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Newbie questions about title, keywords, file name and captions.

plums64

New Member
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Aug 31, 2018
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Lightroom Version
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Hi All,

Hi All,

Newbie poster from Australia.

I have all my holiday and family photos in Lightroom and have been slowly working through tidying up the metadata. I have realised that as I have a few thousand photos that this is going to be a mammoth task. So a few questions if I may (bearing in mind that everything I do is for personal, hobbyist use):

What's the minimal information I should give each photo? a file name, keywords, location?
Should I title, caption and keyword every single photo or only those that I am pretty sure will end up being shown to people, put on social media, printed etc? Or maybe just give each photo just enough information to trigger a memory, but not go in to great detail, e.g. Lunch at X restaurant, Paris. (should this go in captions?)
If I add location information in metadata, what are the advantages of also having it in keywords.

I know these are very basic questions, but most of the answers I have found online so far have been from people whose photos are taken for professional or semi professional purposes. They might need to find a photo of "girl wearing blue dress sitting under a tree in New York" , and thus the keywords to find such. So far, I don't and for that reason I don't want to get too bogged down with super specific keywords.

Also does how and where you add metadata affect your photos on Facebook, Flickr etc/

So, any advice, tips, information would be really appreciated. If I have inadvertently missed threads that already cover this information please direct me there.

Regards and thanks,

Anne
 
Joined
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It’s all up to you. Think about how you may want to use the photos and how you would like to be able to find them. Then decide what you would need for that. There is no rule that say you “should” do this or you “should” do that.
 

Wernfried

Active Member
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Jan 31, 2017
Messages
154
Lightroom Experience
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Lightroom Version
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Input from my side:

Don't try to organize your photos in folders or put metadata information in file or folder names - maybe apart from very basic and perpetual(!) information like year/month when picture was taken. The biggest limitation is: a file has only a single name and must be in a single folder. You may face issues when you move files around or if you use special characters.

It is a waste of effort to put information into Caption/Description/Title, etc. which is already available in Metadata. For example if your photos contain GPS data then a Caption like "Paris on 2017-06-20" is rather pointless (at least for searching a photo) as all these information are available anyway.

Handling of metadata on Facebook, Flickr etc. can be very different. Some platform show everything, others may truncate all your metadata. You have to run some tests on your own.

I recommend to put some effort in proper keywords. Assign keywords as soon as possible (i.e. immediately at import) and carefully. You will appreciate it in future. Some people (like me) prefer hierarchy, other don't. A hierarchy could be this:

Persons
- Family
- Friends
- Others
Nature
- Animals
-- Birds
-- Mammals
--- Cats
--- Dogs
- Flowers


You see every cat is also a mammal and every mammal is also an animal. Such a hierarchy will make your life easier if you have to find any photo.

Note, there are plugins available where you can set fields like Caption automatically based on metadata, keywords, etc.


Best Regards
Wernfried
 

Roelof Moorlag

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Jan 27, 2013
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My tip is to do most keywording work on your best images. What i do first after a shoot is to distinguish the better shots from the lesser with a (star) rating.
I do some batch keywording (the same kewords to mutiple images at the same time) in library view for all my keepers.

Because i want to be sure that i can find my best images later on i put some extra effort in individual kewording them.
I'm tagging people less these day's because of the face recognition functionality. It's not perfect but it saves a lot of work.
Also tagging locations i do much less these day's because of the GPS info that is available to me (by shooting some snapshots with my smartphone for example), i'm synchronising this info with all DSLR shots a made on the same location. Like Wernfried adviced, i do not tag any info that is already available in the shot as exif info.

I do not work a lot with caption or title because the risk of redundancy (and extra work).
Also the keyword field has proved to be very good interchangeable with other applications .
 

prbimages

Active Member
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Jun 13, 2017
Messages
204
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Lightroom Experience
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Lightroom Version
Classic 8
I have spent a fair bit of time applying keywords in the past, and for the most part I don't think that effort has been very valuable. When you start out, you don't really know what keywords are going to be useful. After some time (several years?), you will have a better idea, but at that point will you go back and re-keyword all your older photos? Also, you may develop a new interest at any time which your old keywords won't support. I've spent a lot of time keywording, but very little time *searching* by keyword, so for my part I am starting to think that keywords are more trouble than they're worth.

I wouldn't be too quick to write off the caption and title information, either. I find those fields very useful. The caption in particular: it is shown below each photo when you share images via Lightroom Web, and this is a great mechanism for conveying information to one's audience. For example, if you are sharing holiday photos, then a caption "The lovely little cafe in Napoli where we had lunch with Frank and Dino" is much more informative than an empty caption plus "keyword:cafe keyword:Napoli". It's more informative to your audience, and most likely more informative to you too. (Think about when you are looking at your photos 10 years from now.) And if Frank and Dino are not actually *in* the photo, then you are unlikely to keyword them, making the photo even harder to find in the future. Captions can also be displayed in Page presentations made using Adobe Spark, and in Lightroom slideshows.

It is also important to know that you can search titles and captions using the LR text filter.

Another point worth noting is that captions and titles will sync properly between LR Classic and LRCC, whereas keywords do not.

But, as mentioned, it is all up to you! You'll figure out over time what is important, and what is not.
 

Roelof Moorlag

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
1,091
Location
Netherlands
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It is also important to know that you can search titles and captions using the LR text filter.

Another point worth noting is that captions and titles will sync properly between LR Classic and LRCC, whereas keywords do not.
These are very good arguments, thanks!
 
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