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How To Organise Photos On Your Computer Effectively

Here's a quick guide to simple steps you can take to organise your images more effectively.

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Computer organisation


Never have any more photo chaos

It is a great feeling when you capture a unique photo but what if it disappears in the confusion of the files of your computer? Here, you will find some tips for an organized photo database.

Imagine that you're on an exciting photo journey through Costa Rica. Everything is perfect and the lighting allows you a wonderful snapshot of a rare bird (of course, you recognised the species thanks to your Eschenbach binoculars!). Back home, you save it quickly anywhere on your computer. Six weeks later, a magazine writes an article on your journey and would like great photos to illustrate it… where has that perfect picture gone?

A simple folder system on your computer is all you need for such photo chaos to remain fiction. Your photos will always be locatable and even if it seems difficult to order a considerable pile of accumulated images retrospectively, you’ll be grateful for taking the time to do this in the future.


The correct classification system

The best pattern in which to save your pictures highly depends on your behaviour as a photographer. Do you often travel abroad or do you make several trips to the same region? The first folders will be named from the different countries/area you have been. If you have visited them several times, create some subfolders corresponding to the years or months in which your journeys took place. From here, you can subdivide the folders according to the different geographic regions, or even to "plants" and "animals" you’ve seen. Here is an example with Mac OS:

Mac organisation

Renaming avoids photo chaos

Even when you have found the perfect folder system, another problem occurs as filenames such as "DSC09780" mean nothing to a photographer! Unfortunately, most digital cameras assign these names automatically and renaming each picture individually quickly becomes a repetitive and boring process. Here is a tip for Windows users to counteract this: Highlight all the pictures you'd like to rename with the mouse and select "rename" by right clicking. Then, enter a name which applies to all selected photos for example, "Costa Rica 2016-04-07". Windows will rename all the selected pictures with that sentence plus a number, ie "Costa Rica 2016-04-07 (1)", "Costa Rica 2016-04-07 (2)" and so on.

For Mac users, there is the "Automator" which allows, among many other functions, batch rename.

By the way, the metadata of your images can help you tidy them up as well. This provides additional information about the image such as date, time, aperture, ISO, shutter speed and more recently, the location of the image.

There are several programs that are dedicated to the organisation of photos. For some you will have to pay, some are free or trial.

You will find many suggestions for your next photo tour in Germany on our birding map.

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View Directory Page : Eschenbach Binoculars

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