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Limited Storage

One of the tasks I had over the Christmas break was to bring the digital photo library up to spec. With my recent transition to Adobe Lightroom, I decided to use the change as an opportunity to review my workflow and get all of the file naming conventions applied to the full collection of digital images. I also brought together several hundred gig of images on my main photography drive.

Until I basically ran out of disk.

Looks like it is time to move to a 3 TB configuration like the LaCie 2GB Quadra RAID. Time Machine compatible. Hard to believe that I am in the terabytes for digital images. Here is hoping that the price per gig continues to fall.

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Adobe Lightroom Folders and Filenames

Adobe Lightroom 2 is a game-changing product for digital photographers. Although I still continue to use Bridge and CS4 I have basically moved all of my workflow to Lightroom.

This was a move that I resisted at first. Lightroom 1.0 seemed like an unfinished product. Promising but too many limitations for me.

However, with so many of the major photo gurus having converted over to Lightroom 2, I decided to check out the new version. I brought down the 30-day trial and I was hooked. The ease of workflow with this product is simply too compelling. Before I updated my workflow, I did take advantage of learning from some excellent resources so that I could quickly master the software and get started on the right foot.

I really enjoyed the Lightroom 2 video course from Luminous Landscape which is available here. And Michael Clark has an excellent ebook on Lightroom. The ebook, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom: A Professional Photographer’s Workflow, is available here. Highly recommended.

My own workflow has dramatically improved. From import, metadata, keywording, sorting and editing, I can do more than 90 percent of my work in this product quickly and easily. Lightroom also offers a comprehensive digital asset management capability.

I did have to make one rather significant change. Folders and filenames. To ensure appropriate and unique identification of image locations, I had to shift away from my previous naming conventions highlighted here. And then I had to import a rather large collection of images. Michael Clark’s ebook pointed this one out to me before I started importing my images into Lightroom.

The two screenshots below describe the new naming convention. My subfolders are now uniquely named and tagged with a filetype: yyyymmdd_descriptor_filetype. Lightroom builds up a catalog with, amongst other things, a folder location view. With my older workflow, I used to name the filetype location subfolders using generic names like “DNG Files” and “RAW Files”. Not a good plan.

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workflow2