Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Organization Will Set You Free!
Basic organization techniques to help you find, sort and catalog your images
Once you import your photos, use Library to help you go through your images. You can very quickly go through even large numbers of photos, reviewing them to sort the good from the bad, marking special images so you can find them later and deleting what you don't want.
I like to use the Grid view (type "g") to quickly look over all of my images. Then I use the Loupe view (type "e") and the left/right arrow keys to go through images. Hit Tab to hide the left and right panels while you do this. Type "x" to mark images for deletion (this doesn't delete anything at this point; it only grays out the thumbnails). Type "u" to unmark the image for deletion. When you're done, press Command + Delete (Mac) or Control + Backspace (Windows) to delete the ones with an "x".
You also can add a star rating for images you particularly like or want to come back to. Use the number keys to give 1 to 5 stars. Remove a rating by typing "0". You also can add a color rating with the numbers 6 through 9; press the number again to remove the color.
Keywords are words you attach to your photo that allow specific searches in the Library Filter toolbar above your photos in the Grid display of Library. You add keywords in the Keywording section of the panel at the right. Simply select a photo (or photos) and type keywords into the space listed as "Click here to add keywords." Put a comma in between keywords to separate them (a keyword can be more than one word, such as North Carolina).
Having a lot of keywords can help you find specific photos in a hurry because you can search using a group of words that will narrow down images to just the few that have all of those words, such as: North Carolina, spring, trillium, rain, white, low angle, wide angle, flash. The downside is that doing a lot of keywording can take a lot of time and be rather tedious. I recommend doing at least some, but unless you need to constantly search for very specific types of photos, you don't need to do a lot.
Keywords are kept in the Lightroom database, but aren't automatically saved to your image file. Use Command (Mac) or Control (Windows) + "s" to save them so they're connected to your photo.
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