3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 3, 2015 11:22 AM by antoong40462481

    Organizing photos on hard drive

    antoong40462481

      Hello,

       

      I'm trying to figure out what's the best way to organize my photos on my hard drive. I've been doing some research on the web but I can't find a definite answer (probably there is no 'golden rule'?).

       

      Most photographers seem to organize their photos on their hard drive by creating a subfolder per year. But is that really necessary? You can easily sort photos by year using metadata in Lightroom.


      With the organizing possibilities in Lightroom being so powerful (collections, keywords, metadata, ...), I wonder whether I can't just store all my photos in one single large folder. That being said, someone on this forum wrote that storing all photos in a single large folder can cause problems (http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1986493?q=organize%20photo). Why is that?

       

      Grateful for any hints on what hard drive folder structure works well !

       

      Antoon.

        • 1. Re: Organizing photos on hard drive
          dj_paige Level 9

          Most photographers seem to organize their photos on their hard drive by creating a subfolder per year. But is that really necessary? You can easily sort photos by year using metadata in Lightroom.

          I agree completely. And I expect people to argue with me about this.

           

          With the organizing possibilities in Lightroom being so powerful (collections, keywords, metadata, ...), I wonder whether I can't just store all my photos in one single large folder. That being said, someone on this forum wrote that storing all photos in a single large folder can cause problems (http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1986493?q=organize%20photo). Why is that?

          I might have written that (i didn't click the link), but I believe that your operating system slows down when it has to access very large folders. Perhaps that is still true, or perhaps that is something that used to be true in older operating systems and not true in more modern operating systems, but I don't really know since I don't have folder with very large numbers of files.

           

          However, I compeltely agree with your statement about how organization can be much better performed using the very powerful tools in Lightroom. That is what the Library Module was designed for.

           

          So, what do I recommend? I recommend using the default import method in Lightroom, choosing capture date as the method of storing photos on your hard drive. Why? Because it takes zero effort, and there are no drawbacks. But the only difference between what I am recommending and what you seem to be implying is simply wording ... I choose to call the method of using capture date folder "STORAGE" and not "ORGANIZATION". Store the photos in whatever way you want, wherever you want, and using Lightroom's Library module, storage is an independent concept from organizing the photos. One does not imply the other. The folders I have are not used for searching (hence they are not organization in any meaningful way), they are used to meet my storage needs only. The folders I have could have randomly assigned names (although I don't recommend that) and I would still have zero problems finding my photos. I never look in my folders as a way to find photos. And I believe it is impossible for a human to remember which date his thousands (tens of thousands) (hundreds of thousands) of photos are stored in and so again my folders are not organization in any meaningful way since I can't use them to find my photos; but it is very possible to remember what content the photo has, hence the metadata will enable you to find your photos (and usually enable you to find your photos very easily).

          • 2. Re: Organizing photos on hard drive
            dj_paige Level 9

            Update: I remembered I have access to servers at work where there are huge number of files in one folder, and some actions on this folder are quite slow compared to folders on the same server that have only a few files. So, the drawback to folders with huge number of files seems to be present in modern operating systems.

            • 3. Re: Organizing photos on hard drive
              antoong40462481 Level 1

              Many thanks for your reply.

               

              Indeed, it was you who wrote on this forum that storing all photos in a single large folder can cause problems . Thanks for pointing out that it slows the system down, it's in fact logical.

               

              And I believe it is impossible for a human to remember which date his thousands (tens of thousands) (hundreds of thousands) of photos are stored in and so again my folders are not organization in any meaningful way since I can't use them to find my photos.

              Couldn't agree more!

               

              Your suggestion to import them into a capture date folder make sense to me. As you say, it doesn't take any effort.