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Best Use of Files and Folders

Lesson 88 from: Fundamentals of Photography 2016

John Greengo

Best Use of Files and Folders

Lesson 88 from: Fundamentals of Photography 2016

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

88. Best Use of Files and Folders

Next Lesson: Culling


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Welcome to Photography


Camera Types Overview


Viewing Systems


Viewing Systems Q&A


Lens Systems


Shutter Systems


Shutter Speeds


Choosing a Shutter Speed


Shutter Speeds for Handholding


Shutter Speed Pop Quiz


Camera Settings


General Camera Q&A


Sensor Sizes: The Basics


Sensor Sizes: Compared






Sensor Q&A


Focal Length: Overview


Focal Length: Angle of View


Wide Angle Lenses


Telephoto Lenses


Angle of View Q&A


Fish Eye Lenses


Tilt & Shift Lenses


Subject Zone


Lens Speed


Aperture Basics


Depth of Field


Aperture Pop Quiz


Lens Quality


Photo Equipment Life Cycle


Light Meter Basics




Histogram Pop Quiz and Q&A


Dynamic Range


Exposure Modes


Manual Exposure


Sunny 16 Rule


Exposure Bracketing


Exposure Values


Exposure Pop Quiz


Focus Overview


Focusing Systems


Autofocus Controls


Focus Points


Autofocusing on Subjects


Manual Focus


Digital Focusing Assistance


Focus Options: DSLR and Mirrorless


Shutter Speeds for Sharpness and DoF


Depth of Field Pop Quiz


Depth of Field Camera Features


Lens Sharpness


Camera Movement


Handheld and Tripod Focusing


Advanced Techniques


Hyperfocal Distance


Hyperfocal Quiz and Focusing Formula


Micro adjust and AF Fine Tune


Focus Stacking and Post Sharpening


Focus Problem Pop Quiz


The Gadget Bag: Camera Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Lens Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Neutral Density Filter


The Gadget Bag: Lens Hood and Teleconverters


The Gadget Bag: Lens Adapters


The Gadget Bag: Lens Cleaning Supplies


The Gadget Bag: Macro Lenses and Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Flash and Lighting


The Gadget Bag: Tripods and Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Custom Cases


10 Thoughts on Being a Photographer


Direct Sunlight


Indirect Sunlight


Sunrise and Sunset


Cloud Light


Golden Hour


Light Pop Quiz


Light Management


Artificial Light




Off-Camera Flash


Advanced Flash Techniques


Editing Overview


Editing Set-up


Importing Images


Best Use of Files and Folders




Develop: Fixing in Lightroom


Develop: Treating Your Images


Develop: Optimizing in Lightroom


Art of Editing Q&A


Composition Overview


Photographic Intrusions


Mystery and Working the Scene


Point of View


Better Backgrounds


Unique Perspective


Angle of View


Subject Placement


Subject Placement Q&A




Multishot Techniques




Human Vision vs The Camera


Visual Perception


Visual Balance Test


Visual Drama


Elements of Design


The Photographic Process


Working the Shot


The Moment


One Hour Photo - Colby Brown


One Hour Photo - John Keatley


One Hour Photo - Art Wolfe


One Hour Photo - Rocco Ancora


One Hour Photo - Mike Hagen


One Hour Photo - Lisa Carney


One Hour Photo - Ian Shive


One Hour Photo - Sandra Coan


One Hour Photo - Daniel Gregory


One Hour Photo - Scott Robert Lim


Lesson Info

Best Use of Files and Folders

Alright. Let's think about how to use these files and folders. And so, using these folders, organizing by date makes them very, very easy whether they're files or they're folders cause it's automatically where they're gonna go. You don't have to think about what's in this photograph? Well that's my friend Bill, and he's standing outside my house. Should it go in my house folder or the bill folder? It just goes in by the date. Much, much easier to do that. One of the options for organizing our photos is keywords, and this is any sort of word, group of letters, group of words that you wanna associate with any photograph at all. And so, there's gonna be an option for doing this in all sorts of photo programs. And how many you wanna put in really depends on what your needs are and how you wanna organize and how you wanna access information later on. And so, Lightroom has this whole keywording section. We're not gonna go through the whole tidbits of it, but they do have suggestions, which b...

asically look for words that you've been recently entering. There is a set of keywords that you can go in. You can have a group of nine that you've pre-selected, that you're always going to. So if there's nine that you use on a regular basis, you can create that on your own in there. And then there's gonna be a list, a way of organizing all the keywords that you have created so that you can find them and add them or delete them as necessary. So, for instance, I have people, locations, animals among others. Inside animals you just have them grouped as logically as you can make them. So, they'll be birds, insects, mammals for instance. Inside mammals will be individual mammals. So just organizing things in a hierarchy like this rather than a long list that is a mile long to scroll through. It's gonna be much easier to find these things. And so, this is something that I just kind of organized as I go along. I don't try to set it up perfectly at the very beginning. And so, try to use as few words as necessary. How many words do you really need to describe a particular thing? My goal right now is about three words per picture. Where is is, what is it, who is it? As long as I can get a few of the basic ones in there I'm fine. Organizing them in the keywords, and as I say don't worry about spending all weekend trying to get the perfect list setup. Just kind of organize as you go, and constantly make your little system a little bit better every time you use it. One of the options in Lightroom as well as in many other programs is to organize a collection of photos. And this can be used for a variety of reasons. In Lightroom, we're gonna have one thing called the collections. And this is a group of any group of images that you want. They will have a smart collection, which is selected by a criteria that you have selected. Perhaps it has a star rating or it was taken on a particular date, or has some other characteristic about it. And then there's a set where you can put all of these top two in there and have a group of collections, for instance. And so, first up let's talk about some smart collections. Smart collections are ones where you set up some sort of criteria. Pictures taken on a certain date, maybe from a certain year, or has a flag color or a certain star rating to it. And this is something that you can get into with many different programs like Lightroom. And so, some of the settings that I have for smart collections is I have a collection of images that have no keywords. This is homework I forgot to do. So, this is where I need to go back and add some keywords to those images because I forgot to do it, which happens from time to time, or images that I forgot to rate. They somehow slipped into the system and I never rated them. I will also sometimes do yearly best images so I can quickly refer back to images from a particular year that I might want to access. But, you can come with a lot of very creative collections on your own. So, it's just a good place to put special groupings, maybe slideshows best of type things, groups of images that you're gonna maybe work with in some other ways. Maybe you're making a little book for your friend. Collect all your images up, kinda set them in that separate folder off to the side. Now one of the things that confuses people about Lightroom and some of the other programs is that there are folders and there's collections. And the difference is is the folders are exactly where the pictures truly are on the hardware system. And so, where are they on the computer? There gonna be usually in some sort of photo folder buried into a date folder. So, what date it is, what month, what day you actually shot that photo on. That's where the photo actually is. In the collections side, it's kinda whatever you want to do. So for instance, a collection that I would have is in photo tours. So, if I'm traveling, I'm gonna put photos into a special folder that I wanna get access to. So, when I go to Cuba 2016 later this year, there's gonna be a folder for all of my Cuba photos, and inside that folder, I'm gonna have different groupings. One is gonna be all the images that I shot. There'll be another grouping which is maybe my best images at three-star images. And then I'll have another which is just a slideshow that I wanna get, which is just a smaller collection of images. So, whatever your needs are, you can have these very well specified and you can have as many or as few photos in there as you want, so that you can go back and you can find that grouping very, very quickly. And so, for using these collections and collection sets, the collection set specifically is for collecting other groups of images. So, it's kind of a group of groups. And so we have the three different things. We have collections, which are just manually selected, we have the automatic selected smart ones, and then the collection sets, which has collections of the previous two. And you can kind of mix and match those as you need. Next up, let's talk about ranking our photos. We are now going to judge our photos, and there's a variety of tools that we can use to tell us or others how much we like or dislike the photos that we're working with. And this is gonna be very helpful because most programs like Lightroom will have some sort of filter option, where we don't wanna look at all of the images. We wanna look at just some of the images, and which ones do we wanna look at. And so, in this filter option is gonna be the option for using stars and flags and colors to try to determine which images we wanna look at or work with for something that we're looking for here. So flags, stars, and colors. And then there's another preset control. We're not gonna go into this. Now there is a little light switch. Be aware in Lightroom of all the little light switches that you can turn on and off. So, you can be filtering this, and then flip this, click this on the downside here to turn the whole thing off. Alright, let's take out the trash, folks. Should you throw away your photos? Or are all your photos so good you should never throw away a photo? Every time I take a photo of the inside of my camera bag, I meant it, and it's a piece of artwork, and I'm gonna sell that piece of artwork. My dream someday, I'm hoping to have auto rank on my computer program. The way auto rank will work is it will look at all of your photos and it will just say, yep here's the best ones and there's your worst ones. This is how good they are and this is how rank it is, and we'll go ahead and just kinda throw these into you. There's your best one and there's your second best image, there's your third best. Wouldn't it be nice to hit the auto rank, and you could see which images were the best? I think that would be a great system to have. Now, if I wanna do this, then I could automatically assign star ratings to all my photographs cause it met that criteria. I know that's a five-star and we're gonna throw these away cause I don't care about these. I'd love a button to press on that, but I would like a little bit more. I would like to have a little slider that bases this on my own internal judgment of what I think is a good photo. Or perhaps, I could access the internet and the world to judge this photo, the automatic program. look at my images and determine which ones are gonna be most like that in the world. But that doesn't exist, so we have to do things ourselves. And probably the easiest way to deal with this is with a star system. How good are our images using the stars. With a lot of programs it's the same as Lightroom, we're using our numbers, one, two, three, four, and five to give us those appropriate number of stars for that particular photo. So, if we have five settings, should we just break it into 20% 20%, even breaks between them? No. It seems to make more sense to have it more of a pyramid structure, where you have very few of the five stars and a lot of the one stars so that we're trying to look for the best images. And typically, let's be honest. Most of the images we shoot are not our very best images. That's a small collection of them. And as I said, I'm only gonna have a few of mine that are considered the absolute best. As I mentioned before, this is how some people rate their images. I'm not that good a photographer that all my images are five-star images. But, I would argue that it makes a lot more sense to use just three stars than five stars. You don't have to use everything you've been given, folks. You can pick and choose. What I do on my photos is a basic photo is one star. Something that's pretty good gets two stars, and if it somehow rises above that that becomes three stars. And this is roughly how my images are ranked in my own filing system, and it's a very simple system. Think of a road, and here comes your first photo, and you're trying to direct this photo as to what to do. If you need to decide between one and five stars and garbage, you have to think of six different directions where this picture needs to go. If it's simply a one-star image, it's going in the garbage, or it's a two-star image. It's a very simple decision. The more decisions that you have to make in a given moment, the slower you're gonna make those decisions. And so, what you're trying to do is make as few decisions as possible at any one time. And so, in this case what I do is I rank all of my images one-star image. And then I go through them one by one, and I look at the first one and I decide is this good or not? And if it's okay, I just go to the next image. And I look at this image, and I'm judging this one. Do I like this image? And I think, nah, I really don't like that one. That one gets the garbage. And then if I go to the next image and I like it and I say okay, yeah, that's something that I really like, then that gets a second star. And so, I'm the traffic cop, and I have a couple of directions that the photos can go. And so, it gets to be very easy when you don't have a lot of decisions to make. And so, I'm trying to narrow the choices that I have. And once you get going on this, you kind of assume everything is one star, and what you're just looking for is you're looking for the junk and you're looking for the good stuff, which gets to be pretty easy to do. You're not trying to fine-tune and split hairs between three and four stars. That's hard to do, especially the first round in photography. And then what I'll do is I'll go look at all the images that I have ranked as two stars, and I'll see which ones need to be pushed back down to one star. I don't know what I was thinking back then. I was stupid back then. Well then sometimes, hey this really is a good one. Let's bump it up to three stars. And so it's a system that you can kinda go through and filter up and down and go back and forth as many times as necessary. And so, it's a very, very simple system. And so, as I go through the first time on images, often times I'm throwing away about 25% of my images. Sometimes, it's 50%. Most of my stuff is here, and very, very little of my stuff do I give as three stars. And by the time I'm done with my collection, percentages look something like this. Now this is just a personal opinion about the way that I think it works, but I think logically it really does work quite well. Having too many decisions slows you down. And so, I would argue that this is much better than five stars. It's faster to edit your images, it's easier to do, and it's scalable. And so, when I say it's scalable, think about this. Start off doing three stars. When you get 1000 images that are three stars, take the hundred best of them, make them four stars. Continue shooting. When you get a thousand four-star images, take the hundred best, make those five-stars. That would be a good life-long goal. Can you by the end of your life take 1000 five-star images? And I think that's a system that, as I say it's scalable. You can grow with it. A couple of other tools that are common out on the market are pick or unpick flags. Just a real quick, this is essentially the thumbs up or thumbs down. Do you like this photo or not like this? I'll give you some Lightroom shortcuts. If you like to use Lightroom there's letter shortcuts. If you do a lot of editing in there, you wanna learn those. There's not that many of them, and it makes things go a little bit faster. And there's the U for unpick, so you take off the flag, whatever flag happens to be there. You do not want to use flags for a lot of your photos because you kinda have to individually add it to them. And so, this is a great thing. When you download a bunch of images and you're real quickly just wanna highlight a couple of them as being really good or a couple of them as being really bad. And so, this is a very selective small grouping of images that you wanna separate from everything else. For instance, you could've taken 10 three-star images, but you kinda wanna highlight one as being slightly better than the rest. That would be a good time to put a pick flag on that one particular image. And within Lightroom, when you put the unpick image, it actually puts a little filter over the front of it, so it darkens it up so that you know it's going to the garbage or it's not good in that regard. And then, you can go in and add stars later if you want. And so, for using flags, highly selective. You don't wanna be doing a pick and an unpick flag for every photo you've taken because you're gonna have to go in and rank every single picture you look at. The previous system that I had was I rank everything as one star, and since that's what most of it ended up being, I only really need to look for things that are something other than a one-star image. And so, use for less than 10%. And often times, as I said, you know, if you have three-star images, using the flag to indicate which one of those is the best. Another tool that some people use, I use on occasion kind of on a special purpose, and that is the color option. You can change the color of the frames around the subjects to highlight either a work process or something about that photograph. And it does make the photographs easier to find in a big layout where you're looking at a lot of photographs. And so, we have different colors that we can choose in Lightroom using the keyboard shortcuts for selecting that image and then pressing that number. And so, in this particular case, I can instantly my eyes can just look for those red frames and instantly pull out the different subjects that I'm looking for and that I've chosen for those colors. And so, in this particular section, I was highlighting different types of birds. Each color indicated a different type of bird. If I was trying to maybe put a slideshow together and I'd want an even number of photos from each type of bird in there. And so, I used this in a slideshow one time where I was, I had a long group of photos, and I wanted to make sure that I didn't have duplicate photos in one section and the other. And it's very easy with this color coding to kinda really get a quick check of what images are where. Another system that some photographers use is kind of a work progress as to where the image is in their work flow process, whether they just imported it, whether they've done a little bit of work on it, or whether it's kind of a master print that is absolutely final that they shouldn't be touching anymore, that they're fully done with. And so, there's a lot of different personal ways to customize the system, but it's just another good tool at our disposal. So, if we're using those colors, very easy to see one group of images from the other because of those colors. We can see the colors so easily and we can group them together visually. Different levels of process as I mentioned before, it's just kind of a temporary thing. I don't normally color code my images. They're normally not color coded. And so, if you are using Lightroom, just be aware of all the keyboard shortcuts and what those numbers and letters do cause they can really speed up the process of working in the system, whether it's Lightroom or any other program. So, you didn't talk too much I don't think about storing images in the cloud, and I know a lot of people are doing that these days. Joe had asked do you store your images in cloud like Dropbox, and backup to separate hard drive? Where's your primary to-go retrieval location? What are your thoughts around that? Well, I like the theory of the cloud. I don't like the reality of the cloud. So, the two problems that I have is I have a reasonably decent internet connection in my house, but it's still a relatively slow process. And I suppose I could have it set to upload at night when I'm not using the internet. And so, that might not be the worst thing in the world. But I guess I've been around for a while, and I have just seen so many companies go in and out of business and lock their customers out. You're going outta business and you can't get access to my photos now. Or they've been sold to another company and everything's changed and now you have to go refigure out, set new passwords and go through a whole system. And so, I like the theory of it, but it just hasn't worked out for me personally. And, I don't shoot that much, but I think for somebody who shoots not too much that might be a good decision. And, I really don't like these monthly fees. You know, you're gonna have a certain monthly fee, and I'm just very careful about adding on another monthly fee, cause it's one of those things that just disappears into the background. It's like it's only $50 a month. Fifty dollars a month for the rest of my life? It's gonna be constantly eating away-- I can go out and buy a hard drive for a hundred bucks and store everything on it. And, it's a solution that does work very well for some people, so I don't wanna dismiss it as it not being a good option. It's just not good for me. I didn't like it. I can find a hard drive for a hundred bucks or two hundred bucks or whatever the case may be, and I can go store that. And somebody asks me where I store that. I'm not gonna tell you where I keep my secret photos, but I have it not on my property, okay? It's not at my house. If an asteroid hits the planet, hits my house, it's probably gonna be okay unless it's a really big asteroid, in which case we're all in trouble and it doesn't matter anyway. And so, you can keep one at work. You can keep one at a friend's house and in another part of town, something like that. And so I just think it's just a lot easier and I don't mind manual things if they're nice and easy. Awesome, thanks John. Do you know or what do you recommend, this is for Berkey Teek who says, love this class. It's always amazing. Big question is if you have messed up your Lightroom should you start over? She says I know it will save time, but it's scary to do. You should not start over if you've done a lot of work on your images. And so, if you've been cropping and doing editing on your images where you're making them lighter and darker and the develop-- If you start over, you're gonna throw all that stuff away. If it's just kind of an organizing thing and it just a complete mess and you just don't have it organized right, you could start over, and it's not completely necessary. It depends on how much you know about Lightroom. But in some cases, I have started people over that I was privately helping because it was just a tangled mess. That it was easier to start with a fresh program, import, and what I basically did is I consider moving into Lightroom very much like moving into a new house, alright? So when you move, you box your stuff up, right? All your bedroom stuff goes in a box. All your kitchen stuff goes in a box. And so, if you're getting ready to move into Lightroom, put your photos into similar areas. All the photos from pre-2000 go into a folder. Everything from 2015 goes into a folder. And then, bring it into Lightroom, and then you can kind of set it up the way you want it to. And so, that kind of some quick advise on that.

Class Materials

Free Download

Fundamentals of Photography Outline

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Learning Project Videos
Learning Projects PDF
Slides for The Camera Lessons 1-13
Slides for The Sensor Lessons 14-18
Slides for The Lens Lessons 19-31
Slides for The Exposure Lessons 32-42
Slides for Focus Lessons 43-62
Slides for The Gadget Bag Lessons 63-72
Slides for Light Lesson 73-84
Slides for the Art of Edit Lessons 85-93
Slides for Composition Lesson 94-105
Slides for Photographic Vision Lessons 106-113

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Love love all John Greengo classes! Wish to have had him decades ago with this info, but no internet then!! John is the greatest photography teacher I have seen out there, and I watch a lot of Creative Live classes and folks on YouTube too. John is so detailed and there are a ton of ah ha moments for me and I know lots of others. I think I own 4 John Greengo classes so far and want to add this one and Travel Photography!! I just drop everything to watch John on Creative Live. I wish sometime soon he would teach a Lightroom class and his knowledge on photography post editing.!!! That would probably take a LOT OF TIME but I know John would explain it soooooo good, like he does all his Photography classes!! Thank you Creative Live for having such a wonderful instructor with John Greengo!! Make more classes John, for just love them and soak it up! There is soooo much to learn and sometimes just so overwhelming. Is there anyway you might do a Motivation class!!?? Like do this button for this day, and try this technique for a week, or post this subject for this week, etc. Motivation and inspiration, and playing around with what you teach, needed so much and would be so fun.!! Just saying??? Awaiting gadgets class now, while waiting for lunch break to be over. All the filters and gadgets, oh my. Thank you thank you for all you teach John, You are truly a wonderful wonderful instructor and I would highly recommend folks listening and buying your classes.


I don't think that adjectives like beautiful, fantastic or excellent can describe the course and classes with John Greengo well enough. I've just bought my first camera and I am a total amateur but I fell in love with photography while watching the classes with John. It is fun, clear, understandable, entertaining, informative and and and. He is not only a fabulous photographer but a great teacher as well. Easy to follow, clear explanations and fantastic visuals. The only disadvantage I can list here that he is sooooo good that keeps me from going out to shoot as I am just glued to the screen. :-) Don't miss it and well worth the money invested! Thank you John!

Vlad Chiriacescu

Wow! John is THE best teacher I have ever had the pleasure of learning from, and this is the most comprehensive, eloquent and fun course I have ever taken (online or off). If you're even / / interested in photography, take this course as soon as possible! You might find out that taking great photos requires much more work than you're willing to invest, or you might get so excited learning from John that you'll start taking your camera with you EVERYWHERE. At the very least, you'll learn the fundamental inner workings and techniques that WILL help you get a better photo. Worried about the cost? Well, I've taken courses that are twice as expensive that offer less than maybe a tenth of the value. You'll be much better off investing in this course than a new camera or a new lens. I cannot reccomend John and this course enough!

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