I am scanning hundreds of images from 50 years traditional work. This scanning is random from files of thousands of negs. Which program would be best for organizing such a huge project? I have Photoshop 7 and Elements 3. I am presently organizing thumbnails in Picasa 2 because it is easy. Would the organizer in Elements 3 do the job, or would I really benefit from Extensis 7 Portfolio?
I too am, and have been, for the last 15 years, digitizing and archiving over 50 years of full-time professional photography. Some years back before any commercial applications like Extensis Portfolio were available (it was one of the first). I used a database application called SuperBase to program my own tailor made image file organization and search system. It worked fine, and was even better than the applications like Portfolio that became available later on because it was configured specifically to the nature of my image library and natural sense of organization.
However, it lasted only a few months until I realized that to maintain it with data input for each image I digitized was taking too much time and effort away from what I wanted to do photographically. I did not want to afford an assistant to do the boring data input, so I decided there has to be a more efficient way to serve this necessary purpose of having a way to search thumbnails and find images in a digital file collection.
What I finally settled on when CD-R recording and archiving became available, was to make what in Photoshop now is a Contact Sheet with quality thumbnails for each CD's stored images. Each CD has a name, code number and date, which is printed on the top of the Contact Sheet page. I then make a paper print on thin archival matte paper of the Contact Sheet, put it in a 3 ring sheet protector that then goes into one of four sets of 3 ring binders, one for each major subject category for the primary kinds of subjects I have photographed.
There are now over 600 CD's full of archived image files. And I find it not at all difficult to flip through the binders, locate an image with its filename, note the CD # it is stored in and get the CD for whatever use I require.
I put relatively little effort into this system, and it serves the purpose needed efficiently, and I do not have to depend on a computer to search and find images quickly, nor will I ever loose that ability because of a crash or some other digital storage failure, save a fire burns my house down to the ground.