Organization in the Digital Age

by Lindsay Adler www.lindsayadlerphotography.com info@lindsayadlerphotography.com
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More important than ever...
Organization is even more important than with film Want to spend our time behind the camera, not behind the computer Possible to lose images forever if disorganized, not archiving... lost ‘in the void’ Can slow computer to a halt, lose ALL

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Why Get Organized?
Don’t loose images to corruption, misplacement Productivity: Save Time, and Time = Money! Ensure future access to image: catalogue and file type Be able to update system, images for future technologies

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#1 Goal: PROTECT your images
From corruption, natural disaster From misplacement From changes in file types From... yourself!

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What we will cover...
Capture Camera to Computer: “Ingestion” Images in Progress: “Working Files” Computer to Archive Thinking of the Future...

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“The Rules”
Get a System Consider personal requirements Record system, Maintain System Aim for longevity No repeat actions

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What NOT to do! But we ALL do!
Have files with original file name Have DCIM on computer Name file “cat.jpg” or “cathedralSpain.jpg” Have one copy of your images (and have them on your computer’s hard drive)

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It’s ALL about the WORKFLOW
Get organized and Stay Organized

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All about the workflow...
Workflow taking the same steps every time to get organized, stay organized methods of handling and organizing digital images/content THE GOAL: to develop a workflow habit of going through the same storage/organizational process EVERY TIME. Keep you organized, saves time, and keeps you sane!
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Organization in the Real World
Not just on your computer

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From the beginning...
Full card, put in backwards to indicate

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Label
Name, email: flash, cable release, lens, camera body, CF hard holder, etc. Label cords/chargers

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P-Touch labeler

Around $50

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Label, Organize
Name hard drives ex: HD A, HD B, HD C, etc. Attach content index on front (piece of paper with folders contained on drive), save file on computer for later reference write inclusive dates at top
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Label cords, Warranty
Multiple drives plugged in, label cords Prevents accidental unplugging during read/write process (can lead to data loss) Label: info about date drive first used (help you estimate when you need to switch it out) Label: key warranty info, when warranty expires

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From Camera to Computer
Import, Workflow Programs, Naming, Metadata, Keywords, etc.

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Download...
Never want a DCIM on computer Ideally never download onto computer’s hard drive-- directly to external drives (back up asap) Suggested: Use a program to download and automatically rename files for storage

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Terms to know
Metadata: information about the file embedded into file Camera Data (EXIF): exposure, ISO, focal length, etc YOUR Info (IPTC Core): your name, contact, copyright, phone number, website, etc. Key Words: photo labels, ‘search terms’ about content
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Workflow Programs
File browsers (metadata, basic editing): Adobe Bridge Photo Mechanic File Browser + Workflow management (browser + image processing): Adobe Lightroom Aperture Others: Bibble, C1 Pro, iView Media, etc.
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Bridge
COST: “$O” - comes with Photoshop CS2 and newer Import/rename Metadata, keywords Tagging (stars, colors) Some RAW batch adjustments

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Lightroom: Suggested
COST: $299 (look for specials) Import/rename Metadata, keywords Slideshows, web, Tagging (stars, colors) Processing (raw and jpg)
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Aperture (Mac only)
COST: $299 Import/rename Metadata, keywords Slideshows, web, Tagging (stars, colors) Processing (raw and jpg)
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Test it for yourself
Most available for 30 Day trials http://www.apple.com/aperture/ http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshoplightroom/

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File Naming Conventions
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Naming conventions... 1
Develop a system to name... and stick with it! MY SUGGESTIONS (for images): Folder minimum: Date_Location_Descriptor File minimum: Date_Location_Descriptor_Sequence ex: 20070705_London_TowerBridge_001.jpg NOTE: date = YYYYMMDD (puts in order)
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Naming conventions... 2
Other Options: Date_HourMinuteSec_Descriptor_Sequence Creates a Serial Number (usually no other file has same date, or hour minute second) only use underscore symbol, NEVER space Lightroom: import files create naming template Bridge/PhotoMechanic: batch rename tool
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Keywords
Taking organization to the next level..

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Keywords
To fit your uses Apply in one step Submit to calendar company? (lighthouse, calendar, sunset, etc.) In a photo club? (competition, hats, etc.) If not for searching, store in metadata (ex: names, locations can go in caption section)
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Keyword Hierarchy
Parent vs. Child Keywords When child applied, parent applied as well EX: Parent: Animal Child: Dogs Child: Saint Bernard

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Not necessary in Keywords

Anything in IPTC metadata (searchable) location

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Controlled Vocabulary
Helps you keyword consistently Good stock photography collections have CV www.controlledvocabulary.com

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Metadata
Taking organization to the next level..

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Metadata: A must have
Can apply afterwards or from import (with Lightroom) Imperatives: Name, 1 contact, copyright Optional: your website, other contact, terms of use, location, etc.

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Metadata Adds Value!
Helps you, others, find photos quickly based on certain criteria Time spent looking for files = money... therefore metadata (by saving time) saves $$ Stock photographers: ESSENTIAL “No matter how good an image is that you can’t find, its worthless”

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Metadata Search
Date Location Subject Matter Rating

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MORE Metadata
What do these fields mean?

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Creator
Creator: Name of Image Creator Creator’s Job Title: “Photographers” City: Creator’s City (not city where taken) Email & Website: Put in the best way to contact you

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Copyright
Copyright Status: Copyrighted Copyright Notice: put in this form “© 2010 Lindsay Adler” and information from PLUS, copyright status, Creative Commons Copyright info URL: Your website (or website of person holding copyright)

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IPTC Status
Title: Title of image: Don’t create a new title, should be file name Job Identifier: Internal to your business (like job number, etc) Instructions: Used for wireservice Provider: Photographer or Agent Name (who is giving out image) Source: Copyright holder Copyright notice: status, © 2010 Lindsay Adler Rights Usage Terms: See creative commons, PLUS
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Image Content Metadata
Location: Be as specific as possible Captions: Description in prose form, not a list of words like keywords Headline: Summary of photo content in headline form Description: longer caption Keywords: descriptive tags, single words, concepts IPTC Subject Code: code to describe subject matter (look up)
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Copyright & Licensing
Taking Ownership of your Images

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Copyright Info
$30 to register As many images/thumbnails as you can fit on a CD Form for Unpublished works Form for Published works (includes on blog!)

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Creative Commons
http://creativecommons.org Helps clear up confusion on rights, used by Flickr, general

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Plus
Helps you create SPECIFIC licenses for your images License codes www.useplus.org

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Social Networking
Thoughts and considerations

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Social Networking Workflow
Export Images 800px long side, jpg, at quality 7 Include © copyright information Include essential contact metadata (though often wiped) Workflow software Integration with: Flickr, Facebook, Website

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Flickr and Metadata
Flickr auto imports key info Keywords Title Description/caption Camera Data Geotags!
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Editing & The Future
Keywords, Rating Systems

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Rating Systems
Develop a rating system that works for you... and stick to it! WRITE IT on the wall above your computer! Bridge/Lightroom example ex: stars: 1 throw out, 3 keep, 4 great, 5 competition worthy ex: colors: red for competition, blue to print, etc.
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Naming subsequent files
Again... get a system! Long file names ok! ex: 20070318_Sevilla_Cathedral_001_final.psd 20070318_Sevilla_Cathedral_001_bw.tif 20070318_Sevilla_Cathedral_001_bw_8x10.tif 20070318_Sevilla_Cathedral_001_bw_8x10_m.tif
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Non-Destructive
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PIE = Non-Destructive Editing
Non-destructive Image Editing: user makes adjustments to image without permanently altering original source programs: Lightrooms, Aperture, Bibble, CaptureOne Parametric Image Editing: non-destructive editing where software saves changes to set of instructions (parameters)

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WHY PIE?
Non-destructive: Protect originals! Create multiple adjustments/version Copy/Paste Adjustment Settings! (aka batch adjustments) Save SPACE! (no need for duplicate originals) RAW files and other file types (jpg, tif, etc)

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Non-Destructive Photoshop
Layers for Retouching (clone, patch, etc) Adjustment Layers (levels, hue/saturation, black white, etc) Layer masks to add/erase effect Save NON-flattened files (include all layers)

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RAW
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About RAW
RAW: unprocessed digital file (the unprocessed negative) containing all image info captured by camera RAW: QUALITY vs JPG: Convenience

Camera RAW formats: Pentax .PEF, Fuji .RAF, Canon .CRW, Nikon .NEF 100% Non-destructive: writes to XMP sidecar
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XMP Sidecar
Contains all camera RAW changes Must follow RAW file to keep changes

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RAW
Image Source: ALL image data captured by camera Metadata: File info including Geotags, EXIF, some IPTC Jpg Preview: embedded preview when searching PROBLEM: RAW software proprietary

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Shoot Raw
Non-destructive File Format: Any changes in Camera Raw saved as xmp sidecar or other parameter... not possible to alter original Proprietary file: Must use 3-party software to interpret, write parameters to separate file/catalogue. Cannot write back to original files Dangers

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RAW “Tower of Babel”
Each camera has its own RAW format Proprietary info (not public) EX: Adobe supports 200 different raw types... less popular will be dropped, ex: old Kodak formats Need for ‘one language’

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DNG
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DNG solution
DNG “Digital Negative” created by adobe Benefits: minimal, universal, no fear of obsolete file types How to convert: conversion upon import to bridge/lightroom conversion within lightroom

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DNG Benefits
Up to 1/3 file size saved! (lossless compression) Acts as a “Wrapper” Source Image + updated preview jpg Metadata, including equivalent of sidecar info Public Documented Format-- long-term archive Some cameras NATIVE format
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Computer to Archive
Making them last for posterity...

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The Archiving Dilemma
How do you permanently archive digital files? You can’t CDs, DVDs External Hard drives Online storage locations

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‘Touching’ Files = Danger
Every time you access files, you face potential of corruption Rewriting, checking validity, copying, opening... all potential of image corruption Work arounds: access single source, work in catalog

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Storage Media Considerations
Speed (how easy to move/backup files) Cost Scalability (how easy to add extra capacity) Reliability (risks of failure)

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Redundancy
Files in multiple locations If anything failed, what is your backup? Analyze ENTIRE system of computer, hard drives, etc to find what must be made redundant

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Potential Data Failures
Device Failure Virus Directory Errors Corruption (transfer, otherwise) Voltage Surge, Fire & Water Damage Theft Humans...
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Prepare for Failure
Expect only 3-5 years from a drive! Check Disk Health: Mac: TechTool Pro or Disk Warrior PC: System Mechanic, Auslogics, Smartmontools

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External Hard Drives
Your archiving “solution”

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BRANDS
LaCie Western Digital Maxtor Seagate

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Other considerations
Power source: external powered by computer: good for on the go, no need for extra cords but usually slower/smaller drives

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Sizes
Two schools of thought: **bigger is better, ‘buy bulk’: 500GB+ save yourself time and effort of juggling multiple drives all the time, concentration ok because backing up medium sized: 80GB-350GB (80, 120, 250, 350) still lessens number of drives, but not putting all you eggs in one basket (if not backed up)
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Purchasing drives...
Buy two at a time (one as primary, one as back up) Look for deals! PRICES: very significantly Suggested sites: www.newegg.com www.shopzilla.com www.buydig.com (ex: 500GB WD $135)
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Primary, Secondary Backup
Primary: On local hard drive or external drive Easy to access Secondary: off-location backup external drive ‘once-write media’
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Portable External Hard drives

Backups on the Go (hiking, on the job, etc) Same downfalls as traditional drives (backup required)
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Cloud & Virtual Storage
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Cloud Storage, Virtual Servers
Online storage system for offsite backup EX: Amazon’s S3 (Simple Storage System) Benefits: Extra backup location, offsite, access ANYWHERE Drawbacks: Relatively expensive, data upload takes time, no way to validate correct upload, slows server during upload Conclusion: Best for small number of essential files, more practical in the future, or if you live in disaster-prone region
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Optical Storage
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Optical: CDs, DVDs, Blue-Ray,
One-write systems Even ‘archivable disks’ not archivable Best for immediate backup of essential files Positive: Easy to label, Easy to Access, Quick, Cheap purchase Drawback: expensive per GB, smaller amount of data on disk = harder to catalogue, can’t update file formats, and no updating storage medium
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Optical Disk Care
Burn at slower speeds (don’t burn at maximum burn rate if you can help it!) Use only “CD safe” pens to label, no stickers Protect from scratches: Light Impressions cases, etc “Archivable” disks

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Using your Hard drives
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Monitor your Storage Needs
Drives Fail, should have back ups *PEOPLE FAIL*: storage filling up and people accidentally delete files in a hurry to clear up space Solution: keep an eye on your storage needs, order in advance, buy multiple drives with each purchase

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Hard drive options:
USB 2.0 pro: universal, used by everyone con: slower (USB3 promises 10X performance) Firewire 400, Firewire 800 pro: MUCH faster write speeds (up to 70% faster) con: used more on macs, more expensive
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External Hard Drive Interface
eSATA FireWire 800 FireWire 400 USB2, USB3

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Interface Failure

Have multiple interface options on drive Interfaces can fail... need other choice to be able to access content

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Drive Configurations
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Big box Solution
Buy individual drives Put in “big box”, like a tower 7200 RPM Sync, Raid, etc

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Drive Configuration
JBOD RAID DROBO NAS

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JBOD
JBOD: Just a bunch of disks Each disk remains ‘separate’ Typical backup... back up to another drive Quick and easy to expand space

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RAID
Several drives are configured together to act as a single unit... computer sees the drives as one piece Speed, redundancy Mirrored or Parity RAID: writes to two drives Not 100% safe: does protect against theft, fire, voltage surge, human error, etc... Drives together (not off site backup) is never safe
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Raid Choices
Raid 0: Striped: breaks file into multiple pieces onto many drives... don’t do it! One drive fails = all data lost Raid 1: Mirrored: Writes data to multiple drives Raid 5: Mirrored and Striped: Increased speed as well as redundancy... but also writes a backup file “parity file” to prevent against drive failure Consider Wiebetech or go to store for advice
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DROBO
Acts like RAID, but smarter Has software to control, monitor Lets you use drives of multiple sizes, upgrade sizes RAID 5 benefits Drawback: relatively expensive, comparatively slow

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More on Backups...
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Backup Software
SyncBack ($30), Chronosync ($40) Scheduled Backups (when to backup) Backup Tasks (what to backup)

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THANK YOU!
Lindsay Adler Lindsay Adler Photography info@lindsayadlerphotography.com www.lindsayadlerphotography.com
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