Are you in control of your metadata?
Do you know what you have, and can you find it?
Standardize your Workflow
Have a plan for how images move from the camera to the computer. Establish an approach and then stick with it.
You can change it at a later date to upgrade to a better or more refined approach, but you’ve got to start somewhere and remain consistent for a while in order to develop a stable platform. It’s the foundation of your organizational system.
Download your photos from your digital camera memory card to your computer’s hard drive.
I connect my digital camera to my computer and hit the download button.
Some prefer to import using a high speed USB card reader. Be aware that all card readers are not the same.
After my images are transferred to my hard drive, I reformat the memory card.
When you open Picasa, you’ll notice that your photos are arranged by folder. You can drag and drop to rearrange your albums and create new albums.
There are as many filing systems as there are photographers. No matter how you determine your file-naming convention (by date, by location, by subject, by keyword, etc.) the system must work for you.
I create my folders by location. My procedure goes as follows:
- Download my 4GB memory card to my computer using Picasa.
- Select my folder and name for these images, e.g. BC, Okanagan Valley_2012_08
- After an initial run-through of my files, I delete the obvious throwaways and keep the rest.
You can also tag your photos. Tagging is a concept found in photo management software where you attach descriptive text called tags (e.g. Birds, Hiking, Christmas, RV Parks,) to each photo in your collection.
If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner it is that there are no short cuts in photography.