Chapter 3. Understanding Image File Basics


  • Creating an organizational system that works like a virtual file cabinet

  • Understanding the file formats used in digital photography

  • Organizing the files that are created in a typical workflow

  • Protecting your work by backing up and archiving files

When you begin shooting digitally it's tempting to create a filing system I call the "bucket system." In this filing system you create individual folders for the main things you shoot. Every time you photograph one of those things you place the images into the appropriate bucket. Pictures of my wife get placed into a folder with her name, photos of the dogs are placed into folders with their names, photos of the mountains are place into a folder named Mountains, and on and on it goes. This system seems to make sense, but it really doesn't because photos from a particular shoot are spread all over the place. I can't look at a single folder and see the photos of my wife, the dogs, and the mountains that were all shot on the same backpacking trip. This problem is compounded when files for each bucket are created for the same original image.

This chapter looks at a more organized way of dealing with your images. Once you learn it, you'll find that it makes much more sense than the bucket system because it's based on the most common filing system there is—the filing cabinet.

Creating a Virtual Filing Cabinet

Imagine a filing cabinet for a moment. Your filing cabinet has three drawers. Each of ...

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