Computer work

One thing most photographers hate is the computer part of the job. Editing the best shots isn’t too bad, but especially making a proper selection of all the shots you took, throwing away the bad ones, marking the excellent ones isn’t high on most photographers favourite list. And then, when you have your final selection, one should add keywords to them, so you can actually find those pictures when you need them. But it makes life so much easier if you do. After each shoot, it’s only an hour work (depending of course on how many pictures you’ve taken), but if you don’t you spent many hours searching for that one picture you know you made years ago…

Sunset on the rocks off East Greenland

Since 2005 I’ve gathered over 113.000 pictures, some of them nicely sorted and keyworded, but by far the most just dumped into a folder (year->month->day) and have not been edited at all. Sometimes I go through them, searching for a specific image and do I find really nice ones that I didn’t know I had.

So now I’ve got a bit of time at home, I decided to start sorting and keywording the images. I started in 2005, the year I got my first DSLR and work my way forward. I’ve got no clue how long this will take, but the advantage is that I rediscover many beautiful pictures.  These ones were taken off the coast of East Greenland when we had spent a full day bashing our way through the ice, without getting much closer to the coast. We were rewarded for our struggles by yet another stunning sunset.


Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.


  • It’s so easy for all the photographed beauty to be lost in the speedy shuffle of life. Thanks for taking the time to organize, Arjen, and pulling out this astounding coastal sunset in Greenland. The colors are soothing; and the sweep of the sky, and its reflection in the water, draw us in in a mesmerizing way.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hi Great North Arctic (and Antarctic) Traveler. Wow. How you have hit on a topic that every photographer encountered. Your photographs are so wonderful that I must imagine that its a real chore keeping track of then. I’ve started using LightRoom and I hope to organize and keep track of all of the photos I take. Such an amazing adventure with you on the Scooter Noorderlicht last July. Thanks for all you put out on your blog. Ellie and I are fanatic (from the word FAN) of what you write. Thanks mightily Arnjen. Patrick


    • Hi Patrick

      Yes, that’s the best advice I can give: try to keep up with the catalogue from the beginning. If you do this after each shot, it’s just a little bit of work each day, if you do it after many years, it’s many weeks of work.

      But indeed, it’s nice to see those old pictures again, that’s for sure.

      And thanks for the compliment, that’s why I keep on writing 🙂

      Cheers, Arjen


  • Well, I have never heard about person who hate photo processing. I find it very interesting. Because I know Windows Explorer how to rename 500 photos I couple of seconds. I use always two files where to put them. The second file is reserved for photo processing. It is there I delete bad photos. The other keeps originals if needed to reuse them

    I have shot photos also from 2005 and my number of photos is under 100000. I always take backups very soon into two devices. If You want to see my first photos from our garden, then take a look at my garden post. There You can see how 5.0 and 8.3 megapixel photos look like.

    Have a wonderful day


    • Most photographers I know, including me, prefer being out in the field above sitting at the desk looking at a screen. And renaming the photo’s isn’t the problem. Lightroom nicely takes care of that during import. But having a proper name still doesn’t make them findable in the database.

      And indeed it would have been better if I’d done this every day after each shoot, but often I didn’t have the time for that during my work. Oh, and switching database-software twice didn’t help either.

      But hey, like I wrote, it’s nice to see some of the old pictures again.

      You have a nice day as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Hello.

    I do not know what computer system You are doing, Windows, Linux or Apple. I use Windows. It has inside so-called Windows Explorer. It is just there I put my, music, documents and photos etc. creating folders. When a new year comes, I create a main folder with the year. Now I am using 2019. Under it I create subfolders with month names. So, 2019/1_Jan_2019/. When having data to 1_Jan_2019 subfolder, I give more subfolders. Here is example of last winter’s folder names:

    2019/2_Feb_2019/Reindeer race. Explained year 2019, subfolder 2_Feb_2019 and subfolder/Reindeer races. When churching photos, I find easily years, folders and subfolder. I rename my photos, not a program.

    Here is how I renamed photo ten under all these folders:

    C:\2019/2_Feb_2019/Reindeer race/Reindeer_Race_Oulu_16022019_(10). Explaining C:\ is the root. 2019 is year. 2_Feb_2019 is February 2019. Reindeer race is the happening. Oulu is the name of the town where I shot photos- It may seem complicated, but in practice easy. As I told You earlier, I rename my photos, not a program. It is me who command computer or programs, not otherwise!!! This ensures, that I can find any photo inside me computer, or music piece or documents or whatever. Searching is easy and fast! I can search by year, by month, by day, by name, by town, country, happening or whatever. I do not give here how I rename my photos easily and fast, because You use program which makes it, but do it as wisely as I do with correct names, month days, years, places, happenings etc.?

    Have a good day.


    • Thanks for the help, but you clearly have no idea what I’m doing. If I would only use your system (during import into Lightroom my photos are renamed and moved into folders year->month->day, not that dissimilar to you) I still end up with well over 1000 photos in a month and e.g. Polar Bear photos in 18 different year folders (and many more months and days). This would mean that if I need a photo of a Polar Bear on a kill for a lecture or client, I have to browse through all those folders and even if I would have a Polar Bear folder, I would have to look at hundreds of pictures of Polar Bears who are not on a kill.
      In Lightroom, I can add keywords to each photo saying what is on it. When I’m done with that, I can just type ’polar bear’ and ’kill’ and I will get all the photos I took of Polar Bears on a kill, regardless of the year or location I took them.
      This will not be possible with any system with folders, but, like I said, takes a lot of time.

      But thanks for trying to help.

      Cheers, Arjen

      Liked by 1 person

  • Thank You.

    I am not using Lightroom, but Corel PaintShopPro. I tested to search similar way as You said and found easily with two search criterions and no problems. I think that because I was IT – trainer, programmer, Excel worksheet specialist I know how to use my computer.

    I agree that Your system is great, but as a normal computer user, I know something. 🙂 Thank You changing ideas with me.

    Here is my:

    About me

    BTW, I started using computer in 1970. I have a photo among my-about-page.

    Have a wonderful day!


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