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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Overwhelming amount of photos...
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11/11/2014 05:05:44 AM · #1
Hi all.

I've just returned from an 8 month backpacking trip with a few thousand photos that I never had the chance to back up or organise. At the moment it's quite overwhelming to think about where to start and how I start sorting the photos. I was just wondering what other people might do in this situation in terms of workflow and organisation.

Thank you for the help.

Adam
11/11/2014 05:39:30 AM · #2
Not much to do but just slog through them - after you get them backed up somewhere.

I use Lightroom as the anchor of my workflow, so were it me, first step is to get them imported into LR. I'm assuming you have no organization to the current set of data, so import them into folders by capture day so at least they're now organized chronologically and related photos will be grouped together. If there's an overriding theme to the entire trip apply those keyword tags on the initial import. Then go through, a day at a time, and flag the keepers (I literally use the flag function on first pass as a thumbs up and thumbs down) and apply keywords to help organize the rest. Do it a folder at a time. When that's done, you can decide what to do with the unflagged photos (I just delete 'em - I've got the originals backed up so no reason to waste space). From there, you can reorganize into folders by place if you'd like, or whatever else, and then start having at 'em. When I have this many, I usually do a second pass and give a 'star' to those that I want to work first, or I rate them all 1-5 and work my way backwards.

The longer you wait, the harder it's going to be to remember what's what, so at least get the importing started.
11/11/2014 05:45:18 AM · #3
Ouch. I feel your pain.

Sadly, though, I have never met (or heard of) a photo fairy, so it is up to YOU, no matter how difficult or time consuming this job will be.

This is how(I would go about it:

1) Cry a little and feel sorry for myself ( you've already covered this step).
2) Take a deep breath and start working
3) Back them ALL up somewhere, just in case........
4) Sort all photos into places/locations/occasions (I, personally, can't work via dates alone)
5) do a first run to delete all the very worst pics....... out of focus, way too over/under exposed, etc
6) do a second run to delete obvious duplicates (there is no need to have 6 versions of pretty much the same photo........ pick the best one, ditch the rest)
7) do a third run to pick my favourites (which will be marked or put into a separate folder)
8) work the best/favourite ones in Photoshop
9) backup and/or upload to storage those worked favourites
10) resize and share the best shots online and/or turn them into a printed photobook for showing off.

Enjoy the fruits of your labour.......... all countless hours of them!!!!

Edited to add a single, missed "I"........ ugh
The hippie beat me to it while I was still taking my time typing....... I like the fact that we said more or less the same thing :-)

Message edited by author 2014-11-11 05:50:08.
11/11/2014 05:46:40 AM · #4
I left it and left it until I had a staggering 180k+ photos of all kinds of garbage and quality, My hard drive crashed out, lost the lot, done a recovery and got back 20k but sadly 90% of it was the garbage.

Thats how I sorted my photos out but it is not the recommended method ;)

Lightroom is the way to do it as the Hippie said, but do it ASAP it only gets harder until it gets impossible.
11/11/2014 08:40:57 AM · #5
First of all, I'm happy to hear that you had a good backpacking trip, and that your camera survived.
iPhoto works pretty good for what you need. It can sort the images several ways, by date, rating ect. As you upload to it they are broken into groups by the date they were shot.
After uploading, you can view and eliminate the clunkers first, then go again and rate the remainder from 0 to 5.
Next step, use "Sort by Rating" to separate them. Go through the 4's and 5's and pick the ones to work on, and drag them to an album.
You can also use "Batch Change" to add tags or comments to groups or individual images, then use "Search" with keywords to locate them later.
The first step in any case, or with any program is to back them up.
Or, you could just hire someone to do it for you. : )
11/11/2014 10:18:26 AM · #6
I do what Beetle/hippie do, as far as importing into Lightroom, deleting the obvious duds, and tagging. At that point, though, I skip all the work of deleting duplicates and such, and jump straight to making picks. I figure out what my goal is. Since its November, my immediate goal would probably be to make a 2015 calendar to share with family and friends. Later, I might want to do a 50-100 image book. I pick the best image or two in each subject area. At this point I don't get hung up on picking the exact image from a bunch of duplicates, I just pick one that looks good, give it a star, and move on. My goal here is to get down to maybe 2-3x as many picks as I'm going to use. In my second pass, I go through those and narrow down to the ones I'm probably going to use. For the ones I'm likely to use, I go through the duplicates, make a tentative pick, and give that 2 stars. I'll still,have more than I'm ultimately going to use, but I should be down to a reasonable amount to work with. Then I start processing.
11/11/2014 12:14:20 PM · #7
Thanks for the replies guys. Haven't been here for a while and it's still so nice to see people active and helping others. A lot of good information there to help create my own system. I've had another problem with my RAW files, Photoshop isn't recognizing the files. I'm guessing it's because it hasn't been updated to support my newer camera the D7000. I've downloaded the newest DNG converter but it's still not working, any ideas?

P.s 21.gif melonmusketeer unfortunately I slipped at a waterfall with my old D80 in my hands and it broke. However I used this as an excuse to upgrade to my new D7000 which is a stunning camera in comparison.
11/11/2014 06:52:04 PM · #8
Love my 7000. It might quit tomorrow, but three years and about 200k clicks along, it's still doing great but getting worn looking on the outside.
I dropped an 18-70 out of my pocket into the top of a waterfall in Montana in 06, it's a fisheye lens now.
11/12/2014 12:40:53 AM · #9
I shoot horse shows. I hire a few peeps to help me shoot at horse shows on occasion. 3 days, 2-3 photographers each day. 200 Competitors = just shy of 10k images to get online within a week (horse peeps have limitedattention spans. I'm old skool... I DONT use lightroom, I use iView (which for a while was Expression Media & is apparently iView Media now.) for superfast renaming & weeding out the crap. Then I take what's left (usually 2/3rds) & do light batch editing in Adobe Bridge, several hundred, or a major light change, at a time. Then I upload jpegs for sale, sorted by rider, & only really process the images that sell in PS.

I guess overall it's nearly the same process as using Lightroom but I just sub a different program that is tried & true for me with what I do. I tried LR at version 3 and found it unwieldy for my taste & didn't like it at all so I never tried it again as it reportedly got better & better. I think my biggest mistake was trying to learn it on the fly when I needed to be efficient in getting proofs online. Someday, I may try LR again now that I have mostly stopped shooting pro for the most part. I am hoping that my break from taking so many photos and having to be so efficient will make me like photography again. I do know I still love making good images and my favorite camera is my iPhone. (Anyone in the market for a year old Canon 7D or MKiii? Not to worry, I'm keeping one or the other and all my lenses, just haven't decided which one to sell yet.)

Hope that helps!

Message edited by author 2014-11-12 00:42:13.
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