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The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers (O'Reilly Digital Studio) Paperback – November 22, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0596100186 ISBN-10: 0596100183 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: O'Reilly Digital Studio
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (November 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596100183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596100186
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Krogh is a commercial photographer in the Washington DC area. He is an Alpha Tester for Adobe, helping with the development of workflow and asset management tools for Photoshop and Adobe Bridge. He is on the board of directors of ASMP, the American Society of Media Photographers, and speaks frequently on Digital Asset Management to photographers' groups and other computer users.

You can see his photography work on his website,, and some of his work promoting digital standards at

More About the Author

Welcome to my Amazon author page!

After a bit of a break, I'm starting to publish a lot of new material under the banner of DAM Useful Publishing. We're starting with a set of multimedia eBooks that take the principles of The DAM Book, and apply them to Lightroom workflow. We're calling this series "DAM Book Workflow Guides". The first book in the series tackles Multi-catalog workflow in Lightroom 5.

Over the next year, we'll bring out a whole set of these guides. They are true multimedia publications, mixing text, screenshots, animated flowcharts and lots of video workflow into one package. Of course, they are based on the principles outlined in The DAM Book.

Make sure to check out my blog (over on the right side of the page) to see where I'll be speaking, what I'm publishing, and other items of interest.

Customer Reviews

This book is very well written.
Alan Dunne
For any serious photographer with oceans of high-resolution images, Peter Krogh's "The DAM Book" could prove indispensible.
David C. Scott
The book stresses extensive use of metadata, file & folder naming conventions, and methods for image versioning.
Brian Weber

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Conrad J. Obregon TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
When I first became a serious photographer back in the days of film, I stored my negatives and pictures in a shoebox. As my collection grew, I switched to contact sheets and coded negative files. Afterwards I filled a closet with special filing boxes of negatives and prints. But it was hard for me to find an older picture. I tried cross-filing but it never really worked. Then came digital.

By word of mouth, postings in on-line forums and an occasional magazine article I figured out that I'd better back up my photo files to non-erasable media and that I could more easily find old files by cataloging them with cataloging software. But I can't say that I developed a comprehensive system.

The DAM Book does that. (I wish they had taken a different title; the pun soon becomes boring.) Krough presents a system for sorting, archiving and finding photographs using Adobe Bridge and cataloging software. After defining digital asset management (DAM) and metadata, he talks about creating the digital archive both as an information structure and as a hardware configuration. Because he presumes that serious photographers will be using Photoshop, he discusses the use of Adobe Bridge as an asset management tool and describes a DAM workflow. He then discusses cataloging software, what he calls derivative files (which are generally files derived from a master copy) and strategies for file migration, including computer upgrades, software changes and even film migration.

The author's own system seems beyond the needs of most photographers. (He claims to catalog 135,000 pictures a year.
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82 of 85 people found the following review helpful By GJ on March 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
The DAM Book was probably much needed when it was first published - its publication coincided with a realization by many professional and serious amateur photographers that handling the quickly growing digital photo collections required a sound organizing approach and dedicated software tools. The book aptly points out that dealing with digital image workflow and the resulting file archives is in many significant ways different than dealing with film-based archives. Based on this initial premise, the book offers recommendations on how to organize digital photo studio workflow and filing / archive system.

Alas, the author chose to tie VERY CLOSELY his mostly sensible conceptual framework (i.e., HOW to organize) with very specific software and hardware. Often, more general advice is difficult or impossible to separate from his step-by-step, software-specific recipes. So, unless you use exactly the same software and hardware configuration as the author, much, if not most of this information will be of little use.

Since the book was first published, new, DAM- and photographic workflow-oriented software has become available (Adobe CS3, including the new Bridge is now in public beta nearing its release; and Apple Aperture 1.5 and Adobe PS Ligtroom 1.0 are the new, more workflow-focused tools), and more up-to-date (although dispersed) discussion of problems in question can be found in numerous articles on the web. This makes large portions of the book obsolete, as new tools enable different workflows that may be better suited to many photographers' preferences.

The book has other issues.

First, the author LOVES using technical jargon.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Andy in Washington TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 29, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a fairly serious photographer- with over 5000 cataloged images stored in iViewPro. I also use Photoshop CS2- so I have pretty much the same setup as Peter Krogh uses for his book. I probably shoot a couple hundred images a month, of which maybe 5% get archived and saved.

The best thing about this book is it describes, in detail, one whole methodology for setting up a reasonable system for storing, naming, cataloging, backing-up, rating, and organizing photos. I would much rather a book that describes one method, rather than trying to describe every possible methods and the tradeoffs of each. Krogh describes how he does it, why he did it that way, and what the advantages an disadvantages were. You may object to some of his choices- (I am not a fan of digital negatives), but opinions are like you know what...everybody has one.

If you use the same software that Krough uses, you will be very satisfied with his book. If you use others (Photoshop downrevs, ACDSEE, etc), I can see the book being a bit of a disappointment. However, since I use the same tools (and these probably cost close to $1000 to duplicate), the price of the book was easily made up in just a couple of the hints.

I do have one complaint. The interface between CS2 and iVIEW is clunky in that it doesn't point to the same metadata for some fields- specifically the star rankings. Krogh suggests a number of work-arounds, none of which I really liked. None of that is Krogh's fault- Microsoft and Adobe need to have a meeting. However the one thing that really annoyed me was that Krogh offered one script to address the problem, which is offered on his website for a fee- don't remember the exact amount- $20 seems to ring a bell.
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