Exploring Digital Asset Management (DAM)

Summary – The 1st post in a series on the management of digital files. This topic applies to each & every one of us as photographers. Further, it transcends every photographic genre, every personal style and every camera. Simply stated, we all need DAM to some degree.

barebottom2Bare Bottom

Not a Selfie (1937; do parents still do this?)

I queried my database to show me all images made prior to 2000

It came up with 63 scans of family photos

Nothing else; I didn’t shoot pre-2000

This is probably the 1st photo of me; I’ve grown a beard since then πŸ˜‰

Why Am I Doing This?

“Stuff accumulates”

Occasionally stuff needs to be found

Stuff isn’t much of an asset if it can’t be retrieved

In 2007 my image count, after 5 years “in-the-game”

Reached unmanageable numbers (without DAM help)

Leading to my 1st foray into the world of DAM

For the next 4-5 years I was

Conscientious in my use of the tools

Then less so

Files still went into the DAM system

But I was lax in adding keywords & the like

So the images were stored & safe, but

Harder to retrieve than need be

Today – Sinner, repent! πŸ˜‰

My DAM program of choice (IMatch)

Is coming out with a major, major new release

Several years in the making

The changes are major (did I say major earlier? then huge)

This series of posts are mainly study notes to myself

Emphasis will be on search and retrieval

I’ll include examples

Often asking interested readers (all 2 or 3 of you)

Can your system do this?


Digital Assets I Manage

Images – Over 200,000

Music – Over 4,000 tracks

Documents – Nearly 2,000 books, manuals, tax returns, etc.


Digital Asset Management functions

Ingest – Adding files to a central repository

I use Downloader Pro to automatically download, organize, and rename images and image data (metadata)

Store – Preserve files for their lifetime including updating & restoring

I use a number of storage devices (local network & dedicated) and

A number of data backup related programs

Local networkΒ β‰  Cloud

(I use clouds for sharing, not permanent storage)

Annotate – Adding text, graphics, and other elements to files in a non-destructive way

Catalog – Directory of information allowing assets to be quickly retrieved

Retrieve – Searching, finding, accessing digital assets

I use IMatch for the latter three functions

Can your image organizer do this?

Retrieve just your B&W images

Based solely on color

No user added metadata

Just the image pixel colors

Straight from the box as the vendor made the program?

With no input from you other than your images??

Using a 25,000 image test database for right now


Click for full screen

3-16-2014 1-15-09 PMThere I am again

This time with a beard

That one is a selfie, unlike the bare bottom

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