I've been looking at photo workflows for some time. I've used browssers like XnViewMP, editors like lightroom. Most of my experience is with Aperture.
I've come to realize that photographers have three problems to solve:
* Post processing their image.
* Cataloging their image.
* Finding that image at a later date.
Everything I've seen about Luminar says that it's a fabulous post processor. Sounds like worthy competition for Lightroom and possibly give Photoshop a run for the money.
Cataloging is where most products fail.
Just what is cataloging: Assigning metadata -- data about data -- to images. Keywords and captions and descriptions. Ratings are metadata. Categories are metadata.
Sorting photos into folders is a form of metadata. If a picture is in a folder named 2006-Italy Holiday, it has something to do with Italy, and you know some of the people that are there.
Old fashioned albums are a form of metadata. If pix are added when they are taken you now know that this was before that.
Our digital cameras record a fair amount of metadata, some of it useful, some boring. At least we know exactly when the shot was taken (if we kept our camera's clock set right...) With some we know where too.
But keywords are the key. If you have keywords assigned, you can then search for those keywords. Instead of having to look through 2000 pix of your summer in Italy where you took that stunning pic of your daughter and her new boyfriend sailing on the bay of Naples, you search for "Italy Holiday, Susan, Sailing.
Trouble is, you don't know what keywords are going to be needed later. How many should you add? Guys shooting stock photos for places like Getty and Shutterstock try for 20-40.
Keyword tagging is a lot easier if you have the right organization to your pictures.
Let's look at your Italian Holiday.
This is an EVENT -- a multiday event, but still an event. For our purposes you were therefor 10 days, and took 2000 shots.
Two thousand is unwieldy. So break it up by days. Now you have 10 subfolders with 100 to 300 pix each. Or it may divided by place. A folder for Rome, one for Naples, and one for Florence, and One for Venice, and one for Tuscan Wine Tour.
An day is split into episodes. Think of episodes as being split by times you were on the bus, or had to walk a fair distance. Sometimes the walks themselves become episodes. The Vatican tour is an episode. Dinner on the plaza at diMagios is an episode.
An episode can be broken down into shoots. Think of a shoot as being a period where you don't put your camera down. It's the 30 shots of the fountain. The 6 shots of your 7 year old trying to eat an ice cream cone before it melts in the sun. A shoot will likely have very similar lighting, and will often have a raft of shots taken only a second or two apart. A shoot may be a single shot.
You don't have to have folders for each level. But a thousand pix is too many to scroll through. I have big monitors, and 4 rows of 6 thumbnails fits on a screen. That's 24 pix. A thousand shots is 41 screen fulls of thumbnails.
(One of the things I like about Aperture: Internally thumbnails are big -- about a thousand pixels for their long dimension. They resize them to the screen on the fly. I can have as few as 4 per row, or as many as 15. The latter isn't useful. Most of the time I have it set at 4 or at 6.)
I like a folder level for the top level. It gives some organization before I've added a single keyword.
I like a browser that is recursive. If I have 2006-Italy holiday selected then I see all the photos for all 5 or 10 folders below. (I don't remember which town that fountain was in)
At this point I can
* Select all
* Add keyword Ev:Italian Holiday
* Add keyword Loc:Italy
* Add keyword Ev: Holiday
* Add keyword Loc:Europe
At this point you can add your name as photographer, and your copyright notice.
Select the Naples folder.
Add keyword "Loc:Naples" It already has Italy and Europe.
Select the shots of the hotel.
Add Loc:Hotel de Sol
By the time you get down to the individual shots, you already have a half dozen keywords per picture.
What's with the Loc: and Ev:
I do facets: A facet is a category of infomation. I want to be able to distinguish between Sol used as part of a location name (Loc) and being used as part of an event name (Ev)
I can do things like "Show me all images in 2006-Italy Holiday that do NOT have a Loc: keyword. The problem with this: All the Naples shots have a Loc:Naples. Ideally I want to be able to hide keywords, or at least hide categories. I want to be able to make a pass through my images just seeing if I have a location down to a low enough level.
Every shot should have a location -- often several. Not every shot will have people in them. P: is the tag I use for people. Get them nailed down while you still remember. Sometimes you don't know their name but you do know their role: P:Inn manager at Hotel du Sol. I have trouble with people names, so I have to work hard at getting P tags on every image. So much so that I will put P:none if there is a shot of a mountain meadow.
Shoots will often have the same keywords for the entire shoot.
Good software *should* be able to automate some keywords. E.g. If your lens is the 80 mm and the focus distance is under 2 feet, add the tag Shot:Closeup if under 6 inches add Shot:Macro
Lighting is another one that should be automated, at least as much as low contrast, cloudy bright, hazy, sharp
When I'm looking for a shot later, I can often remember the time of day and the weather. Make tags for that. Weather is one of those tags that will often span several episodes.
Ok. All those images all those tags. (I use tags and keywords interchangeably)
A very useful concept is the idea of an Album as distinct from a Folder.
A folder contains the actual images.
An album contains links to images.
Albums are a way to have an image seemingly in multiple places.
So you might want 100 of your holiday pix in an album to show Mom. She doesn't really want to see all 2000 of them. The Album allows you to have the Mom shots in one spot, but if you edit it, you edit it in all the palces where it exists.
Take this idea a step further: A smart album is one based on metadata. 5 Star -- all your pix that you rated that highly (I think I have three...) It can be a very complicate search "Pictures of Susan in Italy" which turns into a Ev:2006-Italy Holiday P:Susan
Aperture has a bunch of good tricks for this.
The search panel
Allows complicated combinations. Note the Add Rule button. You can do things like search for a given camera model, or time of day, or month of year. You can convert this search into a smart album.
I've done things like Plant:Rose PP:Fruit ToY:Winter W:Frost ToD:Daylight Rating >3 and gotten my result
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