Saturday, 10 September 2011

Organisation and storage of pics ...or lack of it!

**Thank you to everyone for your comments about this post. Your ideas and systems will be useful. If anyone is reading this post and wondering how to solve a similar problem, read through the comments too**

I thought that we had the organisation and storage of our photographs pretty well sorted....
  • I (or Tim) take the photographs.
  • Download them at home.
  • Store them on our terastation (which is some sort of extra storage device).
  • Date and label the folder.
  • Use them as and when, but keep copies in labelled folders in 'my pictures' of the photographs I've used in my blog posts, so that I can keep track.

Me taking a photograph of Tim, taking a photograph of a tree!

Now all of this worked fairly well until we started to use our laptops on holiday, together with a smaller portable hard drive and one of three cameras.

Now it is much harder to remember 'what is where' and my blog plans have descended into chaos!

This was brought into focus (no pun intended!) yesterday when I was looking for one of the magnificent sunsets we have taken over the years.  I actually mean that the sunsets were magnificent, not necessarily our photographs of them!!

I suppose now that I'm back in the UK I can salvage the situation by saving all of the photographs from France on to the terastation. At least then, all will be in one place, but will that place be where I am? Possibly not ....

Then of course there are the photograph albums and stacks of photographs which have been taken of our family growing up, before the days of digital. I keep promising to scan the more important 'bench mark' ones; perhaps a job for the long winter evenings.

Like this wedding photograph from 1981 ...... Where did Tim get that suit?

Vicki  (Tim's sister) and Phil's wedding in 1998. Tim and I are back left and Rhiannon and Tom at the front. Tom did wear a shirt but changed into his England kit!

Then, do I need a back up of the back up?
How do others manage their collection of photographs?

Continue to watch this space to see some random pics and posts about whatever I can find, wherever I happen to be.. ....


  1. I have to admit Gaynor that I swear by Picasa from Google. I just label them as I see fit (date or occasion) and then I can scroll through at will. You can also upload to their albums for cloud storage or to allow others to view.

  2. Yes I agree with Craig I think Picasa is great BUT!!! Elizabeth still uses explorer. We keep two copies of ALL photographs one in France and one in UK. We reduce, copy and keep blog photos in a file called ... wait for it..... ABlog.....

  3. Thank you for this post, Gaynor. It remined me that I must do a back-up on my terastation too. I tend to forget. I save all my photos on the hard disk of my PC nd on a CD, but the terastation is the best solution.
    BTW, my late husband wore a silmilar suit on our wedding day in July 1980, but it was gray instead of brown.

  4. I have to admit that I monthly back up photos quite simply on to CD's. The problem with that is when CD's go out of fashion I will have to think again!! Even with my 'perfect' labeling though I quite often cannot find the photo I am looking for LOL. Diane

  5. I know the feeling. Like Craig we store all photos used in the blog on Picasa [not sure what we'll do when it's full..but we're not there yet] so that we know we've used a pic on the blog.

    Niall saves the ones he takes on his laptop HD and I do the same with my pics on mine.

    We have most of our 'old' digital photos on flash drives.

    Then we have a secure back-up system called 'live drive'. It runs in the background and saves everything automatically to 'the somewhere up there'[cloud] so if the laptops blow up or drown we can access all our files[pics included] remotely.

    All of the above does not mean however, that we don't get into the occasional muddle of whether or not we've used a photo :-)

  6. A very interesting post Gaynor, we had a similar problem as like you we a small laptop computer plus now I have an ipad that travel with us, for photos, emailing etc. All photographs that I take, with two different cameras are filed on the main home computer and on a separate hard drive as back up. I am also in the process of copying all our photos in albums, a winter job), I am using my digital camera and retaking which is working well, but you could also scan. Photos prior to those in albums were transparencies and have already been moved to video years ago. Although we should think about moving them to CD I suppose.
    However even with all this I find that the very best way of keeping all our photos is my account on the best investment I ever made and I would highly recommend to you. Take a look at my account to see how it works. It makes blog posts so much easier as well and much better than Picasa!!
    Any thing else just ask I may or may not be able to answer :)

  7. That bought it for him!! The beard...entirely his own doing!!

    Good job you've kept hold of both, you never know when either will be back in fashion!!


  8. Hi Gaynor, I wore the same "suite" in 1981 at my first wedding but it was in dark blue pinstripe!! Must have been 1981's height of fashion!!

    We use a terror station and copy across from PC to a folder called... @Pictures... this contains two subfolders... "pictures by date" and "pictures by subject"... the former contains all pix in monthly folders by year.... the latter contains all the really usable ones listed by their subjects and further sub-folders. Using Adobe Bridge allows you to tag them in batches and find them again easily.... you JUST NEED THE TIME!!!

    The @ symbol brings the folder to the top of the directory.... if when you have a number of these in alphabetical order.... use @@

  9. Any photo on our blog is in a Picasa album (I thought all Blogspot blogs linked automatically to a Picasa album, so there shouldn't be a need to have a 'blog photos' folder on your hard drive). We transfer photos from the cameras onto our main computer hard drive on a more or less daily basis (unless we are on holiday, in which case they just stay on the memory cards until we get home). We have a folder on the desktop called 'Current months photos'. This folder has sub-folders, for each month as they pass. We keep about 6 months worth in this. From time to time they are transferred to an external drive. Folders are named by year, month and place. No photos other than originals are allowed in this system. Any photo that is processed (resized, renamed, twiddled with in photoshop) gets stored temporarily in whatever working folder it is relevant to, and ultimately will be deleted when no longer required. Periodically I go through and manually record wildlife photos so I know where to find stuff in the original photo folders. Simon relies on his memory of what we did when to find stuff.

  10. Thank you everyone for your comments and useful advice. Tim reminds me that we are not nearly so haphazard in out photo storage as I make out that we are! He has a well organised folder system on the terastation which he uses to store pics by date and subject, and alongside that when we are away he uses the portable hard drive to download but saves them to the terastation as soon as we get back.

    I will look in to picasa and flikr for the blog pics. This is where my real concern is focused, as when I am at home I use my PC to do my posts but when away use my laptop. I have blog posts saved by folder and date into my pictures on the PC. I suppose all I need to do to continue with this system is to do the same on the laptop and then save to the home PC.

    However I think the advice you have given is good, as over time this will build up and given my age can no longer rely solely on memory of what is where!

    However we have decided to scan/use LindyLouMacs re-photographing system to store our old photographs.

    Then what do we do with the 1000's of slides???

  11. I've selfishly got a lot of great advice from the comments - without being able to leave any!

    Thanx anyway, have a great day!!

  12. Welcome Red Nomad Oz glad the post and comments have been of use to you.
    Best wishes

  13. When you are over here for long winters, you can use a slide scanner to take the slides on-board. I've got about 5000 to do, mainly natural history/landscape.
    Current slide scanners at around the £100 mark are very good... and are all you will need as they now exceed the quality of the original slide structure.

  14. Oh my ... this is all very interesting and highlights the problems I have with irrational and disorganised storage of digital photographs on my hard drive on an external hard drive and on CDs, not to say the printed ones in all those albums and not albums. I think I would need a sabbatical from retirement and the things that one does in retirement to tackle this just one major task of my life!
    Who said computers would give us more freedom?