Here’s a thought provoking post from the “Lightroom Killer Tips” site.
A few thoughts of my own:
- I am not “normal”! I actually enjoy keywording my pictures. I enjoy both the process – knowing that I have a keywording scheme that works for me. I get a kick out of Lightroom’s attempts – 75% successful – to predict what keywords I’ll want to add based on past behaviour (the Keyword Suggestions panel).
- But when it gets it wrong I want to scream at it: “No! That photo already has a Place tag. Now it needs a Type tag. Don’t show me any more Places.”.
- Keywording is like knitting, it can be therapeutic if your keywords are well organized and you have a plan.
- I hope the engineers who worked on Lightroom keywording read this. Yes, as Matt says in his post
Nobody keywords. I know that lots of people commented on it here last week but trust me – you’re in the extreme minority (and I mean serious keywording, not just casual “I do it once in a while” keywording).
But I use them to the extent that I am stretching the Lightroom SQLLite database and the user interface to its limits.
- I enjoy the knowledge that I can find any picture I have ever taken based on the vaguest of criteria because my keywording is “perfect”. Thus when I was trying to work out the system of license plates for Thai buses and trucks I could locate all candidates very quickly and see if I could extend my list.
- That’s why I wish I could keep every photo I have ever taken in one Lightroom database. See here and here.
- I use operating system folders to organize photos by date taken. It is easy to set up during the Import function and occasionally I want to look at pictures I took on a certain date. Yes, I could use Smart Collections for that task, but I’d have to set them up.
- I liked ACDSee‘s Calendar View for the few months I used it. I wish Lightroom had the same. I like to analyse statistics on my photography and numbers of photos taken by day / month / year is useful.
- When I used Thumbs Plus I had a completely different folder structure: Camera Identity and then a folder for each block of 1,000 pictures.
Here’s the folder of pictures taken with the Canon EOS-30D that I still have catalogued in ThumbsPlus. Each contains approximately 1,000 pictures. Each folder has a sub-folder called “Edited”. That’s because ThumbsPlus does not support the non-destructive editing or stacking like Lightroom so any edits I made went into a separate folder.
- I accept that some time, maybe by the end of the year, I will have to split my Lightroom database. Doing it by date is the easiest way and trivial if I have the pictures organized by date in an operating system folder.
I am happy with the way I have things set up now. It is great that Lightroom supports my working style (workflow ugh!). But I’ll never criticise anybody for using a different scheme.
And I know I am not a mainstream photographer because of my interest in information management / databases that’s as strong as my interest in photography.