Organizing images in folders

After setting up folders for storing your digital images, you can get down to business organizing your images into those folders. You may have many folders already, in various areas of your hard drive, but take this opportunity to move those folders into the new structure you've set up for image management. Organized folders are great for peace of mind. As I've demonstrated, I set up three basic areas to store my images. Here's how:

1. Copy your original images to your Original Image folders.

I always leave my original images as originals. I don't like to make changes to these files; I want to keep them intact, as you would a film negative. I simply download images from memory cards, each one into its own subfolder in my Original Images folder, and then back up the new image folder to DVD.

Give each folder a name that combines chronological sequence with a few descriptive words so you have a clue to its contents (as with the folders shown in Figure 6-4). Such folder names make it easier to recognize folder contents later when you view them in Bridge. When your number of original image folders grows to the hundreds, the chronology and descriptions included in folder names will come in handy.

If you have some unfinished "images in progress," save them to your "working" image folders.

Img0037 still lifes

_j Inng0038 printers&portraits

_i Inng0039 ennily eye&tripod

Hi Img0040 5till lifes

_i Inng0041 natpreserve&orchids

_j Img0042 Orion and 5quirl

_i Inng043 Somerset

_i Inng0044 racoon

_i Inng0045 sunset at nat preserve

_i Inng0046 equipment

_i Img0047 duckies

Img0048 CBR

_i Img0049 pianos

ImgOOSO 7900 _j ImgOOSl 7900 tiger stadium

Create your working image folders to match the targeted purpose of your images. If (for

Figure 6-4: Assigning chronological and descriptive folder names to your original image folders.

example) you do mostly personal work such as pictures of family, nature, or pets, then create a working folder for each category. If you're taking photos professionally, create a separate folder for each client or job you're working on.

When first you open images in Camera Raw and Photoshop, get into the habit of immediately saving the image file to a working image folder, in Photoshop's PSD format. That way the saved image becomes the one you're working on, and resides in the working folder. The original stays intact, and you eliminate the risk of altering the original accidentally.

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