7 Replies Latest reply: Jun 17, 2012 9:32 AM by macorin
macorin Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

I've posted on this subject before, but I have a new twist that I'd like to get some feedback on.

 

I usually import my photos, keeping the master (now called original) file name until the end of the calendar year.  At the end of the year, I like to change the original name for classification and archiving purposes.  By then, I've usually made all of the deletions for the year, so I feel comfortable renaming the photos with some sort of counter or index.  My preferred classification system is: "Custom Name"/"Image Date_"/"Counter" (0000).

 

The problem that I'm experiencing is that it is impossible to rename my originals using this format without some inaccuracies if I try to name them all at once without readjusting the computer's internal time zone settings.  I live on the east coast, so if I have a photo shot at 10:30 pm PDT on 2011-03-14, it gets named with a date of 2011-03-15, which obviously isn't accurate for when that photo was shot.  Well, it is accurate based on East Coast Time, but I want the file to be renamed with the date that it was shot, where it was shot, not where my computer currently resides.  Of course, I could rename the batch of 2011 photos in segments, but that would mean multiple quits/reopens from Aperture in order to change the time zone appropriately.

 

It seems that my only choices are to either rename my photos at the time of import using the correct time zone settings on my computer, or to not use this renaming format.  Neither of these options are very appealing, since this renaming format is my preferred method.

 

I guess my question is: does anyone have any insights or advice on either how to better work around this problem, or if not, other renaming methods that they like to use for archival and organizational purposes?  I know there are many to choose from, but I'm looking for something simple, which also provides direct information about the image, should I want to reference my Originals (which I do outside of Aperture from time to time).

 

Thanks for adding to this discussion...

 

mac


Macbook Pro 17, Mac OS X (10.6.7), 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,695 points)

    Originals should be backedup prior to import into Aperture, so name each folder that the camera card data gets copied to for the correct date of the pix in that folder. Later when backup is complete and you go to import into Aperture include that date info in the folders imported into Aperture as Projects (not more than one date per Project). A year later when you go to rename each Project will have the correct date for the pix in that folder available for you to batch rename with.

     

    Another way after backup is to just assign a keyword during import which contains the date string (e.g. 20120615) that you want to use for those pix. That way one is not dependent on the camera-assigned metadata to define what date each pic is assigned.

     

    I suggest the exact punctuation-free YYYYMMDD format that I exampled above to ensure correct sorting wherever the string may ever be used in the future. Or do what I do in my worflow and use YYMMDD (120615), which is less intuitive but saves two characters.

     

    HTH

     

    -Allen

  • macorin Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    Allen,

     

    You've supplied some really helpful points here.  Out of curiosity, how do you organize in Aperture?  I've played around with a few different ways, and am still trying to figure out what will work best for consistency and ease of use purposes.  I generally start with a Folder at the top of my hierarchy.  Within these folders, I keep all of my Projects, sorted by date.  I've used YYYY-MM-DD only because it has been the easiest for me to read, but I've considered going to YYYYMMDD recently to save some space.  I've even considered what you suggested in YYMMDD to save even more character space, but the adjustment to my eyes has been a little tough.  In any case, I also usually add an underscore and a name to give myself an idea of what is in that project.  Therefore, YYYYMMDD_Hawaii, for example.

     

    Using the Project name in place of using the date for archival puroposes works well in many situations, but not all (at least for me).  It would be best obviously if each Project were only named by date...YYYYMMDD.  However, the added description can sometimes make files names (based on this naming system) too long, especially when I've shot in different locations on the same day, but still keep all the photos in one project.

     

    One way around this that would work (but doesn't exist yet) is for Aperture to allow the use of Album names in the naming system.  Aperture doesn't allow this though.

     

    mac

     

    btw, do you create separate Projects for each day, even when the photos are part of the same event spread out over multiple days?  I was doing that, but recently decided to include all photos shot say, on vacation, for example in the same Project.

     

    Message was edited by: macorin

  • macorin Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    Allen,

     

    I was just checking out batch renaming in Aperture and your post again.  The problem isn't that I don't have my Projects named with the proper dates, it is how to apply the proper dates to the images inside the different projects in a batch change.  I'm talking about 1000's of photos.  you cannot apply the Project name, folder name, album name or any of that information in the criteria for batch renames.  Therefore, you still have to use the image date, or image year/month/day format, unless you use a custom name and manually type the date.  Using these systmes, the same problems still arise - the date that gets applied is going to be at least partially dependent on what the computer's time zone is set to.  If you use the custom name option, this could work, but then you are limited to renaming one project at a time.

     

    mac

  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,695 points)

    mac-

     

    Personally I create a folder for each Project and copy pix from CF card into those folders. Then I import from the backup hard drive into Aperture using the folder name as the Project name.

     

    Usually each Project includes only one day or less, and I may have YYMMDD_JonesWed_A, YYMMDD_JonesWed_B, etc. for a large or multiday shoot. I do not let any Project contain more than ~400 Nikon D2x RAW+JPEG files.

     

    Projects are just that and never put into folders other than by month and/or year, just a forever chronological list. All organizing is done via Albums and Keywords. JonesWed_2011 is a keyword that can be an Album instantly when needed; bride is a keyword; wed is a keyword; flower is a keyword; etc.

     

    I use wedding just as an example. The process applies to all kinds of shoots.

     

    I use the 1-9999 Nikon auto-numbering of image files, and never rename image files except  sometimes during export. That way original image names can always be found across mass storage devices in the future independent of any application.

     

    -Allen

  • macorin Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    Allen,

     

     

    SierraDragon wrote:

     

    mac-

     

    Personally I create a folder for each Project and copy pix from CF card into those folders. Then I import from the backup hard drive into Aperture using the folder name as the Project name.

     

    Usually each Project includes only one day or less, and I may have YYMMDD_JonesWed_A, YYMMDD_JonesWed_B, etc. for a large or multiday shoot. I do not let any Project contain more than ~400 Nikon D2x RAW+JPEG files.

     

    Projects are just that and never put into folders other than by month and/or year, just a forever chronological list. All organizing is done via Albums and Keywords. JonesWed_2011 is a keyword that can be an Album instantly when needed; bride is a keyword; wed is a keyword; flower is a keyword; etc.

     

    I use wedding just as an example. The process applies to all kinds of shoots.

     

    I use the 1-9999 Nikon auto-numbering of image files, and never rename image files except  sometimes during export. That way original image names can always be found across mass storage devices in the future independent of any application.

     

    -Allen

    SierraDragon wrote:

     

     


    Usually each Project includes only one day or less, and I may have YYMMDD_JonesWed_A, YYMMDD_JonesWed_B, etc. for a large or multiday shoot. I do not let any Project contain more than ~400 Nikon D2x RAW+JPEG files.

     

    Why do you keep the photo count in a project to around 400 files or so?  Is it detrimental to speed, or are there other considerations that have led you to work this way?

     

     

    SierraDragon wrote:

     

    Projects are just that and never put into folders other than by month and/or year, just a forever chronological list. All organizing is done via Albums and Keywords. JonesWed_2011 is a keyword that can be an Album instantly when needed; bride is a keyword; wed is a keyword; flower is a keyword; etc.

     

    So, you are saying that you sometimes put projects into folders by month and/or year?  Or, do you just keep all projects at the top level of the hierarchy?  The only folders I use are at the top of my hierarchy, and they are by year, 2002, 2003, 2004...2012.  I then keep all of my projects in the appropriate year.  I used to keep folders that were named things like, "Travel", "Occasions"..., but this became problematic when I had overlap, and images could fit in more than one designated folder.

     

     

    SierraDragon wrote:

     

    I use the 1-9999 Nikon auto-numbering of image files, and never rename image files except  sometimes during export. That way original image names can always be found across mass storage devices in the future independent of any application.

     

    It sounds as though you don't actually rename your images at all, but rather just keep the original names.  I don't like to do this because after deletions, it creates gaps in my sequence, and I also end up with multiple images with the same name.  I like for each image to have its own unique identifier by name.

     

    I'm considering importing the images using a version name, where the version is named by the image date.  I'll keep the original file name intact until the end of the year, and then, should I decide to rename my files, I could base my renaming system off of the version name.  This will automatically capture the date of the image without being reliant on my computer's time zone settings.

  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,695 points)

    Why do you keep the photo count in a project to around 400 files or so?  Is it detrimental to speed, or are there other considerations that have led you to work this way?

    Yes, at some point 200-800 images larger Projects have been found to slow down operation. We do not have a firm number and it probably varies by cmputer and workflow.

     

     

    So, you are saying that you sometimes put projects into folders by month and/or year?  Or, do you just keep all projects at the top level of the hierarchy?

    Basically all Projects are just as Aperture placed them, except that I may reduce the long list by collecting some older Projects in a folder like pre-2010 or something like that.

     

     

    It sounds as though you don't actually rename your images at all, but rather just keep the original names.  I don't like to do this because after deletions, it creates gaps in my sequence, and I also end up with multiple images with the same name.  I like for each image to have its own unique identifier by name.

    Yes I just keep original names. I do that because I am adamant about backing up before letting any images management application have its way with my images. That means no matter what catastrophe happens I can always manually find DSC7832.NEF or manually find the 110615_Jones_Wed Project.

     

    It is decidedly not elegant, and it does mean that more than one unique DSC7832.NEF exists, but that does not bother me, and it is bombproof. If I ever need a global search for DSC7832.NEF it is easy enough for me to discern which one I want. Hopefully I never do need such a global search - - but I have needed to in the past...

     

    -Allen

  • macorin Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    Allen,

     

    Regarding your naming system, how would you even begin to know to look for a DSC7832.NEF?  I mean, on its own, it has no real descriptive character, so what would prompt a search for that file name?

     

    When it comes to describing my level of involvement with photography, I'd say that I'm more of the prosumer.  That said, I still like to manage things very tightly.  As an avid hobbyist, I am constantly taking photos and having Aperture manage them.  At this point, it wouldn't matter if iPhoto did, because Aperture has the new unified library.  In any case, I've been asking about how you manage your projects because there are times where it just doesn't seem to make sense to me to create separate projects on a per day basis.  For example, there are times when I go on vacation and take less than 400 total photos.  I could create separate projects for the 6 days that I was away, but that leaves me with as little as 1 photo in a given project at times.  Also, it just seems more natural to treat the entire trip as one single project.

     

    I've been back and forth with this, and while I know there isn't any best answer, or true way to do it, I felt that asking around and getting input would help me with my own organizational strategy.

     

    I had a separate question for you relating to how you manage your albums.  Do you create them from within projects, leaving them as a sub album of those projects, or do you create them in the album level at the top level of Aperture?  It would be a nice addition if Aperture allowed you to view all of your albums under one tab, like they allow with projects.

     

    My latest attempt at organization strategy has been to create folders based on year where all of my projects reside.  I go with one project per day, unless the event was a multi-day event (such as a vacation...).  In that case, I create a single project with all of the photos from the event, and name the project 120512-18_Portugal.  I then create albums that reside within the project that separate each day of the trip (event) and name them appropriately based on what we did that day.  All of my other projects that are single day projects are named, for example 120519_Beach, where I don't use the dash to signify the span of days.

     

    Currently this seems to work best for me, although it may not be elegant either.  I'm certainly not crazy about having many projects separated by day that have as little as 5 photos or less in them.  There are periods of time where I might take a single photo per day and when I separate my projects by day, the projects really start to add up.

     

    In any case, I thought I'd mention how I do things, because while there may not be a right way to do things, there certainly could be things that you should avoid, and I'd like to avoid them.  This has been a good discussion, so thanks.

     

    Mac