Stage 1: Organizing the Images

One of the principle problems of working with digital images is organization. How do you keep your images where you can find them? Sadly, I'm not likely to win any awards for organization. But many of my students have had success by mimicking my basic system for organization. Although there are many possible systems, I offer mine with a few basic rules and as a place to start.

My system for organizing files requires:

■ Move original files from the camera to the computer into an original images folder hierarchy.

■ Store the original files in folders in chronologic order.

■ Rename the original files to something useful.

■ Sort through the original files for the best images.

■ Copy these best images into a working images hierarchy.

■ Edit the best images in their own directory, this is where the real editing takes place.

■ Keep the original file intact, save versions of the cleaned file, edited files, and various printed or output files.

■ Move the finished images into a finished images hierarchy.

■ Sort the finished images by project.

■ Move images off the computer into an archive.

Much of this organizing takes place within Adobe® Bridge®, a file management and browsing program included with Photoshop CS2.

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