Are you as puzzled as I am with the cataloging provisions of your image-editing software? Does the thought of reading a manual on how to divide your pictures into albums, projects, folders, cardboard boxes, knotted-up old socks, and mysterious plastic baggies prevent you from doing anything at all? Are you pictures numbered from 0000-0001 to 1000-0000 but they all appear each time you turn your desktop on? Well I have the answer to your problem – and you can have it for free.
I’ll use a simple example – suppose you have taken twenty pictures at the office Christmas party. You want to put these in a place where they will be safe and you can see them easily in the future. You have an external hard drive attached to your computer and can send information to it by simply shifting an icon on the screen. So start:
Where do you work? Amalgamated Lizards Pty Ltd
What was the event? Office Christmas party
What year? 2015
Right, Make a new folder and label it AmalLiz Xmas 2015 . That’s all you need – the date of Christmas is fixed and there cannot be another firm named AmalLiz in the universe. Your files can sit safely in there. If only 17 of them are in focus…only save those 17. You may be worried that you might forget what AmalLiz means . If you do, what does it matter? If you eventually cannot remember what it means or who those people are…delete the lot.
Rating your pictures with stars? Creating collections of starred images and shuffling them about? How about carrying a small notebook around with you and writing down the numbers of buses on the road…got your anorak?
If you have images that are great and are first rate and deserve five stars and a kiss on both cheeks from a French general, then you have good images. If you have sorted them and honestly admit that there are four-star, three-star, two-star, and one-star pictures then either throw the damn things out or be prepared to be kissed on an entirely different set of cheeks. One-star images do not get better sitting in the hard drive and if you get enough of them they fill the electronic pores of the drive and prevent better stuff from going in.
You can catalog your books and stamps and model airplanes and images and socks and trousers all you want, but most of the time you will instinctively know which one is best or which one is needed and can go to it directly.