|It took me a while to stumble
system for organizing the photos from my digital camera so that related
images were all together and in chronological order. This is the
best I have ever seen.
Here's an example, then I'll
break it down
and explain why the sequence:
A filename should look like this.
1) Year -
first instead of the month so that you don't have pictures from January
of *every* year grouped together.
2) Month - We're
unit to smallest, so this follows the year.
3) Day - Since
than a month.
4) Number in series -
precede and follow it with an underscore so as not to confuse it
with the date.
5) Description -
of the event.
6) Location -
state, whose house, etc. (FW = Fort Worth in this case.)
7) Indication if it's edited
- "_2" means this is the 2nd copy. The original (which
needed additional brightness) is retained without this designation.
8) File extension -
know what format.
First of all, I move all my
pictures from the camera to c:\temp-digicam-pics. I have other
"temp" folders for various purposes (usually the install files for
programs I'm testing or other files that need renaming). This
temp folder is a good place to go through and delete bad, out-of-focus
shots before you begin the renaming process.
The next step is I use ACDSee to rename sequences of images by
date. I'm using a really old version of this, so I can't guaranty
it hasn't changed, but the program was really good at allowing you to
highlight groups of images (via a directory view that is very similar
to Windows File Explorer). I take them by a whole run on a given
say and name them a series of things like 2014-12-25_##_.jpg. The
"##" portion is automatically converted into a series of consecutive
numbers beginning with whatever value you tell it (although I always
start with "1" unless I'm working on a series I'm modifying later).
Alternatively, I have also taken to using NIYoW (Name It Your Way),
another renaming program, to renaming the files with their date.
This is an imperfect process, but it has reduced the labor involved
from the mostly-manual approach I had to take with ACDSee. (There
is also the possibility of using DOS via a batch file, but I found that
to be much more involved than I wanted to get into due to the variable
number of characters in a file name. Too technical to go into
The key here is that I'm left with a bunch of pictures that end with
"_.jpg" I can always search/replace that portion and insert the
subject of the image. In my case, I only name things by a handful
of categories. At least 90% of my pictures fall into one of
these: Stan, Stella (my kids) or both (in which case it's just labeled
"kids"), kittens (if two or more are in the same shot), house, and
Halloween. I'll name the pictures by the pet's name if only one
is pictured; that can be done by hand.
In order to automate the naming process, I created sub-folders for each
of those categories. I just go through the images again and pull
out/file the ones that belong in each folder, which is usually pretty
each since most of the time I'm only shooting pictures of, say, one kid
or the other or Halloween or house projects. Then the fun begins.
Each one of those folders contains a batch file with just a couple
instuctions. So the folder c:\temp-digicam-pics\stan contains a
file called ren-stan.bat. The contents of the file are
below. The first line simply renames the file to include his name
(without removing the date), and the second line moves the file back to
the root temp folder: c:\temp-digicam-pics.
ren *_.JPG *_stan.jpg
move *.jpg c:\temp-digicam-pics
Once I've gone through all the folders, all my pictures are back in the
original temp folder, all properly named now, so they're ready to be
filed. I organize my pictures by year (just to keep the number
manageable per folder), so I have a batch file that moves all those
files without me having to highlight and drag them. It contains
the line "move *.jpg "c:\my pictures\2014"" (The quotes ensure it
doesn't overlook the space in the folder's name). That files
everything away with minimal effort!
facilitate fast naming:
- Basically treats a folder like a Notepad document
which allows you to Search/Replace or cut/paste text. Once you've
made all the changes to a folder, you just hit "OK," and it's all saved.
NIYoW (Name It Your Way) -
Another renaming program that has other options. I mainly use
this to append the folder name as a part of the file name for, say,
mp3s where you get track number/song name without the album name (which
is the folder). Will also do the numbering in sequence like I
described with ACDSee.
I automated several steps in the process and just saved each step as a
series of numbered batch files that remind me which order to do them
in. Here's the command line(s) in each and a short explanation of
what they do.
Grabs all the images off the
camera's card and moves them all into the same folder. Pictures
are normally stored in groups of a hundred each in subfolders for some
reason. Even if I just copied them over, I'd have to unpack those
subs to put them into the temp folder for processing. This series
of "moves" looks in all 1000 possible folders (even though only 2 to 4
are usually present) so I don't have to.
...and so on up to 999CANON
ren *.JPG *.jpg
ren *.MOV *.mov
Just makes everything
lowercase. This is mostly an aesthetic preference, but it also
helps with consistency/intuitiveness if any images are used in web
pages because I don't have to remember to capitalize "JPG" for some
images; I just use the same set of templates and search/replace or
paste in the image file names.
Just a reminder. The file
just says "rem" as a place-holder. This is the stage in the
process where I delete any out-of-focus pictures or redundant shots
before I start naming the series of them.
This file will open "Name It Your
Way" or it can just serve as a reminder. I use this program to
quickly rename files to contain the date in the aforementioned
format. The program allows you to save custom naming algorithms,
which I do for this and related tasks.
One minor problem with "Name It
Your Way" is that it numbers the duplicates but not the first in the
series, so I have to go back and manually label a few images as
"_01_" It's a very minor thing but really jumps out at you if
you're looking at a listing of images. UPDATE: I fixed the code I
used with NIYoW so that I don't
have to do this extra step anymore.
Just a reminder. At this
point I already have the program open from cleaning out the bad
shots. Now I go through and add to the last part of the file name
something about the subject of the images, usually my kids' name(s) or
where the shot was taken. UPDATE: I created a series of batch
files for attaching the kids' names. I put them into sub-folders,
then I run the batch files, and it attaches the names and moves them
back to the root.
move 2015*.jpg "c:\my
Simply moves the images from the
temp folder to my permanent folder.
FOR /D %%p IN ("e:\DCIM\*.*") DO
rmdir "%%p" /s /q
Cleans off the images from the
card so that I can start fresh without worrying about 1) running out of
space on the card or 2) pulling off the same files as I
processed/renamed the previous time. Note that this is the very
last step in this sequence because, up to this point, the camera card
served as a backup of the images. If I accidentally did anything
to mess up the process or just plain lost files, I'd always have the
entire series on the card.