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Thread: How best to manage thousands of images?

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    How best to manage thousands of images?

    I'm trying to standardise on one application to manage my image library - which has several tens of thousands of images stored on the hard drives of several PCs, several external hard drives, CDs and DVDs.

    The functionality I need goes like this: Viewer - fast and easy to use thumnail, sized to fit screen and 1:1 (100%) viewing, exif and other metadata access and editing (applicable to several selected images), Database - ability to rate images and search metadata via key words quickly and reliably, including removable media.

    Applications I have been looking at include ACDSee Pro 2: Great as a viewer, with good thumbnail management and the ability to batch edit names and metadata very easily. Image editing and tweaking features are not required because I have Lightroom and Photoshop. From a database point of view, I'm a bit nervous about the robustness of the system - it has proven unreliable in less stable previous versions.

    Adobe Lightrooom: Not sure that it's ideal for managing so many images across so many types of storage media - comments most welcome!

    Adobe Bridge (CS3): I have this but find it a bit slow and haven't used it that much. I recognise its power, though, and its RAW support is of course excellent.

    What else do folks here use? For my own use, I'm only interested in Windows apps, but please do comment about Mac for interested parties and for comparison.

    Ian
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    Re: How best to manage thousands of images?

    I too am looking for good software, so I'll keep my eye on this thread.
    Joe,


    "Why don't you take a picture? It'll last longer!"

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    Re: How best to manage thousands of images?

    I've used ACDSee since ver5 and have been using Pro 2 (great program) since its release on a Windows Vista platform and have never yet had it give the famous "ACDSee has encountered a problem and will close" box I'm happy to say.

    Ian if you back up the database regually (takes a few minutes) then if the DB does get corrupted reinstalling it solves the probem but saying that I have not had one problem with it yet.

    I do not rate lightroom much as a dam program (which put me of it) but it is a very good raw converter.
    Regards Paul.
    One day I hope to be the person my dogs think I am.

    http://www.pbase.com/paulsilkphotography
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    Re: How best to manage thousands of images?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    I've used ACDSee since ver5 and have been using Pro 2 (great program) since its release on a Windows Vista platform and have never yet had it give the famous "ACDSee has encountered a problem and will close" box I'm happy to say.

    Ian if you back up the database regually (takes a few minutes) then if the DB does get corrupted reinstalling it solves the probem but saying that I have not had one problem with it yet.

    I do not rate lightroom much as a dam program (which put me of it) but it is a very good raw converter.
    As a committed Lightroom user I'd be interested to know your reasons for not rating it as a DAM program. I've not used anything to compare it with so I have a genuine interest.

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    Re: How best to manage thousands of images?

    Stephan the main reason for me is that it does not browse as fast as ACDseePro and its search facility is not as complete or as flexable as Acdsee in my opinion and that coming from lifelong Adobe man and Adobe beta tester.

    No all in one program does everything best, ACDSee's pro raw converter does not compare to Adobe's ARC and thats the thing with any all in one program it tends to do one thing well and the rest alright, so for me I cherry pick my applications for what works best for me... a bit like hi fi seperates compared to a all in one midi system..just my view of it of course.

    By the way nice gallery you have there.
    Regards Paul.
    One day I hope to be the person my dogs think I am.

    http://www.pbase.com/paulsilkphotography
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_silk_photography/

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    Re: How best to manage thousands of images?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    Stephan the main reason for me is that it does not browse as fast as ACDseePro and its search facility is not as complete or as flexable as Acdsee in my opinion and that coming from lifelong Adobe man and Adobe beta tester.

    No all in one program does everything best, ACDSee's pro raw converter does not compare to Adobe's ARC and thats the thing with any all in one program it tends to do one thing well and the rest alright, so for me I cherry pick my applications for what works best for me... a bit like hi fi seperates compared to a all in one midi system..just my view of it of course.

    By the way nice gallery you have there.
    Paul, as I said I have used nothing to compare Lightroom with in terms of asset management, so I can't comment on its speed when searching. I suspect some of the time the quality of keywords, or the way folders are cataloged has a bearing on such things. For me though its speed seems more than adequate on an iMac 2.8 Ghz Core 2 Duo.

    My personal requirement though is for a complete workflow system and that is where LR seems to excel. Some may prefer Aperture or Bridge, there don't seem to be that many out there that will offer the workflow that the latest LR does.

    I find that I can do a job and import a folder of Raw images into LR. at the same time putting my Copyright data and keywords, client, subject, location etc. in at the time of import. I can quickly go through the images and rate them, usually a flag, or maybe a * or colour rating. Basically I make a selection and do any tweaking, cropping, straightening etc., I need before anything is converted. This job can be done inside maybe half an hour depending on the quantity. If I need Jpegs for the client they are converted and burnt to disc pretty much with a couple of clicks. Using the same Raw files I can create a Contact Sheet, or prepare a web gallery so the client can view them if need be. The whole process seems seemless and I stay within the same program. Photoshop is only needed for more advanced work.

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    Re: How best to manage thousands of images?

    I'm using ACDSee Photo Manager for little over a year now and it does what I have bought it for - manage an images database. I have had no major problems with it so far. I do not want the RAW conversion part so I did not get the Pro version. I keep my Photo's on two external usb hard-drives and after a faulty power supply killed three external hard-drives before I had tracked down the problem I also keep a copy of a selection of my best photo's and family snaps on Kodak Gold DVD's. For quick browsing I use the Faststone viewer which is a little more user-friendly but has very limited database functionality.

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    Re: How best to manage thousands of images?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    Stephan the main reason for me is that it does not browse as fast as ACDseePro and its search facility is not as complete or as flexable as Acdsee in my opinion and that coming from lifelong Adobe man and Adobe beta tester.

    No all in one program does everything best, ACDSee's pro raw converter does not compare to Adobe's ARC and thats the thing with any all in one program it tends to do one thing well and the rest alright, so for me I cherry pick my applications for what works best for me... a bit like hi fi seperates compared to a all in one midi system..just my view of it of course.

    By the way nice gallery you have there.
    I certainly agree that ACDSee does have the appeal of a very good image browser, but I have had problems with stability, though the latest version does seem better in this respect. I have no use for the RAW conversion or editing features, so Photo Manager is the more sensible option.

    Ian
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    Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
    Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
    Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
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    Re: How best to manage thousands of images?

    I have just under 90000 images on my Powermac, I do not trust over reaching image management applications because of the risk of program failure and the way that they can keep multiple copies of images - some discrete, some in databases.

    The technique I use is using Olympus E originated images:

    copy the images to a dirctory of the day named yymmdd, this is in a dirctory in a directory called
    yypics
    or
    yycp

    cp for canine partners where I take quite a few pictures.
    yypics are pictures taken for my benefit

    the leading alpha character of the image file name is changed to a unique alpha character for the year for this year it is "T"

    I copy the images into the appropriate directory, rename, if not using the E3, to ajust for the year code.

    Then use Adobe Bridge to add description and date information typically on the day of creation either on the laptop if traveling or on the main machine at home.

    To find an image I use the OSX provided Spotlight to type in the subject/location information and Spotlight will display the relevant pictures.

    I use a simple viewing program - QPict to view contents of folders and for triaging the images.

    If I want to create specific web displays I select which images I want to use and copy them into iPhoto to load them to my .Mac web site. Or load them into JAlbum based web sites for placing on CDs for browser based viewing.

    Only the Operating System provided file manager programs are used in the movement and copying of the images.

    I started using this methodology on OS/2 where there was limited access to specific applications and then copied the directories and files across to the Mac and continued using the same principles.

    The key to my process is to use Bridge to describe the images very shortly after the images have been transferred to the computer. If you have a huge backlog of undescribed images then start describing the ones you take from now and then describe the ones that you have to revisit as and when needed.


    Remember that in most cases you are going to take more photos than you have done already and so the percentage of undescribed images will reduce over time. <g>

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    Re: How best to manage thousands of images?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    I'm trying to standardise on one application to manage my image library - which has several tens of thousands of images stored on the hard drives of several PCs, several external hard drives, CDs and DVDs.

    The functionality I need goes like this: Viewer - fast and easy to use thumnail, sized to fit screen and 1:1 (100%) viewing, exif and other metadata access and editing (applicable to several selected images), Database - ability to rate images and search metadata via key words quickly and reliably, including removable media.

    Applications I have been looking at include ACDSee Pro 2: Great as a viewer, with good thumbnail management and the ability to batch edit names and metadata very easily. Image editing and tweaking features are not required because I have Lightroom and Photoshop. From a database point of view, I'm a bit nervous about the robustness of the system - it has proven unreliable in less stable previous versions.

    Adobe Lightrooom: Not sure that it's ideal for managing so many images across so many types of storage media - comments most welcome!

    Adobe Bridge (CS3): I have this but find it a bit slow and haven't used it that much. I recognise its power, though, and its RAW support is of course excellent.

    What else do folks here use? For my own use, I'm only interested in Windows apps, but please do comment about Mac for interested parties and for comparison.

    Ian
    Ian, at present i'm using Faststone image viewer for organising. It's free.

    I don't see the point of using proper organising software.. it only slows you down. I have my images stored in organised folders right from the off. I'll name the folders "2007 12 06 Text String" for example, and the OS sorts them by year month date and the text string details the contents of the folder, for example if i've been to Dublin, I'll call it Dublin.

    It seems with the reputed problems with all organising software i've heard of, it's much better to do it this way. Why trust your important images to clunky overcomplicated software? Faststone is WYSIWYG, doesn't cost anything, and quite powerful. It can view ORFs with no problems.

    The only (very irritating) thing is that it doesn't do files with layers properly, for example psd or TIFs, so if you've done some exposure blending in elements you get half an image shown.

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