One fall we traveled with another couple up the Blue Ridge Parkway. George had just bought a new camera as a gift for his wife. He quickly commandeered the camera for his own use and proceeded to take 5-10 shots of the view from EVERY pull off along the way! We would drive to the next overlook and George would jump out and start taking pictures – left or right, close-up or far away. Whatever caught his eye. This was back in the day of film cameras and he paid a pile of money to get the rolls developed. He was so excited to get the prints back but after looking at 10 or 15 pictures he realized he had made some major mistakes. What he had hoped would be a fine documentation of the great fall scenery along all the pull-offs on the Blue Ridge ended up being a collection of over 400 random pictures that all started to look alike. They, as a collection, became meaningless.
Digital cameras make the process of organizing your pictures quite easy and would have solved some of George’s mistakes. When one cuts away all the bells and whistles of digital cameras, their most basic functions are to take the picture, save the pictures and assign a number in the order in which it was taken.
Additionally, digital cameras are generally very easy and quick to download, only requiring hitting of a couple buttons or plugging them in to your laptop, or other device. I try to download my pictures each evening and keep the digital copies in a separate file from that stored in the camera. At the same time, I usually do a quick editing job and delete unwanted pictures from the copy collection. Some cameras have the ability to organize on their memory chip. That is fine, but if your camera dies or goes missing during a trip, all the pictures you have taken might be lost.
When downloading my photos (or files) most systems allow you to “tag” or label the images/files. I simply use an “a” for the pictures taken the first day, “b” for the pictures taken on the second day, and so on. My individual photos will be then identified as “a001, a002, a003 . . .” Downloading usually only takes a minute or so to complete, and with it being done, I feel much better about having a remotely stored back up copy of my photos.
Usually I wait until I return home to do the final organizing of my photo collection. Often it becomes a better collection if I re-arrange the order in which they appear. For instance, you might not take the introduction/identification picture of a visited place at the very beginning of the visit. Renaming the photo file is a very simple task on the computer. Just type in a new number/name and you are done! The renamed picture will automatically move into alphabetical/numerical order in the set.