View Full Version : Organization and File Naming

2-Jul-2016, 09:16
Hey everyone. My scans are a mess at the moment, and I am trying to get organized (I'm a bit OCD) before I do any more scanning, which I have around 25 sheets and a few 120 rolls to do. I'm trying to figure out a useable naming scheme and file structure for keeping my scans strait.

How do you organize your files and how do you do your naming (LF sheets as well as roll film)? I have some ideas on how I want to organize it, but I need some more ideas to kick it over the edge a bit and possibly see if I'm missing something I may need.

Thanks everyone, and for fellow shooter in the USA, Happy 4th (weekend)!

2-Jul-2016, 10:30
I use date and film size ...ie 2016-0702-45-001

2-Jul-2016, 11:10
I import everything into lightroom. File names are 'czahller' followed by image capture date & time (taken from the camera if digital, approximate time as recorded in my notes if analogue), e.g., czahller-20160106-10-27-01. I record geotag, keywords, a title & caption, and also to fill in the "event" and "person" shown IPTC fields, if applicable. After that it's a matter of using LR's 'search' feature to find the image.

Images are organized in dated folders during import.

I use a plugin called AnyFilter (http://www.johnrellis.com/lightroom/anyfilter.htm) for advanced search capability. The extended search (http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/extended-search) plugin is similar, but I haven't tried it. Will report back if I do.

2-Jul-2016, 11:18
OK, just downloaded & tried "extended search." It does not support IPTC search, so I will still be using AnyFilter.

2-Jul-2016, 11:21
I also I'm looking for a better organizing method. But here's how I've been managing since 2008:

[Format Folder]>[Date of Image Group + Subject Folder]>[2016-07-01 - Subject Name (camera)(film stock)(developer)(developing method(tank or tray)).psb]

It's descriptive enough for me, but it's hard to search for specific images unless I know when they were taken. Fortunately I'm young and my archive only goes back so far, but I don't think my method is sustainable throughout my career.

2-Jul-2016, 11:28
I think the first thing to do is to define a folder structure, i.e. how do you want to identify scans and any subsequent versions of the image.

By 'Date Taken' is one way. By 'Subject' is another, By 'File Type' is still another.

If you use 'By Date', then all images from that date would go into that folder. For example;

(Folder Name By Date) 2016-0702
(Files in By Date) 2016-0702-001-scan
(Files in By Date) 2016-0702-001-masterfile
(Files in By Date) 2016-0702-001-Print-8x10
(Files in By Date) 2016-0702-001-Web

A similar scheme would hold true 'By Subject'

If you use 'By File Type', then you would have something like...

(Folder Name Scans)
(Files in Scans) 001-scan
(Files in Scans) 002-scan
(Files in Scans) 003-scan
(Folder Name 'MasterFiles')
(Files in MasterFiles) 001
(Files in MasterFiles) 002
(Files in MasterFiles) 003
etc, for other file types.

I have my LF negs numbered sequentially, and I use 'By File Type'. For example:

(Folder No-Edit-Scans)
(Files in No-Edit-Scans) 001-sf.tif
(Files in No-Edit-Scans) 002-sf.tif
(Files in No-Edit-Scans) 003-sf.tif
(Folder Name 'MasterFiles')
(Files in MasterFiles) 001-mf.psd
(Files in MasterFiles) 002-mf.psd
(Files in MasterFiles) 003-mf.psd
(Folder Name 'Web-Images')
(Files in Web-Images) 001-Web.jpg
(Files in Web-Images) 002-Web.jpg
(Files in Web-Images) 003-Web.jpg

If you need any clarification, shoot me PM.

2-Jul-2016, 13:18
"Siri, find all the pictures of red cars taken last year."

The Joker
2-Jul-2016, 13:40
tricky one to answer becasue it depends whether you like to sort files by date or by name. Its much easier to find files by a meaningful name than a date and being able to sort by name helps me greatly. So I would use name-date.

Then for name I use:

country-county-location (such as town or village) -format-subject-date (in format yyyymmdd)

of course you can't then sort by date. However, in windows its very easy to use explorer to to search on date so you can just put *201606* in the seach and you get a list of all files created in 2016 06. You can also easily search on country or county or location in the same way so there is no explict need to split photos into different folders.
However, I split my landscapes into folders country/format/location which does usually give me a much smaller set of images to search using explorer. You can still of course search from the top level folder holding the country and sub folders for a subject which could be subjects name or type such as portrait-smith or lake.
But thats just me, you'll likely want to organise according to your own preferences and search types.

Then there is the question of the software you are using becasue there is a lot of software that allows you to modify the iptc and exif data on the file and also to add numerous tags to each image in the softwares database. Adding data to the file itself is always a better idea because if your database of tags gets corrupted you lose it and there is the possibility of database and image files becoming out of sync. But if data is in the file itself then then they all need to be opened to get at the data to do searches on it so its swings and roundabouts. In short if you are using software with a databse full of image data and tags you can search, then make sure you back the software databse and all your image files together on a regular basis so you keep them in sync.
Keeping the image data in the file is best and with decent software it will scan all new files (file date changed) just once unless the file date changes and build/refresh its database so if db does become corrupt it can be rebuilt from the image files albeit a time consuming operation.
The software will provide much more advanced searching than windows explorer does, especially if you have put a lot more information inside the file than in the filename. It all requires being pedantic about cataloging each and every image as you scan/load them into your software.

Jim Jones
2-Jul-2016, 18:00
For several decades I've assigned consecutive serial numbers to each roll or sheet of film. It would have been better to assign a date in YYYYMMDD format with letters added when more than one rolls are developed in any one day. One line in a text file mentions all subjects in that roll. A search in a word processor points to all instances of that subject.

Daniel Stone
2-Jul-2016, 20:43
Every calendar year, I "restart" my count of rollfilm, sheet film and digital files I shoot during that year. Trashed rolls/sheets still "count". Basically, my file naming goes as follows:

Sheet film:

Roll Film:

DanielStone_YearShot_MonthShot_CameraUsed_OutingF rame#

I just like to keep it simple :)