The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers

Book description

Can you find your digital photographs when you need them, or do you spend more time rifling through your hard drive and file cabinets than you'd like? Do you have a system for assigning and tracking content data on your photos? If you make a living as a photographer, do your images bear your copyright and contact information, or do they circulate in the marketplace unprotected?

As professional photographer and author Peter Krogh sees it, "your DAM system is fundamental to the way your images are known, both to you and to everyone else." DAM, or Digital Asset Management, in the world of digital photography refers to every part of the process that follows the taking of the picture, through final output and permanent storage. Anyone who shoots, scans or stores digital photographs, is practicing some form of digital asset management. Unfortunately, most of us don't yet know how to manage our files (and our time) very systematically, or efficiently.

In The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers, Krogh brings clarity to the often overwhelming task of managing digital photographs, with a solid plan and practical advice for fellow photographers on how to file, find, protect and re-use photographs. Following a thorough overview of the DAM system and de-mystifications of metadata and digital archiving, Krogh focuses on best practices for digital photographers using Adobe Photoshop CS2. He explains how to use Adobe Bridge, the new CS2 navigational software that replaces the File Browser introduced in Photoshop 7, with full details on integrating Bridge, Camera Raw and Digital Asset Management software.

Compellingly presented in four-color format, The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers brings Krogh's award-winning creative approach to a subject that could have been technically intimidating. Instead, Krogh's twenty years of experience and instructive visual storytelling make this material not only accessible, but compulsory reading for serious digital photographers.

Table of contents

  1. Contents
  2. Introduction
    1. Who Is This Book Written For?
      1. My Assumptions About You
    2. Contents of This Book
    3. Conventions Used in This Book
    4. Comments and Questions
    5. Acknowledgments
  3. Chapter 1: What Is All This DAM Stuff?
    1. It’s Like Color Management, Only Different
      1. Help Is Here
      2. Do I Really Have to Do That?
    2. What Is Digital Asset Management?
    3. An Overview of the DAM System
      1. Rules of Sound Digital Asset Management
    4. Understanding Digital Asset Management Software
      1. Digital Asset Management Terminology
        1. Browsers versus cataloging software
      2. Adobe Bridge
        1. Communication between DAM applications
    5. Benefits of the DNG Format and Digital Asset Management of RAW Files
      1. What’s a RAW File?
      2. The Benefits and Drawbacks of Shooting RAW
      3. DNG as a Workflow and Archiving Solution
        1. A digital job jacket
        2. Drawbacks of DNG
        3. DNG as an archival storage format
    6. The Benefits of Sound Digital Asset Management
      1. Sound DAM Aids Productivity
      2. Proper DAM Adds Value to Your Photographs
        1. Sometimes the client is you
      3. Effective DAM Enhances the Longevity of Your Work
      4. DAM Prepares You for a Future of Profitable Professional Photography
        1. The licensing model
        2. DAM help for your clients
        3. Photographers must lead the way
      5. DAM Will Allow You to Roll with the Technological Changes
        1. Storage media
        2. Operating system
        3. File format
  4. Chapter 2: Metadata
    1. Types of Metadata
      1. Metadata Type 1: Automatically Generated
        1. File properties
        2. EXIF
      2. Metadata Type 2: Bulk Entry Data
      3. Metadata Type 3: Higher Metadata
    2. Applying Ratings, Keywords, and Groupings
      1. Tagging Images for Quality: The Ratings Pyramid
        1. Setting up your ratings system
        2. Getting the proportions right
      2. Assigning Keywords
        1. What’s a keyword?
        2. Controlled vocabulary
      3. Advanced Grouping: Making Virtual Sets
    3. Storing Metadata
      1. Private Metadata
      2. Embedded Metadata (1/2)
      3. Embedded Metadata (2/2)
        1. Embedded metadata and RAW file formats
        2. New capabilities of IPTC data
        3. Backward compatibility
  5. Chapter 3: Creating the Digital Archive Part 1: The Information Structure
    1. The Archive: An Overview
      1. Similarities Between Film and Digital Archives
      2. Structural Differences Between Film and Digital Archives
        1. Physical assets require a physical filing structure
        2. Metadata can be used to organize digital files
        3. Take the plunge
    2. Information Structure
      1. Consistent Information Structure Is Your Friend
      2. Designing a Unified Information Structure
      3. Segregating Original and Derivative Files
    3. Directory Structure: Enter the Bucket Brigade
      1. Don’t Organize Your Directory Structure Around Content
      2. The Bucket System (1/2)
      3. The Bucket System (2/2)
        1. Making buckets
        2. Determining the bucket size
        3. Naming the buckets
      4. Combining Buckets
    4. The Fine Art of File Naming
      1. Renaming Original Files
      2. Special Naming Considerations for JPEGs
      3. Appending Filenames for Derivative Files
      4. When to Change Filenames
  6. Chapter 4: Creating the Digital Archive Part 2: Hardware Configurations
    1. My Rig
      1. Location Hardware
      2. In the Studio
    2. Choosing a Storage Medium
      1. Keeping It Live and Local
      2. Balancing Cost and Performance
      3. Establishing a File Server
      4. Drive Configurations: JBOD, RAID, or NAS?
        1. JBOD
        2. RAID
        3. NAS
      5. System Configurations
    3. Choosing Your Hard Drives
      1. Hard Drive Cases
        1. Internal drives
        2. Single-drive externals
        3. Multiple-drive externals
      2. Hard Drive Power Supplies
      3. Hard Drive Interfaces
        1. Internal hard drive interfaces
        2. External hard drive interfaces
    4. Backing Up Your Archive: How Safe Is Safe?
      1. Understanding Threats to Your Archive’s Well-Being
        1. Device failure
        2. Viruses
        3. Encoding/decoding glitches
        4. Lightning strike/voltage surge
        5. Theft
        6. Fire/water damage
        7. Human error
      2. Backup Strategies
        1. Working, or incremental, file backup
        2. Archive backup
        3. Boot drive backup
        4. Backup Review
      3. Choosing Backup Media
  7. Chapter 5: Setting Up Bridge
    1. What Exactly Is Bridge?
      1. Bridge Is an Excellent First Tool for Image Preparation
      2. Bridge Is a Scriptable Application
    2. Setting Up Bridge’s Preferences
      1. Setting General Preferences
      2. Setting Metadata Preferences
      3. Setting Label Preferences
      4. Setting Advanced Preferences
        1. Determining Camera Raw hosting
        2. Cache preferences
      5. Setting Camera Raw Preferences
        1. Sidecar files
        2. Sharpening
        3. Cache
        4. DNG handling
    3. The Bridge Menus
      1. The File Menu
        1. Making metadata templates
      2. The Edit Menu
        1. Find
        2. Apply Camera Raw Settings
      3. The Tools Menu (1/2)
      4. The Tools Menu (2/2)
        1. Photoshop
        2. Import from Camera
        3. Cache
      5. The Label Menu
      6. The View Menu
      7. The Window Menu
        1. Workspaces
    4. Setting Up Keywords in Bridge
      1. How the Keyword Sets Work
      2. How Keywords Get Added to the Panel
      3. Using Bridge’s Contextual Menus
  8. Chapter 6: The Editing Workflow
    1. The Workflow Checklist
    2. Phase 1: Acquiring Images
      1. Media-Card Handling
      2. Downloading Images to Your Computer
      3. Backing Up
      4. Building the Cache
      5. Confirming File Integrity
      6. Formatting the Media Card
    3. Phase 2: Preparing Images in Bridge
      1. Building the Cache, and Applying Camera Raw Settings
      2. Sorting Image Files
      3. Renaming the Files
      4. Appending Copyright Info and Bulk Metadata
      5. Using the Import from Camera Script
      6. Applying Ratings (Positive and Negative) (1/2)
      7. Applying Ratings (Positive and Negative) (2/2)
        1. Editing sequence
        2. Assigning ratings and labels with the keyboard
        3. Positive ratings
        4. Negative ratings
        5. Reviewing the ratings
        6. Viewing “filtered” images
        7. Using the Unrated designation
      8. Adjusting Camera Raw Settings (1/3)
      9. Adjusting Camera Raw Settings (2/3)
      10. Adjusting Camera Raw Settings (3/3)
        1. Camera Raw work order
        2. Applying settings to multiple similar images
        3. The Adjust tab
        4. The Detail tab
        5. The Lens tab
        6. The Curve tab
        7. The Calibrate tab
        8. The Crop tool
        9. Wrapping up
      11. Applying Keywords and Synchronizing Ratings (1/2)
      12. Applying Keywords and Synchronizing Ratings (2/2)
        1. Adding keywords to subsets
        2. Synchronizing ratings: Making your ratings visible to other applications
        3. Using the Rank and File script
    4. Phase 3: Creating the DNG Files
      1. Creating the DNGs
        1. Converting images with the DNG Converter
        2. Converting images to DNG with Camera Raw
      2. Archiving
        1. Exporting the cache
      3. Cataloging
  9. Chapter 7: Using Cataloging Software
    1. Evaluating Software
      1. Things to Keep in Mind
      2. Where to Go for Information
      3. My Software Criteria
        1. Integration with Photoshop/Bridge
        2. Integrating labels and ratings with Bridge
    2. The DAM Interface
      1. Using Different Views
    3. Using DAM Software to Perform Work on Images
      1. Opening Images with Photoshop via iView
      2. Outputting Directly from Cataloging Software
        1. Setting up web galleries
        2. Making contact sheets
        3. Creating conversion files
        4. Making slideshows and movies
    4. Managing the Archive
      1. Cleaning Up Metadata
      2. Confirming File Existence and Integrity
      3. Recovering from Data Loss
      4. Care and Pruning of the Archive
        1. Fun with pictures
    5. Other DAM Stuff
      1. Scripting
        1. Synchronizing RAW + JPEG (or any two file types) with the Duplicate Annotations script
        2. Converting private to embedded metadata with the Field of Sets script
      2. Cataloging Software and Other Types of Digital Media Files
    6. Case Studies
      1. Case Study #1: Portfolio Search
        1. Goal
        2. Work order
      2. Case Study #2: Large Job Delivery
        1. Goal
        2. Work order
      3. Case Study #3: Recovery from Drive Failure
        1. Goal
        2. Work order
  10. Chapter 8: Derivative Files
    1. What’s a Derivative File?
    2. Reasons to Make Derivative Files
      1. Proofs
      2. Master Files
      3. Delivery Files
    3. Conversion Options
      1. Converting Using Bridge
      2. Image Processor
        1. Adding a sharpening action to the Image Processor
      3. Caption Maker
      4. Using Actions to Make Derivative Files
      5. Using DAM Software to Batch Out Files
    4. Conversion Issues
      1. Naming Strategies
      2. Color Profiles
        1. The working color space
        2. The delivery color space
        3. CMYK conversions
      3. Size, Layers, Versions, and Sharpening
        1. Size: Bigger is, well, bigger
        2. Using layers in master files
        3. Managing versions
        4. Applying sharpening
      4. File Format
    5. Cataloging Strategies: What to Keep
      1. Catalog (Most of) Your Derivative Files!
        1. Derivative files catalog
  11. Chapter 9: Strategies for Successful File Migration
    1. Overview of the Migration Process
      1. Get Comfortable with Your New System
        1. Test, test, test
        2. Experiment with trial software
        3. Make sure your metadata is coming along for the ride
      2. Create a Comprehensive Plan
        1. Keep an eye out for opportunities to thin the archive
      3. Keep Some Catalog Snapshots Along the Way
      4. Keep a Parallel Structure for a While
    2. Migration of Disorganized Digital Files into an Organized Information Structure
      1. Step 1: Determine How Much Storage Space You Will Need to Hold the Existing Material
      2. Step 2: Gather the Existing Material
      3. Step 3: Rename the Legacy Files
      4. Step 4: Make the Buckets
      5. Step 5: Back Up
      6. Step 6: Make a Catalog of the Legacy Items
      7. Step 7: Search for Duplicates, and Add Metadata as Practical
      8. Step 8: Sync Your Legacy Ratings and Keywords with Your New System
        1. Developing ratings definitions
        2. Making utility sets
        3. Extracting directory-based rankings and image information
    3. Migration from Film to Digital
      1. ROI Is King
      2. Making Camera Scans
        1. Making a calibration image
        2. “Scanning” slides
        3. “Scanning” B&W negatives
        4. “Scanning” color negatives
        5. Naming film scans
        6. Naming color transparencies
    4. File Format Migration (RAW to DNG)
      1. Important Components of the DNG Conversion Process
        1. Saving private metadata
        2. Saving the directory structure
        3. Thinning the archive
        4. Keeping a parallel structure
        5. Does this look too DAM hard?
    5. Migration from One Storage Medium to Another
      1. New Primary Storage Devices
      2. New Backup “Bucket” Sizes
    6. OS/Software Migration
    7. Conclusion
  12. Index
  13. About the Author
  14. Colophon

Product information

  • Title: The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers
  • Author(s): Peter Krogh
  • Release date: November 2005
  • Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  • ISBN: 9780596523626