8 Replies Latest reply: Apr 11, 2012 5:15 PM by areohbee RSS

    Renaming files

    hollyohio

      Should I rename my photo files prior to import to Lightroom 3? The filenames are disorganized on Windows 7. 

        • 1. Re: Renaming files
          dj_paige Community Member

          I wouldn't bother. Once the photos are imported into Lightroom, you should assign keywords and then use keywords to do your searching ... in which case, you don't need to know the file names ... LR remembers the file names so you don't have to.

          • 2. Re: Renaming files
            Cornelia-I Community Member

            I would not rename PRIOR to import, but consider to do so while importing or afterwards.

             

            Filenames are not very important inside LR.

             

            Just if you anticipate a hardware crash of your image storage medium, then using recovery software which will give you strange filenames, this may be useful to reestablish connection with your LR catalog.

            This is the reason why Victoria Bampton suggests a reproducible naming structure for filenames, e.g. Based on date-time, so you still have the required info inside the file's metadata. See her FAQs on http://www.lightroomqueen.com/books/adobe-lightroom-3-missing-faq/book-excerpts/.

             

            Cornelia

            • 3. Re: Renaming files
              borisporosin Community Member

              Hi, I would rename them before importing to LR. In LR the filename does not matter, but for backups I would definitely rename them prior importing.

              • 4. Re: Renaming files
                Cornelia-I Community Member

                Hi boris,

                 

                If you use the LR feature to put a 2nd copy on some other storage while you are importing

                the renaming that you apply during import will be applied to those copies as well. So they match once the import routine is done.

                I do this always, putting one safe copy away on my NAS while putting my working copy on the laptop, copying directly from the camera card by 1 LR-import. Working copy means that they are inside LR catalog afterwards, while the NAS copies will not be, they are just a safety backup created by LR at the time of import.

                Only after spot-checks of successful import on both storages I would empty my card inside its camera.

                 

                So no need for extra software for renaming before import.

                 

                I know that I use more time for my import step in doing so, but I can afford it there and it has served me well.

                Cornelia

                • 5. Re: Renaming files
                  borisporosin Community Member

                  Hello Cornelia,

                   

                  I already use the proposed workflow (and I am happy with that). Unfortunately there was pre-LR time where the photos were named according some strange logic, and as I am using as well the original filename inside the final name the renaming was for me better to do outside LR. Anyway thank you for the comment.

                   

                  Boris

                  • 6. Re: Renaming files
                    areohbee Community Member

                    Filenames and foldernames are important to me too.

                     

                    I keep trees of RGB versions of my Lightroom images at the ready, updated after editing in Lightroom, for various uses, so I never need to export to use immediately (unless I want a different format).

                     

                    So, the folders and filenames are often what's used when accessing outside Lightroom - for slideshows, projects, serving on the local lan...

                     

                    That said, I prefer a naming which keeps folders & files in the order I prefer even if app does not support sorting via photo metadata. They all support alphabetic or natural (original) ordering.

                     

                    My filenaming scheme:

                     

                    {date}{photographer-id}{time}{camera-id}{image-number}

                     

                    Thus they are always arranged by date/phototrapher/time/camera/image when viewed alphabetically, even if all were exported to a single folder, and since all are unique, none will be overwritten or have funny appendages if exported to same folder. Thus, one can trace exported photo back to original without ambiguity - very important to me.

                     

                    Example filename: 20120409RC055218NB4297.NEF - taken yesterday by me (RC == Rob Cole) at 5:52:18 with the 2nd Nikon I've owned (NB == Nikon 'B'). Image number on card: 4297.

                     

                    I like having the image number from the card instead of a 0001, 0002, ..., sequence number, just in case something screws up before everything is solid - in case I have to use file recovery techniques to re-aquire photo from card.

                     

                    If you are 100% certain you will be using Lightroom forever, and never access photographs outside Lightroom, and are happy relying on other metadata for basic organization, then it doesn't matter what they're named. Otherwise, you are wise to come up with a robust folder/filenaming scheme, in my opinion.

                     

                    And yes: get it all together before importing all your photos in Lightroom, then continue to maintain in future using Lightroom.

                     

                    Rob

                    • 7. Re: Renaming files
                      Cornelia-I Community Member

                      Rob Cole wrote:

                       

                      My filenaming scheme:

                       

                      {date}{photographer-id}{time}{camera-id}{image-number}

                       

                      Thus they are always arranged by date/phototrapher/time/camera/image when viewed alphabetically, even if all were exported to a single folder, and since all are unique, none will be overwritten or have funny appendages if exported to same folder. Thus, one can trace exported photo back to original without ambiguity - very important to me.

                       

                      Hi Rob,

                      A very good naming scheme, especially given all my Canon-shooters who contribute images: unique and I would still be able to talk to them in their filename.

                      (My eyes would prefer some more structure by - or _, but that is entirely subjective taste.)

                      Example filename: 20120409RC055218NB4297.NEF - taken yesterday by me (RC == Rob Cole) at 5:52:18 with the 2nd Nikon I've owned (NB == Nikon 'B'). Image number on card: 4297.

                      Kudos for getting up that early - provided it is 24h-time format. That is where I fall sadly short of a true photographer: the only golden hour I usually manage to get is at sunset, never at sunrise...

                       

                      Cornelia

                      • 8. Re: Renaming files
                        areohbee Community Member

                        Hi Cornelia,

                         

                        Thanks for the compliment(s).

                         

                        It's been several years coming to that filenaming scheme, I like everything about it except:

                         

                        * length

                        * readability

                         

                        Although, readability improves with time, since the photog initials and camera initials break it up somewhat.

                         

                        I tried improving readability, but then it got longer...

                         

                        Oh well,

                         

                        PS - I see more sunrises by staying up than getting up .

                        Rob