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Noo Yawk

May 4

In Computer Technology, Friends, Stories at 11:05am

Knocked around the city last week with a great group of folks. Been a long time since I’ve done that, picking up a camera and wandering the streets of the city, looking for pictures. Truth be told, I’m not much of a street shooter. I’ve always needed the box of an assignment, a destination for the pictures, and some sort of narrative in my head, however hazy, that directs my efforts. But last week, out on the avenues, the boardwalks and the eateries of Manhattan and Brooklyn, it was fun.

We freelanced it a great deal. Bogging down on the lower East Side, with a guide who seemed absolutely pre-occupied with telling us why a building might have been important 100 years ago (all valid information, just not to us, cameras in hand, index fingers twitching in sync with our focus eyes, desperate for a lively frame of street life). We dismissed her and I headed us into Katz’s Deli on Houston, a place I have always had good luck shooting. Thankfully, some things don’t change, and we were welcomed.

This gentleman was checking the food tickets at Katz’s, and one of our group, Lex, had misplaced her’s. He went by the rules, not allowing her to leave, until she found the ticket. Sensing Lex’s immediate future might involve washing dishes, I looked over at the guy, and told him he reminded me of Hollywood actor Delroy Lindo, which was the truth. He relaxed a bit. I then told him that if I had an assignment to photograph my 10 most favorite, interesting faces in Hollywood, Lindo would be on my list. In lieu of getting such a job, I asked if I could take his picture. While all this was going on, Lex found her ticket.

We went out to Nathan’s on Coney Island, a place with hot dogs of such stature that the very sizable fish just plucked from the ocean will have to wait.

Closing time on the the Boardwalk. Closing time for Coney Island as we know it may be coming soon with the advent of new developments.

All in all….fun on the street.

Lessee…onto my own personal area of expertise–computer technology. This is a strength I share with my bud, Moose Peterson. We are down right now in the Outer Banks, on another DLWS adventure. He recently blogged his method of organizing files. Very cool. Good, straightforward, essential, completely boring information.

He knows all that, but it is his lot in life to explain stuff like this to folk like me, who are organizationally challenged. I have written right here in this blog that Moose is a walking, talking main frame who can accomplish more in a one hour concentrated burst of energy than I can in, say, a week. I daydream. I look up movie quotes. I stare at pictures of Annie. I make coffee. I nap.

But Moose’s folder blog really lit a fire under me. I thought, hell, I can do that. I use Aperture, a really elegant, versatile program. Just gotta figure out topics, and general headings, and load my stuff into those respective folders. Piece of cake.

This just about covers it. I feel better. I can really find stuff now…..more tk……

Christian says:

on May 4, 2009 at 11:24 am

Ha Ha! “What the fuck was I thinking?” folder! LOL, were you peeking at my directory structure?

Justin Van Leeuwen says:

on May 4, 2009 at 11:38 am

Hmmmn, since I use Lightroom I think I have all these folders as keywords – easier for me to remember.

Joe says:

on May 4, 2009 at 11:39 am


Mark Ensign says:

on May 4, 2009 at 11:57 am

That really made me laugh, Love your folder names.

Rod says:

on May 4, 2009 at 11:59 am


monkeyinabox says:

on May 4, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Forget the birds and the bees, I’m waiting for the coffee table book on stumps for you Joe. Bring it on. Stumps are the new black.

Johanna says:

on May 4, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Haha, I love your new system. As long as you can find your stuff, it’s all good.

– Keep it up

David Hobby says:

on May 4, 2009 at 12:38 pm

This is why I read this blog. I have been looking for the perfect Digital Asset Management system for years.

I am home now.


Nathan Smith says:

on May 4, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Outer Banks? As in NC? LOL I grew up there.. 25 years.. then moved away! I will love to see your photos from there if you post any. Living in Oregon now.. big difference! Man I miss the warm Atlantic!

Kim says:

on May 4, 2009 at 12:55 pm

I nearly fell out of my chair laughing at your file structure. Probably because I need to name my files more like you have them. 😀 Thanks for the chuckle

Ben says:

on May 4, 2009 at 12:56 pm


Adam says:

on May 4, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Folders are great ! ^^

Jorge says:

on May 4, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Too freakin’ funny. I love your folder structure. You are too much Joe….

Ranger 9 says:

on May 4, 2009 at 1:15 pm

You might want to consider doing this via keywording rather than via your folder structure. That would provide an easier way to manage images that belong in BOTH “Really Strange Stuff” and “WTF Was I Thinking?”, for example.

Tim says:

on May 4, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Joe, I like your way of filing things beeter than moose! Funny as hell.

Daniel says:

on May 4, 2009 at 1:34 pm

I think that your organization of folders is probably going to work for you. I get now your napkin sketches with the “Nuts with the camera”.

Keep on the good work

Piotr says:

on May 4, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Me sees lotsa good stuff 😀

You better put a warning “May be addictive! Read at own risk!” in da header of your blog ’cause every single entry is like Christmas 😉

Fred Troilo says:

on May 4, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Love the guy with the fishing rod. That fish looks huge!

Paul says:

on May 4, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Ha ha ha best filing system ever! Pretty much like mine, especially the last one.

Alex says:

on May 4, 2009 at 3:28 pm

My lunch just came out my nose. That was simply the best posting in weeks. As much as I love your images, I sometimes think your writing surpasses your eye for insightfulness. You rock.

John says:

on May 4, 2009 at 3:34 pm

LOL ..nice organizing. makes perfect sense to me.

Luke Townsend says:

on May 4, 2009 at 3:43 pm


glad to know I’m not the only one with a Disney Cartoon Babes folder…lets get together and swap files.

shhhhhhh…they’ll all be doing it.

tom says:

on May 4, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Silly goose, you can’t “street shoot” unless you have FILM. Come on’ break out one of the 35mm film camera’s you have, get some Tri-x and bring it.
(not really, its t-o-m)

Lindsey says:

on May 4, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Hilarious filing system! Looks oddly similar to mine, haha. Oh how I miss Katz’s Deli!

Marshall says:

on May 4, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Joe –

Can you provide a further breakdown for the categories you’ve offered? As it stands, all but like three pictures I have would fall into the last three folders.

Thanks ever so much.

– Marshall

Ken Ely says:

on May 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm

You did it again, made me smile, feel a little better at the end of my work day in EMS. That’s not easy!!!
Thank you, keep ’em coming

Jim Hayes says:

on May 4, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Mr. M,
I cannot express enough how much your sense of humor touches my funny bone.
I have only made “comments” twice to the many blogs I read, and both to you.
Jim H.
Sante Fe class of 2006

Gary says:

on May 4, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Joe, this entry is exactly why I read your blog.

Bruce Twitchell says:

on May 4, 2009 at 8:50 pm

This is one of the funniest damn things I have seen in a long time. Thank you for the laugh, it was really needed today.

Jeff Lynch (Mark's Friend) says:

on May 4, 2009 at 8:58 pm

You slay me! nuff said.

Tom Sullivan says:

on May 4, 2009 at 9:09 pm

you’re frikin awesome Joe!!

Justin_clamp says:

on May 4, 2009 at 11:13 pm

Where is the Toledo folder?

John Leonard says:

on May 4, 2009 at 11:14 pm

LMAO…………I hate I couldn’t make DLWS. I’m shooting weddings, a golf tourny, something more boring then a golf tounry..a marathon, some product shots, and some freelance pj work for a small local paper. But hey who wants the coast on a warm week anyways……

If you drive back through the middle of the state (Not sure why you would) give me a shout, I’ll blow off the day job and we can go find some really cool old buildings to stick models in for the day.

Ken Wilcox says:

on May 4, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Joe, I just spent the last hour going through my Aperture library to mimic yours.

One project, a few albums and a light table. Clean simple, perfect.

The funniest damn “tip” I’ve ever read – beats the socks off the stuff that Kelby fellow pushes.

You made my day. Thanks!

Jay Mann says:

on May 5, 2009 at 2:09 am

thanks Joe, I needly a good chuckle this morning in Tripoli. a great way to start the day.


Colin says:

on May 5, 2009 at 3:30 am

Great system Joe, can I use it? Is it patented yet?

Jamie Willmott says:

on May 5, 2009 at 4:03 am

Nice organisation tutorial, Scott Kelby watch out! ;o)

Rory says:

on May 5, 2009 at 4:10 am

Nice one Joe! My parents were in NYC last week for the first time, and Katz was top of my list for places that they should visit. Any chance of coming home to Ireland for a workshop??

Ian Pack says:

on May 5, 2009 at 4:15 am

Great system. How about Oh Shit! for the files you’ve deleted and now need? says:

on May 5, 2009 at 4:49 am

Your folders’ names, sir, are hillarious 😀

Niels T says:

on May 5, 2009 at 5:51 am

This is great! I also use Aperture and for the first year I didn’t organize at all – just made a new folder each time I imported new photos. When I tried to find a filing system I had an even harder job locating the pictures :-)

Jason Lykins says:

on May 5, 2009 at 6:44 am

Man, I love your style of writing. Very funny stuff. I’ve read the Hot shoe diaries no less than 3 times now just seeing if there was something I missed or something that didn’t stick in this hallow head of mine the first two times. Keep it up, it’s inspiring.

Brian says:

on May 5, 2009 at 8:06 am

Joe, could you talk about how to approach people to take their picture? There have been many times, in my city walks, where I find really interesting people but I have no idea how to approach them. How do you “break the ice”? Do you need them to sign some sort of release? I feel I am leaving a lot of great shots behind.

Scott says:

on May 5, 2009 at 8:42 am

You’re killing me Smalls!

Bill Bogle, Jr. says:

on May 5, 2009 at 9:00 am

Joe, no worry about your folder system. I have seen you in action, Mac Book Pro gaffer taped to the pedestal, then your quick kick of the tether cord to the camera, and your laptop crashing to the floor. How do you say, “toast?” No need to worry about file structure, for they will be gone in a New York Minute.

I thought I had issues with my organization. May I suggest several counseling sessions with Peter Krogh of the Dam Book 1 & 2?

I cannot imagine you slowing down for any time to sort through the stuff. That is what assistants are for, aren’t they?

Great post.

Bill Bogle, Jr.

Tommy Compton says:

on May 5, 2009 at 10:29 am

Joe, I love your sense of humor. I was not expecting it when I got down to your file system. I started laughing hysterically. It is soooo true.

Thanks for sharing

James B. says:

on May 5, 2009 at 10:50 am

I think I’m going to swipe this filing system. I feel it would suit my style of shooting well.

Don Horne says:

on May 5, 2009 at 11:09 am

Have you approached Apple about making these folders default when you first install Aperture. The only category I see missing is “Shaky/Artistic shots from too much Starbucks.” Very few people would need to change them!

rich says:

on May 5, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Ahgh Love the folder names need to rename mine…

On another note… Is every one still storing thier images to the default directories on the PC hard drive…

If anyone is looking for a inexpensive solution to secure backup of images try drobo… you do not need to be an IT expertise to setup…

should be in Joe’s gear bag…

Mark says:

on May 5, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Love the people portraits. He DOES look like Delroy (Lindo play the bad-ass and comforting father figure equally well, and great mug to boot.)

And the fish tail peeking out the back. Classic.

Hope you had a hot dog at Nathan’s. You only live once.

drew says:

on May 5, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Hey Rich,

FYI, we actually do have three Drobos in the studio currently, and are in the midst of changing over completely to DroboPro and ditching our XServe.


Ben says:

on May 5, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Organizing is a piece of art, gave me a really good laugh! – See you at DLWS in NYC in November – looking forward to that.

Tanya Plonka says:

on May 5, 2009 at 4:35 pm

I think it’s time I rethink my organizing by date, and adopt your system :)
I could really use that out of focus folder, that’s for sure.

Howard says:

on May 5, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Love the file folders. I’m telling you ahead of time, I’m stealing this system for my Aperture files. You mean to tell me that you too shot out of focus once in a while? What a relief!

Just finished reading HSD and I really enjoyed it. Each chapter taught me something new which is why I bought the book in the first place. I hope to study under you at one of your seminars one day. It is on my list of things to do before I die.

Eric says:

on May 5, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Hilarious!!! That fish hangin’ out of the bag, priceless.

Blake says:

on May 6, 2009 at 1:10 am

Joe, absolutely hilarious! You just made my week a lot better – thanks! PS. saving to take a class with you next year…

Malinda H says:

on May 6, 2009 at 6:09 am

Rolling on the floor laughing my butt off!
This seems so very typically of you dear sir! And I so appreciate that about you!
Nice frame of the guy with the pole catching a quick bite. LOL

My WTF was i thinking was shooting a w w w w w…. well u know, last weekend was agreeing to help shoot with the pro shooter hubs turned video guy that had to have 2 D2Hs or he just wasnt happy, turning up his nose at a poor little D70. I had to settle for it and a D200. Figures. We shoulda called Carol and gotten some cool stuff to use – like SB900s….. drool

Oh and guess who got to “post produce” those 14 gigs of files!

Robin says:

on May 6, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Great post Joe and I love your folders!
I was one of those how wanted Moose to show us how he organized his files. You guys take an abnormus (is that a word?) amount of exposures each day. The question is how you organize everything in a good way. Delete all bad exposures right after importing them and only save the good ones? I have tens of thousands files on my drive but not 10% of them are good pictures in my eyes. Do you store everything? Drew maybe knows? =)

Robin – who missed Joes visit to Stockholm. Is there another one?

john coil says:

on May 6, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Joe, I loved your file folders. Made me laugh even more than Moose’s blog about how he doesn’t use anything smaller than full frame because he depends on woodcraft, Native American skills, sneakiness, and ego to get so close to animals that the 1.5 factor is a waste for him. Then I saw his sandhill crane shots taken a half mile away with a 600mm f4 super lens. I had tears rolling down my face!

Keep the faith, John

Mike Ignatov says:

on May 6, 2009 at 10:31 pm

What no folder for “brilliant shit” ? Now I’m suspecting that’s doctored.

LisaNewton says:

on May 6, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Why don’t you love shooting in the city? I love it………………………..:)

So much to see, so little time.

krista lee says:

on May 7, 2009 at 1:10 am

OMG that is Hi-larious… I must adopt this new filing method…

Tom Di Maggio says:

on May 8, 2009 at 3:21 am

Hi Joe,

I’m organising a trip to NY this summer and I was wondering if you had any “photographic” advice, permits, locations, what not to etc….


Zac Grimaldo says:

on May 8, 2009 at 6:50 am

If you don’t tke this bit on tour, you need to at least incorporate it into one of your classes! Kelby Training would be a good place to start!

As a client said to me, not that long ago, ” I like it when you photographers are real funny!”

I do live in Texas….

David Apeji says:

on May 11, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Hi Joe, I find it interesting that you use Aperture. I always thought Photo Mechanic was your thing. I do wonder what Apple is doing though. Lightroom has now caught up and overtaken 2.0. Bibble 5 is on the way. They need to move and fast. I really don’t want to have to switch, but if they kill off the product …

karen mancuso says:

on May 15, 2009 at 10:44 am

I my gosh, you make me laugh so much. I am inspired now to try to organize my files better.

Lynn Michelle says:

on May 17, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Also peed myself laughing at your folder naming. Ok, peed myself. There, I said it.

Sass says:

on May 18, 2009 at 11:28 am

Had a laugh when I saw your new filestructure, seems like its the one we all have to copy ;o) Cheers.

andy says:

on May 19, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Your aperture library is yelling at you! Har har.

Andy Glogower says:

on May 29, 2009 at 6:21 pm

This is just awesome! One that I should add to my folder structure is…Stuff I like, but my wife think sucks!

Nike Kobe IV says:

on June 9, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Absolutely hilarious! You just made my week a lot better – thanks! PS. saving to take a class with you next year…

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