TWN Photography How To's

A couple of the questions I've been asked lately are how do I keep track of all of my digital images and how did I take the plant photos for eField WY and Wyoming Inflorescence. An answer to both questions lies in my need for organization and reproducibility. Working with 10's of thousands of images requires a good file naming convention and filing system or too much time is wasted searching instead of creating. Photographing plants in Wyoming's wind and rapidly changing weather requires techniques that increase the chances of success. Below are some How To's that I hope you will find useful.

How to use MS-Excel to Rename and Manage large numbers of Digital Image Files

General Overview


Click this General Overview link for a video introduction on how this method works.(These methods are Windows based. I don't know if they can be adapted for the Mac.)




Tweak Functions

Click this Tweak the Functions link for a video on how the Excel functions work and how to change them and make them more useful for the system you want to use.





* Click this Get the Template.xls link to download the Excel worksheet file you can use and tweak for your system.

* Click this Get the Make_FileList.Bat link to download the DOS batch file you can use to create the FileList text file used to input data into the above Template.xls file.

* Download directions: Open up Windows Explorer (right-click the Windows Start button and choose Explore) and create a new folder named something like Images_Rename_Data. Then click the above download link(s) and click the Save button and then save the file(s) in the new folder you just created.


How to use Adobe Photoshop Actions and Scripts to Automate Repetitive or Complicated Tasks

Photoshop Actions

In conjunction with managing image files with Excel, I also use Actions and Scripts to batch process large numbers of images in Photoshop. If you are not familiar with using Actions or Scripts, the video clip should help you realize how valuable they can be to your workflow and how to get started using them.

Click this Actions Link for a video on how to record and use Photoshop Actions.


How to make and use a Portable Studio to Photograph Wildflowers

Portable Studio

Wyoming Wind and Wyoming Weather: Making and using this simple little Portable Studio or Shooting Box for photographing wildflowers was the difference between taking some tolerable photos and “throwing a Jack Nicholson fit."

Click this Shooting Box link for a video on how to make and use the Portable Studio


How to use a Copy Stand to Photograph Dissected and Pressed/flat Plant Specimens

Copy Stand

Twelve years ago I was flipping through some magazine and saw a book review on Flora, by Nick Knight. Without pausing for a breath, I cut the little 3"x4" review with a little 1"x2" image out of the magazine and laminated it with strips of Scotch-Tape. I then tacked it to a shelf just behind and to the right of my computer monitor - where it still remains today. I never did buy the book, but I did take what it symbolized to me and incorporated it into my “self.” Simple, raw beauty: Enough said!

Click this Copy Stand link for a video on how to use a Double-Flash Copy Stand.