We take so many pictures these days and we have so many ways to publish our pictures that we are bound to end up with duplicates of our pictures. Modern image editing software programs make it very easy to edit our photos but in the process we can create duplicates of our images. With so many pictures it is very hard to remember what we do and this can bring confusion when we look at our pictures on our computers. We can end up with lots of duplicates. There are some simple things that can be done to avoid having duplicate files. Read on to find out some simple ways to avoid having duplicate images on your computer.
Set the file numbering scheme on your camera to continuous file naming
Modern digital cameras have different file naming schemes available. The most common two schemes are Continuous and Auto Reset.
The Continous file naming scheme will continually number your images from 0001 to 9999 and then reset back to 0001. This means that you get 10,000 pictures (yeah it’s actually 9999) with unique image numbers.
This is the first good measure to guard against duplicate files.
If you choose Auto Reset, then your file numbering will start with 1 every time you put in a memory card in your camera.
Delete your digital pictures from the memory card after you transfer them to your computer
The next thing to do is to empty your memory card after you transfer your pictures to the computer. This way you will never transfer the same pictures to your computer.
I know that to some photographers this is really bad advice. What happens if your computer crashes? You have only one copy of your pictures and that’s very risky.
I agree in principle, but if you have a regular backup setup every day, then there’s nothing to worry about. You will get at least one more copy when the backup kicks in.
I would want to say that since I have started deleting my memory cards after each transfer, I have never ran into duplicate images on my computer. That is very cool I say !
To setup a backup strategy read my tutorial on creating an efficient backup strategy for your digital photos.
Do not transfer duplicate image files to your computer
Duh! Of course, if you don’t transfer duplicates then you won’t have duplicates…you may say. However, it’s not very easy to achieve especially if you don’t delete your memory card after each photo transfer.
One good thing that helps you not transfer duplicate files is to use your software to detect duplicates.
In Picasa for example you can set Picasa so that it will not import duplicate files: under Tools -> Options -> General tab make sure you check the “Detect Duplicates while importing”.
Other software programs have similar settings that can help.
Remove your image backup drive from your software
Another source of duplication is having your backup drive connected to your software. If it is then your software (like Picasa) will show your pictures twice. So, make sure your remove your backup drives from the “watched” folders in your software.
For example in Picasa, I exclude my backup drive from the folders Picasa scans. I do this by using Tools –> Folder Manager and making sure all my “watched” folders are what I need.
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