Chapter 5. Getting Organized

When we first get interested in digital imaging, few of us realize just how quickly the digital dream can become an organizational nightmare. In the days of shooting film, organization was just as important, though much more intuitive. After film was developed, it—and us associated proofs or contact sheets—-was placed in a box or file cabinet. When a negative was needed for printing, we had a clear idea of where to find it.

With digital photography, organization gets more complicated. For one thing, the place where image files are stored isn't quite so intuitive. Sometimes, files end up in cryptic places requiring three software engineers to find them. Second, when working with digital images, we tend to create lots and lots of derivative files from some original files. When we begin creating so many similar yet different Tiles, organization takes on a whole new meaning. Finding a particular picture is important, but finding a particular interpretation of that particular picture is even more important. Add the fact that you can easily create huge quantities of digital files, and you'll soon be lost in a sea of image files.

My goal in this chapter is to help you get a handle on organization right now. I begin by explaining the primary' file formats we use when working with digital photography and when ...

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