Friday, November 2, 2012

Question For The Photographers

A berry-laden bush is heaven on earth for a Cedar Waxwing. This species wants nothing more than constant gorging. Hunting for this image brought on the rest of this post, sorry. Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, ND.

It is getting to the point where I have, in technospeak, a shitload of photos. My question for ya'll, wildlife photographers, is how do you organize your photos? Aside from backing my photo stockpile up on external hard drives, I have never bothered to individually label or move them...they languish in the folder they were originally uploaded into, which is simply all the photos extracted from the camera on that particular day, with a couple vague notes on what is contained within. This is all well and good for a month or so, but after that I tend to forget what photos are if I want to find a certain photo, it can be a big pain in the ass. Not infrequently, I completely fail at locating the set of photos I'm looking for, while rediscovering some great forgotten ones along the way. Obviously, my method of organization is nonorganization, which I do not want to perpetuate for much longer.

This is one of those forgotten photos...what a facemelting landscape. Artist Paint Pots, Yellowstone National Park, WY.

I realize now that I will probably have to begin organizing birds/wildlife by species, at least on some level, which is a daunting task. There is much fear and loathing here at BB&B when the scale of this project is fully realized. I should mention, at this point, it is not a high priority for me to store/organize my pictures online (although that is definitely a great idea), since I find myself without internet access often enough to rather not depend on it for getting to my photos.

Thanks for all your input. If you're a bird blogger and/or photographer, please drop a comment. Apreesh.


  1. i tried one time to organize. But no longer. I use Lightroom, so everything is in there by date, which helps because i organize and remember my life by exact dates and shit like that. That's all I got. But if you use Lightroom, you can label stuff...again, I tried, my attention span doesn't allow for that sort of thing. So at times, when I'm looking for a particular photo (which is often, mind you) and that particular date which I took it on is gone from my mind, i start throwing things. That was really useful. I am so helpful.
    No, actually, I have been putting off backing stuff up and organizing everything (again..). Motivate me, Tucker!

  2. I use iPhoto, which organizes by date. I'll usually label at least one picture of each species per upload with the banding code and then search by that, which will lead me to the folder (and any folder with that species) by date.

  3. I think we need to start the photography version of NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month, a novel drafted, 50k words, in 30 days, I'm already 1 day behind) for Photography Dorks. I have YEARS of photos and also am quite the ADD girl so labeling each one by location or species would make getting my legs waxed (1 square centimeter at a time) look like a GREAT alternative re: spending my time.

    All my crap is by date in iPhoto, SOME stuff is in folders (like "Yellowstone Trip", drool drool), but not much.

    I DID do one thing (a few times) that's really easy and kinda useful. Each year you'll have a few knock out shots that make your heart happy. I'll put them into a "best of 2012" etc. folder. Then I just go to them to see the best from that year if I'm looking for something glamorous or that I MIGHT ACTUALLY PRINT?!? And maybe frame and give to someone?!? Someday?!?

    One thing for the outdoor/wildlife photography version of NaNoWriMo would be to print out ONE photo a week and put that bad boy UP on the WALL for cripes sake. =) ANY wall.

    Will be checking back to see what your smarty readers do. I'm also wondering what people print stuff out ON, whom do they have print their fancy maybe-for-sale stuff, etc. Curious. Etsy makes everything look so easy... =) I think I'll ask Jill, for starters... =)

  4. p.s. omg re: cedar waxwing shot. WOW! Was outside recently puttering around the yard and then FINALLY I actually realize the high pitched kinda annoying squeaky birds I'd been hearing were cedar waxwings, so got psyched, looked up, annnnnd they flew away. All I saw were about 12 pale bellies high in the sky, veering north. Poo.

  5. Not that I'm a serious photographer but I keep things organized by location and time of year/time of visit.
    I keep a catalogue of all the different species photographed on my site, with the best images I have up there. Anything non-birdy goes into the miscellaneous bin.

    I relish the opportunity to point out that your contraction "ya'll" should be "y'all" ('you' being contracted and having 'all' added to it). I say this only because I'm still sore about you ruining my reputation as a birder, human being, and identifier of empid flycatchers, and will scrape and bite for any opportunity at revenge.


    P.S. Nice Waxwing shot--the kinda eye candy a birder can really wax off to.

  6. I tend to use lightroom for RAW shots (costs $) but also use picasa for standard jpeg shots (free). Basically DSLR photos I shoot in RAW and process/organize in lightroom and camera trap photos are shot as standard jpeg and I organize in Picasa. Kind of nice to keep them separated too. Both allow you to add tags to photos which allow a very easy search function. Both allow you to rate photos (lightroom on a 4 or 5 star sliding scale) which can allow you to go back later and filter by star number and just look at your awesome photos for a given search parameter. Both also allow you to batch edit tags (slightly easier in lightroom I think) so that you can add the same tag to any number of photos. That works well for adding a location to the entire folder and then you can add species tags to smaller groups of photos. Pretty sure there is an unlimited number of tags that you can add to photos.

    I then take the next step of uploading my "published" photos to Flickr which can import the tags automatically and then embed the Flickr links into my blog posts. Just another way to search for old photos when I want to use them as a comparison to ID some stupid little rodent that refuses to make itself easy to ID.

  7. Biobabs! - i use them for my prints. They are awesome and crazy fast!

  8. I download images to my hard drive(s) by date and add the location so it would look like 11-04-2012-AI (AI for Antelope Island) and then I use my keen memory from that point on as far as what species I photographed that day. I falter at times and might be off by a week but I usually remember where the files are.

    Now, where did I put the keys to my Jeep?

  9. Thanks for your input everyone! Much appreciated. I'll let you know what I end up going with.