Saturday, 28 January 2012


You may have noticed the occasional photo on this blog - whenever we go out of the house a camera is never far away and whenever we work on the house we try to remember to document the changes we make.

Over the 10 years since we bought our first digital camera we have taken quite a few photos, most of whch I can place on my own individual timeline: if I am looking for a photo I am pretty good at remembering when I went to a place. The problem occurs when I have to find a photo of a specific type of car/tree/roof.

Lots of Photos
So I am looking for photo indexing software. I have tried some, but they all seem to want to put tags on the photos themselves, or change the photos in some way. I need something that does a complex hierarchical tree structure (which counts Adobe Photoshop Album out of the equation) in something that resembles a spreadsheet with links to the photos in their original folders.

The other consideration is that it has to be cheaper than cheap.

Any ideas?*


*that aren't Picassa


Ken Broadhurst said...

I wish I did have a good suggestion, Simon. I'll be watching these comments to see what people might recommend. I figure I have at least 250 thousand photos on my computer, all arranged only by date.

Tim said...

You and me both, Simon! So, like Ken, I'll look forward to the answers.... but I haven't got 250,000 pictures... yet!
So, for my h'apeth...
Currently I am using the following TWO structures... on the "The Brain" [ a 1 Terrabyte NAS drive] they are in year order in the following tree:
except for wildlife pix which are year/month/wildlife/subject.
The only exception to this is if there has been a run of something like "fetes" in a month...
then that will get a header and the individual events will be broken down into which fete under the general heading.
On the piggybacked 750Gb drive I store the pictures under subject headings like Wildlife/Butterflies/Fritillaries/Actual species name [viz: Silverwashed]
Whilst tedious, I do, now,have two copies of all images on separate drives.

I use Adobe Bridge to look at and organise the images into subject groups, but tagging [the only way to search easily] is far from easy, or even intuitive, under Bridge!!
Especially if you've started with over 60000 untagged pix!!!

I have just downloaded, but not had time to play yet, iTag. This is a picture tagger system that is also a picture browser... I found it in through article in Pentax User.
Perhaps meteociel's forecasted very cold snap for next week will give me time. It looks excellent, and is still being updated regularly.
It doesn't alter the file, but works on the embedded metadata in the attached Exif file.
You work by dragging files [or batches thereof] into iTag, tagging them and saving them.
You can also copy a group found under a search into another directory folder so that you can re-size them for Blogger or whatever, without altering the originals.

And when I am up to date with the ones in the machine, I've got over 5000 slides to scan in [mainly Wildlife and Landscape].....

WV is "paton"... there's got to be one somewhere... or even a General answer.... please someone.

Tim said...

Oh, yes, I forgot to mention that iTag is.....

WV is now "reamyise"... you could always use a ream or two of paper.

NB: the first computer I ever bought was to try and catalogue my slides... it was the FIRST model Amstrad!!

And when someone brought out some graphics software for it....

the filing went by the board!!
C'est la vie!! said...

Hi, My name is Stacie and I saw your post while I was looking for travel ideas for the Valley. I don't know how detailed you want to get with your filing, but you said complex so I might suggest Microsoft Access. You could build a photo database that is searchable and will store your images. You would have to plan how you want your database to be searchable but Access can do just about anything you can imagine.

Anonymous said...

Adobe Lightroom. It does everything. And is very easy to use.

Simon said...

Adobe lightroom is US$299, so fails the cheap test.

Stacie - I have tried various databases, but I would really like to be able to include a thumbnail in the database, and haven't found a way of doing so.

Tim said...

Accsesss does take pictures in its file system... but they can be very small... and why don't you want to use a system that is already part of the picture, the Exif data set?

You are just duali[WV]'ng your data, but not your pix. Still haven't had a chance to play with iTag yet... decided to clear enough space in the barn to get the Merc inside today... meteociel it say -11C coming up... might need to move the beer too!

Anonymous said...

check ebay. You may find Adobe Lightroom for much less. It does seem to be the right application for your purposes. :-} Stacie

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