no time

Managing and storing photos, especially online, can be challenging if one has limited time to assess the many excellent possibilities. There is much to consider, including: privacy, flexibility, sharing, copyright, capacity, access, affordability, mobility and simplicity. Many use Facebook, the largest photo-sharing platform on the web and dabble with Instagram, especially if their phone is used for photography. Most would admit to having a hard drive cluttered with disorganised photos, often not backed-up securely.

My own system for photos suits both my ‘iPhoneography’ and photography using a Nikon D700 DSLR or FujiFilm X100s. I recommend the following tools as possible workflow solutions for managing the entire process of editing, organising, storing and publishing photos: Adobe Lightroom 5, Flickr, EyeEmSnapseed, Just Cloud and Carbon Copy Cloner.

Adobe Lightroom 5 (free trial for 30 days) is a brilliant tool for organising, processing, sharing and publishing your DSLR’s RAW or JPEG files online or in hard copy. The software does not really store your photos but is an effective way for finding them on your hard drive. I start a new ‘catalogue’ each year but this is not really necessary until you reach about 10 000 pictures. The ‘collections’ are a great way of organising photos without having to move the actual files. It is much simpler to use than Adobe Photoshop and is designed for photographers rather than graphic designers. I particularly like that one can publish a photograph from Lightroom to Facebook or Flickr or other sites like Adobe Revel easily, effectively storing it online.

Flickr is an old favourite currently making a comeback with some good innovations in the way the new mobile app supports editing and sharing. Flickr is my main online tool for storing and sharing photos as it permits users great freedom with licensing their photos using creative commons. It is also very easy to download different files sizes for each photo depending on your need. For bloggers, teachers or those who want legally permissible image sources it is easy to store, find, share and attribute copyright.

Photos taken with a smartphone and uploaded online are increasingly edited in a very sophisticated manner with a huge, ever-widening range of apps. I use Snapseed as my main editing tool before uploading to Flickr, Facebook or EyeEm. Many of these apps allow you to upload to multiple sites, including Twitter, with one click after editing.

It is important to have your precious photographs backed up online and offline. The 100% automated Just Cloud is great for storing photos (and all computer files) in ‘the cloud’ as a complete back-up. I also recommend cloning your hard drive using Carbon Copy Cloner (for Mac) to ensure complete protection against disaster. It has saved me from a serious loss of data. Of course, one can always download the full files from Facebook or Flickr too. I find this a pretty comprehensive system for protecting and storing images.

Many professional photographers choose RAID but this will be a bridge too far for most amateurs.

How do you manage your photos? 

Featured image: cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Darcy Moore:

This post was originally published in Australian Teacher Magazine.



  1. I’ve flipped back and forth a few times between Lightroom and Aperture, and right now I’m settled on Aperture. Mind you, there’s some nice features in LR5 and I do get tempted to switch, but I think I’ll stay with Aperture for now. It feels far less modal than Lightroom, and once you know the keyboard shortcuts, it fast to work with. But really, both are great.

    I use Photoshop for doing extensive touch ups or manipulations, but Aperture is fine for 95% of adjustments.

    Like you, I also publish to Flickr… I like the latest changes a lot… But I also like to push photos to Google+ as well. Both have great photo communities. There are Aperture export plugins for both these services that make it very easy to push photos to the web.

    I need to come up with a good workflow for HDR. Thoughts?

    Mate, we should go and shoot some photos together sometime… I just bought a new D7000 and I’m keen to start using it a lot more.

      • Darcy Moore

      • 10 years ago

      Hi Chris,

      I have not been shooting much HDR this year but use the Photomatix plugin (rather than teh standalone program) for L5 and Photoshop. It works well and the workflow is efficient. You can get it for Aperture too:

      Life is good. I fly to Cumbria on Monday to walk 100 miles through the Lake District with too many cameras, tripods, filters and lenses. 😉 After that, the Picos de Europa in Spain with buddy for a wander in the mountains.

      Early September, or the term 3 hols, are a goer though for a photographic expedition. 🙂

  2. I’ve always owned macs but have never used Aperture. In general I’m adverse to using anything closed like iCloud for backups but like you make extensive use of Flickr. This is for my main images though so I really need another cloud based solution for all my data. Lightroom databases and images become way to big for the cloud very quickly so currently I just use manual backups of all my images.

    For data and work in general I live in a Google, Dropbox Evernote world which allows me to access my data from pretty much anywhere. The bonuses to such an approach I think are pretty much obvious.

    Back to photography and I rely heavily on Adobe. The vast majority of my processing is completed in LR 5. For me it’s without equal as a library management and processing tool. Other tools like Photoshop are always accessed via LR so that it is kept in one central place.

    So my main problem photography wise is what to do with my extensive raw backup data. Currently I leave it overnight to backup to large usb drives but this will not serve me well into the future. I guess it’s the same that many of us grapple with. I recently watched a nice G+ podcast on this same issue. It may provide some answers for your readers 🙂

      • Darcy Moore

      • 10 years ago

      Hi Grant,

      I didn’t even think to mention iCloud which has all my iPhone pics backed up.

      Is Dropbox really storage or just allows access from multiple devices?

      Thanks for the podcast link.

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