Organization Best Practices
Best practices really, this is kind of a conclusion really to everything that we've just spoken about. Now, my particular Catalog that we're looking here that was Created Live Catalog, but if you want the best Catalog performance, then the simple rule is, is that you have your Catalog database on your internal drive. And if you have an enormous hard drive on your laptop or computer, then, of course, you can keep the images there as well. The way I've got this particular setup working, is that I have my Catalog database, which is the Capture One Database here and the images are sitting on this little external SSD. And I didn't have to do that, I could've stored them internally on the computer, but when we come to the next section, then you'll be able to see how that can be a nice combination. Because, realistically, our image collection is getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Cameras are getting even more and more megapixels, so we're filling up hard drives faster. So it's kind of diff...
icult to have your catalog and all your images on the laptop. And lots and lots of us are laptop users these days. If you have a big desktop machine, then, of course, you can stuff that full of hard drives and it's fine. But it's a very simple strategy to have, if you like, your database on an internal hard drive, and then all your images on an external hard drive. And that works really, really nicely. Then your external hard drive is pretty easy to back up or whatever routine you wish to do so. When one of those hard drives fills up, then you can just start putting images on another hard drive and so on. So you never have that kind of feeling of, urk, I'm running out of space. I've got three gig left on my laptop hard drive. Everything is running as slow as molasses. What am I gonna do? So before you kind of go gung ho into Capture One and just import a gazillion images onto your laptop, actually think about in the future and the weeks coming fast, what is a good plan so I don't suddenly have to think about needing to move a bunch of images around. If you get your import strategy right and your storage strategy right, then it just saves so much time in the future as well. Also, and I think if you're new to Capture One, is that you need to spend a bit of time setting up, enjoying the process, getting a work space that works for you, playing with some images to really see what's possible rather than just diving in two feet straight away, getting a gazillion images in there and not really sure how you want to organize and so on. Actually, experiment with a few different things. If it does't work out, know it's very easy to take the catalog and just dump it into the bin and start again. So, Capture One is a read only application. We never alter raw data. We only ever read what's in the roll file. We don't write anything back to it and so on. You can't damage images in Capture One and such. That's a very clear policy we have. Capture One is only read only. Never ever, ever, ever alters your raw data. So anything like edits and meta data is all stored in the Capture One database, the brain of all your organization. And that's kind of brings me to why should you even think about working in a Catalog as such. Well, the whole point of having a Catalog, as I said way back at the start, is really the ability to kind of search for assets in your catalog. And remember when you're searching in a Catalog, you're not actually searching the hard drive, you're searching the database itself. And that's a very streamlined, efficient database which, when you search for a term, you know it flies through that database really quickly. So, to give you an example, this is just a this little small Catalog for the workshop which is just under 400 images. And straightaway, I can see that out of this Catalog, 49 images have a five star rating. So just by clicking that tab, and straightaway I can see all the five star images, and it's instant as well. Not like it's searching, searching, searching, searching. As soon as we click any of these tabs, straightaway we get returned an instant result. Without using a Catalog, that takes longer as such. And then we combine those search terms to, for example, let's add some more search terms, let's say, show hard filters. Let's think about, okay, specific camera lens and let's think about, orientation maybe, and let's think about aperture. All that kind of stuff. So let's just bring out the filter tool and make it a bit bigger. So we can clear our search terms. Let's hide our, this looks like this. So we can clear our search terms by clicking on this X here. So let's think, what can we do? Well, straightaway we can see everything that I show portrait and it's instant. Out of those portraits, which one of those are five stars? If I option click, or alt click, we then combine these different search terms. So, there we go, we're down to 21 images that are five star rated and will show up in portrait. What about lenses? Did any of these, did I shoot any of these with my Sony 55 mil, for example? One. So, now I've seen that out of all the images I've shot, I've got one five star image that's was shot portrait and with the Sony 55 millimeter lens, for example. And that's just very simple search terms, but we can add all kinds of other stuff as you see, we can show hard filters. So basic stuff is just very basic meta data. Under vendor specific, lenses, serial numbers, drive modes, not quite sure why you need a search for a drive mode, but (chuckle) know it's there. So, we can use all of that meta data to really good effect. All the excess data, I mean serial number is quite handy if you use two cameras at an event and you want to see what Camera A shot and what Camera B shot, for example. Or wedding event, or something like that. And then we've got all the various different meta data information as well, which we're gonna look at later on as we go through, as well. So, really, the ability to combine multiple search terms to get to that image is really very powerful. And as photographers, the more we can repurpose our work and sell it for various different means is increasingly important. So if you need to quickly get to that one image which you think you might be able to sell for whatever purpose, then by using a Catalog and various search terms, which needn't be complex, is pretty easy to get to that particular image straightaway. I think all of us, when we're learning a new application, for example, there's always this fear of learning something new because it looks different, the layout's different, the terminology is different, and so on. So, as I said, don't dive in head first, just try things a little bit step by step, set up the work space so it makes sense to you, set up the short cuts so it makes sense to you, and once you've got over that hurdle, it's much easier to sort of start digging deeper and deeper gradually within the application.
So, can the same catalog be spread over multiple external hard drives that can be accessed without them being attached?
Yes, so let me just clear filters, for example. What we're gonna see is, you know, a couple of import strategies basically of how to get images off a memory card, or an external drive and get them into a Catalog. So, images can be anywhere. You can have some images in an external hard drive, you can have some of them internally, you can move them back and forth as you felt suit, Images can be across five or six different drives, you can have some in Dropbox, and so, really, the database exists in one place, images can exist anywhere else, essentially. The higher performance to storage, the better Catalog performance you're gonna get. So if you've got some ancient USB 1 5,000 rpm hard drive, then it's gonna take longer to browse through the images, and so on. But with all the kind of great technology that we have today for storage then that's generally not an issue.
Great, and did you answer this question just now? A student asked about, can you store these Catalogs and sessions on NAS?
On NAS drives? Yes and no. So, I think if you wanna go down the NAS route, then it's something you need to test at home yourselves. Because, traditionally, a lot of NAS drives in the past, performance hasn't been great, as such, so, read/write speeds have been slow and so on. If you have a NAS drive, just actually try it. Make a Catalog database, make a Catalog on the NAS drive itself, put some images on there too, and see how it performs. We have some users that have great experience with NAS drives and some users that don't. I think it's really down to individual configuration. But with, again, some of the new stuff coming on, like Thunderbolt 3 drives and so on, you're gonna get blistering performance off that. So don't be, don't sort of be limited by what you think is possible and isn't possible, it's always worth an experiment and see how it goes.