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Oh and I also don't know how to store animated GIFs and NSFW photos!
April 13, 2011 11:29 AM   Subscribe

I collect images on Tumblr, Evernote, iPhoto, and my harddrive. Please help me organize this process!

I'm having quite a bit of trouble organizing my ever-growing collection of images and I wonder how other people do it. Aside from personal photos which are easy to organize, I also collect a lot of TV/movie screencaps, fashion photography, illustrations, and other interesting stuff. Some of it I publish or "like" on Tumblr but I much prefer to have stuff organized on my own computer.

Evernote
I use it to store recipes, annotated books, image-heavy shopping lists, and TV/movie screencaps. It's good because each note can contain multiple photos along with text. It's bad because it's annoyingly difficult to publish images to Tumblr (or I'm doing it wrong). Also, the clipping service can be agonizingly buggy.

iPhoto
I like the organization of iPhoto, although I don't take a whole lot of personal photos so the distinction between Events and Albums feels very silly. Dropping non-personal images into iPhoto is annoying because it creates a new event for every image and it's a pain to merge everything. Also, navigating the iPhoto library in Finder is an absolute disaster (the folders named by dates, distinction between modified/original, occasional refusal to update the list of flagged images).

Hard drive
This is the least well-organized but easiest method. Most convenient for screenshots and saved images. But I hate using Quick Look.

So what's your preferred method of storing screencaps and saved images? Or am I ignoring some fantastically simple solution to any of my problems outlined above?
posted by acidic to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
I host my own Gallery2 site on Dreamhost and post all the images I gather there. I've a specific folder for NSFW images and I keep that folder as non-public.

I'm thinking of writing my own image gallery site, but I've already got a bunch of projects ahead of me.
posted by Ikazuchi at 11:41 AM on April 13, 2011


In the past I've used directories in directories in directories in directories, but this becomes impractical to manage very quickly ("Is this sci-fi or action?"). I tried to get over that problem by using shortcuts in Windows but that wasn't much use either.

The best solution I've found is good metadata and search. Nobody uses old Yahoo-style directory websites any more - it's all about search engines. Maintaining the metadata is a pain, but worth it in the long run.
posted by alby at 11:46 AM on April 13, 2011


I'm an artist and photographer so I have to do this professionally. So I have thought about it a lot. I'll try to explain my system. Here goes.

Evernote - I use this for ALL my text notes. This has been a huge help for me. Everything is there and it syncs to the cloud.

Picasa - I use this for collaborating with one person. I have a folder on my computer that syncs with Picasa online and so I just drag anything I want that one person to see into that folder.

Windows folders > Mozy - I keep all my "Inspiration" images here. I have windows folders that have evolved over time to be a streamlined collection of the main things I am interested in. Basically art prints, fashion, people, typography, flowers, children's book illustration, magazine cover design. I have about 100 folders. But they don't change much. My interests are settled. In fact I kind of have a "no new interests" policy. So anything I want to look at again I drag into these folders and they are auto synced to Mozy. I pay about $50 dollars a year to do this because if I lost my giant inspiration collection it would kill me. I try to add the date if I know it and the artist.

Flickr - I keep family photos here. And when they get to a certain point I also burn them to DVDs and put them in a safe deposit box. I try to edit the amount of these images but that is difficult. I try to put the best ones on Flickr. Downside is that if I die, unless someone pays for my Flickr account they will close my account. I need to find a solution for that (for my family).

I also use Pinterest to save images I want to share with my Internet friends. My inspiration folder on my computer is just for me, most people would not be interested in it. So I share things on Pinterest that have a wider audience. Mostly interior design in my case. I have not really been able to get behind tumbler.

Professional images that I sell I keep on Photoshelter.

I also sell images at iStock. I back-up those in a Picasa account that is not synced because the files are too big and I have to do that one at a time to watch my bandwidth.

Within my "system" I keep all images by year date. For example I keep all images I sell in folders like this iStock > 2010 and personal would be Family > 1980s.
posted by cda at 9:06 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have the same problem. I'm sort of a jackdaw when it comes to pretty pictures and the likes, so yeah, I feel your pain.

I had Picasa installed on my computer some time ago and will probably do so again (had to buy a new netbook recently and haven't gotten around to it yet). The big advantage is that it automatically sorts by date, can do face recognition (you do have to help it out a bit, but if you're searching for any and all pictures of your mother, it's a big help without having to delve into every 'family'-themed folder), and you can tag pictures, which is the biggest plus (no more agonizing if this picture wouldn't be better in that folder instead of this one, just tag with both keywords and be done!).

You can still save your pictures to the harddrive and in folders and don't have to bother about their location - Picasa will show you every picture you've saved on your harddrive. (You can configure it to only show pictures of certain folders, and also which ones to mirror - as it's by Google, it's set to synch with Picasaweb aka Google Photos if you've got a GMail account.) If this sounds like something you could live with, I'd definitely recommend it to you.
posted by sparrowspike at 6:06 AM on April 18, 2011


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