Keywords or tags are the hottest topic when it comes to organizing your pictures. The standards used for capturing photo keywords and saving them to the actual image files are XMP and IPTC. It is important to understand what these terms mean and how to use them, but it is also important to understand how the actual keywords end up being added to your image files. So what does an image organizer software do in order to create and add keywords to image files ?
I have been looking for a long time for some software that would allow me to manage keywords in an efficient manner. What do I mean by efficient? It’s pretty simple: all I want is the ability to group my keywords into categories or domains. For example: I want
car, boat, ship, carriage, bus and bicycle to all be grouped into a domain called
transportation. This seems simple, but I can’t really find any decently priced :) software to do that. Now, I was suspecting that Adobe Lightroom might do what I wanted but the price was way too much for me! Eventually I decided to give Lightroom a try and found out why people like it.
Once you get started with Digital Asset Management (DAM) software you will quickly run into another management issue: your keywords. I believe any DAM software user will eventually ask himself the question: how am I supposed to create my keywords? Reading various internet sources on the subject I usually run into two kinds of advice: some say you should just start adding keywords to your images while others say you should be careful and think through your keywords before creating them. Even though it seems that most advice falls in the first category, I happen to fall into the second category. I do believe that you should be careful when you create keywords primarily because if you create too many, then you will have to manage your keywords as well pretty soon…as if managing your pictures is not enough headache. :)
It is rare when a complex problem can have a simple solution. Most of the times however, a complex problem can have a simple solution that only works well for some of the times. When “some of the times” is “most of the times” for you, then the simple solution will work fine. However if “some of the times” does turn out not to be “most of the times” then the simple solution breaks down very easily. This is the case with the folder based method of organizing your pictures. So, how do you know when folders are not enough?
I am not sure about the history of peanut butter and jelly. I am pretty sure that nobody at that time was thinking to combine the two. So how did it get so popular? Probably somebody in some kitchen somewhere has combined the two ingredients, most likely by accident, and they liked it and told their friends. Tags and folders are two methods of organizing pictures that many think don’t go together. This article will show that they can be used together to create a very efficient organization structure.
Popular opinion on the internet suggests that the Tags and Folders based methods for picture organization are mutually exclusive. This means that if you decide to use Tags then you will not be using folders. Or if you’re using Folders to organize your picture, you cannot use Tags. This is very far from reality and in fact Tags and Folders are NOT mutually exclusive.
If you have been taking digital pictures for a while you’ve probably been forced to deal with organizing your pictures. You have also probably been asking yourself if the method you’re using is a good method. Currently there are two different approaches to picture organization: using tags and using folders. There are a number of software programs that support either or both methods. Which method should you choose? This article will analyze the tag and folder based methods for picture organization.