Happy New Year! If you are like many photographers it is very likely that one of your new year’s resolutions is to get your image files organized. So, for this next series of posts that is what I am going to write about. The fancy buzz word for this process is digital asset management or DAM. If you have tons of digital files and want to really set up a very detailed system I highly recommend a book called The DAM Book. For most of you though you just want to be able to find the image that you want quickly and easily, with a minimum of effort. The good news is that with digital files this is very easy to accomplish. The bad news is it takes some discipline and some effort to setup your system on the front end.
The first step on this journey to total organization is importing the images from your card onto your computer or hard drive (and backup hard drive). For this I use a program called Downloader Pro. It is made by Breeze Systems and I love it. Once I insert a card into my reader Downloader Pro opens up and asks me if I want to do what I always do when I insert a card into the reader. To which I reply yes and it does the following; in my master image file on my external hard drive it makes a new sub-folder with the date that any images were created (if there was three days worth of shooting on the card it would make three files with three different dates) Then it puts all the images made on each date into the appropriate file. It also adds all of my copyright and contact information to the metadata of each image file. Lastly it does exactly the same thing on my backup hard drive. So now I have two exact copies of all the images on two separate hard drives. You do backup all your image files don’t you? If you don’t backup your files, you’re just rolling the dice. Sorry but it’s true, storage is cheap, your images are irreplaceable you should backup. If your files aren’t backed up, stop reading right now and go buy a second hard drive. I even have a third hard drive that I update with any new work once a month. I keep this third drive in a separate location.
Ok I’m off the soapbox. The next step is editing and rating your images I will talk about this process next week until then… backup your files! (sorry couldn’t help myself):
Good luck and good light