Organizing Your Keywords into Hierarchies
We're back with another session on Lightroom CC Photo Editing. Well let's take a look back first though at what we've covered thus far 'cause not everyone is watching every single one of these in order, some people are just discovering the class today. So this class is a total of 20 sessions and if we look back on what we've covered thus far the first week of sessions was kind of the big picture of Lightroom, how does Lightroom work differently than other programs like Photoshop for instance, because the mindset of working in the two programs is completely different. Then when you're in Lightroom any time you're viewing photos in Lightroom you're working with a catalog, and so we looked at what exactly is stored in the catalog file, and should you work with one of them or multiple? We then got into organizing projects and thinking about how to be consistent with certain systems like how you name folders because in doing so you can start to use some automation that can help you out, lik...
e automatically creating your own portfolios for instance without much effort. That was week one, week two though was all about organizing and adjusting your pictures, that's where we talked about tagging your images with keywords so that they're searchable, we talked about retouching, noise reduction, adjusting isolated areas with the adjustment brush and so on. Well week three started off talking about facial recognition and that's where Lightroom can search your entire photo library and try to recognize all the people that are in those photographs. All we need to do is educate it as to what a few people look like, as far maybe three or four pictures of each person, and then suddenly it will search through the entire catalog to find those people in all your photos, and once it does you'll be able to search and find those images even though you didn't manually spend the time necessarily to tag them. After that we got into the map module and we learned how we could view the location where all of our photos were taken on a map, we can zoom up and preview exactly where they were taken, a completely different way of looking at our images. Then we moved on the third day of the third week to talk about adjusting black and white images, creating HDR, which is high dynamic range images, and stitching panoramas together, some things that you used to have other programs for, but in the new versions of Lightroom you can do it directly in Lightroom. Today though what we're gonna get into is organizing our keywords. On a previous session we talked about tagging our images with words known as keywords that makes them searchable, but now we wanna see how we can take that to another level and make it much more useful. So we're gonna jump into Lightroom and start talking about organizing our keywords. Now I have the catalog file that we used a few days ago when we talked about keywords and that's where I just had some pictures, we had clicked on 'em, and on the right side of my screen within the library module we went to this area called Keywording, and I clicked on a picture, went to that area on the right side where it said Keywords and I started typing in whatever terms would help me remember this particular image. So in this particular case these are lanterns and when I started to type if there was a word I had used in the past it suggested it, if I liked it I could press return or just the comma key to say I wanna type another word. Here these look like masks to me and they look like faces and this was in Asia, and we started typing terms like that during that other session. Well if that's all we do then this list below known as your Keyword List will just be a really long list of words. This can end up being thousands of words and therefore this isn't as useful when you just go to look at it, it doesn't necessarily become your go to way for exploring your pictures, but there are other things we can do with the Keyword List to make it more structured, and that's what I'd like to show you here. We'll start working with this catalog where I'm just gonna show you the mechanics of what we can do, I'm not actually gonna try to make this particular list organized, we're just gonna learn the methods we could use to do so, then I'm gonna open my real catalog, the catalog I use day to day where I've already structured my keywords in an organized fashion and then we can really explore how does this become powerful once you've actually spent the time to do it. And at the very end I'll show you how you can save time by having someone else organize all your keywords ahead of time where you don't have to spend all the time. It's up to you though, some people wanna do it manually themselves, other people will wanna go through a shortcut where you have somebody else do it for you and you just use their end result. So that's what we're gonna be doing. So with keywords so far when we just type in those keywords we end up getting a long list. Well let's look at how we can organize that list. I notice that in the list we have the entry of Asia and I bet ya not only do we have Asia, but if I were to scroll through here we will have at least one or two that will be a country that is found within Asia. And if that's the case I could click on one of these keywords and drag it, you'll have to drag quite a distance up here to get to Asia on top of another keyword. So all I did was drag one keyword on top of another, and if I put one keyword on top of another you'll find it becomes indented and you could now think of Asia as being the parent keyword and Vietnam as being the child. What does that allow me to do? Well now what that means is if I tag an image with the word Vietnam in my keywords, if I search for my images I will then be able to find that image by searching for either Vietnam or searching for Asia. So if you search on whatever their parent is you will find the children. So there are a lot of nice things you can do when organizing your keywords in that way. Once we get onto my real catalog you'll see how this can be taken to a little bit of an extreme if you want, but for now we can just look at the mechanics of how it can be done. Now let's say we went to Hong Kong and I don't believe this was taken there, but I think this was in Singapore, but I'm gonna act like this is Hong Kong and I wanna put that within Asia. Let's see how I could do that, there's a couple of different ways. The first is I can go to my Keyword List and if I were to right click on the word Asia I could say add, let's see here, I'm gonna say Create Keyword Tag inside, and you see it has the word Asia there, and that means I can come over here and put Hong Kong. Down here at the bottom it says put inside Asia because I was right clicking on the word Asia at the moment I told it to create a new keyword. I hit create and you see that's another way of making one keyword kind of a child of another is I right clicked on it and that's where I said create a keyword inside and was able to do it. But I don't like always working with this Keyword List, instead most of the time when I'm keywording my pictures I'm up here and I'm typing in my keywords right there, and that's what I'm doing the vast majority of the time. So if that's the case here's how I could do it. If I'm typing in a keyword I'm gonna first type in Asia and it recognizes Asia 'cause I've used that word before right after typing the letter A and then usually I would press the comma key to type in the next keyword, but if I do that it won't think that the next word I type in should relate to the first word. But watch this, instead of putting a coma in I'm gonna put in that greater than symbol, and that means I'm gonna create a new child to the keyword called Asia, and I'm gonna type whatever I want after that, so I'll go. Now when I type that I'll actually have to press return to apply it to the photograph and when I do watch what happens on my Keyword List. You see where Asia is and when I press return now I just had that new child created. So you don't have to go to your keyword list to do this. And that could be really nice because what will happen is we could create a keyword list with let's say the following keywords. I'm gonna come in here and create a base keyword called United States of America. I'm not gonna add it to the selected photo 'cause these photos were not taken in the US, but I'll put that in, hit create. So now if I go in my keyword list I can see it there, I'll right click on that, and I could say let's create a keyword inside of, and I'm gonna put California, and hit create, and then I could further structure that, right click on the word California, create another one inside, input in San Francisco, and I could take this to whatever level I want to. I could come in here and after that there are some locations within San Francisco I might frequently shoot at, there was one in a previous session where we put some images on a map, there was a place called Coit Tower, I could put it in there as well, and I could build this kind of a structure. If I do now if I were to actually have a photograph that was taken in Coit Tower, this is not one, but I'll act as if it is, if I come up here and tag it with the words Coit Tower it looks as if all we have is one keyword, Coit Tower, but we can view different things in this area and right now the only thing that's there are the keywords that were directly applied to that picture. If I change this little menu up here one of the choices is Keywords & Containing Keywords, meaning you could say parent keywords. So now if I choose that you'll see what you've got automatically by tagging an image with a single keyword which was Coit Tower and it looked at the structure of your, how your keywords are organized and it say hey let's make it so if you tag it with that particular keyword all of its parent keywords are also considered. So that now if I were to come into this series of images and scroll around so I can't find that image up here at the top I can say I wanna do a text search, do it based on keywords, and I'm gonna say I wanna find everything from San Francisco, and you see that image showing up even though I never tagged it with the word San Francisco, I only tagged it with one keyword which was called Coit Tower. Does that make sense how it's working? And so it's up to you how complex you want that to be, but it can be really nice. Let's say you shoot weddings. Well what if you had some one that says wedding party and then it says bride, broom, and whatever, and under bride you had the names of all the brides you've shot, well then whenever you tag it with any of those people's names you can automatically search for the word bride, you can automatically search for the word wedding party and these people would show up because they have them as parent keywords, but it really depends on exactly what you shoot and what you need to be able to find as far as how useful that will be. You can go as deep as you want. So I in my personal keywords have continents, so then North America would be in there, that kind of thing. So let's see how could we get this to be set up that way, so United States of America is under North America. Well I can create a brand new keyword, I'll just hit the little plus sign here and I'm gonna do one. And click create, now that's gonna be in the keyword list somewhere, it's alphabetical, all I need to do now is take United States of America, drag it up here on top of North America. And it's a matter of investing a little bit of time and then you can gain from that time for years and years after that. And so for me personally I have all the continents in the world and then I have all the major countries below those and then I have cities that I visited within those countries, and therefore the next time I go to Hong Kong and I wanna do something I tag it with one keyword and suddenly I can find it based on continent, based on all sorts of things. Let's look at a few other ideas related to this. If you really wanna clean up your keyword list because this list can start getting really long and feel unorganized. Here's what I do. I create a new keyword and I name mine zUnsorted. zUnsorted sounds kind of weird, well the reason why I call it zUnsorted is because the keyword list is sorted alphabetically and hopefully Z will push this down to the end of the list. Then I end up saying I don't want that one to export 'cause if anything ever gets tagged with it that's just gonna sit down there at the end to unclutter my keyword list. I'll hit create, then if I look in my keyword list I'll see it down there and if I right click on it there's one of the choices we have on here is put new keywords inside of this keyword. Put new keywords inside of this keyword. And what that means is now when you look at that there will be a tiny little dot on the end that tells you it's special, and now any time I'm tagging a picture with new keywords, let's say I'm tagging this particular one, I go to my keyword list and I type in words like sky, temple, and that kind of stuff, if those are keywords that I've never tagged to an image before in my lifetime instead of just sitting here in the keyword list where this list keeps getting longer and longer and longer and harder to kind of browse through those new keywords will be sitting inside of this one. You see how they're sitting there? And therefore what I might do is I might I actually take all of the keywords that are above this that have not been organized, I'm gonna get, keep North America in there 'cause that's organized and I'm gonna drag them on top of zUnsorted. So that now what I'm gonna have in my list is up here will only be the ones that are structured, the ones that are useful to navigate through, and everything else, all the clutter that has not been structured will just be in here under zUnsorted and it's just got the letter Z so it's at the bottom of the list, that's the only reason why, and then if I need to go into there I can expand it and see what there is, and if I don't I can explore my keywords here. So that means I might come into my keyword list and create a keyword called Continent possibly and then put Asia in there, North America, South America, you know, Asia and all that stuff, and I can use the structure where it's useful and where it's not useful, they're just hidden in that keyword called zUnsorted so it doesn't look like a cluttered list. Then in the future if I ever want to further organize my keywords I could open zUnsorted by hitting this little triangle and I could start organizing these into different parents. What I personally have done with my keyword list is I have put the base keywords as who, what, where, and how so if it's who that means it's describing people or those people's roles. If it's under what it means what kind objects were they, were they cars, was it a bottle, was it a bucket, was it what? Where has to do where it was located, the continent or it could be national park or whatever it happens to be. And the how can be a variety of things, it can be, is it a wide shot, is it a panorama kind of thing or other thing, you'll see once you get into a more complex document. In fact, why don't we open my real catalog so we can see what it looks like once you organize your keywords. I should mention organizing your keywords is not for everybody and not everybody has the time or the patience, but some people really do and it can really help the way you work. So here is my real keyword list, do you see how organized it is? What I do is whenever I have a base keyword, just all it is is containing others, I put it in all caps just so it stands out and any keyword that does not export, 'cause whenever you create a keyword there is a choice of allowing it to be exported or keeping it private, I put a pound symbol on the end if it doesn't export. It's just my visual way of knowing that that doesn't export. You see down here we have zUnsorted, if I open that there will be a gazillion keywords in here that just keep getting more and more cluttered as time goes on, and if I didn't have that folder called zUnsorted then I'd never wanna look at my keyword list, it just looks like such a huge pile of words that it's not very helpful. I can still get into any of those keywords at the top of the keyword list is there filter area and I can type in things like bicycle to see where is bicycle in my keyword list or if I wanna see where is a farm in my keyword list, I type it in and it tells me where is it within that keyword list. And I can see it's under WHAT, then there's a child called Architecture, and then there's one, Agricultural Building, and then Farm. So let's explore my keyword list a bit knowing that zUnsorted is where new keywords go, that's what the little dot on the end means. Remember the way I got the dot is I right clicked on it and there was a choice called put new keywords inside of this keyword. Then you can see I have my WHAT category, let's go in there, was it Architecture let's say, if so what kind of architecture? Now not everybody needs this level of detail, but what this does for me is it gives me a completely different way of kind of exploring my images. Instead of having to remember that a temple is a religious building, but so is a church and a mosque and a pagoda and a shrine and a temple, you know, I'm not gonna remember all those words, but I can search for the word religious building and it will give me all of these results that are underneath here. So if I come over here and on the left side I say I wanna look at all my photographs I go to the top and say I want a keyword and I'm gonna search for religious building. Now it's gonna find everything that's tagged with all of these search, all of these keywords over here, and to me that's a very useful way of being able to view my images 'cause otherwise when I think of a religious building I'm probably only gonna remember two or three of these terms even though I probably have a bunch more tagged on my images. So I have residential buildings in here and I've just some of these you'll find the numbers on the right side will be at zero and that's because I'm building in structure that I planned to use later, meaning from now on if I tagged the word home I'll be able to find that by searching for residential building or just searching for architecture, and I might not have started to use that one yet 'cause a lot of these have been adding recently. But some of these you'll find gets to kind of a ridiculous point because I have Igloo, a Yurt, a Tipi, well sure, I can get a Tipi, let's go find it. Yeah, there's tipis. But the reason that I've put all this in here is I have a text file that I can give to other people where if I give it to them they can import it into their version of Lightroom, and then any time they tag an image with the word Tipi they don't have to do anything to structure their keywords 'cause I've done all the work ahead of time, and so then they can find it based on all these parent keywords so the fact that I spent a bunch of, a ridiculous amount of time in fact creating all this it doesn't mean it's just for my benefit, it's other people that could load that file and then when they're just doing normal keyword tagging of home or church or whatever, they get the advantage of that, and we'll talk more about that in a few minutes. But let's just look at a few of the other categories that are here and what are in them to give you a sense, so under WHAT you can see the various choices that are here. And let's say that you're a designer and you keep track of a lot of design related things, maybe pictures of furniture and other things that you might sell. Well if you go underneath color you could organize your images, warm tones, browns, so that when you tag one of these words you can automatically find them in all sorts of different ways. I don't expect you to spend the time for this kind of detail, this is more like where you would acquire someone else's keyword list, import it, and then take advantage of it. Let's look at what we have under WHEN. So we have a year. We have the time of day. And if I expand some of these like evening would be sunsets, morning might be sunrises, or nighttime could be twilight. We have seasons or occasions, would be anniversaries, birthdays, all that kind of stuff. As far as WHERE goes here's where you can see that I have my set up, there's the continents. This can be an interesting thing 'cause if I go to North America and I come in here and find the United States suddenly I can tell where do I, have I not taken pictures yet. You know, I have not taken any pictures in Delaware or Connecticut or in Idaho, or at least I haven't tagged any of them with the keyword that would be appropriate, but I can see all the others and I can get to them very quickly. If I wanna see all the pictures I've taken in Arizona one click on that arrow brings me there. When it comes to WHO you can see what type of keyword kind of categories that I have in there. And then finally up here HOW, was it a compositional technique that I used? Like was I trying to make, there's just all sorts of things I used. A lot of these in here have to do with me teaching, like you might be wondering what the heck is Mystery Meat, Mystery Meat is when you have random objects sticking into your frame when you can't recognize them. Like where's some mystery meat? Like this blue tarp on the side, what the heck is that? This guy, what is he? You can't see enough of him. And so when I'm teaching composition I have some of this stuff, but I just saw that there and was like what the heck. But under HOW I can say was it a in-camera technique that I was using? Like was I doing a long exposure and zooming the lens at the same time? Well if so I can organize those pictures in here. Was it a lighting or exposure technique, a post-processing technique like converting something to black and white or HDR possibly, that type of thing. And so when I get to my keyword list my experience is a little different than those people that have all they've done is randomly type words in there, the people that have just randomly typed words have a really long list, I have a structured list in my clutter of keywords that aren't organized yet, are here under Unsorted, and this gives me a completely different way of thinking. So now when I come in here and type in church it tells me oh okay, this is where church is located and I might wanna come in here and say I wanna explore this in a different way, maybe I want to instead explore religious buildings and see what other kinds of things would be similar to that or if I wanna go in here and say I wanna go to California here's California, I'll just click on it and then I'll clear out my search so that I can just zoom down to where I was, here it is, now I can see where are some of the places that I've shot around California. Whereas otherwise I'd have to remember um, you know what was, where those particular areas, I might not remember they were in California. So remember, if you wanna create a child while you are typing things in, up here when you're typing in a keyword you could say I wanna see is San Francisco in my keyword list yet. I can start typing San Fran, yep, it is. I wanna put a child to that so I do a little greater than symbol and then I type in what I want the child to be, and I can even do it more than one level deep, like I could do San Francisco. That type of thing, and it would be doing it even more levels deep. Sometimes though what's gonna happen is you're gonna try to type in a keyword and you're gonna find that there's actually more than one of them, the exact same keyword. In my case I know that I have different brands of things, like I take pictures of cars and under cars one of the choices is brand, like make, model kind of thing, and so if I type in brand right now it will tell me that there's more than one of them. You see that? So there's brands of service stations because I go around the country taking pictures of vintage gas stations. There's brands of land vehicles which means cars, and there's brands of recreational vehicles, 'cause I take pictures of vintage like airstream trailers and other things, and here if I'm starting to type in brand it asks me which one of those would I like to use. So let's say that I'm coming in here and I want a brand of a land vehicle which means a car. Now it's telling me that this is within that, how can I now add a child to it? Well instead of making it go towards the right I need the other symbol, this one, and I can say I want a new brand which I haven't taken a picture of a Tesla yet so I know, oh Tesla Motors, it's already in there. So it's gotta be a brand of a car I don't have in there yet, but if I wanted to add it right now I could. So if you decide to structure your keywords there's a couple of things you're gonna start running into, if your keyword list starts getting long you'll find that you'll have some typos in it, and if you have typos in it then when you go to search for certain words if you correctly type the word when you're searching, but when you tagged your photographs you had a typo you're not gonna be able to find those pictures. Also, when you create a keyword you have the choice if you wanna be able to export it or not and other options. So let me show you what you can do if you end up structuring your keyword list, there's a little special feature you can use. If you go to the top of your screen there's a Metadata menu and in the Metadata menu is a choice called Export Keywords, and what Export Keywords is gonna do is simply take this list of text that's in the keyword list and create a text file out of it. I'll click save and then I'm gonna hide Lightroom and I'm gonna go to that file in my hard drive and I could open it using a word processor. Text Edit should probably work, and here's what it looks like, it's just a text file. This shows you my first base keyword, this shows me the keyword that is its child, and this shows me the next keyword that is its child. And I can look at these and see oh did I get a typo in there somewhere, because if your word processor has spell check then it's gonna start highlighting the words that have typos in them and so I might wanna after getting a really complex keyword list scroll through it quick and look for typos. And I might wanna go over in Lightroom to actually change those typos or change the structure of them, also in here it will tell you if you have synonyms and if something is gonna export or not. Like here I believe if it puts it in these brackets that you see here it might be that that is one that doesn't export, it'll take me a while to remember 'cause it's not that often that you explore it in this way, but you'll find that, oh no, this is possibly a synonym if it has the brackets around it. There is another marking for non exporting and things like that, you'll get used to how that's gone through and in the handbook I'll be sure to mention what the markings are. So if you end up with a long keyword list you should probably export it and every once in a while take a look at it in the word processor so you can see if there's typos in it or things that you don't expect. The other thing you can do is if there's someone else that has a keyword list and they're willing to give it to you, you can go up to the Metadata menu and choose Import Keywords. And if you choose Import Keywords and you feed it that little text file, the same file I just made, it will then populate your keyword list with all those words. Even if you've never keyworded an image before you're suddenly gonna have a long keyword list sitting there and if the person that created that keyword list put structure into it like mine has now suddenly if you tag a picture with the word red you'll be able to find it by searching for a color or a warm tone or you know, other things like that without you have to spend all the time to actually create that structure. The only problem with doing that is any images that you've already tagged with keywords are not gonna magically conform to that new keyword list because it doesn't know if like the word Ford, should that be under a brand of recreational vehicles, should that be under some other parent, it doesn't wanna just grab the first one that's sitting there and use it, so they'll still be sitting here in an unorganized fashion, but from that point forward any new images you tag it would tell you when you tag the keyword if there's more than one of them in the list and you could choose the one that's in a structured list. Well I've covered pretty much everything that's here with one exception and that is if you're gonna keyword a lot of images one thing that is useful to know about is a keyword shortcut for keywording. Most people end up moving their mouses over here and clicking on this field to type in keywords, instead of doing that you can just type Command K, Command K means keyword. And when you're typing in a keyword if you use the arrow keys on your keyboard it thinks you wanna move amongst the letters that you've typed in to edit them and it won't switch between your photographs. So if you want to very quickly keyword a bunch of images it seems like you gotta click away from the keyword field on your next picture and then click back on the keyword field. You don't have to do that. Instead if you wanna move between pictures when you're keywording hold down the Command key, that's Control in windows, and then use the arrow keys, and that will allow you to switch to the next image and then you'll have to type Command K to get the field active again, but you can get pretty quick at it if you just keep your finger on the Command key and hit K to go to keyword, hit right arrow to go to the next picture. The other thing you can do with keywords is up here where you have this little pop up menu under Keywording you should every once in a while check things out, if this is set to Enter Keywords then these will be the actual words that were tagged on these pictures, it won't be the parents that they're contained within. If you come in here and choose keywords and containing keywords you'll also see the parent ones. But when you see the parent ones as well it will include ones that would not export with your picture so there is a choice in here also just called Will Export, and that will ignore any keywords that are set to Not Export and if you're not familiar with how to make a keyword so it doesn't export, you go to any keyword in your keyword list, double click on it, and right here it says Include on Export. So if that's turned off it means when I save my pictures if it's a JPEG or a TIFF or something else to give someone else, no matter what that particular keyword will not be included if it's set to Not Export. Finally, when you're exporting your pictures there is one section in this export area, it's called Metadata, that determines if your keywords, keywords will be included or not. If you choose one of the top two choices in this menu the keywords shouldn't be attached to your pictures when you export 'em, 'cause maybe you're gonna give it to a friend and you don't want 'em to know where that photo was taken and you have the location tagged on it. If you choose one of the bottom two it will include those keywords. And so that gives you a sense for how kind of crazy you can get with the organization of your keywords, I think for most people you're gonna do a little bit of organization that is very specific to the kind of shooting you do. And if you wanna get crazy with it I suggest you get someone else's keyword list so someone else does the work for you 'cause it takes a tremendous amount of time to do that and the amount of benefit you get out of it versus the amount of time put in might not be worth it for you unless you start with someone else's keyword list, so they did the structure. Otherwise just think about what's unique about your business and only come up with a structure for that part of your keywords. All right, well let's think about some homework then. Why don't you for homework you'll have a PDF file that will guide you through this, brainstorm what part in your business or your shooting could benefit from having a structured keyword list. I doubt you need everything structured, but there probably is some part of your business that could benefit from this, and if you go through the homework PDF it will help you brainstorm to figure out where you could do that and how you might wanna structure your keyword list. Well we got six days left here in our Lightroom Bootcamp. Some of the things we have coming up is how to do slideshows, how to layout books, plug-ins that can extend Lightroom, tips and tricks, and troubleshooting, troubleshooting is a big topic because if something goes wrong with Lightroom you can't figure out how to get out of it, it's relatively difficult to figure out the exact answers, so we'll cover the most common things that I've run into in working with Lightroom. Finally, if you wanna find me on the internet here are some of your choices. The main one is my website, DigitalMastery.com So this has been another installment of Lightroom CC Photo Editing. I hope to see you next time.