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Topic Author
Posts: 260
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:27 am

Automation Of Photo Copying And Renaming

Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:58 pm

As a frequent uploader on, I take a lot of photos and that involves having to process them when I get home with several full memory sticks.
I know there is the tedious way of manually copying files from your memory cards to your computer for further processing/cataloging.

Over the years I have developed ways of doing this as painlessly as possible. I have even written my own software to automate copying and renaming my files. I have written Excel spreadsheets to help me append my filenames with registrations and spreadsheets to give me manufacturer/model/serial/year for each registration. This is especially handy for taking photos of GA aircraft that are not in the database.

The advantage of doing all this extra work is that I can easily search my files for a specific registration, doesn't matter if I have fixed the photo or not. I can also tell at a glance if I have already uploaded a given registration without having to check on

I would love to hear from other uploaders what they do to copy/rename/catalog their photos. I'm especially interested in ways that would save a lot of effort and time.
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Automation Of Photo Copying And Renaming

Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:05 pm

For many years I've been using Downloader Pro to read files off my cards onto the PC.

I use a fairly straight forward date based filing system, but if you want the software is very flexible and can do quite clever things, including using shooting data or GPS data.

It costs $29.95, but there is a free trial.

One of those rare pieces of software which does exactly what it says it will, very well with the minimum of fuss.


Topic Author
Posts: 260
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:27 am

RE: Automation Of Photo Copying And Renaming

Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:03 pm

Hey Colin,

looks like a nice little utility. Always nice to see something that caters more to us pro-users instead of the reams of selfie-taking hoards.

What I do with my photos is I copy my Canon files (have 3 different cameras) to the HD that is organized in a chronological order (Eg. F:/2014 Photos/2014.04.13.7D - YXU). The folder name includes Date, Camera used and Location (airport code). I rename my files so it has the camera used and a serial long enough to last the life of that camera. So IMG_12345.* will become 7D.0612345. This would allow me to take 10M photos before running out of counter space.
After that I export my file list to Excel where I use a little spreadsheet magic to generate a registration in my filenames. Eg. 7D.0612345_C-GGGZ

This allows me to do multi-year searches for any registration I have taken. No special software required...just File Explorer.

Once I fix and edit my photo...I also add a personal code behind the serial. Eg. 7D.0612345b_C-GGGZ. This tells me the photo has been fixed and saved in maximum resolution. 1200x800 resized photos would get a b2 code. Once again...searching for a fixed photo is super easy.

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