Author Topic: Managing Your Photography Database  (Read 2862 times)

ezamora

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Managing Your Photography Database
« on: January 19, 2009, 07:47:04 PM »
Hi Everyone!

I am here to begin posting, when available, information about my databasing strategy and workflow for my more than 50,000 images. The only way to start on this monumental topic is slow to build a strong foundation on which your own strategy will last a lifetime of picture-making.

I've attached a Word document that is features a quick intro into my database, what software I use, and what you need to start thinking about as you begin this necessary journey. Without the cost of film holding us back, images come all too easy these days. They can soon become overwhelming if we're not careful. No matter if you're an occasional shooter or a self-employed pro, being organized about all those digital images is a must.

Enjoy this basic read, and I'll begin posting more in the near future. 

Eric Zamora
www.ericzamora.com

keithsnell

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Re: Managing Your Photography Database
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2009, 08:25:17 PM »
Eric,

Thank you very much for posting this information.  It's a great starting point for a dialog on "managing your photography database."  I have lots to add when I can find the time, and I'm sure Cindy Miller Hopkins has lots of information she could add as well (if she isn't buried with submissions to her stock agent).

One key step that I would emphasize it that you should, if at all practical, embed the initial caption and keyword information in your files when you download them from your camera/card to the computer.  We're all human, and many times we will download files with the best intention of going back later to caption and keyword the images, but we get overwhelmed by the real world.  It's all too easy to get behind on captioning and keywording and end up with thousands of "orphan" hard-to-find images on the computer.  The most efficient use of your time is to "batch" caption and keyword as you are copying the images from the card to computer.  Several programs, including Nikon Transfer and Photo Mechanic allow you to assign captions and keywords to groups of images prior to the transfer, and will embed the information in the file as they copy it to the new location.  I'll talk a bit more in the future about what types of keywords you should use, and how these keywords can provide the foundation for an "organizational structure" for your image files.  (We can also talk about the philosophy of "embedding" the information with the file, vs storing the cataloging information in a database or sidecar (.xmp) file.)

Keith
« Last Edit: January 19, 2009, 08:45:30 PM by keithsnell »

keithsnell

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Re: Managing Your Photography Database
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2009, 12:13:16 PM »
Eric's post got me rethinking about my Digital Asset Management (DAM) workflow.  The last time I formally updated this workflow was in September of 2007.  By "formally," I mean that I took the time to sit down and document my workflow from end to end, striving to develop the most efficient workflow.  Since that time, the software I use has evolved, giving me new features that I have adopted, but not yet documented as my "formal" workflow. 

As a side note, one of the things I have learned through experience is that your software will always evolve, whether you like it or not, and to remain efficient, you will be forced to adjust your workflow.  For example, I had developed a very efficient image editing and processing workflow with Nikon Capture 4 and Photoshop CS.  Unfortunately, Nikon Capture 4 is now "legacy" software, and doesn't support any of the new Nikon cameras introduce within the last 18 months, including my Nikon D3.  I had to adopt Nikon Capture NX as my new raw processing software, and the NX to Photoshop interface doesn't enable easy batch processing like Capture 4.0 did. 

As a second example, I adopted Cumulus as my cataloging software MANY years ago.  Cumulus used to be the "800 pound gorilla" for digital asset management; however, they decided to concentrate on the corporate DAM market, and sold off their "single user" photography-focused software development to an independent company.  I had to either buy the new "crippled" software or find another cataloging software.  None of the other cataloging software on the market at that time "played nicely" with my workflow, so I'm still using an interim solution. 

I'm still evaluating Media Expression as a potential cataloging software, but will wait until I can confirm they have fixed several known bugs with the Nikon NEF and Photo Mechanic compatibility.  In addition, I'm not too thrilled about their limit of 128,000 images per catalog (or the potentially even more restrictive limit of 1.8 Gig per catalog file size.)  You can read this thread for an interesting discussion on Media Expressions limitations with respect to catalog size:  http://social.expression.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/media/thread/aa48460b-46a9-45f3-927f-000f20627393/  The author of this study says, "first, if we use the smallest (800) previews at medium quality, we are still limited to a catalog with less than 30K images - way too small for a serious photographer and way below the claimed catalog size limit of 128K.  If you try so called Normal size previews (1024) at medium quality you are limited to less than 20K images."  These limitations tell me that if I adopted Expression Media as my cataloging software, I would need to maintain several "catalogs,"  which will make comprehensive image searches more cumbersome.  (In contrast to this, Cumulus scaled extremely well, with a catalog size limited only by the FAT 32 file system limit of 4 Gig.)

Now on to the thought that initiated this reply.  There is still no "one size fits all" solution with respect to DAM.  Once you reach a certain "critical mass" number of images, you will need specialized cataloging software in order to efficiently catalog and search your image database.  You need to be aware of the catalog size limitations of the currently available software.  This software has "hard" limits, such as Media Expressions limit of 128,000 images or 1.8 Gig per catalog, and "soft" limits, where coding that isn't optimized to support large catalogs will start to drag down your system performance until it becomes intolerable.  If you are considering using Lightroom as your "cataloging" software, you should read the following thread:
http://www.oreillynet.com/digitalmedia/blog/2007/08/lightroom_11_as_a_digital_asse_1.html   The photographer in this thread ran into significant performance limitations once his catalog size reached approximately 11,000 images.  I don't know about you, but this tells me that Lightroom is not the final solution for an effective cataloging software.

I'd be interested in hearing the perspective of other photographers.

Keith

« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 04:15:07 PM by keithsnell »

keithsnell

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Re: Managing Your Photography Database
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2009, 02:02:35 PM »
So what is my "interim" solution for DAM that I mention in the previous post?  First, let me say that I am VERY happy with Photo Mechanic for image review/editing and keywording.  (Not image editing from the standpoint of image modifications, but image "editing" from the standpoint of reviewing and separating "keepers" from trash.)  I know that at sometime in the relatively near future, Photo Mechanic will add cataloging and comprehensive search capability to the program.  If they implement those capabilities as well as they have implemented the current image review and keywording capabilities, then Photo Mechanic will become my "cataloging" program of choice.

In the mean time, my interim solution is to input keywords using a combination of Nikon Transfer (for the initial "high-level" keywording) and Photo Mechanic.  When assigning keywords in Photo Mechanic, I use a hierarchical structure that replicates the hierarchical structure of the best cataloging software.  For example, when entering a location such as Halifax, Nova Scotia,  the hierarchical structure will look something like this: North America, Canada, Eastern Canada, Atlantic Canada, Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia, Halifax.   These keywords replicate the nested "categories" that you would use in a cataloging program.  This allows you to perform a search based on a broad category such as "North America," or a narrow category such as "Halifax," or anything in between.  Using a wildlife example, the hierarchical structure for "cougar" would look like this:  animals, wildlife, mammals, cat, cougar.  An image of a cougar photographed in Halifax, Nova Scotia would of course have both a "location" hierarchy and "subject" hierarchy.  If the image was an environmental portrait taken in snow, I would also include: scenic, winter, snow as keywords, among others.  Hopefully you get the idea.  The point is that you should be able to search across multiple categories of images to varing levels of specificity.  If you want to know specifically what my "categories" are, please let me know and I can provide those as a starting point.

Unfortunately, Photo Mechanic isn't currently designed to efficiently search large volumes of images.  So, once I have entered my keywords using Photo Mechanic, I "index" the folders using Adobe Bridge.  Once these files are indexed, I can use Bridge to rapidly search for specific keywords, captions, and many other types of metadata (date, time, author, camera type, etc.)

Hopefully this information gets you thinking about how you might implement an efficient cataloging workflow of your own.  I'd welcome a dialog on this topic with other photographers who would like to share their experiences, recommendations, or questions.

Keith
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 02:10:08 PM by keithsnell »

Cindy Miller Hopkins

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Re: Managing Your Photography Database
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2009, 04:05:18 PM »
Thanks for posting this information. It always gets me thinking and re-thinking my workflow. Once I read all the information I will have some comments and questions to post. Thanks
Cindy

Molly Mehling

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Re: Managing Your Photography Database
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2009, 08:55:20 PM »
I am reading and reading...taking this all in.  I have to say how much I appreciate the openness and willingness to share information! 

Nicole Woltersdorf

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Re: Managing Your Photography Database
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2009, 03:04:42 PM »
Hi Eric-
Thanks for posting all of this information! It has been very helpful to me in adjusting my workflow and databsing situation. I would love to hear whatever else you or others have to share.
-Nicole Woltersdorf

ezamora

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Re: Managing Your Photography Database
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2009, 09:50:31 PM »
I'm delighted this topic is generating so much interest.

About your first point Keith regarding the addition of keywords and caption info at the import stage and not in the editing or processing stage of the workflow.

The worst thing a person can do is not include any keywords or caption info upon import. It's just to easy to do so and as you put, human nature says that chances are, we won't do it at all if we put it off. I agree that it's best to include as much information as possible about your images upon import. However, that's not always the best option because it depends heavily on time and the frequency of which we import our photos. Ninty percent of the time I only include keywords when I import. I import my photos the day I shoot them most of the time. When I don't, I either do incremental imports or I use few keywords. The reason why this matters is because if you have images from, say, the beach, and also images from your niece's birthday party, on the same CF card, you can't add the keyword "beach" because it'll get applied to the birthday party, which for the sake of this example, let's say was at your sister's house in the middle of the city. To remedy this, you'll have to either do two imports or do better at importing your images more frequently.

Captions are more generalized that keywords. And because I import images so often, I am able to apply several keywords. All the images are relatively the same. If I were to apply a generalized caption, I feel like I'm doing double duty. Say for example I applied the keywords "beach, family and vacation" and the caption, "Family vacation at the  beach." to a set of photos. To find those photos using the search terms beach or vacation or family, they only need to be in one place in the metadata.

In addition to that I find that some things are more appropriate to keywords and some are more appropriate to captions. For example, I watched a Nat. Geo. photographer at the museum photographing a butterfly. He had his laptop set up with two external HD's attached and a card reader. Everytime he imported images he applied a caption that had the researcher's name, his phone number, the name of the museum, the museum's phone number, the common name of the butterfly, the scientific name of the butterfly, how many species scientists thought still existed, where the butterfly is native to, etc, etc. I don't recall if he used keywords or not, but he didn't have to. Everything was in the caption. And the only reason he was able to do that is because he imported his photos every few minutes. He just kept rotating two cards. While one imported he was shooting with the other. Then he would switch. Every time he changed the animal, he just updated the caption. He used Photo Mechanic by the way.

To summarize, there are varying strategies of applying metadata upon import to the optimum efficiency given the exact present circumstances. The one thing to surely avoid is to delay the application of metadata until after import. That's a recipe for disaster later.   


Regarding your second post ...

The link you provided about Lightroom is for version 1.1. That version sucked! It's also very old and totally outdated. There are newer, vastly more efficient version out there. I use LR 2.2. which is the latest. It's late and I don't have the energy to describe all the differences (and I'm sure you don't mind not reading all that),  but trust me, it's awesome. I never use bridge any more. I've used photo mechanic some but that didn't do it for me either. Lightroom does it all. My goal with Lightroom is to eliminate the need for using Photoshop 90 percent of the time. If can do that, there will not be a need for big psd (or tiff) master files. It'll be the RAW file and that's it. One file to do everything with. Oh, man, I just have to show you at the summit. You'll be amazed, man, I promise. Just wait, you'll see.

OK ... to wrap up ... for those users of Lightroom, I've attached a document called Mastering Keywording. It's really the results of several tests that's I did with Lightroom during a recent workshop at Art Wolfe's school of digital photography. It's has some practical wisdom in it, but it's also very complex in parts and totally in appropriate for a Word document (meaning that you'll be more apt to learn it if I showed you instead of you reading it in black and white). But, without assumptions of the skill level of this forum's users, here it is.

keithsnell

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Re: Managing Your Photography Database
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2009, 10:50:55 PM »
Eric,

Good dialog, thank you again for initiating it. 

To clarify my keywording process, I apply a subset of my keywords upon import/transfer to the computer.  To use my example above, if I'm importing an image of a cougar in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I'll use the most descriptive of the keywords from the "hierarchy" that I describe in the post above.  Those keywords would be "cougar" and "Halifax."  This saves time and allows me to get the downloads done in a timely manner, and allows me to successfully search for those images on the computer if I need to find them before I get a chance to complete the keywording process. Later, when I'm "editing" (picking keepers vs trash) on the computer and otherwise "organizing" my photos, I will add the hierarchical keywords using Photo Mechanic (i.e., I will fill out the hierarchy of animals, wildlife, mammals, cat, cougar).  Photo Mechanic has a plugin that will allow me to auto fill the hierarchy (from the Controlled Vocabulary Keyword Catalog sold here:  http://www.controlledvocabulary.com/imagedatabases/cvkc_order.html ) by typing in "cougar" and selecting the "parent" hierarchy. 

By the way, both Nikon Transfer and Photo Mechanic allow me to selectively apply keywords to specific images during the download process.  That means I can select a group of thumbnails of the same subject and apply a set of keywords to those specific images.  I can do that with as many sets of images as needed, so I no longer run into the problem you cited with having "beach" applied to the images of the birthday party.   :)  Stated another way, I can easily add different keywords to different sets of images on the CF card, and am not forced apply the same keywords to all the images on the card during the download.  I'm sure there are other programs with this capability as well, but Nikon Transfer and Photo Mechanic are the two I am familiar with.

For the sake of others that aren't as familiar with the programs used for keywording, you don't need to type in the keyword information for each image.  You can type the keywords (and other metadata) into a "template" and then apply this "template" to a group of images that match those criteria.  You can save multiple templates, and use these in the future for similar images.

Captions and Keywords are used for different purposes by stock agents and buyers.  If you sell your images, you will eventually need both.  It's more efficient to input them both at the same time, since, as you noted, many times it is just a "cut and paste" from caption to keywords.

I'm glad to hear that Lightroom 2.2 has improved performance.  I still read many complaints about the program "bogging down" at about the 15,000 image point.  I've also read that Adobe said they would address this in Lightroom 3.  Maybe that is when I'll make the transition to lightroom.  Much of the choice of Lightroom over other alternatives depends on whether you like the raw image processing built into Lightroom.  I find that many Canon photographers like Lightroom, while many Nikon photographers don't.  The reason for this is that the raw processing engine in Lightroom just doesn't do a great job with Nikon raw files.  Since I'm already using Photo Mechanic as my keywording tool, and Nikon Capture as my raw processing tool, it doesn't make as much sense for me to put up with Lightroom's "intrusiveness" just for the sake of using its cataloging capabilities.  However, like I said in my earlier post, software is continually evolving, and there is a very good possibility that Lightroom will eventually evolve into something that I find useful.   :)

I'd still love to see Lightroom in action at the Summit.  As a "teacher," I'm genuinely interested in understanding the capabilities (and limitations) of all of the software available to my potential students.

Thanks again for the informative dialog.

Keith

Cindy Miller Hopkins

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Re: Managing Your Photography Database
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2009, 02:42:09 PM »
Great dialog and info! Thank you everyone for posting. After reading all the information, I find that it sounds like everybody travels with their computers? Downloading caption information right of the camera is nice and I do it when ever possible, BUT I hardly ever travel with my computer. I travel over 150 days a year and find that just getting my camera equipment from home to destination is a heavy weight chore as it is without adding the number one theft item … my laptop. I process around 25,000 images a year, so my workflow will be a little different than most, but I find that it really works for me.

I’m shooting a Nikon 2Dx and a D200 for a back up body, and shoot everything in RAW. This is my shooting process:
ON THE ROAD - Go to great place … shoot, shoot, shoot. Each night I download my cards to two matching 80GB viewable hard drives (Epson P-5000). Why two? I can’t afford to loose an entire shoot due to a lost, broken, or stolen computer/hard drive. (For those of you who travel with a laptop … you too should travel with an external hard drive to back up your work as you go.) I store and carry each hard drive in a different place during the trip as an extra safety precaution. After downloading, I clear all of my cards to be ready for the next day of shooting. Then, when time allows, I will do my first edit on my hard drives. Because they are small & hand held I can do this anywhere … hotel room, airport, bus seat, etc. with or without power source. With lots of practice, I quickly edit all of my stored images using the STAR system. The hard drives allow me to assign 1 to 5 stars to each image (no stars – delete * one star - keep as back up * two stars – family or personal images * three stars – client images * four star – agent * five star – only the best) I then go through and delete all images without any stars. I do this everyday of the trip and I continually refine my edits by up-grading or downgrading my star system until I have only the cream of the crop left. I find that being a good editor is the first key to good workflow and processing. I don’t have time or hard drive space to deal with thousands of so-so images. Don’t get me wrong, I save plenty of 1-star back up images, but I’m happy to hit the delete button too!
AT HOME - By the time I get home all of my images have been edited and re-edited and they are ready to up-load to my computer. The Epson star system transfers right into Photoshop CS4 Bridge (CS3 or CS2 as well).
1.  In Bridge I add BASIC captioning & keywords (Person/Place/Thing) to all the images in large batches by area or subject.
2.  I then add copyright information to EVERYTHING.
3.  Next I listen to any audio files attached to an image and make notes in the metadata.
4.  I do a batch re-name to: Three letter country code_date_time so all of my files names look like this: CAN_101708_111545 (images was shot in Canada on Oct 17, 2008 at 11:15:45) If for some reason the metadata is lost or separated from my image, at least I know when & where the image was shot.
5.  Now I sort all of my 4-star images and process them for my agent by starting with color correcting (set white balance, correct exposure if needed, saturate color) crop and or clean image as needed. Sometimes an image does not “clean-up” as well as expected and gets bumped down a star.
6.  Add detailed captioning by adding any other pertinent information.
7.  Key wording: How detailed your key wording is all depends on what you are doing with your images and how you intend on searching your files. Even if you are only doing photography as a hobby, you will still need to find your images at some point in time! If you are more serious and intend to market your images with an agent or on your own web site, spending a little more time key wording will pay off in the end. Be sure to include the following:
WHERE (country, state, location, famous building?)
WHEN (if important, fall? Season, snow, harvest? New Year’s Day?)
WHO (guide? Family? Mother? Local? Peruvian? Cowboy?)
WHAT (animal?  still life? handicraft? wildlife, landscape, mountain, tree, parade)
IMAGE STYLE (If you are selling images you should think about adding information like: close-up, select focus, copy space, blur, action, etc.)
8.  Re-size or any other final work needed before storing/submitting image.
9.  Save in at least TWO places. Store on computer and external hard drive? Or external hard drive connected to computer and external hard drive kept away from computer? You pick, but back up often and make it a habit.

That's it - Yes, it's a lot of work but all worth when it comes to finding what I want, when I want it. Happy shooting!
Cindy

keithsnell

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Re: Managing Your Photography Database
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2009, 04:23:34 PM »
Cindy,

Excellent post.  I've traveled so much with my laptop lately that I forgot I sometimes don't :-).  If I'm traveling by car in the U.S., there's usually no reason not to take the laptop.  On the other hand, if I'm traveling in a foreign country and I either need to travel light, or their is a chance that my laptop will get stolen, then, like you, I use a portable hard drive for storing my images.  Like you, I also keep two copies of the images in separate locations, one of those usually being the hotel safe.

I also use an iterative process to edit my images.  In general, my philosophy is "don't waste time on images that should be deleted."  The first step is a "rough" edit to separate my images into "keepers" and "to be deleted" folders.  I don't delete the "to be deleted" images until I have completed my selections and ensured there isn't a need to "rescue" one of the "to be deleted" images because it is a "one of a kind" shot. 

The images in the "keepers" folder then get color labels, green = submission quality, yellow = snapshot (I may keep it around because storage is cheap, but probably won't ever submit this image.  Family and personal images fall under this label as well.).  I'll usually go through my images one more time and move many of the "yellow" labeled images into the "to be deleted" folder if I have sufficient coverage of that subject.  After I've separated the keepers from the "to be deleted," and applied color labels, I'll apply the "hierarchical" keywords I talked about in the earlier post and refine captions if needed (but only to the images in the "keepers" folder).  Many times this level of editing is "good enough," and the green labeled images get selected for submission to my agent.  On shoots where I have a significant number of similar (high-quality) images, I may need to take the time to further separate the "best" images by assigning a star rating. 

5 stars =  "Compelling" image with excellent composition and technique.
4 stars =  Good composition/subject with no technical flaws.
3 Stars =  Technically good image, but not inspiring.
2 Stars =  Not a total failure, but I'm not proud of it.
1 Star = Oops, I need to take a photography workshop.

In actuality, I very rarely take the time to put stars on the one and two star images, they get moved immediately to the "to be deleted" folder.  I strive to get 5% of my images into the four and five star range (roughly equivalent to a "green" label).  5-star images are always selected for submission to my agent.  If I don't have 5-star coverage of a subject, then I will submit the 4-star images, and if I don't have any 4-star images and I think my agent might need coverage of that particular subject, I may submit a 3-star image (well, eventually, when I finally make the time to work on "submissions").

Thanks again for the excellent points in your post.  Your "where, what, who, image style" examples for keywords were excellent!

I'll probably post again sometime in the near future to talk about backups, and I still want to cover the discussion of "embedded" keywords vs. storing them in sidecar files.

Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience and recommendations.

Keith

Cindy Miller Hopkins

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Re: Managing Your Photography Database
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2009, 08:40:50 PM »
Keith - Good point about NOT deleting the images until the very last edit. I normally do all my editing on ONE of the two drives. I just load all the RAW images on the secondary hard drive .. and that's it. On the main drive, I go ahead and edit/star and dump any unwanted images (knowing, that if I change my mind or find that I only saved vert. shots and no horoz. of that subject, I can go back on my second drive and pick them up.) On long trips, I do run out of space sometimes even with 80GB! So I do still dump a lot of images on the go. While on assignment, I'm under contract for a certain number of images, so I also like that I can look at "totals" for each star category and see how I'm doing. If it's a 10 day trip and I need to produce 500 images for my client, I can take a look at the 4-star images and make sure that I'm on track for the shoot. It always makes me relax a bit when I know I have a good cushion of images to choose from OR if I need to ramp it up a bit.

I think the one thing that has really changed for me over the years is my ability to be a better editor of my own work. I look back at images I kept 5 years ago and if they were in focus ... they were keepers! Now they have to have so much more. I think a big incentive was the change over from slides to digital. I used to dump slides on a light table, pick the best, do a quick caption label, and send them out ... now there is so much more post-production work that has to be done I always think to myself ... hummmm, is this image good enough to caption and keyword? That always helps me push the delete more often!

One more thing that I try to think about when editing and before I dump an image is ... is there a picture within the picture? One advantage of shooting large RAW images is you can do some pretty heavy cropping and still have something left over. So, just because the shot was not perfect "in frame" does not mean that a great shot is not hiding within ...

keithsnell

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Re: Managing Your Photography Database
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2009, 09:37:34 PM »
Cindy,

I agree that it takes lots of shooting under your belt before you can really become a good editor of your own work.  I remember coming back from a 21-day photo trip in the days when I was shooting slides, sitting down at my dining room table with boxes full of over 5,000 slides fresh from the lab, my light table, and a huge trash can by my side.  I literally threw away 4,600 of those slides, and had 400 images left as "keepers" from the trip.  And that was a VERY GOOD keeper rate for me.  (Many of those transparencies were medium format, so it was a very expensive trash can full of edits.)  Nowadays, some of those "keepers" would go in the trash too. 

I think those of us that were photographers back in the days of shooting slides have a different take on editing images than those that started as "serious" photographers with digital.  I've often heard digital photographers say they keep every image, either because "they might need it in the future," or because it just takes too much time to do a thorough edit, and "storage is cheap."  I've calculated the storage space I would need if I kept every image, and the additional cost would be several thousand dollars per year!  Not to mention the potential headaches when sometime in the future I need to submit my "best" image of a specific subject and have to sift through thousands of so-so images to find the submission quality images.  The delete key is your friend. :)

Good point on looking for the "picture within a picture." 

Keith

Cindy Miller Hopkins

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Re: Managing Your Photography Database
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2009, 07:59:22 AM »
Keith,

Yes, I too have seen MANY magazines that say to keep everything ... but I agree with you that the headache of looking at that many more images when it comes time to storing & then FINDING what you want seems ridiculous to me. Besides, the harder I work at editing my own images ... I think ... the better photographer I become. In some ways I think that it's just lazy to "keep" everything. Critiquing my own work makes me more objective, more realistic. I delete thousands ... tens of thousands every year, but I notice that every year I delete a little less. Now I'm shooting in camera what I like, and want, more often. The more I practice and know my equipment, the more I KNOW how something will come out instead of guessing. So all of my "trial & error" shooting, the countless hours spent editing & re-editing, and dumping of images is all part of "my" training to become a better photographer with a better eye ... only my agent knows if it's working!

Yes, I agree and feel that the delete key is a BIG part of my workflow and is my good friend.  ;)

keithsnell

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Re: Managing Your Photography Database
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2009, 07:53:51 AM »
I'm always hopeful that I can find a more efficient workflow, and so keep my eyes open for workflow discussions and try to learn from them.  I ran across the following blog post, which describes why the author (and his team of photographers) still chooses to use Photomechanic for their metadata entry tool.  Their obvious preference would be to use Lightrooom 2 for everything, including metadata entry, however they've found that Lightroom is missing key capabilities.  Read the link for more:   Why Photomechanic