Organizing, editing and curating photos is time consuming

Staples

Diamond Member
Oct 28, 2001
4,952
119
106
I've been taking digital photos for 20 years and I find curating them to be a very time consuming process. There are keywords, several formats that don't play well with each other. I used to shoot everything in RAW which is really time consuming. Am I the only one who spends much time doing this?
I've been using Lightroom for years as it was a good organizer and RAW processor however I tried to get away from Adobe by buying something else only to find out that Lightroom works well exactly because it is a great digital manager and processor. I use two programs now and if you make non destructive changes in one program to a DNG file, you will only see the original in any other program.

So I probably will probably re up my Adobe subscription. None of this is worth saving 10$ a month.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
82,076
15,899
126
I have been using ACDSee for over 20 years. It works for me but obviously I am a more casual user than you. Amazingly I got it free with some sort of image compilation disc, I think it was wallpapers or landscapes that were not quite perfect wallpaper aspect ratio. Anyway, the free version of ACDSee95 served me very well for a long time. Eventually I got the paid basic version for 20 bucks cuz it was worth it.
I also used Picasa for a short time but it was clunky and the easy online syncing features they promised didnt actually work well. In fact I think they finally killed off Picasa a while ago.

I'd like to be able to tell you theres a really effective, easy to use cloud solution for hard core shutter bugs like yourself, but the best I know about is Lightroom and not everyone loves it. But if its been working well for you and saves headaches I say stick with it.
 

JimKiler

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 2002
3,526
169
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I have been using ACDSee for over 20 years. It works for me but obviously I am a more casual user than you. Amazingly I got it free with some sort of image compilation disc, I think it was wallpapers or landscapes that were not quite perfect wallpaper aspect ratio. Anyway, the free version of ACDSee95 served me very well for a long time. Eventually I got the paid basic version for 20 bucks cuz it was worth it.
I also used Picasa for a short time but it was clunky and the easy online syncing features they promised didnt actually work well. In fact I think they finally killed off Picasa a while ago.

I'd like to be able to tell you theres a really effective, easy to use cloud solution for hard core shutter bugs like yourself, but the best I know about is Lightroom and not everyone loves it. But if its been working well for you and saves headaches I say stick with it.
I also use ACDSee but I use the Pro version. When I tried Lightroom over 10 years ago there was no digital management features, it was for processing only that i recollect.

ACDSee mimics Google photos with trying to identify faces but it is not as good as Google obviously. But I agree with the OP. ACDSee Pro just started the face detection so i need to go thru and validate all my kids photos because i have them since they were babies but if i ever complete that task something better with come along and make me start over.

At least ACDSee does not require a subscription even though they also sell a subscription version.

The best bet is simply to rename them from DSC##### to something useful like Jane Doe 9th Birthday ###. Actually i get even lazier and usually relabel them MMMYY - ### and sometimes put keywords into them. By sometimes i mean less than 50% of the time. I use the number ratings 1-5 for photos i actually like and then use green for my favorites which i turn into wallpapers. So i can easily filter to rated numbers, or just look for green photos for my best of.

I need to get better at deleting all the crappy photos, if I take 10 shots of something, delete the other 9 i do not need.

I still shoot RAW but it is going on 2+TB at this point and at some point i backed up all my RAW files from 2006-2012 to BD-R but those discs are coasters. Seriously 31 out of 33 discs are unreadable in my PC and in my BD players after storing in a safe. I complained to Verbatim and after jumping thru hopes i got new discs as if i would ever trust them again. But I still have the JPG's. However i go back to old photos and appreciate certain ones more upon reflection or learn a new technique to fix whatever is "off" on them so i do not want to delete everything.
 

Staples

Diamond Member
Oct 28, 2001
4,952
119
106
I too used to use ACDSee in the late 90s.

Ironically, I bought ACDSee 2021 in an attempt to get away from the subscription of LR. It was $50 or so for Ultimate 2021 recently (it was on clearance because they were nearing their next version). ACDSee works ok. It take a long time to get familiar with. Metadata support isn't so great (can't write to HEIF and reads zero meta data from video files). With tons and tons of experimenting, I have come to a final work flow. Only use ACDSee as a viewer and RAW processor and I use Adobe Bridge (which is free) to organize and add metadata (support is really good for most modern formats). ACDSee as a RAW processor works fine once you understand it but I have run into a problem where I have to add lens correction to each photo instead of being able to apply a preset to a batch export. Good thing I use in camera processed JPG now.
 

JimKiler

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 2002
3,526
169
106
I too used to use ACDSee in the late 90s.

Ironically, I bought ACDSee 2021 in an attempt to get away from the subscription of LR. It was $50 or so for Ultimate 2021 recently (it was on clearance because they were nearing their next version). ACDSee works ok. It take a long time to get familiar with. Metadata support isn't so great (can't write to HEIF and reads zero meta data from video files). With tons and tons of experimenting, I have come to a final work flow. Only use ACDSee as a viewer and RAW processor and I use Adobe Bridge (which is free) to organize and add metadata (support is really good for most modern formats). ACDSee as a RAW processor works fine once you understand it but I have run into a problem where I have to add lens correction to each photo instead of being able to apply a preset to a batch export. Good thing I use in camera processed JPG now.
I wonder if the batch processing is limited to ACDSee Pro because I have been able to batch process the last few iterations of the program. But if you have it working no need to mess with it unless you can save steps.

Weird that ACDSee cannot view metadata on HEIF a newer standard. I will have to check out the Pro version and maybe save images to that format instead of JPEG.
 

Staples

Diamond Member
Oct 28, 2001
4,952
119
106
I have Ultimate so I think it can do whatever Pro can. It can read metadata from HEIF files however it can not modify anything. The best you can do is write to the ACDSee metadata block (and it will save an XMP file).
ACDSee Ultimate can do batch processing. If you have a saved preset that has a color adjustment and lens correction, it will apply the color adjustment to all photos but not the lens correction. It seems weird that it wouldn't but MAYBE I am doing something wrong. I should just click ALL the boxes when I save the preset and maybe it will save the lens profile to the preset. Right now, I have to open each RAW image in Develop to apply the mapped lens correction.
 

JimKiler

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 2002
3,526
169
106
On a tangent until recently i have used Pentax cameras in RAW mode and their software could always extract the embedded JPG from the RAW file but now that I jumped ship to Nikon i lost that ability. There are so many changes to the picture the cameras do and sometimes i cannot even recreate them in ACDsee Pro that i would love to use the embedded JPG instead of recreating the wheel. I wish there was software to extract JPG from RAW files for Nikon and other brands.
 

Staples

Diamond Member
Oct 28, 2001
4,952
119
106
I use a Sony a6400 I bought ~2 years ago. On it, you can choose to save both the RAW and JPG (processed) image. That is what I am doing. I use the JPG image unless I need to retouch it (common things like fix the exposure or crop).

Cameras I've had prior did not save the JPG files in such as high quality as this one and that that is what started me down the RAW ONLY path so many years ago.
 

JimKiler

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 2002
3,526
169
106
I use a Sony a6400 I bought ~2 years ago. On it, you can choose to save both the RAW and JPG (processed) image. That is what I am doing. I use the JPG image unless I need to retouch it (common things like fix the exposure or crop).

Cameras I've had prior did not save the JPG files in such as high quality as this one and that that is what started me down the RAW ONLY path so many years ago.
Maybe I could do that, my old camera if I did RAW+JPG the FPS was slower, but with my Nikon Z 5 it has such a large buffer I am sure there is no issue. But then i have to rename everything twice once i import it onto my computer.
 

LikeLinus

Lifer
Jul 25, 2001
11,518
668
126
I use two programs now and if you make non destructive changes in one program to a DNG file, you will only see the original in any other program.
Adobe does not manipulate the RAW file. It creates an XMP file with the same name as the photo and stores the changes there. That way, you can always delete (or rename) the XMP and the original is never overwritten.

That is why your other program doesn't see the changes that were applied in Adobe.
 

gradoman

Senior member
Mar 19, 2007
856
466
136
Using Capture One, you can create a library with Collections with "folders", Color Tags, Ratings, etc.

Capture One also allows you to purchase a license one time or have a sub. You can choose between a single camera model or multiple.

I still highly recommend not directly renaming files. Set your camera to create folders by date and change your first three letters to something to identify that it is your camera. I use the first three letters of my name. Capture One will deal with imports by creating nested folders by year-month-day which takes away some of the sorting if you do it that way. I usually drag and drop into my own dated folder with RAWs from the camera into a RAW folder on my PC. Less organized, but hey, I didn't know how CapOne was doing it and didn't find out til much later.

Renaming takes an enormous amount of time vs Importing and then just selecting images, dragging and dropping into a virtual collection. Virtual collections are used on the professional shoots I've done. No one is ever directly changing file names.

You can also create presets and automatically apply them on import or have the program auto adjust (never tried the auto adjust, only the auto apply preset) or you can do that after shooting/importing/whatever.

My process is: start with a rating. Anything under 2 stars is delete immediately. After culling, I add color tags. People are Purple, Buildings are Green, Nature is Red. When I feel up for it, some of the purple tags go into Family collection, some go into Street Photography. Going further, if it was a family get-together, I'll make a collection for that and drag and drop those shots into that virtual folder.
 

Fenixgoon

Lifer
Jun 30, 2003
30,028
7,201
136
I'm a Lightroom guy. It just works.
i fork over $10/mo to adobe just for lightroom. it works REALLY well.

thankfully i'm not taking so many photos these days. when i did track photography, i'd have 5000 photos to sort through. it was brutal.
 

gradoman

Senior member
Mar 19, 2007
856
466
136
i fork over $10/mo to adobe just for lightroom. it works REALLY well.

thankfully i'm not taking so many photos these days. when i did track photography, i'd have 5000 photos to sort through. it was brutal.

Really should try Capture One to see just how much faster and easier it is to do sorting/editing/actually viewing images once you get understand how to use it.

I think on first use, you will definitely notice just how much faster it is to look through your images even if you don't quite understand the interface. Just looking at the export dialogue for CapOne vs LR as it says a lot:

I covered up the image preview in the center and the thumbnail on the right side of the CapOne dialogue box.

LR-export-dialog.png


InkedScreenshot 2021-10-04 231745_LI.jpg
 

JimKiler

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 2002
3,526
169
106
Using Capture One, you can create a library with Collections with "folders", Color Tags, Ratings, etc.

Capture One also allows you to purchase a license one time or have a sub. You can choose between a single camera model or multiple.

I still highly recommend not directly renaming files. Set your camera to create folders by date and change your first three letters to something to identify that it is your camera. I use the first three letters of my name. Capture One will deal with imports by creating nested folders by year-month-day which takes away some of the sorting if you do it that way. I usually drag and drop into my own dated folder with RAWs from the camera into a RAW folder on my PC. Less organized, but hey, I didn't know how CapOne was doing it and didn't find out til much later.

Renaming takes an enormous amount of time vs Importing and then just selecting images, dragging and dropping into a virtual collection. Virtual collections are used on the professional shoots I've done. No one is ever directly changing file names.

You can also create presets and automatically apply them on import or have the program auto adjust (never tried the auto adjust, only the auto apply preset) or you can do that after shooting/importing/whatever.

My process is: start with a rating. Anything under 2 stars is delete immediately. After culling, I add color tags. People are Purple, Buildings are Green, Nature is Red. When I feel up for it, some of the purple tags go into Family collection, some go into Street Photography. Going further, if it was a family get-together, I'll make a collection for that and drag and drop those shots into that virtual folder.
Renaming files is super easy in ACDSee, less than a minute to rename hundreds.

You should use keywords or categories instead of colors so you could have one photo in multiple categories, e.g. family and street photos.
 

gradoman

Senior member
Mar 19, 2007
856
466
136
Renaming files is super easy in ACDSee, less than a minute to rename hundreds.

You should use keywords or categories instead of colors so you could have one photo in multiple categories, e.g. family and street photos.
Yeah, I mean, all of that is an option for CapOne and I do have some images tied to multiple categories. I'm mostly in agreement with what everyone's saying -- just two things:

Don't directly edit file names on RAWs since you can organize within the software. On an export, sure, setup a batch rename and go. Just suggesting not burning in changes that can't be undone to your RAWs.

Don't pay Adobe money unless you need to do so -- especially if you're just going to use LR. If you need more power on the manipulation side, try Affinity Photo.


I checked out ACDSee and it seems like it operates and is laid out a lot like CapOne. One of these days, I'll probably try it out and see how it compares to CapOne.
 

Staples

Diamond Member
Oct 28, 2001
4,952
119
106
You should use keywords or categories instead of colors so you could have one photo in multiple categories, e.g. family and street photos.
I like keywords (but you need to commit them to the metadata or exif) because they are standard and will work across all photo software. A lot of the other sorting stuff is unstandard and may or may not work across other software.

In other news, I bought ACDSee 2021 Ultimate. I tried the trial of 2022 Ultimate and find very little has changed, certainly nothing that will be useful to me. But this is the advantage of perpetual licensed software , you only upgrade every few years.
 

JimKiler

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 2002
3,526
169
106
I like keywords (but you need to commit them to the metadata or exif) because they are standard and will work across all photo software. A lot of the other sorting stuff is unstandard and may or may not work across other software.

In other news, I bought ACDSee 2021 Ultimate. I tried the trial of 2022 Ultimate and find very little has changed, certainly nothing that will be useful to me. But this is the advantage of perpetual licensed software , you only upgrade every few years.
Agreed, supposedly the face detection on ACDSee 2022 is improved but I will wait for 2023 or 2024 to ugprade.
 

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