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General photography questions and answers: Discuss File naming...I've been wondering about file naming and what people generally do when storing their images. I used to edit, rename ...
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Old 17-08-2007, 12:37   #1 (permalink)
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File naming

I've been wondering about file naming and what people generally do when storing their images.

I used to edit, rename and file all images to some sort of naming convention that would (hopefully) mean something to me... Along the lines of a date format and an indiciator of what the image stored in a variety of different folders. It worked, sort of, ish.

Over the last few months I've become more inclined to keep original images and their file names, working on copies for any editing and keeping all versions. For example, original = IMG_1234.jpg, a reworked version might = a_IMG_1234.pg and a web saved version might = web_IMG_1234.jpg.

I know it's all a person choice, but I am getting in a pickle trying to find the 'best' way to name/store. I am an indecisive beastie and my mind is forever changing! Plus... with the IMG_ number creeping ever closer to _9999 what happens when it 'clocks'??

I see quite a lot of images stored in web galleries with the I (of IMG_) replaced with an underscore. (eg. _MG_1234 ) Why?

These thoughts are coming to me in my sleep, so to aid a restful night I thought I'd ask you helpful lot what you do...
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Old 17-08-2007, 12:52   #2 (permalink)
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Re: File naming

You hit the nail on the head when you said that it's a personal choice.

I tend to open a new folder for a batch of photos and name it with something meaningful. In this folder I then create a sub-folders 'edits', and 'mono', and any other ones that I need. This way I only have one main photos folder with the edits being kept in the master folder. I rename the edited file with a suffix - la for Licis art, m for mono, b for border etc.

Sometimes I will have collections of photos from more than one folder, photos for printing, for instance. These files I rename to an actual name of what they are.

Now I have Lightroom, I'm trying to adopt the keywording system that it uses, but I am not using it often enough to be able to do it automatically yet.

I think the underscores are what some software recognises as a space.
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Old 17-08-2007, 13:13   #3 (permalink)
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Re: File naming

Urgh files lol
Im trying to discipline myself but i used to name things as anything at the time then forget, when i used to design websites people got confused as anything oops!
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Old 17-08-2007, 14:41   #4 (permalink)
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Re: File naming

As has been said, it's a matter of personal choice. Spaces in filenames can be a problem for some software and web applications, and it's common to replace spaces with an underscore except that then the underscore can't be seen if a hyperlink is shown underlined. I prefer to use a hyphen.

I'd suggest retaining the original file number as part of any new filename so you can find the original RAW (or whatever) more easily. Embedded keywords and such like are a great idea provided (IMO) that they don't lock you into proprietary software. I've never been a fan of databases TBH, but some people love them.
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