Folder and file names on the file system

Hert
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Joined: 13 Sep 03 7:24

Folder and file names on the file system

Post by Hert » 18 Sep 20 8:58

Based on this topic, I figured it would be a good idea to start a topic here about how you organize your files on the file system. As you all probably know, the file system is of less relevance when using a DAM software like Photo Supreme. Photos are typically found or accessed from within Photo Supreme and not using direct file access from the OS (though possible).

My own folder structure is a date based structure:

Code: Select all

<root>\2020\09\2020-09-18\
My file name is constructed of three elements: a date part, a camera model part, and the original file name. An example of a full file name is:

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<root>\2020\09\2020-09-18\20200918-NEX-C3-DSC06856.ARW
These elements are fully trivial. I use the Exif Model in the naming because it helps me quickly to identify the camera being used for it. It's a choice I made about 15 years ago and today I could actually do without that.

Curious to learn about your file naming strategies and if there's a reasoning behind it.

dickl
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Joined: 06 May 06 17:02
Location: Manitoba Canada

Re: Folder and file names on the file system

Post by dickl » 18 Sep 20 15:19

Here's mine Hert,

<Root>\Images\2020\09\10\2020-09-10_E-M5MarkIII_P9100372.ORF

Dick

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G8DHE
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Re: Folder and file names on the file system

Post by G8DHE » 18 Sep 20 17:01

and mine;

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<root>\YYYY\MM\yyyymmdd\processed-image.jpg
                       \org\original-image.nef
Geoff Mather (G8DHE)

Mke
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Joined: 15 Jun 14 15:39

Re: Folder and file names on the file system

Post by Mke » 20 Sep 20 20:35

Here's mine:

Folder structure:
<root>\photos\yyyy\nnn Short-Shoot-Name\then as here.

....(where nnn is a sequential number)

A longer shoot name is normally applied as a label.

File name
Date only appears in the file name, which takes the structure:

....Photographer_Date_Camera_PhotoNumber

HaraldE
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Location: Bålsta, Sweden

Re: Folder and file names on the file system

Post by HaraldE » 23 Sep 20 23:47

I have more than one folder structure, mainly depending on how old an image is and if the image is related to my own family or not:

1: Old images
Folder structure is ..... d:\Name of Archive\Family\Main Topic\Sub Topic\File name
A good example here is a set of scanned images from an old bible. It belonged to my great-great-great-grandfather and was printed 1857
Example of image: ..... d:\Archive Harald\Augusta Anders\Documents\Bible\ALBFront.jpg

2: My own images before digital camera
Folder structure is ..... d:\Name of Archive\Decade\Year\Location\Event\File name
We went to Paris in 1977 and of course I brought a camera
Example of image: ..... d:\Archive\197x/1977\Paris\Eiffel\191.jpg

3: My own images with digital camera
Folder structure is ..... d:\Name of Archive\Decade\Year\Month\Location\Event\File name
In 2013 we had a vacation in Spain
Example of image: ..... d:\Archive\2013\02FEB\Spain\Benalmadena\IMG_0287.JPG

Regards, Harald

Ralf
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Re: Folder and file names on the file system

Post by Ralf » 25 Sep 20 9:30

I also use the file structure a lot (purely private as a hobby and family archivist for 5 generations :D ), I would like to briefly explain why. Has emerged from necessity and is loved because it has proven itself for me.
I hope you understand my english (thanks to google) :wink:

- unfortunately I have had to change the software many times,
- be it through a sudden subscription from the offering company or
- just sell the company or
- Completely different orientation and remove important functions such as file and folder handling
- With TV and other media devices, access and finding is much easier
- Passing on to the family is easy, they can see immediately when the recordings were made and what it is about, they usually don't use Exif, IPTC, ...

Then every time I was faced with the dilemma that the pictures did not always contain the correct information or that incorrect fonts were written or that I could not find everything right away ...
So I had to quickly find everything on the hard drive using the operating system's Borad means.

Each folder has the following format, consisting of two fields (max four, but more likely only for scans).
I use these fields 1-4 to get the most important information for the EXIF, IPTC fields during import

stored in YYYY \ MM and can be used optimally for backups from NAS
Always -> YYYYMMMDD-TITLE
Optional -> YYYYMMMDD-TITLE-COMMENT-COPYRIGHT

The only difference if we were traveling or had an "event" over several days, then
Always -> YYYYMMMDD to YYYYMMMDD-TITLE
Optional -> YYYYMMMDD to YYYYMMMDD-TITLE-COMMENT-COPYRIGHT

below then always (01 - xx if several things in one day)
YYYYMMMDD to YYYYMMMDD-TITLE\01.YYYYMMMDD-TITLE
YYYYMMMDD to YYYYMMMDD-TITLE\02.YYYYMMMDD-TITLE


Below the top folder there is still \VIDEO, \TRACKS, \OTHERS
Ralf
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hobby photographer with many pictures (> 100000) of the family over generations.
(Excuse my english)

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Tom Husband
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Location: Somerset, England

Re: Folder and file names on the file system

Post by Tom Husband » 25 Sep 20 10:55

OK I'm not clear on why a super detailed folder structure is even needed when using Photo Supreme. Doesn't key wording, sorting, categories, ratings, etc cover all the bases?

Currently my folders are:

New Photos
Unprocessed
Work Planned
Rejection
Prepared
Pending
Low Priority
Finished.

I might even have too many folders now.

As I work through a shoot I'll move photos around to the appropriate folder. Granted, I'm a hobbyist so my volume will never be at a professional level so maybe that's the difference.

I ask because at this point I only have about 400 photos so if I'm to make a change now would be the time. Not when I have 4000.

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G8DHE
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Re: Folder and file names on the file system

Post by G8DHE » 25 Sep 20 16:25

In my case I quite often need to access the images from remote locations and use FTP to download them, also some images appear on pages visible on the Web and so need to be isolated to some extent from images that aren't intended to be visible if people think they could guess the path ;-)
Normally I remote access the machines determine what is required and then use FTP etc to download them, hence having a single folder with some 300,000 images could be painful ;-)

Over the years I have also needed to change the structures and your quite right its a real pain to do so when dealing with 1000's!
Geoff Mather (G8DHE)

Mke
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Joined: 15 Jun 14 15:39

Re: Folder and file names on the file system

Post by Mke » 25 Sep 20 17:13

Tom Husband wrote:
25 Sep 20 10:55
I'm not clear on why a super detailed folder structure is even needed when using Photo Supreme. Doesn't key wording, sorting, categories, ratings, etc cover all the bases?

I ask because at this point I only have about 400 photos so if I'm to make a change now would be the time. Not when I have 4000.
If you're labeling is reasonably good, then it's certainly possible to hunt down images without relying on the file structure - I do it all the time. And if I did move all my images into one single folder, I'd be able to reconstruct my current folder structure using a combination of labels and file names, or restructure the folder tree in a completely different way - perhaps by photographer and camera, for example - if I had the time to do so.

If you can't do that with your system, then I'd suggest taking a fresh look at your labeling and file names. If you can, you've probably no need to worry :)

However I do find it useful to navigate particular shoots via the folder tree, particularly those taken in the past year or so which I may return to several times. I may also want to take a portion of the images with me on the road, or selectively back them up, and that usually involves selecting them by time period, so my folder structure makes that easy too.

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Tom Husband
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Location: Somerset, England

Re: Folder and file names on the file system

Post by Tom Husband » 25 Sep 20 17:39

Yikes, 300,000 images. It'll be a while before I'm at your level. Best to get it right now.

Thanks

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Tom Husband
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Location: Somerset, England

Re: Folder and file names on the file system

Post by Tom Husband » 25 Sep 20 17:53

Mke wrote:
25 Sep 20 17:13
If you're labeling is reasonably good, then it's certainly possible to hunt down images without relying on the file structure - I do it all the time. And if I did move all my images into one single folder, I'd be able to reconstruct my current folder structure using a combination of labels and file names, or restructure the folder tree in a completely different way - perhaps by photographer and camera, for example - if I had the time to do so.

If you can't do that with your system, then I'd suggest taking a fresh look at your labeling and file names. If you can, you've probably no need to worry :)

However I do find it useful to navigate particular shoots via the folder tree, particularly those taken in the past year or so which I may return to several times. I may also want to take a portion of the images with me on the road, or selectively back them up, and that usually involves selecting them by time period, so my folder structure makes that easy too.
I think I'm pretty thorough with labelling but time will tell I guess. Maybe an intelligent folder system is just another fail-safe way to tell what's what.

Thanks

Hmmm, not sure why when I quote the reply it comes out like this.

[edit Hert; fixed the quote; this post had the BBCode disabled]

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Tom Husband
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Location: Somerset, England

Re: Folder and file names on the file system

Post by Tom Husband » 26 Sep 20 11:26

Thanks Hert. Is the BBCode something I set?

Hert
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Re: Folder and file names on the file system

Post by Hert » 26 Sep 20 13:26

That is an option when posting a message to the forum. It should be on by default but you may have accidentally ticked it

bimo
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Re: Folder and file names on the file system

Post by bimo » 02 Jan 21 18:40

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<root>\
All Versions\
%exif:Make{word=1;empty=no_make}\
CameraFolderName{right=5}{a-z} - %exif:Model{trim=y;empty=no_model} - %exif:CameraSerialNumber{trim=y;empty=no_serial}\
from-to filenumber\
AAA\
CameraFolderName{right=5}{a-z}-%exifmakernote:ShutterCount{padd=6,0,left}_AAA#nn.%FileExtension
Remarks:
  • CameraFolderName: for at least many cameras the last 5 characters of the camera's internal folder name identify the model (e.g. Canon: EOS1D; e.g. Nikon: ND850)
  • {a-z}: to distinguish multiple cameras of the same model
  • from-to filenumber: to identify the included files (e.g. 000001-000234)
  • %exifmakernote:ShutterCount{padd=6,0,left}: taken from Nikon-Makernotes; all of my Nikons provide the shuttercount, which is always a unique number
  • AAA: AAA stands for three letters which indicate which program had been used to edit the image (e.g. ACC [Adobe Creative Cloud], AFP [Affinity Photo])
  • #nn: consecutive number if any
Reasoning:
  • No date and time in the filename because
    • PSU can handle a sequence by photodate
    • for scanned images I often don't know the appropriate date at the time of importing such images; I complete the meta data afterwards. Having the date as part of the filename would request a change of the filename - unacceptable!
    • numbering with the date is most inefficient
  • 5-character identifier for the model is first part of the filename
    • different cameras have to be treated differently by RAW converters and editing programs because of their different technical characteristics (very efficient kind of editing only images taken with the same model)
    • easy to retrieve as it is part of the camera's folder (last 5 characters)
  • numerical value in the filename
    either
    • ShutterCount
      • no known limit for high value, can be expanded or shrinked to one's personal needs; my six digits allow for 999999 images/model. At the time being my highest value in a filename is ~ 150000.
      • ShutterCount (name depends on the maker) is in the makernotes' metadata section; available for at least all pro- or prosumer Nikons and at least for some of the highend Sonys and as well for some of the Canons; can easily be retrieved by PSU
    or
    • if not available, it is replaced by the last two digits of the camera's internal foldername and the "original" filenumber (=6 digits as well)
    or
    • for scanned negatives the first 4 digits are a corresponding film number, the last 2 digits are the image's number (allowing for 9998 films à 36 images)
    or
    • for scanned positives (mounted slides) the first 4 digits are a corresponding box number, the last 2 digits are the slides sequence number in the box (allowing for 9998 boxes, each with 1-50 slides)
    or
    • for scanned prints it's a 6 digits sequence number (allowing for 999998 prints).
    For scanned images, the filenumber corresponds to the numbering of the physical archive.
  • NO attributes in the filename; place, event, client and whatever you might think of are only attributes in the catalog. Any label with an xmp equivalent (standard or customized) is linked to the xmp item and synchronised by PSU.

[edit: reasoning added; top two levels in the folder structure added]
Last edited by bimo on 05 Jan 21 16:04, edited 1 time in total.
Michael

gcorbin
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Location: Brisbane

Re: Folder and file names on the file system

Post by gcorbin » 02 Jan 21 22:41

My folder structure is a very simple

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<root>\yyyymmdd\%FileExtension\OriginalFilename
After I have finished processing/cataloguing a folder/group of folders, I move them from the laptop hard drive to an external hard drive where the stay forever. I now have 340,000 photos catalogued so they take up too much space to keep on my laptop drive. I just plug in the external drive when I need to work/export older photos, so this system is very easy without any disadvantage for me. (If I get many unprocessed photo folders on my laptop like when I go on holidays, I use folder states so I know I am on my cataloging, but typically, I don’t need to use folder states before the folder is moved to the external drive.)

I have separated the files by file extension as I originally had my JPG RAW pairs in the same folder but I found it more convenient to separate them so I didn’t need to filter by type all the time. (I catalogue by JPG but edit (externally by Affinity Photo) by RAW. I find separate folders slightly more convenient as it is a bit faster, but I can still work quite well in a single folder.

When I started, I used to include other information in the folder names such as photography location and/or event name and rename the photo files to include the subject so I could find photos without using originally idImager and now Photo Supreme, but I found it was far easier and more flexible to just keep the original date folder name and original filename and use share to add the subject to the filename on export.

Thus, I have stopped embedding information in the file & folder names and now use Photo Supreme to filter and/or sort the metadata to give me the photos in the order I require. I use share to rename the image file names when exporting photos to make the photo files outside Photo Supreme more logically named than the original filename.

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