Are you like me and find after creating a new balloon animal figure, you take a picture of the design? Then upload it to a social media site and forget about it for months until we get ambitious and download the images to a computer.
Years of dumping images to a computer came back to haunt me as I purchased a new computer last month. The question was, how to organize and store all these images?
This article will show you how I stored, tagged, and moved hundreds of images to a secondary storage device. In the process, I organized the images, making them easier to find and use.
The Online Options
Facebook, Instagram, Google Drive, Dropbox, and my website were all available storage holding options. Yet, none of these offered a way to tag an image. Storing the photos was not the problem. Organizing them and adding meta tags was the problem.
A meta tag is internal file information that can provide locations, camera settings, photographer’s name, copyright, and tags for organizing files. Creating, updating, and deleting meta tags is possible using computer software or a digital camera.
Windows eight and above offer the ability to add meta tags to an image. After serval attempts to tag multiple photos, I found it a tedious task. I found myself searching online for a solution.
Meta Tag Sofware
I decided DigiKam.com was an option to try after reading several software reviews. DigiKam looked promising as it could add multiple meta tags to images quickly and move the files to a secondary location.
Where I had a problem was using multiple computers. DigiKam creates an external database and stores all the meta tags information in the DB. The pictures reside at their original location.
My problem was that I was looking to move the files off an old computer to a new storage device and access the image from any computer I used. The DigiKam software was computer-based, so I needed to upload the DigiKam DB to every computer I used. Sync the DB with the image and keep my fingers crossed the DB never becomes corrupted. DigiKam was not the solution for me.
On one of my rabbit hole searches, I read that Adobe Bridge, an image online management software, is now free from Adobe. I found my solution, and Adobe Bridge is a cloud-based software that I can access from any computer as long as I have Internet connections. I created an Adobe account, and minutes later, I was tagging images.
Now that I had my software, I purchased a Samsung external solid-state drive to store my pictures as I had researched this drive prior. I bought Samsung SSD for my wife for Christmas so she could download cellphone pictures to the drive.
I researched how people tagged their images and quickly learned this can be a rabbit hole that leads to overthinking. Here’s my takeaway from reading the post on organizing photos.
- Created general tags
- Store image is general folders
- Create sub catagores in each general tag
For me, I created a folder called Balloon Images. Balloon Images was the folder that would hold all balloon photos. After that, I made meta tags called Animal, Holiday, Decor, and Family. To my surprise, I have a lot of pictures with my boys holding a balloon creation.
I then used Adobe Bridge to tag pictures based on these tags. Any balloon picture that had an animal had a tag applied. Next, using Adobe Bridge, I filtered out only the images tagged with Animals. Using the Move To option in Adobe Bridge, I moved the photos off the old computer and the new external drive to a folder called Animals located in the Balloon Image folder.
Subtag for Better Organization
From here, I then created subtags under Animals. I made more than a dozen tags of birds, elephants, snakes, etc., but I avoided going to generic as the bird’s identification was sufficient, as I didn’t need a tag for each bird species as I only had five pictures in that sub-group.
The holiday images are processed in the same manner. In the folder called Balloon Images, I made a folder called Holidays. Using Adobe Bridge, applied the Holiday tags to pictures and moved the images to that newly created folder. I then created subtags called Christmas, St Patricks, Easter, Halloween and tagged these images but stored all holiday pictures in one folder called Holiday. Each photo is labeled with the tag Holiday and a subtab. So it didn’t matter if they were stored in the exact location.
I did not want multiple pictures as having duplicate photos is a bad filing system. Placing multiple tags on an image was a better option. One image can contain the tags of Animal, Holidays, and subtags.
For example, the Animal folder, stores the penguin photo but has tags of Animal, Birds, and Christmass all associated with that picture.
Finding the Image
Now I log into Adobe Bridge, select my external drive, and search the entire drive for a tag using the Find command in Bridge. It doesn’t matter where the photo file is located on the drive. As long as the file has a meta tag, Adobe Bridge will find the image.
How do you maintain all your images?