Photographic Image management – Chris Schultz

The basic steps

  1. Images on memory card
  2. Use a card reader rather than directly from the camera
  3. Import image from card to PC
    1. Apply metadata – date, location, subject etc
    2. Import to a dated folder
    3. Optional – name files – eg IMG_YYYYMMDD_Subject_Number
  4. Process images (Photoshop, GIMP, Aperture etc)
  5. Store images (consider external disk drive or cloud)

Card reader vs WiFi vs Camera

Camera USB connectors

  • usually slow
  • Camera is treated as a device not a disk
  • May use proprietary software for the transfer

Card reader

  • Multiple cards types may be read
  • Reader handled as disk drive – direct
  • Often USB 3.0 so much faster transfer

WiFi (eg Eye-Fi cards and newer cameras)

  • Transfer at WiFi speeds
  • Uses WiFi security between your PC and the camera
  • Speeds vary – depending on WiFi and buffering, but is usually fast

Importing – file copy

Drag and Drop

  • The simplest method
  • Drag and drop from one folder to another
  • No file/name/information management
  • Search & history non-existent

Remember the Metadata

How not to lose images!

  • Text that you can apply to your image
  • Some of it is embedded by your camera
    • Aperture, ISO, shutter speed, focal length, metering, resolution


Others you can add

  • Your name & contact details
  • the location (including GPS coordinates)
  • Descriptors of the photo shoot

Once embedded in the image you may search on it

Metadata Search example


Importing –
Adobe Bridge & Lightroom

Allow multiple file operations

  • Batch pre-processing
  • File rename
  • Labels
    (eg star rating, colour)
  • Add metadata (location – including GPS, subject, keywords, etc)

You may drag and drop a folders in Bridge

You may then select images by filtering on different metadata parameters

  • date, rating, label, focal length – anything in the metadata

Lightroom vs Bridge – which one?

Lightroom is for photography

  • It’s a database
  • Indexes on import
  • Processing integrated and can be done on import
  • Non-destructive edits
  • Journaling/snapshots – roll back
  • Allows you to work on virtual copies
  • Filter on metadata
  • Make collections
  • Integrates with other photo applications
  • Warning: Don’t move files after import!

Bridge is for designers

  • Quick browsing of any photo OR Adobe design image
  • Some database features – slow
  • opens other applications to process
  • Filter by metadata
  • File/folder moves ok
  • Non-destructive edits
  • NO journaling or snapshots

Storage options – don’t lose those images!

Just your PC

  • When your PC fails, so do the images
  • Fills up quickly with many images
  • As fast as your PC
  • No additional cost
  • Make sure you back it up!

External drive

  • Multiple drives possible – scalable
  • Make sure you back it up – drives fail, so more than one is needed
  • Relatively slow (better with USB 3 or Lightning connectors)
  • Relatively cheap

Network Attached Storage

  • Often multiple drives in mirror arrangement (drive mirroring means redundancy)
  • Scalable
  • Intermediate speeds
  • Cost is greater – more drives and an enclosure


And the whole presentation as a YouTube video