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Keywording for Searchability

Lesson 7 from: Organizing Your Images in Lightroom Classic

Ben Willmore

Keywording for Searchability

Lesson 7 from: Organizing Your Images in Lightroom Classic

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

7. Keywording for Searchability

Keywording is the key to make your images searchable. See how tagging an image with a single keyword can instantly make it findable in a search for dozens of related keywords. You’ll see how to develop a hierarchy, define synonyms, and utilize special characters to add power-users touch to your keywording system.

Lesson Info

Keywording for Searchability

now let's take a look at how we can use keywords in lightroom to make our images searchable and you can take this to any level you want from the most basic level to the most advanced, it's really up to you and how crazy organized you'd like to get. I've taken mind to a certain crazy level. I don't know if you want to head quite that far, but let's dive in and see how we can make our images searchable. All right here I have an image and right now the only way I can remember this image is by its file name, the folder. And if I happen to put it in a collection, if I want to just be able to search for it and quickly find it based on what I remember about the image, then I want to go to the right side of my screen when I'm in the library module to this area called key wording. And there's an area right down here that says click here to add keywords. I'm going to click there and the first thing I think about for this particular image is the scooter. So I'm gonna type scooter and then I'm goi...

ng to type a comma and we use commas between keywords and that's because a key word can be more than one word long and that means you can have a keyword of United States of America as long as when you type it in, you put a comma after it to say I'm done with this keyword and I'm about to type another. So after I type scooter, the next thing I'm thinking about is a circle. So I'm going to type in circle, I'll do another comma and I'm thinking about some colors. So I'm thinking about white for my scooter. I'm thinking about orange. And I'm also thinking about concrete because there's a concrete wall there and then if I could remember where this photograph was taken, then I would take it as well. I'm assuming this was in Italy. So I'm going to do uh Italy and whenever you start typing in a keyword, if you've used that key word ever before, it will give you a suggestion of other keywords that you've assigned before that begin with the same letters. And if you see the word that you wanted, you could use the up and down arrow keys to switch between the ones in the list and once you have highlighted the one you want, you can type either a comma to continue typing and add another keyword or return to say you'd like to complete that. And then I'm going to press return one more time to actually apply those keywords. Now there's a little bit more to this and you'll notice that some of these key words when I typed him in, like the word orange also has some other things that I didn't type in. We have warm tone in there. And when I typed in white right here it says neutral in color. Well that's because I've organized my keywords and so each keyword can have a parent and so you can create a parent child relationship between keywords and let's see how that's done. Once you've applied some key words to an image, if you come down here, you're going to find something called your keyword list. And this will be a long list of every keyword you've ever applied to a picture in here. You'll notice that certain keywords are going to have a triangle next to them. If you click on the triangle, you'll expand it and see the child keywords of that parent. And here in this case you're seeing a bunch of different types of dogs or if I come up here to deer and expand it, there's a reindeer versus normal deer or horse. You can see Icelandic horse and so you can do this and the way you do it is in your keyword list, you can click on one keyword and drag it on top of another. And if you do the one you drag it on top of will become its parent and the key word you were dragging will become the child, which will be indented. I'm not going to do that here because it would be inappropriate. A pony is not a child of a big. Um, but that's one way you could do it. A lot of these keywords are ones that I've never applied and that's just because I might not have ever shot a wilder beast and by shooting, I mean with that camera. Uh but I might put in keywords in this list as placeholders so that if I ever do keyword an image with the world, wilder Beast that if I were to come up here that would automatically be organized so that it would be found under mammal and that would be found under animal. And that would be found under what you can create as much structure as you like depending on what you find to be useful. So let's look at another example of how this could be used here. I have a keyword called where and within it. I have continent and then I have all the continents. And if I go to the continent of north America, there's all the countries in north America. And if I go to United States and I expand it, I have all the states in the US all 50 of them. If I go to one of the states within the US and I expand it, I'm going to see some cities that I've been to within uh that particular state and then I can expand other things and just have another child because there's an area called the shady Dell which happens to be located in Bisbee Arizona. Well why would I want to do all that work? Well, here's why if I tag an image with the word shady Dell with that keyword, it automatically becomes searchable. Even though I've only applied one keyword, it becomes searchable and findable using any of the parent keywords that are shown there and that makes this much more powerful than just being a list of all the keywords you've ever applied to an image to create that organization. Remember you can click on one key word and just drag it on top of another one. It will become a child or if you want to create a placeholder keyword because maybe you haven't been to a particular place in Arizona but you plan on going there soon, you want to create a key word for it. So that when you go there, if you tag something with that keyword, it will have all the parents, how do you do it? Right, click on a keyword and there's a choice within it called create keyword tag inside. And if you use that and you type in a new keyword, that new keyword would be indented from this one. So I've done that to organize many of my keywords and there are a few other things about how you can apply it. So let's take a look at that. Let's say in this case we shoot a lot of pictures of scooters and there are a whole bunch of brands of scooters and I want to have a key word of the word scooter and then I want to have Children of that vespa and whatever the other brands would be. Well when I typed in the word scooter here, originally I'll do it again here. I can type that is scooter. Uh instead of just doing a comment after that to say, I want to type in another keyword, I can do a greater than symbol and if I do now I'm going to create a child of scooter and I'm going to type in vespa if that's not sure if that's the proper spelling or not. Uh and now that's going to become a child. So when I press return it has vespa in there. And if I were to look in my keyword list, I would see that vespa is a child of scooter. When you're creating this parent child relationship between your keywords, you can actually have duplicate keywords and the list and each one having different parents might not make sense yet, but think of this, the word orange, Orange could represent a fruit or a color or both. So therefore you could create in your keyword list, keyword called fruit. And as Children for that, you might have apple, orange pear and a bunch of others. And somewhere else you might have a keyword called colors. And you would add right there. Orange as a child. If you do that. When you're going to be tagging an image with that keyword. If it's found under more than one parent, it will give you a list where you can choose between the two, right, when you're tagging the image, which is rather convenient. So now how can we use these keywords to find our images? Well, if I go to my keyword list, you're going to find the right of any keyword is an arrow clicking. That arrow is going to search your entire Lightroom catalog file for all keywords that have been tagged with that particular keyword here. I'm going to go into my library module. Just type the letter G to see the grid and it will allow me to very quickly look at images of minds or images of ocean. It's just a different way of browsing your pictures. You can also use keywords within what's called a smart collection. If you remember a smart collection, we had a separate lesson on that. It is really a saved search. So I could say why don't you find all the images that have been tagged with the keyword of ocean? And also is in a sub folder called skies. Well then I'm going to find all the images of skies that were shot around the ocean. As long as I have used the proper keywords to tag those. But there are other ways that we can use keywords if you really want to get good at them up here in the filter bar at the top of your screen, choose none because using that little arrow is going to dial in a bunch of limiting factors up there in the filter bar. Then on the left side of your screen, go to the top and under the choice called catalog, click on all photographs and therefore you're searching your entire Lightroom catalog file. And now let's see how these keywords can really be used. I'm Intertype command F. That's control F and windows. And that starts a search and I want to find pictures of my wife Karen. So I'm gonna type Karen, I see shots of her, but there are all sorts of different kinds of pictures of Karen. I want to see shots of Karen doing yoga. So I'm gonna type a comma and I'll type the word yoga because I have a photo series of me shooting her doing yoga. I want to find pictures though in that yoga series where I find the color red. So I'll do the comma and I'll type read and now I'm seeing a lot of red in these images. But I might also things see things like in the California redwoods and that's because up here it says it contains all these keywords, but it can contain partial ones. Uh so then I might also decide. I want to see all the pictures of my wife doing yoga with the color red that were shot in California. So I just start typing the word California. Um and then I'm thinking I want to further narrow this down and find ones in san Francisco. So I'll type san Francisco and now I really have it narrowed down to the series I was thinking of. And in the upper right you can see the search terms that I was going for. And so it really makes it so that if you tag your images uh and what I would suggest you do is tag any image that you think is done and ready to show the public. Those are the images that if you find them, you're ready to show people. So they are very useful. And I take all those images. And I also tag any details about images that I'm not going to remember. If there was a weird species of animal that I'm photographing, I'm never gonna remember what it was called. Well I'll tag all those images immediately after capturing them because it's information I'm not going to be able to remember in the future, but otherwise I'll usually wait until I'm done processing an image Before I end up keyword because I have over 240,000 images of my lightroom catalogue file. And I'm never going to have the time to keyword them all. But if I keyword only the most important images to me and I put any terms that would be useful in relocating those, then I can usually find an image in five seconds or less by just clicking on all photos in the upper left of my screen and then typing command and starting to type away. That's what keywords can do for you

Ratings and Reviews

Deb Green
 

Brilliant in-depth, on-topic information well presented. Ben has forgotten more about LR than most people will ever know - his depth of knowledge is exceptional and he's also a polished presenter. Love the way each of Ben's words count, no chatter for the sake of it - straight to the point every time, but still engaging and friendly! I like the new office location, but do miss the excellent handouts that have come with Ben's earlier CreativeLive classes.

user-8a69fb
 

Ben is the best instructor! I have tried several different Lightroom organizational strategies from other instructors but find Ben's way is what works best for me. It is well thought out and makes working in Lightroom Classic a joy. Thank you Ben!

a Creativelive Student
 

Great ORGANIZATIONAL overview course for Lightroom Classic. Ben presents everything quite clearly. I've always been a "Collections/Sets" person and now considering working more within the Folders structure he presents. Which leads to a key concern - with Ben's "240,000" images in his Lightroom catalog - I wondered about discussing how to use Preview types (since they chew up space, and the discussion about local/internal image storage vs. external storage is an important one). Also with that type of quite detailed folder and photo naming structures, I wonder how often he runs into "character length restrictions" Overall, great organizational info and I picked up a few things, as always. Would recommend it for anyone new to Lightroom Classic or NOT new to Lightroom Classic. It's never too late to learn things or - in this case - move photos to another organization type! :)

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