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Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos
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Setting strategies for using keywords


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Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos

with Derrick Story

Video: Setting strategies for using keywords

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.
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  1. 2m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 5s
    2. Why photo organization matters
      1m 32s
  2. 3m 21s
    1. Using media readers
      59s
    2. Using hard drives for storage and backup
      2m 22s
  3. 12m 26s
    1. Making sure your camera is set up correctly
      3m 22s
    2. Understanding how your camera stores photos and movies
      3m 29s
    3. Removing pictures from your card
      1m 33s
    4. Taking advantage of dual card slots on DSLRs
      31s
    5. Taking care of your memory cards
      1m 18s
    6. Creating a set of folders on your hard drive
      2m 13s
  4. 11m 39s
    1. Dealing with your legacy collection
      2m 11s
    2. Transferring photos to a Windows computer
      2m 35s
    3. Transferring photos to a Mac
      2m 22s
    4. Doing a software-assisted photo transfer
      4m 31s
  5. 8m 27s
    1. Viewing photos on a Windows computer
      2m 21s
    2. Viewing photos on a Mac
      2m 53s
    3. Viewing photos using file browsers
      3m 13s
  6. 15m 42s
    1. Understanding digital asset managers
      2m 39s
    2. Transferring images with Lightroom on a Windows computer
      5m 56s
    3. Transferring images with Aperture on a Mac
      5m 11s
    4. Transferring photos with iPhoto
      1m 56s
  7. 15m 46s
    1. Understanding keywords
      3m 49s
    2. Setting strategies for using keywords
      4m 17s
    3. Lightroom keyword tips
      2m 42s
    4. Aperture keyword tips
      4m 58s
  8. 16m 51s
    1. Assigning ratings to photos
      4m 39s
    2. Flagging your favorites
      3m 58s
    3. Organizing in Lightroom
      1m 50s
    4. Using filters in Aperture
      2m 49s
    5. Organizing in iPhoto
      3m 35s
  9. 9m 52s
    1. Understanding albums and collections
      2m 27s
    2. Creating Smart Albums in Aperture
      2m 41s
    3. Working with collections in Lightroom
      2m 45s
    4. Setting up albums in iPhoto
      1m 59s
  10. 13m 32s
    1. Managing photos that you edit in Photoshop
      5m 24s
    2. Managing derivative versions in Lightroom
      4m 17s
    3. Managing derivative versions in Aperture
      3m 51s
  11. 16m 13s
    1. Choosing file formats
      4m 39s
    2. Backing up to hard drives
      3m 31s
    3. Deciding photos to archive
      1m 34s
    4. Backing up to your local area network
      2m 3s
    5. Backing up to the cloud
      2m 49s
    6. Working with multiple hard drives
      1m 37s
  12. 19m 40s
    1. Recovering in Lightroom
      5m 20s
    2. Recovering in Aperture
      6m 52s
    3. Recovering in iPhoto
      2m 46s
    4. Recovering from a file-system-managed backup
      1m 28s
    5. Making prints of your best work
      3m 14s
  13. 1m 54s
    1. Next steps
      1m 54s

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Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos
2h 28m Beginner Aug 23, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Removing pictures from a card
  • Transferring photos to a Windows or Mac computer
  • Transferring images with Lightoom, Aperture or iPhoto
  • Assigning ratings to photos and flagging favorites
  • Filtering photos
  • Choosing file formats
  • Backing up to the cloud
  • Working with multiple hard drives
  • Recovering from backups
Subjects:
Photography Photo Management
Software:
Aperture Lightroom
Author:
Derrick Story

Setting strategies for using keywords

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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