Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  

FM Forums | Post-processing & Printing | Join Upload & Sell

  

Archive 2013 · How do you keyword and tag images?
  
 
15Bit
Online
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · How do you keyword and tag images?


As i have a bit of spare time at the moment i've decided to go through my LR catalogue and actually keyword my images. Its a pretty time-consuming task, and as i keep thinking of new keywords i want to use whilst i'm doing it, the process is becoming somewhat overly iterative - i keep having to go back to already tagged images to add new keywords i think of.

I'm just wondering what sort of workflow other people adopt for this, and what sort of keywords you use.



Feb 02, 2013 at 12:19 PM
James_N
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · How do you keyword and tag images?


Eric Scouten, one of Lightroom's developers, has posted some excellent techniques for developing a keywording strategy; you can read them here: http://ericscouten.com/category/lightroom/

Secondly, I suggest not rushing in and haphazardly tagging photos; instead you should use a text editor (or spreadsheet software) and go through all your photos while recording the keyword tags you want to use in your text list. When you're done, you can create a plain text file of your keywords and import it into Lightroom. This allows you to really clarify which keywords you want to use, eliminates misspellings and duplicates, etc. and also allows you to create hierarchies of keywords you otherwise couldn't easily do from within Lightroom.

Although it will take some time upfront, your actual keywording will go much faster since you can then use tools like the Painter to bulk apply keywords to images.

Keywording can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it; for some examples you could look at
http://lightroom-keyword-list-project.blogspot.com/ or the Controlled Vocabulary website. Ann Torrence, a reference librarian, also has an extensive keyword list available for download. It will give you an example of how to structure a keyword heirarchy and keyword ideas: http://www.anntorrence.com/blog/2011/01/lightroom-keywords-updated.html



Feb 02, 2013 at 02:10 PM
ben egbert
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · How do you keyword and tag images?


I always wondered why people do this? I suppose I know the answer so they can find stuff. But for me the surest keyword is a date. I always seem to know when I took a picture so if I save the image in date format, and file them in date folders, they are easy to find.

My SmuGmug gallery is arranged by subject and place so it provides another index, and since I can see the filename, I also have the date to get back to the raw.



Feb 02, 2013 at 05:06 PM
James_N
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · How do you keyword and tag images?


I've also wondered why photojournalists and news organizations bother to caption and keyword their images. Certainly they could just browse through their archives and immediately find a specific image they need.

Or why do libraries maintain catalogs when they could easily put their books anywhere and rely on the memories of the staff to locate them when needed.



Feb 02, 2013 at 05:42 PM
ben egbert
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #5 · How do you keyword and tag images?


I guess a parody on my thoughts. Libraries use a number code which is cross referenced to an index.

I also use a number code which will never be duplicated, that is time. It is unique. Names are hard to come up with and a multitude can use the same one. A name choosen today may be replaced by a better one another day.

Also note that the library has the code as prime identifier and the genre as a secondary. An index that is name oriented makes including the name in the image superfluous.

Besides, numbers are absolute and perfect where names must be spelled correctly to sort correctly.



Feb 02, 2013 at 06:05 PM
James_N
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · How do you keyword and tag images?


So if a client approaches you and says "I need an image of a little girl playing with daisies in a meadow, with mountains in the background" how would you readily know if you have such an image? By searching numbers?

And since you seem to be so well versed in cataloging certainly you understand the concept of a Controlled Vocabulary. Unique numbers work well for file names but they don't obviate the need to provide descriptors for images.



Feb 02, 2013 at 06:37 PM
ben egbert
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #7 · How do you keyword and tag images?


You need an index for sure, it just does not need to be embedded in the EXIF.

I start a gallery or folder first then add images to the appropriate place as I create them. Having a name laboriously entered into the EXIF would not help me populate the gallery anyway. It would just be extra work.

I seldom look for such a specific image anyway. If I want to find Mesa Arch, I just look in Utah, Canyonlands and I will find several that were taken over the years.





Feb 02, 2013 at 07:23 PM
mhayes5254
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #8 · How do you keyword and tag images?


Ben's date method works for him but for me it would be UTTERLY useless. If I knew I took a picture about 6 years ago, I doubt I could guess the actual year within +/- 3 years. Also, with a date only method, there is no chance of anyone else finding an image.

Having said that, I have done keywording organically as the OP described. I would say the current keyword status status is fair to poor. For old family images (back to 1889), I have focused on keywording people, since that is simple name association. It allows my wife to find family pictures easily. I would encourage anyone starting, to look at the links above in order to get started in a more organized fashion.

My basic folder structure is year/month+event name, which allows some searching by event. A simple example is that I have gone to the NJ balloon festival at least 4 times over recent years. I do not have the slightest memory of which years they were but each folder has "balloon" in the title, so I can easily search for them without keywords. Keywording my landscape images needs a lot of work however. I have a number of decent closeup pictures of rocks in woodland streams during foliage season. Finding them in a 50,000 photo library without keywords is a bit of a treasure hunt. Another thing that can help a lot is the combined use of keywords and ratings. When I am looking for images, it is usually the "good" ones and the rating can help a lot. Collections can also help with that aspect.

LR has lots of tools to choose from but you have to choose the ones to use and spend some time setting them up.



Feb 02, 2013 at 07:28 PM
15Bit
Online
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · How do you keyword and tag images?


Good links there James. Thanks for those. I hadn't realised you could set up a hierarchy/nesting of keywords.

So far i've been setting up keyword sets as i go. It seems to work for me, as i label the sets 1,2,3,4 etc to give me a workflow to follow, but i have to say that 9 words to a set is not enough. I think i will spend some time with the LR Keyword List and see if the keyword nesting works better and find out if i really have use for so many keywords.

I have learned one thing in my keywording so far - it isn't possible to come up with a list of keywords before you start and then apply them. At least *I* need to go through a lot of images in order to figure out what keywords to apply. And deciding how to use keywords is very difficult. For basic family portraits and stuff it is relatively easy - name the people in the image. But what about a series of pictures of my daughter on a bicycle ride alongside the river. Some images show the river, some don't. Some show the bicycle, some don't as she got off to explore. Should i tag them all "river" as they were taken in the area of the river, or just the ones that show the river? Same for the bicycle. How to do this? I am also now locked into an internal struggle trying to define the difference between a "portrait" and a "candid"

One good thing i have found though - when you use the map module LR automatically fills in most of the location data for you. For many pictures i am of course struggling to remember where i took them, but googlemaps and streetview are proving to be an amazing tool for this (except for china, where the maps seem not so accurate and streetview coverage is still a bit poor).



Feb 02, 2013 at 08:37 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



ben egbert
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · How do you keyword and tag images?


mhayes5254 wrote:
Ben's date method works for him but for me it would be UTTERLY useless. If I knew I took a picture about 6 years ago, I doubt I could guess the actual year within +/- 3 years. Also, with a date only method, there is no chance of anyone else finding an image.

Having said that, I have done keywording organically as the OP described. I would say the current keyword status status is fair to poor. For old family images (back to 1889), I have focused on keywording people, since that is simple name association. It allows my wife
...Show more

This is true, I almost never forget a place, but I have trouble remembering my wifes name sometimes. It all depends on how your brain works. Although I guess most people are missing that I have a very good index complete with thumbnails.

I can't even imagine a search engine trying to wade through my archives that fill over 300 DVD's and so many hard drives I can't keep them all attached..



Feb 02, 2013 at 09:15 PM
mhayes5254
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #11 · How do you keyword and tag images?


It does help searching to have everything in one catalog and on one HD (or a small number). So far, HD tech has been able to keep up with my storage needs, so I have everything on 1 2-TB HD.
Three hundred DVD's would easily fit on one modern HD and I would definitely consider doing that. It would make things easier to keep track of and multiple backups are easy.



Feb 02, 2013 at 09:47 PM
ben egbert
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #12 · How do you keyword and tag images?


That's the problem. My archiving started on floppy disks, migrated to CD then DVD. The HD started around 50gb and moved up to 2 TB.

The naming might have changed just as much as the technology over that time but the dating method is constant. I have everything from 2005 and up on HD but not the same HD. The file size per image also increased dramatically.

The DVD are redundent and I am not about to copy them to a HD.



Feb 02, 2013 at 10:37 PM
Alan321
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #13 · How do you keyword and tag images?


Note that the idea of using Lr is that you don't need a search engine because the files are indexed and the Lr catalog knows where they are already.

My keyword index has evolved a bit on the fly but not too much. My best tips are
1. give it a bit of thought up front without over-doing it
2. start simple and add complexity only if required.
3. Until the retrieval takes too much time you don't need to add more categories
4. Don't forget about collections. Sometimes they are more appropriate than keywords, or else they may just help you grab the photos that will be assigned a keyword.
5. Keywords can be multiple words but I tend to link them with an underscore because that helps me distinguish whole keywords from partial keywords where the same word is used in multiple keyword categories.
6. Always add new sub-categories before unassigning a master category so that the images do not disappear from view when they have been selected by master category. Otherwise they become much more difficult to find.

For example, I have a keyword category called vehicles. Eventually I broke that into cars, aircraft, boats, etc. If I had lots of aircraft photos then I might add helicopter, planes, etc. under aircraft, but not until it became too hard to find the helicopters amongst the planes. Under cars I gradually added my cars, my brother's cars, etc. but only because I started taking lots of photos of maintenance procedures and they were obscuring the general nature of the cars category.

Do it in such a way that master categories do not need to be removed - spelling changes are easy in Lr, but structural changes are harder to implement - but add sub-categories. Anything in a subcategory will appear when you search for a master category, as will anything that is tagged with the master category but not one of the sub-categories.

Give it a go because it becomes clearer with usage. Use your own categories because they will be what matters most to you.

Avoid categorising with metadata that already exists, such as lens model, unless you are tagging film scans for which you happen to know which lens was used. There's no need to double up and make work for yourself. However, you might want to make a category for shots that were taken with less than the 1/FL shutter speed so that you can more readily assess your hand-held shooting capability in terms of image sharpness.

- Alan



Feb 03, 2013 at 06:25 AM
Alan321
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #14 · How do you keyword and tag images?


In terms of tagging images with ratings and labels, I use ratings to indicate how much I like an image and labels to indicate how good they are. Smart Collections will then let me pick out the best or worst or whatever as required.


Feb 03, 2013 at 06:32 AM
Bifurcator
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #15 · How do you keyword and tag images?


I just use folder names. I seldom need a finer resolution search than a good descriptive folder name. When I do there's always the file name.

Also, this way, every kind of search works.

For tagging I use a combination of ACR stars and OS X color Labels.



Feb 04, 2013 at 05:56 AM
Sunny Sra
Offline
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #16 · How do you keyword and tag images?


I put my files into "Date - Event" named folders. Then during import, add the "Date - Event" to the file name.

example:
Folder: 13-01-31 Kids Soccer
File name: 13-01-31 Kids Soccer _Randomcamera generated filename.cr2

This way I can just search for soccer, kids etc

Further refinement is done using keywords...if i'm not lazy



Feb 06, 2013 at 05:36 AM
NYstyles
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #17 · How do you keyword and tag images?


I go by date, I only use the keywords for net use as it shows on some sites for SEO. I use the same keywords for all.

I have them broken down into folders so I can find what I need. Wedding, events, models, family, seniors, etc.

Anyone looking for something can always give me a rough date, like we did the shoot in October of 2011 and it was a model. I just go into my model folder and then into the 2011 sub folder.

So it would be Model>2011>10-12-2011

Ive only been going since 2009 so it works for me right now. I can see thumbnails..



Feb 06, 2013 at 06:49 PM





FM Forums | Post-processing & Printing | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Retrive password