26
Oct
08

lightroom 2 – tip #1

Lightroom 2 has many new features over its predecessor so I picked up Scott Kelby’s “The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers” a few weeks ago.  I haven’t had a chance to dive in until now.  Scott Kelby trains based on his actual workflow rather than simply giving an item by item description of the software features.  Starting with this post, I’ll be sharing the most useful information I’ve gained from his new book (in my own words, of course).  If you find these tips useful, pick up the book at Amazon.  It contains many more tips than I will be posting.  Now on to the first one…

Photographers add keywords to their images to make them quickly findable.  In a previous post, I described in detail my new keywording strategy for Lightroom.  Sadly, that exhaustive method lasted only a few shoots.  Why did I give up on it?  Time.  It is time-consuming enough just to edit down a shoot to a useable number of photographs.  Tagging each image, even when done in batches, is just not worth the benefit.  The time it took to add keywords ended up much longer than just locating the file by date and folder name (assuming that I was having trouble finding that image in the first place).  So, what is the strategy that will give us the best balance of efficiency and usefulness?

First of all, add keywords during the import stage of your workflow.  This way you get it done before your images are even part of your catalog.  Also, it will force you to create more general keywords that encompass all of the photographs you are importing.  The flaw in my system was that I went on to keyword each photograph, thinking that I would be searching on such phrases as “large bowl.”  Scott recommends that you ask yourself what words or phrases you would later type into a search field to find these images.  I think that is great advice and will be using it henceforth.

Oh, and don’t forget to separate your keywords or phrases with a comma.

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