Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Archiving my photos

As I reported in my last post, I store my photos on an external, 1TB, USB hard drive in a root directory called PhotoArchive. Within this directory, I organise them in a directory structure based on the date they were taken. So a photo I took today would end up in the path "F:\PhotoArchive\2016\09\28\". This is achieved using Exiftool - which I talked about in my previous post (which you should look at for installation details). I have a directory, F:\Work, also on the external drive, where I download the raw images from my camera and I have a batch file which, when run, uses Exiftool to read the date each image was taken from its EXIF information and then moves it to the appropriate directory (which is created if necessary) based on that date. The batch file, file_photos.bat, is placed in the root directory of F: and this is the command it contains:

exiftool "-Directory<DateTimeOriginal" -d "F:/PhotoArchive/%%Y/%%m/%%d" -r "F:\work"

So, my work flow is:
  1. Download images from the camera to F:\Work
  2. Assess which photos I want to keep. I do this using FastRawViewer which, as its name suggests, shows the image from a camera RAW file very quickly. I find it easy to view the image at 100% (keyboard shortcut Z to go to 1:1 and Z again to go back to normal view) and to delete the images I don't want to keep. It doesn't actually delete them, but moves them to a sub-folder called "_Rejected" which it creates in the folder containing the images you are viewing; F:\Work\_Rejected in my case.
  3. Once I am happy I have whittled down to the images I want to archive I delete the _Rejected subdirectory (which actually moves it to my Recycle bin - so another chance to change my mind) and run file_photos.bat. After this has completed, F:\Work is empty and the images are stashed away in the appropriate directories according to the date they were taken.
  4. Finally, I open my chose photo management software, Digikam, and it notices there are new files in the archive and scans them. This takes only seconds for a small batch of say a few tens of photos. I can then go through them, assign keywords and geotag them as necessary. Job done!