Digital Asset Management
Asset management is essentially looking after and finding your images. One needs to be aware that there is a LOT more to this than might meet the eye. Have a little think about how much the medium of photography has changed over the last 30 years. Do you really think that we will be taking pictures and storing them in the same way in 2050? Think of the Vinyl record, the Cassette Tape and the CD-Rom. Think of the floppy disk! Now think about your RAW, NEF or DNG. If you aren't concerned about their longevity you should be!
The DAM Book is required reading for anyone who is serious about looking after their digital assets. Peter Krogh has put together a truly helpful and encyclopaedic work on the subject.
DAM stands for 'Digital Asset Management' and Peter takes one through the entire 'digital ecosystem' in this seminal and comprehensive work. It is the ONLY book for serious photographers.
Digital Asset Management Software
Photosupreme is some dead sexy software. It has an incredible feature set and is a fantastic way to manage digital files - ALL files, not just images.
I use this software to manage the files and versions I produce on export from lightroom. Photosupreme can manage the keyword hierarchies, the crop and export versions, GPS and more. It is the Asset Management system that Lightroom should have been.
I particularly LOVE the ability it has to find duplicate images - not just for JPGs but in RAW formats as well. IT can also manage and update your keyworded files in Lightroom too but this takes some learning to do it well.
Visipics is astonishing and for some reason it is FREE (donations welcome)! Visipics finds all the duplicate images you may have on your computer. More than that, it finds similar images and images at different resolutions. It works with all the common image formats and goes way beyond a simple checksum. Wonderful piece of software
Photomechanic is now a key part of my workflow. It is an Ingestion and editing tool and it is able to render images at unbelievable speeds. It allows for all sorts of automation of the ingestion process, and more importantly it allows you to set up variables to include in IPTC and Keyword fields. This means that keywording, rating and culling before bringing the image into Lightroom is incredibly fast and efficient. Highly recommended!
FreeFileSync is another gem of a piece of FREE software. It is able to synchronise selected files across drives. Not just synch them, but also perform additive synch's too. So for example, where you have created and then changed a file - this doesn't delete the synched copy! You have a change history saved on your backup drive - brilliant! BUT before you go and download it - it is open source and some sites have included Malware and Bloatware in their downloads. It can be removed and works beautifully afterwards but it is a little technical - Don't just download any old copy! I will write a guide.
Crashplan makes it easy to protect your digital assets. It is three distinct products and has a free version. You can use it to backup files locally, on an external drive, on a friends off-site computer (think of that! You can back up remotely to your work computer or to a friend in another country and vice versa for true redundancy!). Finally, it offers unlimited cloud storage and versioning in the paid version. I feel MUCH better now that all my key files are backed-up in the cloud. It's over a Terabyte of images in my case and it took a month to upload but now...it is fantastic! Every time I change a file it is backed up and versioned in the cloud :) Happy days!