Indexing Photos

For some time I have not been able to devise a satisfactory system of cataloging my photographs and wonder if DEVONthink can come to the rescue! My workflow is this:

  1. Transfer images from camera in RAW state to Mac Hard Drive via Lightroom.
  2. Post process them.
  3. Export them to “keepers” folder.
  4. Rename them.
  5. Delete “non-keepers”

In addition I would like to do is this:

A) At 4 the renaming stage simplify this by using Hazel. Often after processing them in Lightroom the name has become very long and I would like it to be in the format of Photo Session Title_YY/MM/DD, eg YorkMinster_14/10/29
B) Index that folder in DEVONthink Pro Office.

I came across this post Indexing your Photo Stream and wondered if an adaption of this would do the trick?

Any advice/comments most welcome. Cheers.

Just curious, but Lightroom has far superior capabilties for “cataloging my photographs”, and indexes them in file system folders, which folders could also be indexed in DEVONthink – so why do anything different? Or anything more complex than using Lightroom? No disrespect to DEVONthink, but moving my photography catalogs out of Lightroom and into DEVONthink would be a downgrade. DEVONthink’s AI isn’t going to be of much help.

I’m a fan of using the best tool for the job, not merely the tool that happens to be on the top of the workbench.

I know Korm, I don’t know why but I just cannot get my head round Lightroom’s cataloging structure, I seem to get into quite a mess with it with duplicate photographs & odd names & goodness knows what else. I have tried a number of times but always end up not knowing what I have got! :blush:

Well, you’ll be sorting out your taxonomy in Lightroom or in DEVONthink – but you’ll need to do it in any event.

I always find it is easier to think out a hierarchy and naming conventions with pencil and paper first before trying to put it in place in software.

Thanks Korm, I will give it yet another try!!!

With respect, I think you’ve not quite grasped Lightroom. I say this when seeing your workflow

Lightroom is (like iPhoto, Aperture, Picasa et al) not an editor for photos but a Photo Manager (with built-in non-destructive processing). When you export to your Keepers folder you’re taking the photos from the Phoot Manager and putting them into the Finder. That’s like exporting all the addresses from your Contacts app and storing them as vCards in the Finder. It means you an leverage all the organisational and management powers of Lightroom.

I think for most users that would run more like

  1. Import the Raws
  2. Delete the unwanted
  3. Process them
  4. Name them

and stop right there. They live in LR. It’s your Photo Manager, your “go-to” app for your photos. You never export an image unless you need to use to for something - then you export the version you want, for the purpose you want. Otherwise they all remain in LR, managed and catalogued by it.

Thank you terrydev for your input. :slight_smile:

Actually Lightroom is not “like iPhoto, Aperture” as in Lightroom, all files are referenced, the database only ever stores a link to the files and you have to tell Lightroom when importing where to store your files. Yes, both Aperture and Lightroom act as a database for cataloguing and storing your images, (in Aperture this database is called the library, where as in Lightroom it’s called the catalogue) but, and it is a crucial “but”, in Aperture, you can store your image files in the Library whereas in Lightroom the catalogue and therefore the database, only ever stores a link to the files.

I know my workflow can be simplified and that is what I am trying to do so thanks for your suggestion.

I don’t do any heavy photo work so I could be way off base here, but might it be worthwhile to wait a bit and see what Apple’s new Photos app looks like?

Actually, yes it is like iPhoto and Aperture. Both of those can also be used with referenced files - Aperture since it was released, iPhoto since v6, in 2006. But it doesn’t actually matter as that’s just dumb file storage. The point is that it’s the go-to- app for your photos. The LR window (or the iPhoto or Aperture or Picasa) is the starting point, not the Finder. Like the Contacts app - you start in the application window not with vCards. Like DT, you start in the Application window, not in the library…