say, leased power leading a BN train on the MRL. Filing by date solves this minor dilemma.
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Old 01-21-2016, 06:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by miningcamper1 View Post
Spreadsheets? Software? Isn't life complicated enough? If your file names have the date (preferably year-month-date e.g. 2001-09-27), the relevant RR name, and the location, Windows file search will do nicely.

Where to file a particular image gets tricky if you have say, leased power leading a BN train on the MRL. Filing by date solves this minor dilemma.
Database theory says you don't put information in the file name, at least not the original files. Of course, doesn't mean you can't do it or it will not work for you but just be aware what happens when you want to add a "field" or make changes. Spreadsheets have built in functions for adding columns, changes etc.
Searching is much more robust and the database can be easily sorted. In addition the original file sequences are not lost.

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Old 01-21-2016, 07:50 AM   #5
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Of course, doesn't mean you can't do it or it will not work for you...
I do and it does! I have spaces between words as well.

I can find New Haven Railroad photos on my hard drive- try that here and see what happens.
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:00 PM   #6
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Or.......you could just get a copy of Lightroom and spend some time learning how to use it.

Seriously, aside from being a really nice photo editor, the key advantage of Lightroom over other processing software is its ability to catalog images. I have way over 100,000 frames on my computer. The spreadsheet would have been out of control a long time ago. Lightroom is easy to use, it does a great job of tracking changes, and the best part of all.....you never have to SAVE anything. You can always go back and change anything.
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:45 PM   #7
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What Kevin said. Lightroom is more than a developing tool - it's also great for organizing, managing and searching for photos. My library is currently at 396,781 photos (both digital and slide scans - and yes, I shoot more than just railroads), and I can put search by keyword, location, date, camera, lens or even aperture setting (essentially any EXIF or IPTC field is searchable) to get to the photo I want. At 400k photos, the queries do take a bit, but it's reasonable (20-30 seconds for a normal search). The only changes I make to the filenames when they are downloaded from the card is they are changed to this format:

YYYYMMDD-camera serial number-original filename.CR2

The reason behind inserting the camera serial number in the filename is to prevent duplicate names when I'm shooting with multiple bodies (happens often).

The other key thing I do is each shoot is in a distinct folder, again with a standard naming format:

YYYY-MM-DD - Railroad - TrainID - Location (keywords)

Makes searching quite easy...

That's my method...YMMV...
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:55 PM   #8
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Another vote for Lightroom. LOT'S of flexibility in how to catalog images, and rate them.


Kent in SD
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Old 01-21-2016, 01:35 PM   #9
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YYYY-MM-DD - Railroad - TrainID - Location (keywords)
Exactly how I name image files. Just using Windows. If the name gets too long, Windows will notify with a popup.
But for uploading to a website, I use something like 19971105v2s2 (November 5, 1997 version 2, extra sharpening).
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Old 01-21-2016, 02:46 PM   #10
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My low-end version, file-name based:

RRs.CitySTmmddyyTrainID.rawfilenumber.version.file ext

"version" applies to jpgs only

I will say it would take too much time to label all my raw files - I need to be more selective and get off the trigger - I try to rename at least one raw file so years later I can figure out roughly what it was, at least the location
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Old 01-21-2016, 11:26 PM   #11
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Thanks for the input people. For the ones using Lightroom, are you solely using that for your editing software or in conjunction with Photoshop? I ask this only because they seem to favor Photoshop for the more demanding tasks but not sure that would really pertain to the shots we see on regular basis. It's good to get a feel of works well for others in the same boat.

Thanks again, Rich

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Old 01-21-2016, 11:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigiron View Post
Thanks for the input people. For the ones using Lightroom, are you solely using that for your editing software or in conjunction with Photoshop? I ask this only because they seem to favor Photoshop for the more demanding tasks but not sure that would really pertain to the shots we see on regular basis. It's good to get a feel of works well for others in the same boat.

Thanks again, Rich
Lightroom all the way for me. I can count on my right hand the number of times I've needed to use Photoshop in the past couple years (and I only have CS2). I rarely have a need for any of the heavy editing that Photoshop allows - pretty much everything I need to do is contained within the confines of Lightroom...
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Old 01-21-2016, 11:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by railfanzone View Post
Lightroom all the way for me. I can count on my right hand the number of times I've needed to use Photoshop in the past couple years (and I only have CS2). I rarely have a need for any of the heavy editing that Photoshop allows - pretty much everything I need to do is contained within the confines of Lightroom...
Thanks Tom, that seems to be the way I'm leaning and just trying to get the whole system right the or mostly the first time, lol.

Rich
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Old 01-22-2016, 04:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by railfanzone View Post
Lightroom all the way for me. I can count on my right hand the number of times I've needed to use Photoshop in the past couple years (and I only have CS2). I rarely have a need for any of the heavy editing that Photoshop allows - pretty much everything I need to do is contained within the confines of Lightroom...
Wow - wish I could say that. With the low dynamic range of nearly all Canon cameras (11.7 vs 14.5 with Nikon (and Sony)), I find myself more and more needing to selectively edit both shadow detail and highlights, and at times, high(er) ISO noise levels (I like using "select color range" and then editing those areas separately from the rest). Course - no need to do this type of editing with day time Sun over your shoulder stuff, and to a lesser extent, night time flash photography (unless you want to "add" some light (aka: shadow details) digitally). Comes in handy for those shiny nose and bright headlights on the NEC, too. Think of it as a more precise dodge and burn. Tom - are you still using Canon? Your EXIF has replaced camera model with railroad, lol. Looking back at your pics on RP, now I'm wondering - are you even still taking pictures without a flash, lol.

As for file organization - I understand Lightroom is fantastic for that, and for keyword searches - some of which can be automatically assigned to every photo you send to Lightroom.

I have yet to use that feature but I'm quite happy with a system similar to what was described above - specifically files folders: Subject (&Location) Date.

For example: Trainfest 160122
Amtrak Tacony 160122
Zoo Washington DC 160122

ect., with the 160122 simply being 2016 Jan 22.

When you need to find an image, just look in your directory for the subject, location and /or date. Voila!
And if you properly name you image files, the the search feature within Windows works well too.

/Mitch

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Old 01-22-2016, 01:28 PM   #15
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Tom - are you still using Canon? Your EXIF has replaced camera model with railroad, lol. Looking back at your pics on RP, now I'm wondering - are you even still taking pictures without a flash, lol.
Yep, still in the Canon camp for bodies - 50D as the primary camera with the 40D as the second...both over 6 years old, and many generations "obsolete" Als, with the 50 having about 225,000 frames on it...no money in the budget for a new body (kids have a way of sucking up anything left over from the bills )...someday I'll move to a current technology... Glass, I'm still 100% Sigma...

EXIF on the JPEG is correct...looks like whatever RP is doing to extract that information is getting confused. Looks like it's getting the make and model from the IPTC Caption and/or Title fields and not the EXIF data...

As for shooting anything with the sun up/no flash - not much of late...those kids again - they not only take my money, but also my time...and I wouldn't trade it for the world...

-Tom
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Old 01-22-2016, 02:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by bigiron View Post
Thanks for the input people. For the ones using Lightroom, are you solely using that for your editing software or in conjunction with Photoshop? I ask this only because they seem to favor Photoshop for the more demanding tasks but not sure that would really pertain to the shots we see on regular basis. It's good to get a feel of works well for others in the same boat.
Hi Rich,

I pretty much do 98% of my editing in Lightroom. I still export a TIF to Photoshop Elements when I am preparing to post/print, and I will sometimes experiment with the tools there, but most of the time, I don't end up changing the image. About the only thing that Lightroom doesn't handle all that well is complex cloning and healing. Lightroom is fine for dust removal, and other simple fixes, but if I have an annoying foreground weed that needs trimming, PSE has much better tools.

As for file organization and naming conventions, I typically create one folder for each shooting day at a given location. My file naming convention is something like this:

Reporting Mark_Year Month Day_Frame Number

I used to save every frame that survived until I got home (meaning not deleted in-camera). Recently, as my storage requirements approached 2 TB, I have become a lot more discriminating, particularly on local shoots, where I can go back if I don't like the results. I am less inclined to delete stuff from expensive charters and trips that required long-distance travel. Even then, I delete anything with smoke going the wrong way, back-up moves, test shots, images with annoying obstructions, images with people in odd or unflattering positions, etc. It's amazing how much space I free up that way. I have been saving a lot of junk needlessly.
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