Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Site Photography - Part II

Part II -Naming Your Files

Being able to QUICKLY find your photos is paramount. Once I load my photos onto my computer, I rename them to help with future searches. My naming protocol is as follows:

Job # - Date Taken - PH Author's Initials ###
12020 - 120409 PH NL 024

Above, the PH stands for PHOTO and it is followed by the person who took the photograph. In the example, this is the 24th photo taken by NL during his April 9th 2012 site visit to project Number 12020. By using this file naming methodology, one can gather a lot of information by the title alone. With a little information, one can find nearly any photo with a simple finder search. What is really powerful is photo cataloging software which I will discuss later.

Software programs can be very helpful for batch renaming of files. Although it has plenty of bugs, (Hey, It's Microsoft) I like to use Microsoft Office Photo Manager. This program (shown below) allows me to batch rename files and append numbers to at the end of the file. Below is a screen shot I took this morning as I was renaming files.

I'm still researching a number of software cataloging titles. What I need to be able to do is assign keywords, categories and captions to photos. For instance, take the photo below. It shows an aspect of a mockup that I recently observed. In the mockup, we wanted to make sure that the contractor understood the proper lapping of a rainscreen system at the windows.

I would tag this photo with the following terms: Stucco, Vaproshield, rainscreen, GRACE, Vycor, Jeld-Wen, sill flashing, flashing sequencing. I would also want to assign categories based on building type: wood-framed, multifamily, remedial repairs, 4 stories. Lastly, it would have basic information such as Date Taken, Author, Job #, Location, and Client. I could then click multiple boxes to narrow down a search.

Being able to classify photos like this allows one to more accurately search and find photos of precedent projects. I would be better able to recall the challenges faced and how they were overcome for specific design challenges. Imagine finding a situation where you encounter a specific defect and can then immediately search to find how the defect was diagnosed and repaired in 20 previous projects!

Site Photography - Part I