So, here’s a question that’s been coming up a lot this week. How do the majority of people manage their photos? Does your system work, or do you scramble? It all started when I got an announcement that last spring’s division-winning All-Star team was finally going to celebrate their victory, and did I have photos for a slideshow? Um… yeah, somewhere, organized by one of the draft versions of Lightroom I was using. Or still stuck on a card because I’ve been, uh, less-than-diligent and more-than-hella-busy.
Where did I stash those photos of yesteryear (or even last July?)
Then, yesterday, an author who wanted to get me a particular photo for the cover of his book had a tragic morning when his diligently crafted system imploded thanks to the cataloging app he was using. (Author and application will remain nameless to protect the innocent and let the sucky temporarily off the hook.) He had a back up plan — a cool system based on Bridge actually, because he’s that kind of guy — but it wrecked his rhythm-of-the-morning. (And unlike me, he didn’t deserve it. He’s a pro who had been trying to do the responsible thing,)
I edited the seminal text in the field, Peter Krogh’s The DAM Book. (DAM stands for digital asset management, not a typo for “Where’s that damn photo?”) Which is great for professional photographers, and Peter’s system has lots of best-practice information that can be scaled for everyday people.
But what I’ve heard colloquially is that most people manage their photos via the operating system: the Finder on the Mac or the Explorer under Windows. How do you find stuff? By date? Do you use something free like iPhoto (which I don’t really care for, too mysterious with regards to the actual location of my photos, but I like it for making web galleries via MobileMe). And although Lightroom and Aperture have some useful photo management tools, frankly, sometimes it makes me happy that my system is centered around Bridge because, well, I can “touch” things in Bridge. I can see them and when I move them, they actually move. I.e., I’m not moving pointers.
OK, as I mentioned above, I don’t have a system, but if I did, I bet Bridge would be central. (It helps that Bridge 2.0, which somewhat confusingly came with CS3, is a vast improvement over its initial incarnation.)
Anyway, I’m up in the Sierras for the long weekend, wondering if I properly tagged the photos from the last time I was here. (Ah, now I’m having a bad high ISO flashback.) And wondering what the dekeNation uses to manage their stuff?