Adobe® Lightroom® CC Photo Editing: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Making Your Images Searchable with Keywords

We're back for another session in Lightroom, Lightroom CC Photo Editing and if we think about it, we're in our second week now. And if we look back on what we've done previously, because not everybody started out on the first day, well if you happen to have not been here for the first week, the first week really gives you the foundation of Lightroom. How to think of it as a whole, how to think with the big picture, because Lightroom acts quite differently than other programs. If you're used to programs like Photoshop, where the moment you make a change to your picture you've doubled or tripled your file size, you'll find that's not the case in Lightroom. But there's a reason for it and we share that with you in the first week because we try to give you the big picture of how to think about all the big features within lightroom so you really know how to get started. That's where we talked about collections and catalogs. Mainly catalogs though because every time you open Lightroom you're...

working with a catalog and we need to think about should we have a single catalog or more than one, and we get all those kinds of questions answered upfront. And week two, we started yesterday and there we talked about Organization and Projects. So, if I'm going to put together a portfolio of work, or I'm just working through a project, how do I figure out how to organize all of that? We talked about collections, smart collections, stacks, ratings, and so on. Today though, we're going to get into a completely different topic, which is how can we make our images searchable? So that if I can remember an image, instead of randomly thinking, "when did I take that photograph?" and then going back in your list of folders and saying, "where was that shoot?", instead we'd be able to do a very quick search and be able to find an image based on search terms known as keywords. So let's jump into Lightroom and get started. Here I have a simplified catalog. And it's not my normal catalog that I'd use because I've removed a bunch of things from it. Most of the time when I've worked with my images, I already have them searchable by the time I'm done processing my images. These, I've kind of removed certain things that I've usually done to 'em. So this'll just look a little bit simplified from what you might have seen showing up earlier, but that'll be fine. What I wanna do is let's say that I'm done with a shoot, and here are the images for that shoot and I wanna be able to find these images in the future but I might not remember where they were taken. These were taken in Vietnam, in an area called Hoi An. It's a really great place to visit if you have a few days to explore. And so what I'll do is press the space bar to view this image, and in my head I'm just thinking of what words might come to mind when thinking of this particular image that might help me remember it if I ever wanted to find it again. And whatever words come to mind, I'm going to by typing in on the right side of my screen. When I'm in the library module, there's this are here called Keywording. And there's a bunch of different places where you could work, but we're going to work right down here where it says click here to add keywords. I'll click there and now I'm just gonna start typing in what I might think of for this particular image and it's not always easy to come up with the ideas but I'll just try. The first that comes to mind with this one is yellow because if I happen to have more than one picture of something like this, this is going to be the one with yellow. I'll do a comma after that to indicate that that's one keyword and I'm about to type in another one. Because you can have keywords that have more than one word in it, like United State of America. And in order to be able to have those multi-word keyowrds, we need to use commas between our words. I'm gonna also put in here, I believe this was a restaurant so, and I'm also going to put in here, table and chairs and vines. This was shot in Vietnam, so I could add Vietnam, I could add Asia, for now just for my head, I'm gonna put Asia. I'm gonna press the return key, and once I do that, just above that it'll indicate the keywords that have been attached to this particular picture. And that means, just like this picture has attached to it the shutter speed it was shot with, the aperture setting, what camera model and all that kind of stuff, now it also has these words attached to it. And so, what I'm gonna do then is just switch between this photo and the next one. I'm gonna repeat the process. I'm just clicking in the keywords field that's over the right side of my screen, and I'm gonna decide what would I think of to remember this image. I'm gonna think of a boat, I'm gonna think of a blue one, cause I betcha I have a bunch of pictures of boats. And I'm gonna put in Vietnam cause that's where it was. Vietnam is in Asia. When I start typing a word that I've already used in the past, it will give me a suggestion, so I don't have to type the entire word, unless I feel like it. I could continue typing but as long as what came up here is correct, I can just hit return or enter, and it brings me to the end of the word. So then I could do another comma, and one other thing I might think of here is that she's wearing a hat, and that, I'm trying to think of what else I might think of in this particular case, well, she's on a river, so I'm gonna say river. And then I'm gonna switch to the next image. Now the problem with trying to switch to the next image is whenever you're typing in keywords and you've been down in this little field typing in, if you use the arrow keys on your keyboard, it thinks you wanna edit the words that are typed in there, so if you hit the left arrow key it moves one character to the left, another character to the left, and if you use the right arrow key, if you're already at the very end of your text, it just thinks you're trying to go another letter to the right, it doesn't actually send you to the next picture. So to go to the next picture if you're in this little field where you can type in keywords, instead of using the right and left arrow keys, hold down the command key which is control in Windows, and then use those arrow keys, and that will make it so you can switch between your images, even though it thought you were editing some text. So that can be helpful because we don't know that you'll find you go back to the grid view, switch to the next image, then go back to being zoomed in. So here I'm gonna just type in whatever would remind me of this, it's Asia, it's a market, and it's a street, and I'm just gonna keep going here. Not all of these are overly memorable images as far as I may not be able to think of those exact images but I'm going to try this out. This is a bicycle, what else can I think of, stairs, near some stairs, and on the street, in Asia. A lot of the times it's very obvious what words it is because it'll be more of an iconic image that you really will remember in your head and those are the ones that you'll really be searching for probably most often because you'll know of an image that you wanna find and you'll be thinking about exactly what would be memorable about that. In this case if that red bucket was important to me I could put the word bucket in red, but if I don't care about buckets or the color red, if that's not how my brain works in thinking, then I can skip that, it's whatever would be helpful for you to remember that image. So here I'm gonna say toys, although what would those be known as, what do you call them, maybe puppets, or what's that? Marionettes, I gotta figure out how to spell marionettes though and I'm a terrible speller, how do you spell it? M-A-R-I-O-N-E-T-T-E-S. Okay we'll see if that's right, but I bet you I spelled it wrong, I think I did, but I actually did it on purpose because I wanna show you that you can change misspellings without having to go back and find that picture. Because what we're doing as we're tagging these with keywords is a list of all the words I've ever used is being created right here under keyword list, and if you look, there's a number next to each one of these and that tells me how many images I have tagged with that particular keyword, and if I were to come over here there's a way I can edit this, and if I edit it, it will update every single image that has been tagged with it. So therefore the typos are not as big of a deal. It's a matter of as long as you look in your keyword list every once in a while, and fix the typos you find, it's not like that typo is permanent on that image. So let's see here, so far we have toys, marionettes, I'm gonna put in the color red because I might just think of red toys and want that to come up. What else might you think of for this particular image? Just wondering. Wind chimes. Wind chime, okay. Alright then I'll just go on to the next one. I could've put Asia, Vietnam, all those kinds of things, if I wanted to, this was I'm gonna put in yellow. Cause that's one thing I'll remember. I'm gonna remember what would you call the lighting in there they are give me some ideas on what to call those hanging round things. Lanterns. You'd call it a what? Lanterns. Lantern thank you. And I'm gonna say this is Asia. And then I'll go to the next one. Anyway I can continue this process throughout all these images, some of these images I might decide to not keyword, but, what I usually do is if you remember my folder system. Do you remember we had a folder I created called in progress and that's where I put the images I haven't finished yet? Then I create another folder called out takes, and that's where I put the images that I don't think I need to look at again because I don't think they're ready for prime time. And it's only the base level folder that has the images that are ready to show the public. So what I do is I try to make sure I keyword all the images that are in the base level folder. And therefore it used to be I'd think that my ideal goal would be to keyword every single image I have so I can find anything and that's just too much of a task. But if I concentrate on keywording all of the base level images, those are the images that are ready to show the public, that's a much smaller group of images, and I find it to be a much easier task, and also the end results are much more usable. Cause those are all pictures I'm ready to show people so when I search instantly it's a great looking picture. Having said that I don't avoid keywording images if I find some information like for instance, I maybe I'm out shooting and there are some animals or trees in a shot and I don't know what kind of animal that is or kind of tree that is, but somebody tells it to me. They're like that's a, some funky named acrobat, I'll type it into the keywords, cause that way, I'll have a record of what it was called. Or the name of a city that I was in that i don't have a record of. I'll put it in the keywords, like that. So let's put in a few more here. I got a bicycle. How do you like the seat on that bicycle? That has some graffiti, right. How do you spell graffiti? [Indiscernible] I-T-I, alright, and those look like some gifts on the back of it, doesn't it look like some packages or gifts, I'm gonna call it gifts, I'm gonna also call it package. And I'm gonna call this Asia because it's Asian style of some sort, and also the bicycle seems to me to be made out of bamboo. So those are some words I might consider. But it's up to you, it's a personal thing, as far as what would be memorable to you, if you were to recall these particular things. Hey Ben? Yes? Does it make any difference if you uppercase or lowercase on the? It doesn't in general, but I find simply being consistent is nice, if you have a hodge podge of uppercase and lowercase it becomes, your keyword list doesn't look as consistent and it just starts looking a little cluttered, and so at first when I did this, I wouldn't think about it at all, or I'd go all lowercase case then you never have to hold shift and it's... The main thing is be consistent, but in the end I found that the visual look of an initial capital letter I liked the most, and so I made it consistent. So I would say just think through it. If you're somebody that likes to use the least effort, some people do, I would say make it all lowercase, all the time, because then you never have to hold shift it's less work to do it. But for me I found that the initial letter looked better. So, what do you call it when you have lunch and they're gonna do a gong is that what it'd be called? Gong. What else might you think of here? I see red, because those red bases that are there. I see a yellow wall. Anything else you think of for these images? [Indiscernible] turquoise? How do you spell turquoise? [Indiscernible] I don't know if we got close there or not but I typed it fast so. Alright now, I'm not gonna keyword this entire set of images cause it's not that fun to watch, but you get the idea of what I'm doing. I'm simply thinking about what words might come to mind when I think of this picture, so I can find them in the future. Now let's go a little deeper with that, and take a look at some of the things we can do. Over here we have our keyword list, and if I were to look at it, now that we've keyworded a good number of pictures, first off, I notice that I have seven pictures tagged with the word Asia. If I wanna find those seven pictures, all I need to do is click on the arrow that appears on the right edge. That arrow will only be there when you hover over the keyword in the keyword list. But if I were to click right there, it's now gonna search my entire catalog of photographs. If I have 200,000 photos it'll search all 200, for any images tagged with the word Asia. So now if I look at what I have here, I'm gonna be looking at only seven images. If I wanna find all the ones tagged with bamboo, I just click the arrow there and it just instantly found it that quickly. So we can do that. When you click on that arrow what it's doing is it's setting up up here the metadata filter. This little thing at the top is known as your filter bar. You remember before we might have used that in other sessions for limiting things where you could see only three starred images, those kinds of things. Well it set it up where it was set to filter by keyword. And then it selected the particular keyword that you had clicked on, if you no longer wanna limit which images you're viewing you choose a choice up here called none, so now I'm back to viewing, most likely, all my photographs. If you have an image in here and maybe you accidentally tagged it with something it shouldn't be tagged with, and you realize it because you click on one of those little arrows, in fact let me do it, accidentally tag one. This image I don't think has any yellow in it, let's tag it with yellow. Then I'll go into my keyword list here, and let's say one day I just decided I wanted to find everything that was yellow in my photos. So I went down here in my keyword list, I saw the word yellow, I see the number four, I clicked on that icon to see all four images tagged with yellow, and I see yup yellow, yup yellow, what? There's no yellow in there. Well if you ever notice that you've done that by accident sometimes that happens, you can just go to your keyword list and for the photograph you currently have selected, you will see checkmarks on the left side for whichever keywords it is tagged with. And if you find it shouldn't be tagged with one, just turn of the checkbox for that particular keyword and now you see it's no longer showing up in this series of images and if I were to go and manually find it it would no longer have the keyword yellow. But then what if, I'm sure someone here, I have a typo in a keyword, well I can go to a keyword just by clicking on it and if I double click, this comes up. And so if I misspelled this, how is this supposed to be spelled, M-A-R, you liked rattling things off. [Indiscernible] only one R? [Indiscernible] okay. I knew I did it wrong, cause I was knowing I wanted to show you this, I click okay, and now every image that is tagged with that keyword has been updated. So it's got a correction on it. So that's really nice because sometimes you might end up having a particular word like bobcat or something attached to some and later on you learn oh I was completely wrong I didn't know what a bobcat looked like that was a cougar, you know, you change it and then everything updates. Or maybe bobcats and cougars are the same thing. So let's think about a few other things we can do. With bicycle here, what if a year from now, I visualize that I want to find one of those images, but the first word that comes to mind is not bicycle. It's bike. Well I can double click on this one that is called bicycle, and that's where you change the name. And do you see just below that it says synonyms, and that's where I can type in bike. So now, I'm not gonna find bike in this list. But if I were to go and use the filter bar at the top to say I wanna filter by keywords and I put in the keyword of bike, it would find that image. If I used bike or bicycle. So that means if I had a keyword in here that was cat, I could put in feline. Dog, canine. All those kinds of things. But try not to get obsessed with it. It's just a matter of what would you personally, possibly substitute a different word that had the same meaning, so, if you put in girl, you might wanna put woman. And you know, other words that you might substitute. All that kind of stuff. Then sometimes I wanna tag things and when I do it, you can when you save your images, when you export them, you can choose if these words should stay attached to the image, or they should be thrown away. And if I was gonna take these images and put them up on a stock photography website where people could purchase them I probably want to keep all these words there because that stock photography website would recognize them and make it so you can search based on them, and that'd be great. And when that's the case you put in a lot of different keywords that you wouldn't otherwise think of but there are some keywords I might not wanna include when they're exported, for instance, sometimes I end up licensing my images to people. And I might tag each image that's been licensed with a keyword to indicate it's been licensed. And if I do that and I export the image, I don't wanna let the person know that I give that image to that it's been licensed by Adobe or Epson or somebody else, I wanna keep that private, so let me show you how you could do that. I don't have any particular sensitive keywords in here but we can use any one here to show you the technique. If I go to any one of these and I double click on the keyword you're gonna find that there is a choice here called include on export. And if I turn that off, now anytime I export this image, even if I use settings that would usually keep the keywords intact, this particular one will be ignored. Now for me, what I do, is I come up with a standard of how to mark my keywords because there's nothing within the keyword list that visually tells me that this one will not export. I wish it would show me maybe in a gray instead of white text so therefore I could tell which ones export and which ones don't, but it doesn't. So I might end my keyword possibly with a symbol. Come up with something that might be consistent so that then when I click save, anytime that I look at my keyword list, and I happen to see this symbol at the end of a keyword that's my mental indication that this will not export. And I find that that can be useful if you end up using a lot of keywords where you get into this a lot. Because otherwise it's really hard to keep track of which ones will export and which ones won't. And it can be nice to have that as a visual indicator. Yeah? That specific photograph or is that for everything that is labeled bamboo? That's for everything that's labeled bamboo. The keyword list is a universal list, and this is everything that uses the word bamboo, is currently set to not export. Now that doesn't make sense for the word bamboo, unless, I don't know, it's a secret that that bike was made outta bamboo. So I'm gonna change it back, just because that doesn't make total sense. But let's look at how could we use special symbols similar to what I put on the end for certain things. You can create keywords without having to tag a picture. Let's say I'm just planning ahead, what keywords I might use in the future. And I don't have an image in mind to attach them to. Well in that case you can go to the keyword list and there's a plus sign near the left side. I'm gonna click that and I'm gonna create a brand new keyword, but when I do, I'm going to put a special character at the beginning of it. And exclamation point. I'm gonna not include that on export because this is something I'm gonna use to track images internally for me personally, I don't want other people to know that I'm doing this, and so I'll mark that with a little mark on the end, that mark remember is just to tell me it's not exporting, I'll click create. And then I'm gonna create a few others. And in fact I did something wrong. This became a child. We'll talk about this. You can organize your keywords where one is a child of another, and because I had that selected at the moment I created my keyword when I hit the little plus sign I didn't pay attention to it, this checkbox is turned on at the bottom. You see what it says, put inside, I usually have that off. For now what I can do is if i wanna change it is I just grab that keyword in my keyword list, and I should be able to drag it, and just put it where it's not a subcategory, you can drag it back on top like that, and it would become a child again. We'll talk about that in a separate session, because we can do some really fancy stuff with that. But right now, we're trying to stick with some of the basics of keywording, so let me take a few other, keywords to put in here. Each one of them I'm gonna start with the exclamation point. And I'm gonna call this color correction. These might indicate, oops. Things that photos need to have done to them. Let's say I work in an organization where we have five different people that adjust pictures, I'm going home for the day, and somehow I want to let people know, that these five images need retouching, these two others need careful color correction, and so on. Does that make sense? You might use a system like that. I'll create one more keyword up here. Oops. By hitting the plus sign. And again I'll start it with that exclamation point. And I'll put in another, let's see, this one is going to be smooth skin. Cause those are things we might need to do. And I'm not gonna have it so it exports. Click create. Now how could that help us, to have that special character at the beginning of a keyword? Well let's say that I run into an image in here, that needs some retouching. Let's say this particular image here, I want them to retouch out these ropes that are here, and so I'm gonna go to my keyword list on the right side right where i'd usually type in my keywords. And I'm gonna type just the exclamation point. The exclamation point, in my head, means needs additional work, and this is the type of work. So I do shift exclamation point. And you remember before when I started to type the word Asia I think it was and it tried to finish my typing with a word that's already been there? Well check it out it gives me a list, of all the keywords that start with an exclamation point. So why not think of the special characters that we have on our keyboard, and assign them to various tasks? Maybe one is for different compositional things, like this is a wide shot versus a tight one or something else. And if you every wanted to be able to get the list of different kinds of shot types, you could type that special character and boom, you get a list to choose from. All I need to do is type the first special character then I can use the up or down arrow keys to choose from the list. Once I've chosen what I need from the list, in this case retouching, I press return or enter, it gets me to the end of the word so I can continue typing in more keywords. Does that make sense how you could come up with kinda lists of different things? I find that to be very useful, and once I open my real catalog, the one that I use day to day that already has a bunch of keywords in there, you'll see how I've used that. So now if I ever want to find images, I have more ways of doing it. First I can go to the top of the keyword list, and after keywording a bunch of pictures there's gonna be thousands of words in here, and so looking through the list itself by scrolling isn't necessarily a pleasant thing. But if I come up here to the area called filter keywords, and I type in something, I can come in here and type yellow and it's going to limit which number of keywords I can see in the list to only the things that match that. So therefore I don't have to scroll through the entire list to find something. I can just start typing and it'll narrow down what I'm seeing. So if I just type and exclamation point, I only see the ones with the exclamation point. And if I do the pound symbol, since I used that to mark keywords as ones that don't export, now I can find every single keyword that I've marked does not export. So there are some special things you can do by incorporating those special characters, which I find to be useful. Now let's say that you shoot weddings. And because you shoot weddings, there's a lot of standard things that you capture. There's the bride and groom together, there's the wedding party, there's the rings, and you have to keyword these things so often because you want to be able to find them when the client calls and say where is, you know I need a reprint of the image with the rings, you wanna be able to type in rings, and find all the shots that have them prominently displayed well it's not always convenient to come over here to the little area we've been going to to type in your keywords. And the keyword list is usually a really cluttered long list so let's ignore that. But there is a couple other areas. There's this area right here called keyword set. If I expand that, and let me choose some things. Heres my default. In my photographs I have a tremendous number of pictures of my wife. You've seen this series of images, I think a few of them, where I take pictures of my wife doing yoga. Well if I wanna tag them i have a preset right here. I've a lot of pictures of myself, that I might tag. I have a bus that we call the creative cruiser, I might tag, panoramas, HDR, I do light painting a lot. And I capture a lot of textures and skies and backgrounds. This is kind of my default set up. You can create these, they're called keyword sets. And I can load a lot of them. Like here I'll go to outdoor photography. And these might be common words you might need to tag to images. Here's portrait photography. Wedding photography, and so on. You get the idea. All it takes to tag an image with these words, is if you're looking at a picture, let's say she happens to be a bride, I just click right here and the word bride, and she's just been tagged with the word bride. I can see it up here now, included the word bride. And so therefore if you have a large folder of images, you're looking at these thumbnails like this, you could just go through and say well that's a bride, that's one, there's another one, and I just select all of those, so I have five or six pictures, and I click on the word bride, and suddenly, they're all tagged with that. So that could be useful. But how do you set these things up? These keyword sets. Well if you click on this, you'll find that there's a setting called edit set. And if you choose edit set, you get your little grid, of a total of nine choices to put in there. And I can go in there and start typing, and it's looking at my keyword list. Trying to autocomplete whatever I type, based in what's in the keyword list. So remember I had Asia, maybe I shoot a lot of things for some reason that are yellow, didn't I use that a lot. So I try Y, and it brings me yellow. I do a lot of bicycles, I put that in there. Whatever it is that you would use a lot, you could create as these. If you're a car photographer it might be the different brands of cars, whatever it happens to be. Once you type in the nine choices that you'd like, you can go to this little popup menu, and there's a choice to either save the current settings as a brand new preset, or update the one that you are editing. So if you found a typo or you decided just you need to use slightly different wording, you can either save it as new, or update the existing. So other examples of that is I have a lot of pictures of buses, because I end up, I own one, and I have a lot of pictures of other people's. So here, are all the different types of buses that I have photos of, that I quickly tag whenever I get new photos that I've imported. Now I don't always like to click on an image, and then click on one of those. There are other ways of doing it. Watch what happens if I hold down, the option key in a Mac, alt in Windows. Do you see the numbers? So if you wanna tag an image with one of those keywords, you click on the image, you hold down the option key, and you type the number for whichever one of those keywords you'd like to apply, and that's another way to speed up the process, of taking images with keywords. There's also a section just above that called keyword suggestions, and if you open that up, it will think about, keywords that you've used a lot, or recently, and it will kind of populate that for you. So that if you just tagged one image with panorama, you're probably gonna end up tagging a few others, and you might find it's a kind of sticking by up here for a while. So all sorts of different places where I can add these keywords. Once I've done that if I wanna start finding my images, I don't have to have that right side of my screen open, I can just be here in the normal area, and if I want to find things at the top of my screen I have a couple choices. Here is the choice called text. Search based on text. And you have a lot of choices, one is any searchable field, but one of the other choices there should be keywords. And so then I can say, let's find keyword of yellow. And you see how quickly those images showed up. Then if I do a comma I might say gong, and I've just found the picture with the yellow gong. And so I should be able to find things relatively quickly, as long as I take them with the proper words to find things. So there's stuff in Asia, and I wanna find a boat, if I spell it right, boat, found it. Now sometimes you're gonna have this mess up on you. Let me see if I happen to have any keywords where it would do this. It's only once you get a lot of keywords. What happens is you can have, the same word, like, let's say I tagged a image with the word art, cause it's some art hanging on the wall. But I also have this keyword called market. It's got the word art in it, right in the middle of the word you have to be careful with what is set up here. If it says contain, then if I type the word art, it should find both the word art, the full word, and the word market, because it's got the word art within it. Or I can say this contains words, meaning the full word. Or it contains all of what I've put in there. So it really depends on what you've got chosen here, and you really have to be careful about it. One thing that I like, is that if I come in here and choose something like contains yellow, and I get down to just those words, sometimes I might end up with 200 pictures, over the years, that I've tagged with the word yellow. Well you can add to the search that you're performing right now, so that, if you click up here on metadata, you also have the choice of keyword. Well if I've already searched for the word yellow, then what's in here are the not every keyword that's in my keyword list, but only keywords that are attached to pictures that have the keyword yellow. Cause I'm already searching for yellow, and now I can narrow it down further, by doing it here. That can be nice because if you search for Asia for instance then in this list you might suddenly find all the countries in Asia, because you've tagged images with Vietnam and all the other countries. And I can do this where even more than one of these set up to keywords, it takes me a moment to find it, cause I'm not used to glancing at this many. There, keywords. So now if I do the word yellow I click on Asia, so now I'm limiting it from yellow, Asia, and now this is a more limited list. This is additional keywords that are on images that have both yellow and Asia. So you can get all fancy like that but you don't have to. So one of the things that I'll end up doing is when I find an image that I would usually rate as five stars, five stars is usually what I would consider to be my best images, what I'll do is over here in my keyword area is I'll put the word portfolio. And then I'll put the general topic within that portfolio, this would be part of, like landscapes, or travel. If I start doing that, any time I finish an image, and I think it's a good one, then, I can go to the left side of my screen, where we have this area called collections, and collections is covered in a different one of our session but one of the kinds of collections you can create is called a smart collection. And now I could create my portfolio automatically. I'm gonna call this my travel portfolio. And I'll say the way it's created is by coming in here and choosing, give me a moment to find, keywords, keywords contains portfolio. Little plus sign. Come back down here and choose keywords, contains, travel. And this is gonna make up my travel portfolio. So now anytime I take any picture with the word portfolio and the word travel, it's going to be collected in this. So you see that there's one image, right now. That's what it shows me. So let's go back and instead of looking at this we'll look at a different folder of images, and let's just say that I have another picture that I'm just finishing, it's this one here, and I decide that I wanna include it in my portfolio. So I put it over here, portfolio, comma, travel. And just by typing over in the keyword field, watch what happens on the left side of my screen. You see the number went up to two? It's constantly searching my hard drive, to find those images, and so, if you set up a system like that, you could have portfolios set up in your collections for all the different types of things you shoot. Could be landscapes, abstracts, portraits, whatever they happen to be. And for you to add things to them instead of having to remember to drag them over, when you're in the point of keywording, you just decide, is this a portfolio worthy image, and if so, tag it with the word portfolio, and then the category for that portfolio, and then it's automatically gonna be showing up underneath these. Once I have it where too many images are showing up I go to travel portfolio, and there's 2,000 images there, well I can double click on this smart collection and I can say well let's add another search term. Let's make it so rating has to be greater than or equal to four stars. Suddenly I'll now limit the number of images that show up in that because now it's got even more limits on it. So if I click save right now, you see that it went down to zero, cause it can't find any with that. So I might come over here and say well I wanna find one that's tagged with portfolio, I get a look at all my images though. Just so you know when you go to the filter bar at the top of your screen and that's just where you're starting, you're filtering whatever series of images you're currently viewing, so if you're currently viewing no images whatsoever, you're currently filtering no images whatsoever. If you wanna search all of your photographs, you can click right here, all photographs. Before you go to the filter bar. So now I'd have to take one of these, and I see my travel portfolio has zero in it, I'm gonna bring this up to four stars, and instantly, that found it. So it's a matter of thinking through what would work best for you as far as automation goes when it comes to collections. Any general questions about keywording? We're gonna get into keywording in more depth in a different session where we talk about organizing our keywords into parent child relationships and it'll make them much more powerful, but for now I wanted to get you started with it, and the main thing for me is trying to keyword all of the base level images and in my system, those are all the images that are done and ready to show the public. Cause those are the images I want to be able to find very quickly. Now I'm gonna close this lightroom catalog and open my normal lightroom catalog, the one I use day to day. And I'll show you how I use special characters and just what kind of keywords you might end up attaching to images. Some of these images have been used in seminars, so they have a few extra keywords, which is a problem when you start demonstrating things to people, you keyword something and then don't remember. But they might be slightly different keywords than what I was thinking of when I was taking these. This one here is a pretty simple image, but you see that I put the word details, door, Hoi An, Vietnam. Because this is more of a detail shot. Because sometimes it's useful to think, is it what I would call an establishing shot, which shows the entire scene that's there, or is it more of the little details, and it can be really nice to tag those with keywords. If I go through some of these others, I put in bicycle, and I put in what, culturally unique, because isn't this bicycle an example of something culturally unique? How often would you run into a bamboo bicycle with that kind of seat? And therefore if I use that, start thinking of, ways of categorizing my pictures like that, suddenly I'll be able to search for culturally unique, and not just see ones from Asia. It might be culturally unique ones from where I am. That type of thing. [Indiscernible] Good, because then if I wanna fix it, I can just search my keyword list, and it's not like it's stuck. I'm not a great speller, my wife is my spell check. She wasn't there when I tagged that one. But let me show you what I end up using for those special characters. When I open my keyword list, it's going to look like there's not very many keywords. And that's because my keywords are very organized. And we'll talk about organizing keywords in a different session. But if I open up one called details, do you see the little special character at the beginning? Action needed. Processing status, rating, legacy info, when I was transferring from other things, but I'll end up putting some of those in there. You'll notice also my little pound symbol on the end of these, those are the ones that will not be exported. So if a different photographer took a picture, I tag who the photographer was, so that I can very quickly find those or be associated with it. Here do you see the at symbol? I use that so I shared it with something. I shared it with Facebook let's say. Cause I don't wanna repost a picture again, where somebody goes oh I saw that three months ago. Well why not just tag it and say shared with, and I can say shared with Facebook. Or it was on Instagram, or somewhere else. I can keep track of every photo that I've posted on those, and I can see if the same photos been posted on more than one service, Facebook, Instagram, others. If I tag it with a keyword with a special symbol. It makes it very easy to find it then. Do you have a question? Yeah on the special symbols, are they just ones you've created or is that, what lightroom likes to see? Lightroom doesn't seem to care if you're using a special symbol, it's the main thing for me, is if I start typing in something into the keywording area right here like I type the letter A, do you see all these suggestions it's giving me? These are all the A keywords that are in my keyword list. Well that's gonna be a really really long list. But if at the same time I come in there and put in a special symbol, well you don't have a special symbol in any of your normal keywords so that's gonna really limit, what is showing up and so I find it to be a nice way to quickly get to the categorization of things. And it's too easy to vary what words you use for things. Like retouching needed, retouch this, or retouched, or something else where if you're not consistent when you do your search you might find all the images. But if you're consistent, like here using an exclamation point to tell me I need a model release at the beginning of something, I can be consistent in what is tagged, it helps me out that way. As I mentioned we will talk about getting your images into an organized fashion when it comes to your keyword list in a different session. When you export your images, there will be choices if you want to include your keywords or not. And so there'll be checkboxes that indicate that and we'll show that to you when we talk about exporting which is in a different session. So keywords can be used in all sorts of various, of lightroom. We put them in, usually at the right side of the develop module, as I showed you. But we can then use them in the filter bar at the top of our screen or we can use them when we get to our collections where we can have those smart collections that automatically search for images tagged with particular keywords. And so if I look in my portfolio, do you see all these location portfolios? Do you notice that each one of them has a little gear next to it? That means that these are all smart collections. Where it will automatically search and find the images to be put in there, and it took it a moment to count up the images for each one of those. Categories, but now if I want to see the ones for Glacier National Park, it takes one click and I'm there. And anytime I'm adjusting images in the future from Glacier National Park, like in a future shoot, as long as I tag it with Glacier National Park, and I add the tag of portfolio, it will update this collection. So it can be nice to have those. So there's locations, and here are subject matter, you can see all the different ones. That I use. That are automatically generated for me. So for now, whenever you get information that you might forget in the future, like the exact location where you're shooting or the name of the model that's in front of your camera. Why not tag it on that image? And if it's the name of the model, and you might not want somebody else to know that model, cause you don't want them to hire them, or it's a minor, and it would be a bad thing to get that out to anybody, why not make it so it doesn't export, that type of thing. For now get started that way, and in a different session, we'll show you how to get more serious about it. So let's think about what we've been doing here. You got some homework which is to brainstorm your own keyword system. I showed you a little bit about mine, as far as how you might think about special characters. What if I showed you how the sorting order works with special characters, I could show you that in a PDF. With homework, what if you decided which of those characters you could use for your special lists? Or walk through a brainstorming session of how they might be more effective, and then set them up so you're all set to do your keywording, that could be some good homework for today. If you wanna find me online, here are a few of the different choices you have to look me up. Or you can go to my main website, which is And this has been another day of Lightroom CC Photo Editing.

Welcome to CreativeLive’s comprehensive Lightroom® workshop! Join one of our best software instructors, Ben Willmore, to learn how to process and organize your images more efficiently - and have more time to spend doing the stuff that matters. In this series of lessons, you’ll learn how to:

  • Import and organize your images
  • Optimize your photos and workflow
  • Make your images searchable within the program
  • Exporting, printing, and troubleshooting

When you purchase this course you’ll gain access to both an enduring resource to build your skills and a community with which to share the fruits of your work. Ben will provide a workbook that acts as a reference guide.

Don't have Photoshop yet? Get it now so you can follow along with the course!

Software Used: Adobe Lightroom CC 2015.2 - 2015.3



  • Creative Live is a godsend and, in my opinion, Ben Willmore is one of their best instructors - if not the best. He is as natural and thoughtful a teacher as he must be a learner. He knows a lot! He is clear about what his students want and need to know, from basic to advanced concepts, and he is constantly aware that he has students watching who are of different knowledge levels. He never takes off, leaving the less experienced behind - instead he moves forward at a good pace while referring back to create mental links during the progression; good for all levels. I work with Lightroom already and so have both experience and questions about how to work more efficiently and creatively. This bootcamp is definitely helping me. I've watched others of Ben's classes, and they always help. Thank you, Ben and Creative Live.
  • Thanks again Ben, for your fabulous teaching and your ability to actually teach and not just show and tell...As other people have commented you have a gift to teach in the way that you do. I have purchased many of your courses and was not going to purchase this, thinking I have all your prior courses...alas, you are just too good!!! I had to buy it in the end and thanks again for all the goodies, so worth the money: Really looking forward to June for your Photoshop class. Once again, I have taken many of your photoshop courses but you keep adding such great info that I cannot resist...see you in June!! Keep up the fabulous work, byw, I love all the yoga poses, what fun you both have with this idea...
  • I have had the privilege of participating in this excellent class from the front row seat in the Creative Live San Francisco studios. After only a few of the 20 sessions, I quickly appreciated the many features and benefits of using LightRoom to organize and edit all of my images. If you're like me, you've had access to LR for a while, and have opened it and fumbled through the myriad of complex menus a few times, then have gone back to using Photoshop. After these classes with Ben Willmore, (and they're not even done yet), I have tackled the job of re-organizing and keywording tens of thousands of images that reside on various backup drives, many of which I've never even had time to look at. I now have a path forward to enjoying what is in my archives rather than letting them gather dust. I have made HDR images, panoramas, slide shows and Blurb books with ease based on the techniques learned in class. Throughout the class, we lobbed many questions at Ben, and every single time he knew the answer in an instant, or could give us a work-around or several ways to do what we're trying to accomplish in LR. His deep knowledge of LR (and PS) simply cannot be matched, and he's a natural trainer. The days have flown by, and after each day I can't wait to get home and start working on my images. Regardless of your type of photography - professional, avid amateur, or hobbyist - if you shoot and edit a lot of images, LR can be a huge benefit in your workflow. Even if you think you already sort of know how LR works, there is still plenty of useful info in this course that will help you to extract maximum benefit from Lightroom. For me it has been nothing short of transformative!