View Full Version : Digital Portfolio

07-02-2006, 01:12 AM
I'm just about to start working on a digital portfolio for my work. I'm wondering if any of you have any good tips on organizing this. When I 1st. started out with 35mm slides I waited untill I had a big pile of slide sheets before I came up with a system, with an index. I spent many hours in a cold loft playing catch-up. I want to nip this in the bud right away. I'll be burning this stuff to DVD as I bought one to install OS X.4 on my Mac as I only have a CD Rom drive. Of course I later found out this wasn't possible but at least I have a nice Lacie DVD burner now... Do you design your own spread sheets or is there some software out there that facilitates this? From what I can tell the iPhoto and PShop organizing systems are pretty basic, or am I missing something?

Another ?. I just got a digcam to shoot my 3D stuff. This will probably be the bulk of my portfolio as I build furniture and cabinets for a so-called living and will include these photos, as well as shots of sculptures and wood craft stuff. When I shot the 1st, series of test shots the other day my camera was set to take "super fine" shots at the largest size. They were HUGE. Stunning quality but huge. It makes sense that they be shot "super fine" but what about the size? I'm not clear what a gallery or whatever would require, or appreciate.


07-02-2006, 07:24 AM
This is an age old problem. The artists that I know have no idea of organization let alone storage. There must be someone who does know.
I use Fotki.com as a backup for all my work(well, not all but most) at reduced resolution. I have standard portfolios with acid free paper and archival see through plastic in a dry place for prints commercially done and for proofs. I have 2 computers each with 2 hard drives each and dvd recorders. I also have redundancy with the dvd's I burned. Do I know where to find a piece when I want it---not a chance. I have to go searching, and searching well you get the picture pun intended.

07-02-2006, 08:38 AM
Thanks for the reply, Ingie. At least I have someone to comiserate with on this great unsolved mystery.

I suppose I'll end up doing the database/spreadsheet thing. (I can never remember which is the one I want, and I have to start from scratch as I forgot how I did the last one. You should see the mess I produced to do my book keeping, what a hoot.)


07-02-2006, 12:08 PM
Hi Sam- some things I've found usefull

1)is to use a program to index the CD contnets automatically for me .

I use a program called Media Wrapper that scans the cd or whatever and makes a list of the files on it.

Its pretty basic but it gets the job done well and its the right price cause its "Pay whay you think its worth ware" meaning you get a free trial and then if you want to keep using it you pay whatever amount you think its worth to the Author for a licence key which makes it a full version.

the Index Media Wraper makes you can then print as a cover for your cd or DVD etc and your cd case then has a list on its cover of whats on that disk.

you can then put your disks in order somewhere in a cd tower or box and keep a compilation list of the cds in your computer and then when you want a particular shot you go look what cd its on and flick to it in your storage system.

This is where you can find media wrapper if your interested but im sure there are other such programs out there too

2)I also try to back up folio archives in batches..evey so many days or weeks and in beteen burning to a cd or DVD back up to a USB flash drive or removable hard drive or something else and as Ingie said redundancy is the key, keep copies in different places.

As for resolution of shot yep super fine will be huge but do it, do it, do it....you never know when you might need a huge version for a large poster and its better to have one than to have the tears that come from no longer having a particular peice and needing a huge photo of it or needing a huge photo to go quickly to press and having only a small one and no time to take a decent one...take photos as big as is feasible for you to store em.

hope this helps


07-02-2006, 01:24 PM

thanks so much for the wise tips. That's exactly what I was looking for. I'll check that site out this weekend, for sure. I tried to find something along those lines but wasn't having any luck, except something that was very expensive. Who needs luck with buddies like you?

Yeah, as to the size, that's pretty much what my instincts were telling me
and what you said makes good sense.

So I owe you some advise. Go ahead, ask me anything. Well, except about computers & software, and digital cameras, and how to make $, and.........


07-02-2006, 05:08 PM
no worries Sam-nice to be able to help others avoid some of the 'learning things the hard way lessons' I've had tears over myself by giving them a heads up.

your right Media wrapper is a cool little app I originally got it as a trial on a CD from a computer mag a million years ago have loved its socks off ever since.

as for advice im sure i'll think of something to ask sonner or later


Aged P
07-02-2006, 08:03 PM
Hi Guys

I have had a Flash drive burn out while plugged in to the computer.
(Literally, smoke, heat, the whole real burning thing!)

CDs and DVDs are far from infallible, an error that would just be a loud click or short gap in a music file is often fatal to a picture file.

I have also had two, total loss, Hard Drive crashes. Mechanical collapse, so not recoverable with anything affordable.

I now run a paranoid computer which backs up totally to an external HD every day, plus a Flash Drive, plus data CD copies with additional older copies in the car.

As for software, I am awaiting an Ambient plug-in that will display .ptg files as thumbnails.

The major point that you have already covered is to save "huge", and if possible bigger than that. :lol:

My real problem is naming stuff when I'm tired and having no clue what the letters mean next day, then adding numbers to them for different versions.
Naming pictures, to make people want to view or buy them, is also an art in itself.

07-02-2006, 10:54 PM
As for having an index of stored images, i recommend IMatch (http://www.photools.com/). It's cheap and very good for HD and CD/DVD collections. You can add categories and keywords to make it easy find the images later.

As for security on the computer, i think the most secure thing is to have two Hard Disks (not in RAID) and an automated backup each night from one to the other. If you loose one you have the other one, and since it is not RAID it will allow for unvoluntary actions (deletions, overwritings, etc) without compromising the other copy. To this you can add DVD backups.

I recommend changing those hard drives in a two/three year interval, even if they still work (you can use them as secondary backups).

Aged P
07-02-2006, 11:09 PM
Hi Netdevil,

Does Imatch load quickly? PS elements does all those things, but it is just so huge and slow.

Last word on storage security, I have also had an external USB HD fail.
If it starts to give infrequent tiny clicks, then the air bearing is beginning to fail. Time for a new one!

07-02-2006, 11:12 PM
Thanks AgedP, for the list of possible pit-falls, or should I say minefields, I'm walking into. Your wisdom is much appreciated.

As for naming pictures, perhaps a random title generator is in order? You just click a button and a 2-3 word title would magically appear. An artist could create their own word list according to the kind of work they usually do, or go with default. If you didn't like what came up you just click again.

I knew of an artist in Chicago that did something like this that was wonderfully low-tech as he used an old slot machine. Also it didn't generate titles for particular art works but genres. He, like many of us, finally just got sick of the bulls*#t lables in "Art Speak" that critics and accademics kept foisting off on people. So his machine, after a good pull of the handle, would produce such genres as "Minimal Dadaesque Post-modernism". It was a hoot of an idea. I wish I could remember who it was.

So to total the List of projects for the AR guys we can add Title Generator, along with Thumbnail plugin and, oh yes, remembering our thread of a few weeks ago, an Artist's Sketchbook.(I still like that idea and will never let them forget.)

Thanks Netdevil, I did look at iMatch, and it does look super, however, untill work starts coming in again it'll have to stay bookmarked.

07-03-2006, 09:31 AM
Yes, Imatch starts quickly, although checking for image changes can be slow if you have a lot of them (and i mean a lot).

One interesting thing it has is that you can search for duplicates with several parameters of similarity. You can even draw a small thumbnail and it will search similar images.

07-03-2006, 03:05 PM
Photographers using a Mac may be interested in a tool that Adobe is developing especially for this niche market: Lightroom. As it is currently in beta, it is free. Its strengths, from what I have seen, are image/library management and RAW image processing; it seems like a pretty good tool.


Sam, there are a couple introductory videos on that site. Since you're on dial-up, let me know if you'd like me to download them for you and you can grab them at your leisure.

One of *the* most brilliant photo management tools I have used is acdsee (http://www.acdsee.com/products/acdseepro/index). The software has been around for a really long time (I remember using it over a decade ago, or something like that!) and its evolution has been just fantastic. Unfortunately for many, it appears to be Windows-only and is far from free. Still, it's definitely worth a trial. I use WhereIsIt? (http://www.whereisit-soft.com) to catalogue my digital media; it's a small, fast application that isn't perfect but suits me. However, for photos, it doesn't hold a candle to acdsee. With acdsee I can create virtual albums that contain thumbnails (the size of which is user-selectable and therefore they are actually larger than the nail of my thumb, which is fortunate) of all the stuff I've got burned to a physical disc. So not only do I have keyword/tag search, not only can I drill down by category, by rating, but I can also visually browse my collection without having the disc in the drive. I have found this invaluable. (They've been doing this since long before Elements, and I wasn't about to install a more basic image editor when I have Photoshop installed just for that functionality.)

Online portfolios: 72 DPI high-quality JPGs. I would have thumbnails, say 100x100, linked to larger images, say 320x240, with links to see the photo at 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, and 1600x1200. I would initially take the photo at the best quality I possibly can. You can always always scale down (quality and size), but you can't scale up without sacrificing the integrity of the photo.

The way I figure, all those options are wonderful, but I'd imagine they would soon eat up both storage space and bandwidth. So what I would do is go ahead and create a portfolio of thumbnails, and link the thumbnails to my flickr page (or display my flickr page's content on my page, since they have an API of some sort). flickr's premium membership is $25/yr., for which they let you upload 2gb/mo. That's a whole lotta giggage, I think. And when I display my images pulled from their site, I use Yahoo's bandwidth and don't affect my own. This is a good thing.

That's just one way of doing it; there are, of course, loads of others. One might choose to use an application like the free JAlbum (http://www.jalbum.net), to drag and drop a folder of photos, apply a theme, and spit out a custom photo album, including HTML and thumbnails linked to larger images. My totally computer-illiterate, web dev-unsavvy ex had an album exported and posted online in about 10 minutes. It's really that easy. Alternatively, one might opt to install photography-specific blogging software-slash-basic content management system on one's web space. These are generally free solutions, highly customisable. Initial setup can occasionally cause some heart palpitations, convulsions, and spots of brain pain, but once it's all over, the greatest benefit of this method is how much of the archiving and maintenance of your information is completely automated.

If anyone whose interest is piqued and whom I haven't put to sleep by now has any questions about implementing any of this web stuff, please don't hesitate to PM or e-mail me.


- Gita

07-03-2006, 05:11 PM
Gee G.,

Yet again I stand in awe. Thank you. I'll be in touch.

I looked at iMatch again, it's Windows only. Oh for a new Mac.....