I have been on the road since February 20th, 2009 travelling around Spain. I decided to use my time on the long roads wisely, and do a task that I have been putting off for a long time-organizing my photos. So that you do not have to face the same dilemma that I have been facing for a while, let me share what I am trying to complete.
Okay, as it stands today, I have about 27,174 digital pictures. On my hard drive, that is equivalent to 30 GB (gigabytes) of space. In one word, that is ALOT! At this rate of snapping, I need to start cataloging and tagging my pictures better. Also, I need to delete some pictures that are not going to be rated with a 4 or 5 stars.
Over the years, I did not have a naming scheme, hence where my problem began. My advice would be to settle on a naming scheme for your picture files. This week, I have settled on one and I hope it is the best. From now on, when I upload pictures from my camera’s SD card I will use this format of naming: year month date short description, e.g. 2009 February 26 Cordoba Spain Mesquita; or 2009 February 20-22 Sevilla Spain Plaza de España. I try to keep each event under a separate file, and then tag each photo with more detail information like quality, location, person, and event. There are several programs on the market bidding for your business. The investment is worth it since tagging each picture accordingly will enable you to find them more readily tomorrow, or in the next 5, 10, or 20 years down the road.
I currently use Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition 3.2, which came loaded on my computer, but there are other photo organizers, some that are free downloads (e.g. Picasa), and others ranging in price depending on the features you need. For digital scrapbooking, I like Photoshop Elements which ranges in price from $41 to $140 depending on the version purchased. For professionals, or if you want to brave the learning curve there are programs like Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Bridge (bundled with CS4), $299;$699, respectively). There are also photosharing sites online that will save your pictures for you, for instance Flickr, Photobucket and Picasa Web Albums. However, I would recommend using these as an additional backup of your precious photos.
I have been taking digital pictures since 2001, so I have 8 years of pictures that are not tagged properly, now you can imagine why I have been procrastinating on this overwhelming task. If you are just getting into digital photography, please do not be like me and start organizing your photos from the start. You will be able to locate them and enjoy them so much better.
In the event you want to be able to retrieve your pictures and get to the fun part- scrapbooking, of course then, tagging and rating them is a must.
If you are reading this far, I hope you have found this information at least a bit useful. Got to go now, DS2 just fell off the bed.