File Management


An important part of photography is not just taking the picture, it is managing the process of saving your images. Managing your files will make your work safer and faster. Proper file management can prevent accidentally losing or misplacing your work. Finding the best management for yourself starts with picking the right computer or storage device. Finding the right equipment and understanding file management will help you master the digital process of photography.

Intro File Management

When starting in photography, there are many vital factors to consider. Yet, the most critical factor is that everything we do is in the maintenance of the end image. So, understanding how you will take, work on, and save your images is equally as important as how the image is taken. You must have a method in place to access your images when and if you need them.

Having a file management system in place and knowing how to organize and work that system is critical in archiving your work. Having an effective file management system can also improve the overall function and workflow. A file management system also can help in having a searchable database; this is good for finding important images or files.


File management starts before you ever take the first photo. A correct file management system considers everything: the type of file you will be working with, the system it will be rendered in, the way you process the data, the way the end data will be stored. By understanding all parts of this system, you can work safer and faster. To learn about Key file management components, Click the learn more button

Picking the right computer

In today's world, there are many options for picking the right computer or storage device. There are so many different combinations, price ranges, and manufacturers to choose from. Each device comes with its advantages and disadvantages, so which one is the right one for you?

Picking the right device will come down to a few key factors, yet the best way to choose a computer is to look at your end goal. Here are a few questions to consider. 

Questions to Consider

How will you use the images? Will you use them online or print them? If you use them only online, then you may not need to have a large storage device as web images are typically smaller files. Yet, if you plan on printing the images, you may want to have a device that has more space.

Do you plan on archiving the images? If you do, you may want to think about how big your image sizes are. The larger the file size, the more space you will need.

Do you plan on editing the images? If you plan on editing the images, you need to think about the amount of space the program needs and how much RAM (random-access memory) or how much virtual memory your computer needs to run the program. Every computer has a limited amount of working memory; the more memory the program needs to run, the slower the computer will operate.

Another factor you must consider is the processing speed. The processing speed will influence how the computer processes the information. A computer's processor determines how quickly the central processing unit (CPU) can retrieve and interpret instructions. The processor helps your computer complete more tasks by getting them done faster. The larger the files, the more processing power your computer will need.

If you are editing your images, you will need to consider the output of your screen. To do this, you need to consider the screen's resolution, the size of the screen, and the color calibration of the monitor. These are all essential things to think about when working on any image. If you have a large file and do not have a screen that allows you to see the full-color range of the image, your image may not have the desired effect when it is published online or printed.

Also, the video card is an important aspect to consider, as well. Video cards are also referred to as graphics cards. The video card of a computer connects to the motherboard working as a gateway for the output from the computer to the display monitor. Video cards can include processing unit, memory, cooling mechanism, and connections to a display device. You need to consider that the slower the video card, the less output to the screen, and the less information visible at any given time.


Both the computer and DSLR store information as electronic files. These files contain information that make up the digital images. This information is made up of Pixels. The word pixel means a picture element. Every photograph, in digital form, is made up of pixels. They are the smallest unit of information that makes up a picture. Usually square, they are typically arranged in a 2-dimensional grid.

The number of pixels in an image is sometimes called the resolution. Each pixel stores color information for the image. It will usually store it in three components, known as RGB (red, green, blue), or four components, known as CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black).

DSLR cameras use digital media cards called memory cards. These memory cards allow the camera to record images or video. An advantage of memory cards is that it allows the photographer to view and erase images on the spot. This allows for the memory card to be used over and over.

Storage capacity

Each memory card has a maximum storage capacity; today's cards offer inexpensive storage capacity up from 1 GB up to 128 GB and above. The higher the capacity, the more information the memory card can hold. Yet, this does not mean you can always use a larger memory card to get more images in an older camera. Every digital camera has a limitation on the ability to process images. Newer cards have different wright speeds and processing requirements, and most are not backward compatible.


When your memory card is full, or you are done for the day, it is best practice to offload the images onto the computer and format it. Formatting is the method of preparing a device for data storage. This process will clean or delete the card by removing previously existing data and information, making room for the new information.

When formatting the card, it is best practice to format it in the device it is intended for. When you format a card, it will create a new file directory structure that maps out where the latest information will be stored. If you do not format the card correctly, you run the risk of corrupting your files. Corrupted files are digital files that have become unusable.

Type of Digital Media

Each camera will have a specific file format and memory card that it will use; there are many kinds of memory cards: Compact Flash, SD, D.H.C., S.D.X.C., MMC plus, HC MMC plus, Q.X.D., and many others..

External hard drive

A great storage device to have is an external hard drive. An external hard drive is a portable storage device that can be attached to a computer through a USB, FireWire connection, or wirelessly. External hard drives typically have high storage capacities and are often used to back up computers or serve as network drives.

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