Can you find the image that you want in less than five minutes? If the answer is ‘no’ then you may need to explore what are the best options for cataloguing your photographic work. The advent of digital image capture has caused a profound change in the photographic industry. Not only in the way that images are captured, but also in the number of images that photographers work with and how they are catalogued.
Rapidly filling archives are a great incentive to create a robust solution for backup and cataloguing images, but while backup is a regular subject between photographers, discussion of cataloguing and image databases almost seems to be taboo.
Databasing for images – otherwise know as Digital Asset Management or ‘DAM’ – is now a big business and the range of software products available to catalogue them has increased substantially, but finding a solution to fit individual needs is not always easy.
What type of software do you need?
Many think that applications like Adobe Bridge are image-cataloguing software and that by having their files arranged in a folder structure, with an overview provided by Bridge, they have an image database. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Adobe Bridge is an excellent file browser but file browsers can only display readily accessible photos. Using Bridge to view photos (or other media assets), your computer hard drive must contain the original files, or must be connected to storage media that contains the files.
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