rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Fridge Defend
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: photo file management  (Read 2308 times)


  • ---
  • Posts: 6332
photo file management
« on: February 07, 2017, 10:06:54 AM »
I know you guys have posted this information here before, but I can't seem to locate it. What do you use to manage all your photos on your computer?
I just got a new laptop and will be downloading photos from several different devices, so it would be nice to use a file management system that works, but is somewhat easy to use.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant

2012 Redwood 36RL
2016 Leprechaun 319DS


  • ---
  • Posts: 2710
Re: photo file management
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2017, 12:01:15 PM »
I keep all of my pictures in the 'My Pictures' folder.  Every 'event' has a date and a title which becomes a sub folder name.  In the sub folder there are more sub folders relating to camera used, and format (raw/jpg).  I use non destructive editing so I don't need to do anything special to preserve original images.  Edited and converted images go into their respective JPG folders.
Retired computer professional
Musician, songwriter,  mediocre guitar player.
2006 Bounder 34H, 2008 CR-V Toad


  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 46584
  • Celebrating 25 years of The RV Forum online.
    • RV Forum web site
Re: photo file management
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2017, 12:11:54 PM »
My method is a little different. All images are in named folders and subfolders (labeled with event/date), using just Windows File Manager. Like Russ, I retain the original image when editing. I've been using this "system" for years, and haven't felt the need to change. OTOH other members use a variety of image management systems/software.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Great Horned Owl

  • ---
  • Posts: 1410
  • Lake county, IL
Re: photo file management
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2017, 12:47:49 PM »
The problem with most of these systems, is that there is often, not a single way to categorize a photo. If your photo has a person in it, do you file it if a folder with other photos of that person, or with other photos taken in the same location? Worse, what if there several people in it? The "right" answer probably depends on what was most significant. When I organizes photos that way, It would eventually turn into chaos.

Photoshop Elements comes with a very nice photo organizers.

For starters, you place all of your photos into "albums, "sub-albums," etc. In actuality, the photos continue to reside in whatever folders they happen to be in. The albums just contain links to the actual photos. The albums act as if the photo was really there. You can view, print, or edit a photo through the album, without being at all concerned with what folder it might be in. It wouldn't even hurt to just keep all of your photos in a single, massive folder.

One of the advantages of this system, is that any photo can be in an unlimited number of albums at the same time. If I am in Shoshone National Forest, take a photo of my wife, feeding a Clark's Nutcracker, I can put it in the Rocky Mountain / Shoshone National Forest album. It can also be in the Birds / Clark's Nutcracker album, as well as in the
People / Dorothy album. Another nice feature, is that you can arrange the order of the photos within an album in any way that you want.

If that isn't enough, you can attach an unlimited number of keywords to each photo, and then search for photo by keyword. For each photo found, it will list all of the albums.

The program can also display all of the EXIF data for each photo. If you want to know what the shutter speed was, or what f-stop was used, it's all right there. It will also search by "date taken."

« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 12:51:38 PM by Great Horned Owl »
Joel & Dorothy
Retired electronics engineer. Avid photographer, paddler & birder.
2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
Palomino Puma 253-FBS  27' 5th wheel
1994 19' Class B Horizon / Chevy

Larry N.

  • ---
  • Posts: 5868
  • Westminster, CO
Re: photo file management
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2017, 12:50:52 PM »
ACDSee is an excellent program to aid in picture management, and even lets you do minor touch-up, if you wish. It's great for including comments and captions in a database, as well as letting you see all the metadata and even add metadata to the picture should you wish. It also makes batch renaming a breeze, such as changing from IMGxxxx to Yellowstone 2016 xxx (where x's are sequential numbers). Windows is clumsy at that, while ACDSee can do several hundred as a single batch. It also lets you do various groupings, such as albums, and even upload to some social media sites.

As far as structure, I do much like Tom and have multiple folders representing different levels. For instance I have a Trips folder, which has a Rallies Subfolder, and the trips may be named for a location and date (Yellowstone May 2016) or for a special event (such as my brother's 50th). Rallies might be FMCA Indio 2017 or RVForum Qz 2017, for example. There are also many other main level folders such as Family, Aviation, Friends, etc.

When I first bring in pix to the computer, I usually have a temporary folder named for the date and, maybe, for the camera I'm drawing from, but then the pix are sorted to the other structures described above.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG


  • ---
  • Posts: 13596
  • Good things are illegal immoral or over 1000 watts
Re: photo file management
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2017, 12:58:46 PM »
I do not use Windows My Pictures folder for storing photos. I partition my hard drive and keep all my photo on any other drive but drive C. If you get a virus odds are they will delete all your photos. Actually I have been storing all my photos online for ages since then they are available on any device or any computer I wish to access them on. Google Photos is free and automatically puts them in date order and then you can tag them and put them into any types of Albums you wish. Since I take all my photos with my cell phone they are automatically uploaded to Google Photos and stored without any intervention on my part. It is basically unlimited storage so the size of my hard drive and my SC card in the camera does not matter. It could not be any easier or cheaper.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Favorite 2018 shots:
My portfolio:
My Grand Canyon shots:


  • ---
  • Posts: 1254
Re: photo file management
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2017, 01:02:43 PM »
I load them on to my hard drive which I back-up religiously and I use Adobe Light Room to manage filing, labeling locating, distributing etc. as well as for post processing and printing.
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
2015 Ram Big Horn 3500 CC Cummins TD Dually 3:73 Gears & AISIN Tranny
2019 Grand Design Solitude 310GK-R


  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 3766
Re: photo file management
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2017, 05:23:04 PM »
We put ours into folders, forget where they are and then lose them when "someone" changes the PC!  ::)

Good tips here, thanks
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Back home in Scotland awaiting May 2019

MN Blue Skies

  • ---
  • Posts: 1327
  • Favorite saying: "It depends."
Re: photo file management
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2017, 05:46:12 PM »
I load them on to my hard drive which I back-up religiously and I use Adobe Light Room to manage filing, labeling locating, distributing etc. as well as for post processing and printing.

I use Adobe Lightroom to catalog and store my images on my hard drive and make sure to save copies to an external hard drive. I should probably also store them off site.

Another reason I store them on an external hard drive is so I can work on my images at various computers and laptops.  Very basic editing is done in Lightroom and then handed off to Photoshop. 
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 05:48:19 PM by MN Blue Skies »
A girl called Max, her husband Eric, Princess Kitty, and Molly the Service Dog in training.

2013 Cougar High Country 315 RES ( A 35' 5th Wheel)
"Big Blue" 2012 RAM 3500 Big Horn (Cummins Diesel 1 ton)


  • Posts: 1
Re: photo file management
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2017, 08:52:07 AM »
I shoot in RAW format, then download the pics onto my laptop until I get them processed with Lightroom. I save the edited photos in a separate file until I am done. Afterwards I save all my photos on an external hard drive and copy them to a second external hard drive. I save the photos in folders separated by format (1 for RAW, 1 for JPG) with a folder for each month and year I shot the pictures. Inside each month folder I have additional folders labeled for locations, subjects or events. The RAW photos are only separated by Month and Year. When I have verified both backups have been completed I delete the photos from my laptop.