[edit: this is about how to store tags in the files and how to use tags and date to create a useful directory tree]

I have more than ten years of digital pictures on my drives. Some of them are family souvenirs, some are travel pictures, some are personal hobbies (shots of decrepit walls, industrial landscapes, etc). I have a python script handling them, which will dedupe, rename, create thumbnails, hard-rotate, etc. Currently I use a directory tree with years (YYYY) as top level, and (YYYYMM or YYYYMMDD or even YYYYMMDD_description) as leaf folder.

But this lead to issues. For example, if I have pics of a new year's eve, it will speparate pictures taken at 20151231-2355 and at 20160101-0010, which should be in the same 20151231_and_20160101_new_year_eve leaf folder.

Another issue: let's say I'm travelling with my family in Vietnam, and I shoot a nice old factory, between the kids playing in water and rice paddies. Should these three pics stay in the same 201304_Vietnam_trip leaf folder, for continuity, or should I separate them according to their theme? Or maybe I could be using the genre field in exif header? But then how to retrive these genres? Or maybe symlinks?

I'm sure there's no ideal solution but I'm interested in hearing advices from other having similar issues.

I'm not a professional photographer, and would be interested to know if there is a kind of standard way in this profession.

I need it to be scriptable, local, and not tied to any service or software. I would prefer no database, if possible. I won't upload everything to Google photo or Flickr, just to realise that their "magical face recognition" is lost as soon as I want to change service. Also, I'm on linux.

  • 2
    Take a look at Lightroom. It provides a catalog that lets you keep things structured the way you want but handles all the tagging you could want. Prepare for a big up-front investment in tagging, however. Mar 1, 2016 at 4:08
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    Acording to Wikipedia, Lightroom do not work on Linux, and it is using a proprietary database, so it is not good for me. Will check the other question.
    – gb.
    Mar 2, 2016 at 2:57
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    I think it is not a duplicate and tried to explain how it is different: lightroom is not an answer.
    – gb.
    Mar 2, 2016 at 4:47
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    What's your objection to a database? It's clearly the right solution to this problem.
    – Philip Kendall
    Mar 2, 2016 at 7:26
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    @PhilipKendall Databases can be very inconvenient on Unix-like systems, where users usually exercise a lot of control over their directory structure. This applies especially if they want to synchronize their photos across multiple machines using standard Unix tools. Having read through wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Shotwell/FAQ, I am fairly certain that routinely moving around your photos would eventually lead to corruption or loss of the database. Having your photos accessible from multiple machines seems impossible altogether.
    – Jules
    Mar 2, 2016 at 15:21


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