Wulf's Webden

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Picture Workflow

I was torn this morning between sharing the next image in my favourite pictures series or gushing about how much I enjoyed last night’s jazz gig. However, a busy weekend resulted in me getting up rather later than planned this morning and then I contributed a long entry on my digital picture workflow to the Nikon D40 Club group on Flickr. Since that took my writing time, I have solved the dilemma of what to publish by opting for self-syndication!

Organising Your Photos…

I use Linux as my primary operating system. My outline image workflow goes like this:

  1. Run a script I wrote to get all pictures from the camera and copy them to my images folder (once I have confirmed they arrived okay, I remove them from the camera to save copying them again).
  2. Use the rename command to store some information about the picture in the file name. This can operate on multiple files at once so swiftly lets me group the pictures together. The start file would be something like dsc_0432.jpg; that might become flowers.20070115.432.jpg (keeping enough of the original name to make it unique but also including a short description and date taken).
  3. After I’ve sorted through the pictures and discarded the ones I don’t want to keep, I’ll then work back through the naming so that the titles become more specific and keep groups of pictures in the right order. For example, the above name might then become sunflower.20070115.02.jpg.
  4. Once all the processing and uploading to Flickr has been done, I’ll store the picture in my directory structure. This is based on the kind of subjects I normally shoot. For example, I visit RHS Gardens quite often, so pictures from those trips go into ./gardens/rhsgardens/gardenname/date/.
  5. For retrieving the pictures, I can either browse the clusters I have determined (by folder) or search using the keywords and dates embedded in the filename (again, using command line tools: eg. find . -name *.2007011[34].*, which would dig up all pictures I took this weekend.

A system like this does rely on a certain amount of operator expertise but, since I have made the investment in learning those skills, I might as well use them.

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