photo organization question (x-post with NSBR and scrapping boards)

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Posted 10/28/2013 by crimsoncat05 in General Scrappin'
 

crimsoncat05
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Posted: 10/28/2013 11:47:45 AM
Please weigh in: can anyone recommend a good program for photo organization on your computer? And do you recommend it be Mac or PC-bsed??

I scrapbook, blog, am slowly getting into taking more photos on my new-ish Canon Rebel T3i, and am trying to learn Photoshop Elements.
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I am looking for something that will help me organize my photos by date for overall organization, but also be able to create relationships between photos so I can sort out only certain ones for a blog post, for a particular SB layout, etc. so when I go to print them or post them online, they're right there without having to scroll through all my photos to find them. (hopefully you understand what I mean by that!)

Is there software out there that will do this type of thing without me having to copy the photos into both places? (in the 'all photos' files versus the photos for one SB layout, for example... I'd rather not have photos copied into more than one folder.) I'm pretty 'amateur' though, and not all that computer literate, so I don't want it to be too complicated to use, otherwise I know I won't want to learn it.

Right now I am looking at having to get a new computer; my current laptop is 5-6 yrs old and on the verge of dying. My current laptop is a Gateway PC and so far, the only 'photo organization' I've done is put pics into folders in 'my pictures' directory, but it's not very useful- I don't know how to find the photos I want.

Right now I am leaning heavily towards getting a Macbook Pro because from what I've seen, iPhoto seems like what I'm looking for as far as organization, but it will be a BIG switch for me, and a big expense. What do you recommend: is there PC-based software that can do what I want, or is the Macbook the way to go? Thank you for any and all opinions!



"Accepting anything without question is the antithesis of critical thinking and education. ~wren*walk, 8/20/12"


ca angel
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 10/28/2013 11:52:04 AM
Free-picassa
$$$- adobe lightroom
You can also use the organizer in PSE
I use Picassa. You can create albums within Picassa to gather photos from different folders with out taking up extra space. This can be done in all of these programs.
Ca angel

ca angel
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 10/28/2013 11:59:18 AM
Also the folders in Picassa will be organize however you have them organized on your computer. I organize/lable everything by date. My folders are as follows:
My Pictures
2012
2013
01-2013 January
02-2013 February
2013-02-14 Valentines Party
2013-02-20 Skiing

By labeling the folders in this way they always show up in date order. I lable my photos YYYY-MM-DD for the same reason. If you start with the month then when you have photos from different years they are grouped by month first instead of year, then month.
Ca angel

lilgik
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Posted: 10/28/2013 12:17:42 PM
I use Picasa because I do not like iPhoto at all. I've used it for many years without incident and since it is compatible with several file types, I also used it to organize digi items I had downloaded. All the questions about organization, Picasa can do for you and like ca angel said, it's free!



crimsoncat05
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Posted: 10/28/2013 1:22:17 PM
thanks for your input, Peas!

I do have Picasa on my (current) computer already- I used it for editing before getting Elements. But, then something happened, and all the photos sort of 'disappeared' from the Picasa libraries... so, I don't really use it for the 'organization' part of things anymore.

I'm hoping I'm not making a big $$ mistake by thinking I *need* (or really *want*) to switch to an Apple computer, when I wouldn't really need to... it just seems like- from the little I know, anyway, which isn't much- that it might be easier to use for what I do most of the time, which is photo-related, internet-related, etc.





"Accepting anything without question is the antithesis of critical thinking and education. ~wren*walk, 8/20/12"


sorfammom
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Posted: 10/28/2013 1:32:26 PM
I know many people organize wit Picassa but I don't like it for that and use it only for editing photos. I easiest way to organize for me is to use the Windows photo program that's on my computer (not Windows Live). When I upload photos to my computer I place them in folders labeled with the month and year: "2013-10". They could also be labeled by season giving you just 4 folders each year. I tag all of my pictures after uploading and then am able to easily find what ever I'm looking for. Tags include "Jane", "John", "Fluffy", "Christmas", "Little League", "Vacation - Disney"... Say I'm looking for that cute picture of Jane and John on the monorail at Disney. In the upper left corner of the screen there is "arrange by" drop down where you can chose folder, month, day, rating, or tag. I select "tag" and then click on the "Vacation Disney" pictures which brings up all of the pictures from our Disney Vacation. I again select "tag" in the drop down and click on the pictures of "Jane", bringing up all of the pictures from that vacation than have Jane in them. I select "tag" once more and then click on "John". Now I have all of the vacation photos with both Jane and John and can easily find the one I'm looking for. Very simple and easy for me. And it's already on my computer.

onlywork2scrap
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Posted: 10/28/2013 1:34:43 PM
I use Picasa too. It's not that I'm really crazy about though. I label my folders similarly. I would recommend an external hard drive. I bought one that is PC and Mac compatible to store my photos on. I will be making the switch to a Mac when my laptop dies.


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ca angel
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Posted: 10/28/2013 2:18:02 PM
Your photos are not IN picassa. Picassa is just like any other program in that it organizes the files that exist on your computer. You have to tell it where to look for your photos. If the photos are not showing up then you need to verify where the photos are on your computer and tell it to look in those specific folders. All these programs work similarly.

If you need to uninstall Picassa and reinstall it to start over.

I would never completely change computer platforms just for iPhoto. There is no need it is not a unique program. There are many others that do the same thing. Personally I hate iPhoto.

Ca angel

crimsoncat05
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Posted: 10/28/2013 3:08:57 PM
I get that, Ca angel... iPhoto is not the only reason I'm thinking of switching; there are hardware issues with my current computer, and those issues are my impetus for starting to look at my options.






"Accepting anything without question is the antithesis of critical thinking and education. ~wren*walk, 8/20/12"


HoneyBee13
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Posted: 10/28/2013 6:14:40 PM
I don't use photo organization but wanted to suggest an external hard drive. A have all of my pics, videos and music on an external hard drive. That way it wouldn't matter if you have Mac or PC.

caspad
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Posted: 10/28/2013 9:29:43 PM
I would recommend keeping your photos organized by date and then using software to tag your photos.

I use Lightroom because I use it for editing. I structure my photos in folders on an external hard drive by year. This is how I had the photos organized when I just put them in My Pictures. When the import dialog comes up you can pick how you want them organized.

Each year has 12 folders - 01-2013, 02-2013...
Then as I import the photos I organize the in subfolders by date and labelled with the subject.

So in the 10-2013 folder is a folder called 10-27-2013_Providence for the photos I took yesterday.

With Lightroom I can also tag my photos, rate the best photos with a flag or star, and add journaling in the metadata. This is great for quickly finding say, a few great photos of my DH among 7 years of digital photos.

You could tag photos for blog posts, layout ideas and even put some quick journaling notes in the metadata to refer to later.


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aliwinn
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Posted: 10/28/2013 10:04:19 PM
I use PSE to organize my photos...they are all in a year folder, then are tagged by person's name, and subject matter, season, sport, etc....
I love having the tag option because I can find my "stories" to scrapbook really easily. I can find my son, on our camping trip from 2010 with our dog...in a second!
I can also star my photos, three stars - definitely going to scrap it,
two stars - maybe going to scrap it, one star - not going to scrap it but don't want to delete it....all other photos are deleted.
This allows me to find only 2 star photos and above for a given topic for example....


Every time you upload your photos, there is a bit of work involved in sorting them and tagging them but it is sooo worth it!



Alison

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crimsoncat05
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Posted: 10/28/2013 10:41:24 PM
thanks, guys. I do have an external hard drive, and currently have PSE 10, but have found it too intimidating to really use it for much yet. From the research I've done, it sounds like PSE 11 and 12 have been re-designed to have a more user-friendly interface, so I might look into upgrading that. AND, I guess I'll have to take more time when I get the photos off my camera than just 'cut and paste' into the folder, lol!

(I guess I want to be able to find 'just the right photo for my scrapbook pages' without having to do any work... )




"Accepting anything without question is the antithesis of critical thinking and education. ~wren*walk, 8/20/12"


ca angel
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Posted: 10/29/2013 12:05:23 AM
You may want to download the trial version of PSE 12 before upgrading. It is a very intimidating program and there is a steep learning curve no matter the version. I have heard that big changes were made after 10. If you want to learn how to use PSE i've heard good things about Jessica Sprague classes. I believe there may be one on using the organizer.
Ca angel

loriell
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Posted: 10/29/2013 2:38:04 AM
I have a love/hate relationship with iPhoto and my Mac for that matter. We switched from a PC 2 years ago and sometimes I still kick myself for listening to my Apple-kool-aid-drinking friends and DH. It was a painful switch. I used Picasa before and everything was fine on my PC how I used Window Explorer and created folders by year, then quarter for misc photos or by major event/vacation. I studied fairly diligently on what to switch to on the Mac and ended up w iPhoto after listening to the folks at the Apple store. iPhoto does not like the amount of photos/images that I have. I think it slows my machine down when open...which is always! Because I'm always accessing my pics!! I do like how visual it is. And I pulled all my digi kits into it too. That's when I decided I had to create a separate library all together. That helps but it is a pain to switch between libraries because you can only have 1 open at a time.

I did find out recently that iPhoto can open RAW images which is nice. And when you export, you can save to .jpg.

I just completed a course with Texas Chicks and she uses Lightroom for organizing. (She is a Mac user) I just bought it but haven't started using it fully for organizing yet. It is a painful process to get photos into and out of iPhoto. I feel like I just completed that exercise and I dread starting it all over again.

iPhoto does have face recognition and the newest lightroom still does not. I use it for some of my pics. And I do like the smart albums. I don't know if lightroom has that option. I know you can do tags in both. I'm also curious to know if my tags will transfer from iPhoto to lightroom if I go that route. I had a longer process to import photos into iPhoto at my conversion so that all my Picasa tags converted. The Picasa face recognition did not convert however.

Good luck to you!


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crimsoncat05
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Posted: 10/29/2013 11:45:14 AM
thanks, you guys- looks like more research is needed, and I may end up getting a windows-based laptop but then having the $$ to upgrade PSE or get Lightroom... decisions, decisions... lol!!

(and if I do that, then I'd also have the $$ to get a Silhouette Cameo, besides- lol!!)



"Accepting anything without question is the antithesis of critical thinking and education. ~wren*walk, 8/20/12"


caspad
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Posted: 10/30/2013 2:58:01 PM

(I guess I want to be able to find 'just the right photo for my scrapbook pages' without having to do any work... )

It sounds like you have the right tools (PSE or Picasa).
You just need to come up with a system that works for you. Ratings, tags, smart collections...all will help you organize the photos to scrap vs. the photos to blog.

Here is a great article from The Daily Digi that explains how to use the Organizer in PSE with your old photos as well as your future photos.
It's Time To Scrap, Do You Know Where Your Photos Are?


Christi in MA

GAKropper
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Posted: 10/30/2013 3:24:09 PM
I don't use a specific program. I just have a folder on my hard drive with other folders organized under the high level folder. Here is a sample of how I do mine.

Pictures Folder
2013-10-01 Fall Festival
2013-09-03 Labor Day
2013-07-04 July 4th
2012-12-25 Christmas with Granny

By putting the year first, they are in order from newest to oldest. I think you can also change the sorting from oldest to newest at the bottom. If an event is for one child, I include their name in the description. It makes it really easy to find things.

I also use Picasa as well. It just uses my folder structure.

Hope that helps.


aliwinn
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Posted: 10/30/2013 3:37:26 PM

thanks, guys. I do have an external hard drive, and currently have PSE 10, but have found it too intimidating to really use it for much yet


I have PSE 10 as well....While I haven't explored all that I can do in the creating and editing part of it, the photo organization part, I found really easy....
You can click on the right side to create folders once you import your photos, and create tags on the bottom right. Then you just need to drag and drop to add tags to specific photos.
You can star your photos simply by clicking on a star....
I would try it out a little more before upgrading


Alison

2014 GOALS:
21 of 52 layouts completed
December Daily minibook completed
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