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Why make folders at all?
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Author Topic: Why make folders at all?  (Read 13089 times)
jljonathan
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« on: December 12, 2008, 09:10:28 AM »

I am setting up a Dam system using EM2 and was wondering why I should even use folders. If I build buckets for Raw and Dev, and keep keywords etc on all images synced, why use folders in the buckets? Just fill them until I make a DVD with images cataloged into EM2. Any thoughts on this?
Jonathan
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2008, 12:32:38 PM »

Jonathan,
I was doing the same thing, when one bucket could containg images from just one shoot (I still found it marginally useful to keep separate shoots in their own folders.)

Now that I've moved to Blu-ray, it's unlikely I'll have a no subfolders in one bucket.
Peter
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jljonathan
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2008, 03:21:49 PM »

Peter
The only reason I ask is that I often come back with only a few images on a card from shooting some occasional event or person, and the folder that gets made only contains a few shots. I have a number of these on the system and in EM2, and thought that maybe having all these folders wasn't really necessary. I do understand your point of keeping things in folders though. Maybe I should rearrange some of these items that are in in separate folders,  consolidate based on subject or topic etc.  and forget about dating folders. It's the dating that means that I create a new folder for what might be only a few files. What do you think?
Also, what is the capacity of the bluray and the cost?
Thanks again
Jonathan
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billseymour
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2008, 04:57:16 PM »

Peter-
Isn't the folder concept also based on DAM book idea of having 'chunks' of images in folders the size of the physical media you are backing up to. (Hmm, ending a sentence with a preposition...)

So folders of 4gb for saves to single sided DVD, etc. Then as you suggested, when one 'scales up' to larger capacity (like Bluray), one might keep folders of Blu-Ray size (is that 28gb? I haven't kept up), and the older folders just get tossed in intact (so BluRay001 will contain DVD001, DVD002, etc).

Personally, I find it useful to have the 'simple chunk' of a folder when doing saves. We've discussed elsewhere the question of 'updating' the physical media saved periodically, for instance, if one has totally revised one's keywording and wants to physically save the synched media. In this instance, I find a few folders more useful than a no-folder setup.

(I understand that if you are talking about 'a folder for each job', that this seems unnecessary and too cluttered for a DAM system).
--Bill
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jljonathan
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2008, 07:30:14 PM »

Bill
Yes I am referring to many folders within the RAW_001 folder that gets backed up to DVD.
Folders like:
Car Show_2007 , with maybe 15 images
Mike_2006 , with maybe 3 images
and so forth, all adding up to many folders, some with very few images in them. That's whyt I'm trying to decide to either continue with it this way, if it seems that this is the recommended way to go, or, rebuild the folder system so that there are fewer, (I mentioned maybe consolidating), or no folders (sub-folders) at all. I'm looking for suggestions and recommendations.
Thanks again
Jonathan
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2008, 11:20:50 PM »

Jonathan,
I tend to lump lots of small shoots together in a folder "misc" instead of having 20 different ones in a bucket.
Peter
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BobSmith
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2008, 05:21:39 AM »

in my view, part of the reason for a few simple meaningful folders is as a fail-safe last resort to find something if the catalog structure and backups all go south.  My folders are all named with the date (YYMMDD) and a key descriptive word or two... most of my archive is commercial work so its the name of the client.  If I had to, I could do system level searches for certain dates or client names to locate groups of relevant images. Most of my DVD size buckets contain no more than maybe four or five folders... many contain only one or two.

Bob Smith
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jljonathan
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2008, 07:05:13 PM »

Peter and Bob
Your responses give me some guidance as to how to eliminate the excess folder situation here. The misc folder is good one. Maybe I will create several of these based on date ranges.  One additional aspect is the DRV folder situation. When a file goes into PS and then is saved in a DRV bucket, do you do the same thing? Otherwise, I will end up with many folders in there. How do you handle the DRV folders?
Jonathan
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2008, 02:57:08 AM »

I feel the answer would be the same if you were to ask whether it's worth bothering with any text in filenames. A hard core meta-pedantic view would say filenames only need the date (if that) and some numeric code, and would dump those files into big buckets. In practice, you're not always going to be examining the archive through your cataloguing application - you'll be using Finder/Explorer. And just as text in filenames helps us poor humans, so does subdividing into folders.

FWIW I have one or more folders per day. If a shoot's keepers exceed a single DVD bucket, I'd add a letter - eg 081214A Jones Wedding. It's not much work to make them, and if you find it convenient, why not? if you end up wasting a lot of time, go hard core.

John
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2008, 08:26:57 AM »

Jonathan,
I generally make folders for each derivative project.  Since the files are much larger per image (Master files routinely get to be several hundred MBs each for me) even a bucket full of misc generally does not have too many folders. Most projects include a number of Master Files, so average size is probably several GB.
Peter
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Dierk
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2008, 09:35:02 AM »

Simple answer from me [in two varieties]:

a) easier to find photos
b) always good to have a back-up system or 'Plan B'


Personally I go for a semantic system with folders, that is, I am more interested in an intuitive, content-based model. I rarely have the need to search for dates; I am much more inclined to look for, say, a 'fallow deer' photo or something from 'Upper Lusatia'. Expereience shows that people in general function that way, abstracts [like dates] aren't in the human nature.

I also find, over and over again, that it is often quicker to find a photo in a system using descriptive folder/file names [even on the lowest level] using ones brains than by abstract names, metadata and a DAM. This is clearly needed when the DAM, for whatever reason, fails.
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Dierk

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Other: Nikon D2x, Nikon D200, Capture NX 2, Adobe Creative Suite 3
peterkrogh
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2008, 10:19:32 AM »

Keep in mind that embedded metadata is at least as durable as folder names, even if the particular catalog you are looking at were to totally fail.  If you depend on the folder name to lead you to "Fallow Deer", the system will break if the image is moved outside the folder.

While you can use a folder structure in a way that gathers related content, it plays real havoc with the backup strategy, and is going to be really limited.  Are you organizing images by subject, client, or how god you think they are?

Peter

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jljonathan
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2008, 01:07:00 PM »

Well, it seems that there is lots of room for various approaches to the use of folders in organization. Dierk takes the content approach to finding his 'Upper Lusatia' photos (thanks for the reference, interesting area settled by the Celts). I certainly understand the desire to have content as a reference and was using a lot of content as my initial method. Peter takes the approach that metadata can reference any organization you choose, and I think that this is a very powerful method that is now what I am trying to transition into. Any of the information from dates, content, keywords etc etc can be embedded and searched as a locator, both in EM2 or Bridge. What I was trying to get at was the problem for someone who does not do commercial jobs with hundreds of images for a single shoot, but someone who, as a hobby, takes shots and then ends up with too many folders holding few images that identify that specific image by content in the folder name. Additionally, adding to the abundance of folders in the DRV buckets also. I was looking for some guidance for an effective way to utilize the metadata as a primary organizational/search tool, but also have a simplified and more limited folder structure within the RAW ans DRV buckets. The Misc folder is one option for dealing with situations when there is only one or two images within a folder named for the content. I would still be interested in any others, short of doing away with folder altogther.
Thanks again to all
Jonathan
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Dierk
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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2008, 02:30:02 AM »

If you depend on the folder name to lead you to "Fallow Deer", the system will break if the image is moved outside the folder.

True. And often times, as I am on record, it isn't really easy to define the subject of a photo as clear cut. A shoot of, to stay in my vicinity, Hamburg's harbour birthday might best be put into Hamburg->Harbour->Birthday[->YYY]. But what with those photos depicting old schooners, u-boats and submarines, the newest ocean-crossing racers or the largest cruisers? Wouldn't I look for them under Movement->Water->Vessels[->sailing|cruise|sports|military]?

It gets worse when you factor in probable uses; a photo used journalistic today [Hamburg's harbour birthday] may be advertising for sweets tomorrow, a postcard next year etc. That is the subject changes by use.

That is why DAM is so important, to create several layers of meaning for a photo. You can put it the other way round if you like: to manage the possible layers of meaning of a photo. Do not use one system only, folders or DAM, use both to get the best of both worlds.


Peter, I actually use my folder structure to organise the hotos by content. I try to make this as concrete as possible; abstractions like client or perceived value [aesthetic, economic, morally] do not play a role unless client and content coincide [portrait, commercial still life]. Just as with the subject mentioned above, aesthetic, moral and economic value change with time and target/usage.
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Dierk

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Other: Nikon D2x, Nikon D200, Capture NX 2, Adobe Creative Suite 3
peterkrogh
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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2008, 07:23:24 AM »

Dierk,
Your post remonded me of one of my favorite imaginary visuals - when I was touring Hamburg, the Harbor birthday was described - "imagine thousands of hamburgers out in the harbor in their boats". To this American, it conjured an image of a harbor full of Mayor McCheese characters in their boats bobbing around n the twilight. (Which probably has *you* scratching your head...)

But on to the point.  When you group by subject, how do you manage to keep your backups in sync?  Are you using a sync program that adds all the new  harbor birthday photos to the harbor birthday parent folder? I assume that this means no write-once media in the backup scheme, or at least no direct correlation of optical media to archive structure.
Peter
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