Organizing my photos

This year, I’m going through my archive to organize photos. I have arrived at this process:

• Moving / reorganizing into folders
• Rating (1 to 5 stars; 0=delete)
• Deleting unrated photos
• Tagging
• Editing

I continue to use Microsoft Photo Gallery because there is no better tool that combines organizing and editing. (I try other tools now and then to confirm this.) Sadly, Photo Gallery was discontinued years ago; I cling to my setup program. Although I have jumped around, I’m settling in to a chronological approach.

Letting Photo Gallery count All Photos and Videos, I had over 100K files when I started. Yes, 100,000+ photos requiring more than 300 GB of storage. Over a month or two, I’ve already rated and deleted from the years 2000 through 2005, leaving about 5K photos from those years (98K total).

I’ve changed my organization over the years, in particular how I name folders. I now prefer to have photos organize by the year and month taken (rarely, the full date). I choose names that easily sort alphanumerically; 2020-01, not 01-2020, for example. When warranted, I include an event name. For example: “2020-05 mjh’s 65th bday” would sort after “2020-05” in the 2020 folder. I generally no longer change filenames, which are easiest to leave to the camera (a change from the first few years).

As I process the archive, I’m moving older photos into this structure, which I have been more consistent with for some years. Way back, I had folders like “Flowers,” instead of taking advantage of tags. All of the files might be named “Colorado” followed by a number. The new order pleases me more.

It’s fitting that this is my first photo from 7/5/1985, the extended Hinton clan on the front porch of the family home outside of Clarksville, Tennessee. Ironically, this isn’t my photo. Merri Rudd took this and others in my archive. [I should say more of the reunion 35 years ago, in a separate write-up.]

I’m puzzled by this being the first photo because there were no digital cameras then. I must have scanned this, then edited the file date and GPS info. Granted, I have scans of even older photos. In most cases, I have not bothered to alter the file date.

My first digital camera was an OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA (as it helpfully wrote as the comment for every photo I took), which I bought at Costco in anticipation of my 47th birthday in 2002. [Camera ID was C-1ZD-150Z, though that changed later.] The first digital photos I took (and still have) were at UNM Continuing Education, of all places. Why wasn’t my first photo of Merri or Lucky Dog? Those firsts came on a camping trip 3/29-31/02 in the San Mateo Mountains. A month later, I took that camera to Chaco for the first of thousands of photos with numerous cameras over the years. Organizing just the Chaco photos is a future project in its own right.

47 degrees at 7:47am

Recall that after organizing into folders, if necessary, I’m then rating the unrated. I’ve been better about rating these past few years, so there should be fewer unrated files as I move on. After I’ve rated or deleted all, I’ll work on tags. (I do a little of that as I go.)

This will likely take more than another month or two but I could be done before the end of the year.

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