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JPEG Originals and folder dates
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Author Topic: JPEG Originals and folder dates  (Read 13441 times)
simonk
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« on: September 20, 2006, 01:00:05 AM »

I finished reading the book and created DVD-sized buckets for all of my JPEG photos. I need help in clarifying some lingering questions.

1. Before I began the DAM process, I used to confirm my JPEG as original by comparing the file date against the created date. When I began adding "unrated" labels using IDimager Lite, I noticed that the file date changed. Is this file with different date still considered as an original? I could not find this info in the DAM book. Is this how it's supposed to be or is there a way to add metadata and still keep the original created date?

2. I mostly have family events, candid diary shots, and some wedding photos. Also, I have a lot of repeat photo location, like my local park for my daughter's photos. I see that Peter organizes photos in folders without dates. My old-style folder names contained dates. Would keeping the date info in the folder name cause problems? This is how my folders are orgained right now.

RAW_001_2005
     20050304 Local Park
     20050307 Home
     20050415 Local Park
     20050418 Home
     20050518 Local Park

Is there a better way to organize this? According to Peter's book, it would look like this.

RAW_001_2005
     Local Park
     Home

But, wouldn't it be confusing because all the events are now shuffled up? I guess I still want a way to quickly locate the photos using a file browser. Or, am I missing the whole point of DAM software? How are others handling this type of issue?

Thanks for your help.
Simon
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2006, 07:10:11 AM »

Simon,
1. I would suggest that you should put JPEGs away in some kind of designated place, back them up, annd don't touch them (as far as adjustments go).  Simply add metadata.  When you make a derivative copy of the file you want to keep, put it in a place for derivative files.  So you would end up with a "pristine" (at least as far as image adjustments) archive of JPEG originals.

The metadata will be constantly changing, and if you push it back into the files routinely, then you will be affecting the mosification dates.  If you can wrangle the primary, original archive of JPEG files themselves separately from how you wrangle the metadata, you will greatly simplify the task of keeping everything straightened out.

2. If the dates in the folder names are helpful to you, by all means, use them.

I would suggest using Cataloging software to group the images into useful combinations, rather than depending on folder structure to do this.
Peter

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simonk
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2006, 11:15:19 PM »

Hi Peter,

Thank you for detailed explanation. I'm still a bit hung up on this original JPEG issue. The book implied that a JPEG file is an original as long as the image is not modified or recompressed. I somehow didn't want the original file to keep changing many times, even if it's just the metadata, not the image itself. Wouldn't that mean my archived DVD contents (e.g. RAW_001_2005) will keep changing, possibly ending up with multiple versions of RAW_001_2005 DVDs?

Quote
2. If the dates in the folder names are helpful to you, by all means, use them.

I would suggest using Cataloging software to group the images into useful combinations, rather than depending on folder structure to do this.

I think I'll try your method of folder organization. I've just begun playing around with IDimager, so I might actually end up liking it that way. Thanks!

Simon
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2006, 08:19:54 AM »

Simon,
There's no need to consider the addition or change of metadata to a JPEG to require the generation of a different file. 
Peter
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Doug Pardee
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2006, 10:06:05 AM »

As a (now) JPEG shooter and idImager user, here are my thoughts:

[I've combined questions from multiple postings here.]

Before I began the DAM process, I used to confirm my JPEG as original by comparing the file date against the created date. When I began adding "unrated" labels using IDimager Lite, I noticed that the file date changed. Is this file with different date still considered as an original? I could not find this info in the DAM book. Is this how it's supposed to be or is there a way to add metadata and still keep the original created date?

This is a big leap. Or more correctly, a decision whether to leap or not.

There are two different ways of thinking of an original. One is the "bit-for-bit exactly as it came from the camera" file, and the other is "a reference file containing the original image data". Peter Krogh's workflow is clearly based on the latter—he even discards his original Raw files.

Making the leap mainly requires faith in your tools not to destroy the original image data while changing the file containing that data. To get there, you pretty much need to have a workflow which involves making temporary backups of the camera files, backups which you will discard only after you've finished adding metadata to your originals and verified that the image data is still intact. Note that this implies that for originals all embedded metadata will be added in a very short timespan and the original will remain untouched thereafter. In my case I just leave the camera files on the CF card until I'm satisfied that the original file is good.

Separately filing original and derivative files is also a big help once you start modifying the original files. Then you don't have to worry about the file dates and whether you can tell if it's an original or not.

If you're not ready to make the leap, you'll need to store your "embedded" metadata separately. I'm pretty sure that idImager will store the XMP/IPTC metadata in a .XMP sidecar file if the image file is marked read-only. If you use idImager downloader, there's an option to make all ingested files read-only; that would be the easy way around it.

Another approach is to redate your originals. idImager has a "redate" feature (I think it's under Collections>Operations) which can be used to do a number of different things to both metadata dates and file dates on any collection of image files. The Downloader also has an option to reset the file dates to the EXIF dates during ingestion.

If you aren't using Downloader for ingestion, you're missing much of the power of idImager for DAM. Downloader handles all of the "bulk" operations in a single ingestion step. I'd used idImager for a couple of months before I looked at Downloader, and then realized I'd been wasting huge amounts of my time doing stuff by hand that could have been done automatically.

Quote
Wouldn't that mean my archived DVD contents (e.g. RAW_001_2005) will keep changing, possibly ending up with multiple versions of RAW_001_2005 DVDs?

As noted above, you should add all of the embedded metadata to your originals over a very short time span, and then they'll be left alone. So this shouldn't be a problem.

Quote
My old-style folder names contained dates. Would keeping the date info in the folder name cause problems?

As far as I know, you can arrange them however you want.

Quote
I guess I still want a way to quickly locate the photos using a file browser. Or, am I missing the whole point of DAM software?

Yes, you really need to "let go" of the folder/filename approach to locating photos. idImager will find them for you.

You can still use folders for a simple one-dimensional classification, but you should think of that as a little bonus, not as a key part of your filing system.
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simonk
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2006, 11:28:01 PM »

There's no need to consider the addition or change of metadata to a JPEG to require the generation of a different file. 

Peter, I must have confused you by using "DVD" terminology earlier. I was referring to multiple physical DVD disks (not DVD as for Derivatives) named "RAW_001_2005" that contain original JPEGs with different metadata.
Although I'm still fuzzy on details of this DAM process, I'm really enjoying it. Thank you for writing this wonderful book Smiley
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simonk
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2006, 12:01:57 AM »

Doug, thank you so much for taking your time to help me. I think you know what's going on in my head.

This is a big leap. Or more correctly, a decision whether to leap or not.

You are absolutely right. I'm still not used to the idea of calling modified JPEG as original, even if it's just metadata change. Since I've already created DVD-sized buckets of my camera originals, I'll just burn them to several disks. After that, I should feel free to play around with metadata, knowing that I can always go back to those disks if I mess up. I'm not sure why I didn't just do that in the first place.

By the way, thanks for the Downloader tip. I'll check it out.

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David Anderson
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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2006, 02:07:59 AM »

Two minor points ...

... If you can wrangle the primary, original archive of JPEG files themselves separately from how you wrangle the metadata, you will greatly simplify the task of keeping everything straightened out.

Peter,
I note that you occasionally use the word 'wrangle' in your posts. This sounds a little strange to British ears, as the Oxford English dictionary defines it as 'quarrel or dispute angrily or noisily; engage in convoluted or public debate or in controversy'. What does wrangle mean in the USA?

David


If you aren't using Downloader for ingestion, you're missing much of the power of idImager for DAM. Downloader handles all of the "bulk" operations in a single ingestion step. I'd used idImager for a couple of months before I looked at Downloader, and then realized I'd been wasting huge amounts of my time doing stuff by hand that could have been done automatically.

Doug,
From the context, I assume you must be referring to an ingestion program called Downloader that is supplied with idIimager. I know nothing about idIMager, so that is just a guess on my part. To avoid any confusion, please be aware that there is another excellent ingestion program with an almost identical name, i.e. Downloader Pro from Breeze Systems (for PC only).

David
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2006, 03:55:38 AM »

Peter,
I note that you occasionally use the word 'wrangle' in your posts. This sounds a little strange to British ears, as the Oxford English dictionary defines it as 'quarrel or dispute angrily or noisily; engage in convoluted or public debate or in controversy'. What does wrangle mean in the USA?
David

I've often wondered about that too. Jeff Schewe uses it almost as often as he writes "prolly". Isn't it something cowboys do? Maybe this led to the Wrangler brand of jeans? In this context "cowboys" refers to men on horseback who herd cows, not the British connotation as second-rate and dishonest as in "cowboy builders". Maybe we'd talk about "pixel mangling" (assuming you're old enough to remember a mangle) ?

Two nations divided by a common language?

John
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2006, 12:56:02 PM »

I'm using it in the cowboy sense, as in to herd.  Essentially, we are herding the data. 

>A group of cattle or other domestic animals of a single kind kept together for a specific purpose.

The metaphor is that you have a lot of individual items that are treated as a single group.  They are cared for - preserved, nurtured, moved, they produce offspring, individuals are culled, etc.  the only difference is that we are not sending them to slaughter at the end.

I didn't realize it sounded so strange to other English speakers.
Peter
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danaltick
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« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2006, 09:17:44 PM »

Are them British ever gunna to learn to speak English... jeez!

Dan
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WindowsXP, ImageIngester Pro, RapidFixer, IVMP 3, ACR4, Photoshop CS4, Controlled Keyword Catalog, Canon EOS50D
David Anderson
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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2006, 01:16:36 AM »

You lend these colonials a perfectly good language for 200 years and see what a mess they've made of it! Too much sunshine and Coca Cola clearly ravages the mind.

I've had enough. I'm off to wrangle my prolly....

David
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Mike777
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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2006, 07:39:01 AM »

I keep my jpeg originals untouched (now) as I always have something to refer back to. Issue is, when you have made a multitude of adjustments on a jpeg and need to start again with the original it can take ages to get back to where you are.

I shoot everything raw now, except for some press work where I have to wire from the event. In this case, I download two copies and just work on one set. I append the untouched ones _ORI. I dont track them or do anything I just have them in a folder (for now) because I can find it in a jiff from the file name if I need to. Thats where they are all wrangled. See Im bi-lingual I can speak American English too.

 Grin
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simonk
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« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2006, 08:55:25 PM »

In terms of JPEG and camera RAW files, I'm quite the other way around from Mike777. I usually shoot JPEG. I shoot JPEG+RAW for what I feel are important events (e.g. weddings, birthdays, etc.). I don't have RAW workflow yet, so I just put RAW files in their own folders and don't do anything with them. When I get really good at this digital photo processing stuff, those RAW files will be there for me.

I thought about what was discussed in this thread and what I read from the book. I finally decided to procede with the following scheme. It will allow me to follow Peter's DAM structure without "having to let go" of the old way, for now. When I'm ready, I would have already been following Peter's way. It's sort of like what Mike777 is doing. I created 4 types of bucket-holding folders.

The bucket folder names follow this general naming rule: BirthOfFile_MediaTypeOfBucket_MediaID#_OptionalDate.
My folders look like this now:

Photo Buckets
     Original_01
          ORIG_DVD_001_2001      (this is my comfort bucket of untouched camera original files)
               20011005 Sea World
               20011031 Halloween
               .....
          ORIG_DVD_003_2005
               20050617 Sam Birthday
                    RAW                    (I don't know what to do with these camera RAW file now. So, they just sit in here Smiley )
               .....
     Metadata_01
          META_DVD_001_2001     (this is my version of Peter's RAW_001_2001 folder)
               Sea World
               Halloween
               .....
     Scanned_01
          SCAN_DVD_001             
               Mom Dad Wedding
               .....
     Edited_01
          EDIT_DVD_001               (this is my version of Peter's DVD_001 folder)
               Mom Dad Wedding
               .....

I also decided to use "DVD" to only mean the media type, as in CD and Blu-ray disk, not Derivative files. Although Peter explains the reason behind this DVD name, it was confusing for me while reading the book and confusing when I tried to organize my buckets. When I feel comfortable with the catalog software and this whole process, I can just ignore my ORIG_DVD-series buckets (as if I never created them in the first place). The only drawback is that I will be basically doubling the disk space. But I think that's a small price to pay.

Simon
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2006, 08:11:58 AM »

Looks good to me Simon (although I still think the second directory of JPEGs is unnecessary.  Not a big deal since it does not create such a large data set as RAW files would.)
Peter
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