How to organise pics on hard drive ?

I have about 12,000 pictures..

I have them in multiple locations and the whole thing is bothering me..

This is the current problem:.

I have multiple copies of the same pic as I will sometimes backup a flash card on my pd70x twice as I forget if I actually stored this stuff on the drive or not. To be on the safe side, I end up backing it up again..

When I get home, I will copy the folders over to the hard drive..

I also have pictures from multiple sources like my wifes s2 is, my 350xt and from my older oly 750uz..

I need something that does the following..

1. Finds all pics on the hard-disk..

2. Copies and stores only one copy under Camera/Year/Date/filename format..

Once I get this done, I can delete a whole bunch of stuff and organise my hard disk a little better. I will continue using something like picasa to quickly locate what pictures I am looking for. I will have picasa work off this new location on the disk and delete everything else..

If nothing works, I will install linux in another paritition, make the ntfs parition visible and write a script to do the following, but I rather save some time and use a ready made program if available...

Comments (11)

That's a program that looks for twin-files on your harddrive. Check it out, it is freeware and I have been totally happy with it for the last year....


TinaOly C-770..

Comment #1

Or, put new set of folders on the HD called by the make of camera and then put all the photo's into the right folder. Then sort by date and look at them, or sort by size and look again. In both cases the duplicates should be obvious and can be deleted before making back-ups on a CD or DVD..

Don't forget to look at the EXIF dates, not the last saved or last looked at..

ACDSee has a find duplicates function in it. And old versions of ACDSee are often given away on magazine covers. But a tweaked version of a photo will be seen as a different one by ACDSee - and a good thing too..

Next time you put duplicates on the HD save them as "Pic 007 - B" and the "B" or "C" will tell you they are tweaked etc. (Try B for buggered about or tweaked, C for cropped, D for duplicate etc.).

Regards, David..

Comment #2


How about using Photoshop Elements - a picture editor and organiser..

First time, it searches your HD for all the image files, MPGs etc (no surprise, this takes a while!) and imports mini-versions, with details like folder locations etc, into a catalog file..

Once done, you can use the program to review your shots, reorganise, delete, move, copy etc them as you want - and schedule regular backups of your image collection, and the ancilliary data the program collects, to DVD or HD..

You can also use it to sort the images by shot date, name, size, colour similarity etc etc and add subject tags, so that you can extract just those labelled with, for example, "Dogs", "France" or "Smith Wedding" - or combinations like "Dogs" and "France"..

It will hide the various original JPG and/or RAW plus interim versions behind the finished one, make a single shot represent all those taken during a whole shoot ... and a hundred and one other things more (not all of which are ways of making birthday cards etc!)..

It works well and has many users, so there's a variety of user guides tailored to different needs and levels of ability, courses and magazines, and Adobe run a Users Forum. That's all a great help when you want to find how to get some specific result - and it's not likely to suddenly disappear because some one guy decides to stop updating or maintaining it..

Lastly, most of the techniques learned can be transferred to the more elaborate versions of Photoshop and other Adobe progs if you ever upgrade..

Enough ? .


PS - Mr Adobe, please send commission to my home address as usual!.

Peter - on the green island of Ischia

Comment #3

That looks interesting, might help me sort the mp3 issue as well...

Comment #4

Thanks Isola,.

Hmm, I did think about elements, and did go through some guides, but didn't find what I was looking for. I will look again and see if this might help me. It will save me time to write my own script to backup as well..

Although, I am tempted by looking at stuff to get around to writing my own thingy and put it out as well for others to use..

Lets see if I find time to do it now...

Comment #5


I had not thought about ACDCee at all. Thanks for the pointer, I shall take a look..

Any more suggestions ?

Comment #6

That's exactly what it did for me as well  it is a neat little program. very simple, yet effective!Oly C-770..

Comment #7

Arfee wrote:.

I have about 12,000 pictures.I need something that does the following.1. Finds all pics on the hard-disk.2. Copies and stores only one copy under Camera/Year/Date/filenameformat..

I have cobbled together a fugly organic perl script which siphons all photos from my usual suspects (cards, porta-drives, etc.) It then puts files into the following tree, and clears the card for me..


It creates a new folder for any day with photos..

It also uses dcraw to extract preview JPEGs and rotate them accordingly..


Finally, I rename the daily folders with keywords. This saves me a TON of time finding images. Now I'm ready to weed through the images with Bibble, etc..


If I make a derivative (post-processed) file, I give it a non-serialized name, but I store it in the same directory as it's source(s)..


If nothing works, I will install linux in another partition, makethe ntfs partition visible and write a script to do the following, butI rather save some time and use a ready made program if available..

While I'm all for getting rid of anything Microsoft, you are likely aware you can run perl and python and many other tools on Win32, right? Write your script in a portable way. No need to change OS to use a common tool. ImageMagick can also do a number of automated image-equivalence checks, with a bit of sweat..

[ e d @ h a l l e yc c ]

Comment #8

I use Picasa which is a free tool from Google. It also lets you setup a free online photo sharing site and upload directly from Picasa. It will scan your hard drive and load every picture there is. You can also have it ignore certain folders if you don't want the picture icons associated with applications or Windows. Also it was a few built in features that are fun to play with pictures and great for viewing them. I always taken a lot of pictures but always with point and shoots, I'm just getting into more serious stuff with my new SLR and as soon as you load a memory card on your computer Picasa will load all the pictures in automatically. Then you can sort, organize, etc...

Comment #9

While I haven't done the massive reorganization of old files yet, I do need to. But since I have been using it (started June of this year) I have been importing my files in a much more consistent manner. Also, on import I am adding personal metadata and keywords..

As a bonus it is a great RAW processor..

As for the reorganization, you should be able to point it at a drive letter and import into the catalog and copy to a new file structure, renaming along the way if desired, all of the image files found. You can also tell it to ignore suspected duplicates. (Not 100% sure how well this might work if you have duplicate names for different photos though.).


Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #10

Tried all those others and didn't like them. LR is superb as a photo database..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog:

Comment #11

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