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Editing or Restoring a Photo Electronically
60 Book I: Digital Photography Overview
Chapter 5: Storing and Organizing Your Digital Photos
In This Chapter
^ Understanding your organizational options ^ Choosing the right tools to organize and store your photos ^ Keeping your treasured photos safe
Ø MJe all have at least one box or drawer full of photos that we've never had the time to put in an album — vacation photos, pictures of the family at holiday dinners for the last 10 years, even collections of vintage photos, all waiting for someone to take them out of their envelopes and put them in a book so that people can actually look at them. What about your digital photos? They may not be languishing in a drawer, but if they're in different folders scattered all over your hard drive, they may „ moto Ìììóì
as well be in a shoebox under the bed.
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The most important things you can do with your digital images are first to organize them and then to store them in a way that keeps them safe from accidental erasure, unwanted changes, or loss due to fire, flood, or computer meltdown. You can easily achieve the proper organization and reliable stor- _kc«WS age of your digital images, and plenty of tools are at your disposal to make it all happen. The key, however, is to do it — so don't put it off any longer!
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Organizing Your Photos
When it comes to taking control of your photo organization, you have a few different approaches to choose from. Your personality, your computer, and your access to the Web all dictate your choice. Here are some approaches to consider:
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? Setting up a file structure on your computer
? Working with software that makes it easy to organize and store your images and view them through a special interface
? Organizing and storing your images in an online gallery
Organizing Your Photos
What do I mean about your personality influencing your choice of organizational tools? If you’re a very organized person who enjoys straightening out closets and dresser drawers, always knows where the remotes are, and always puts things away after using them, then using the file management tools already on your computer might appeal to you.
If, on the other hand, you aren’t too tidy and often forget where you left your glasses or your keys, you might prefer either using software that organizes things for you or posting your images to an online gallery. The tidy person might like these latter approaches as well.
Using your computer's file-management tools
You already have some great tools for organizing your images, and the tools have been on your computer all along. If you’re running Windows, you have My Computer and Windows Explorer right there at your fingertips. If you’re using a Mac, you can use the file-management tools that you’ve already been using to create folders on your desktop or hard drive.
Using these tools requires devising some sort of filing system — one or more folders that will help you categorize your images. You might start with one called Photos and create subfolders called, perhaps, Family Photos, Vacation Pictures, and Scanned Vintage Photos. You can create folders on your computer for whatever groupings fit the pool of images you have. After you create the folders, all you have to do is move your images into the appropriate folders and remember the folder names when you store new images in the future.
Using Windows Explorer to store and organize your photos
Working with folders under Windows is pretty basic but deserves a review in the context of organizing your digital image files. To create folders to store your images by using Windows Explorer, follow these simple steps:
1. Choose StartOProgramsOWindows Explorer.
You can also right-click the Start button and choose Explore from the context menu.
2. When Windows Explorer opens, click the C: drive icon (see Figure 5-1).
If there’s a plus sign next to the icon, click that plus sign to display the folders currently on the drive. If there’s a minus sign next to the icon, that means you can already see all the folders.
The Windows Explorer window is divided into two panes: the Folder pane on the left and the Content pane on the right. When you click a drive or folder in the Folder pane, that drive’s or folder’s contents are displayed in the Content pane. This two-sided display makes it possible to drag items from one folder to another simply by displaying the source
Organizing Your Photos
(where the content is now) and target (where you want the content to be) folders in the separate panes.
If you don’t see the Folder pane, you can open it either by choosing ViewOExplorer BarOFolders or by clicking the Folders button on the toolbar.
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