Kewording is key!

It has been a while since I have writtena blog, so I made this one a dandy!  I am off to Alaska for a bit and will be without internet for a while, so it will be a couple of weeks before I share again.

I am a firm believer in using keywords in Lightroom.  If you do a good job of keywording your images you will always be able to find whatever you are looking for no matter where it is stored on your computer. If I want to see all my “Grizzly Bear” images I can just search that term and see all the images and it doesn’t matter if they are grizzly bears from Alaska, or Wyoming, or what year they were taken, Lightroom will find them.

I always recommend you add as many general keywords as you can during the import process and then add specific keywords once your image are in the Library.

If you organize your keywords and nest them as groups your list can be tidy and efficient. In the example below you see I have a keyword Animals and in Animals, is a keyword Wildlife and inside Wildlife are 5 keywords, Amphibian, Birds, Fish, mammal and reptile.


You can nest keywords several ways.  The simplest is to drag and drop images in your keyword on top of each other to add nested keyword(see video below).  Or you can select the parent keyword and right click (or Control click on a Mac) and select Create Keyword Tag inside “****”


If I click on the disclosure triangle next to Birds you see I have a whole long list of bird species that goes off the page.


If I scroll down to Great Egret you can see I have the Latin name Ardea alba inside Great Egret.


If I go a wider view and select some egret images I can just drag Ardea alba (the lowest denominator) and all the parent keywords will come along with it. So by just dragging Ardea alba onto the selected images I will be adding Great Egret, Birds, Wildlife and Animals.


If you look at the Enter Keywords list you will see there are only 2 keywords. Ardea alba and Wakodahatchee Wetlands (which is also a nested keyword).


But if change the Keyword Tag to Keywords and Containing Keywords


You now see all the keywords associated with the image and they include: Animals, Ardea alba, Birds<wildlife; Delray Beach, Florida (the location of Wakodahatchee Wetlands), Great Egret, Wakodahatchee Wetlands and wildlife.

One thing to know is the numbers in the Keyword List next to a keyword can be confusing.


You can see there are 3611 images with the Enter keyword of Ardea alba and only 319 images with the Enter keyword of Great Egret. If I click on the arrow next to the 3611, Lightroom will show me all 3611 images.  Yet if I select the arrow next to 319 as shown below.


Then Lightroom displays 3918 images.  It really doesn’t make much sense and I wish Adobe would handle this differently.  Basically I just ignore those numbers!

Sometimes your keyword list gets a bit disorganized.  That happens when you enter keywords differently, misspell, duplicate nested keywords, etc. Because of that every once in a while I spend some time on keyword list maintenance.

Here is a little video with some suggestions and tips.



I hope you see the value of keywords and maintaining a good keyword list. It really helps with your image organization.


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