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In this course, photographer Derrick Story teaches the concepts and techniques behind efficient photo management and backup, which becomes increasingly important as a photo collection grows. The course begins by showing how to transfer and organize photos "by hand"—that is, by copying them from a memory card to a hard drive without using software. In the second portion of the course, discover how to take advantage of the photo-management features provided by programs such as Lightroom and Aperture, by assigning descriptive keywords, by giving photos ratings and color-coded labels, and how smart album features can automatically collect photos that meet certain criteria.
The course concludes with a look at aspects of a good backup and archival strategy, ranging from the best file format for long-term backup to the best hardware options for offline storage.
I think a big part of keywording strategy is designing a system that works with your brain. For instance, my view of the world is going to be different than yours, it's going to be different than a doctor's, it's going to be different than a realtor's view of their photo library. So I am going to go over some of the things that are important to me, and then just talk a little bit about developing a strategy that's best for you. So looking at this picture here, I tend to think in terms of elements when I am keywording. The first thing that I am looking at is plant, animal, mineral, those types of things.
So I tend to add a keyword for the dominant feature of the photo; in this case, we have flower, and part of the plant family. Now that's a big deal to me. In addition to that, if there's anything distinguishing elements, anything unusual about the shot, in this case, a bee. Because, as you saw if you watched the previous movie, some of the cactus flower shots had bees, and some did not. So the ones that have bees, I make sure that I add that as a keyword.
I also tend to add location a lot in keywords, because that's the way I think. I want that shot from Maui, I want that shot from Arizona, I want that shot from New York City. I remember things by when I took them, and also where I took the photos. So location tends to be a keyword that I include many times; almost on every shot. And then finally, I tend to think also in terms of color. So if I have a bunch of flower shots, I will actually add yellow flower, orange flower, all of those different colors, purple. And because, for instance, I might not remember the name of the flower, but I'll remember what color it is.
For instance, poppy shots; now I am going to forget a California poppy, but as an example, if I did, if I was having a true brain freeze, I would go, orange flower in California, and those poppy shots would come up. So that's my view of the keywording world right there. So now imagine if you were a realtor, and how different your keywords would be. You would probably base your keywording on the sort of requests that you get from clients.
So things like price range, square footage, how many rooms, how many bathrooms: all of those sorts of things would probably be a part of the taxonomy of keywords for a realtor. So the trick is, then, to think about what are the features that are important to you; how does your brain work? And then start using keywords that go along with that so that when you do the search, as I did in the previous movie, that you are pulling words out that are natural to you, that hopefully will lead to the photographs that you are searching for.
Now the last thing that I want to say around that is that you can get to a point of diminishing returns with keywords. In other words, you could spend so much time doing precise keywording over here that you would never really get that time back in a search unless you really valued only having one photo come up. The photo that you are looking for on your keyword search. One of the things that I want you to consider is that if you do basic keywording based on the system that works for your brain, and you are able to go from thousands of photos down to a few dozen, it's very easy to do this through a few dozen photos to find the image that you want.
So I guess what I am asking you to consider is the middle ground of keywording. How do you balance how much time you spend upfront, adding keywords, to the return that you get when you go to actually search for a photo. It's an interesting thing to think about; strategy of keywords is fascinating. If you are just starting with a digital asset manager, that is a great time to figure out how you are going to approach adding keywords to your images.
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