photography : how to save and file your photos
Confession: my past attempts at filing photos were absolutely diabolical. So bad that Daniel recently took a look at my external hard drive and realised that I had four different folders titled: autumn. For the record, I wouldn’t recommend filing your photos according to the season they were taken. Instead, embrace a very methodical, Type-A personality approach to filing; you will be forever grateful.
There’s a few things you need to consider when saving your photos:
size – if you’re publishing online and plan to one day print your photo, it’s best to save both a web and print version. For example: when it comes time to save my weekly portrait of Poet, I save the following files:
Poet 7/52 – web (740px wide – the width of my post column on my blog | resolution = 72dpi aka low-res)
Poet 7/52 – print (no resizing required | resolution = 300dpi aka high-res)
For those of you new to photography, dpi = dots (or pixels) per inch. If you were to print a web resolution/low resolution file it would be very pixelated and not worth keeping. And on the flipside, if you were to publish a print resolution/high resolution photo to the web, it would use up a lot of space and generally, take a long time to load.
location – in terms of maintaining some semblance of organisation with your photo filing, it’s essential that you create a filing system. Saving by date is the most logical choice but it is, of course, a personal choice.
For The 52 Project I have a folder titled: 2015 – The 52 Project and each week, a web and print file is added.
If you are editing in a program like Lightroom, it will automatically file your photos year – month – day and give you the option to personalise even further, if you wish.
editing – dipping my toes into the editing side of photography now which, undeniably, is a world unto its own. However, if you are looking to improve your photography I highly recommend you download the free 30-day trial of Lightroom. Generally, most photographers use Lightroom to import and edit their photos. But, one of the best things about Lightroom is that it automatically files and saves your photos to your computer. There are free programs like Picmonkey that you can use to edit but personally, I would go straight to Lightroom. Yes, it is complicated at first but there are countless tutorials online and, before long, you’ll find it’s quite intuitive.
When creating diptychs (two photos side-by-side) or a grid (as seen here) I use Photoshop.
This is a very basic guide to filing photos and whilst it works for me, you may take an entirely different approach. As per usual, I’m more than happy to answer your questions within the comments.