Sometimes we just can't get out and shoot. We have obligations at home, like work and families, that don't always allow us to travel on photography adventures. Here is an idea of something that you can do from home in your "spare" time to keep your creative juices flowing and to indulge in your photography habit without taking a trip somewhere.
Okay, disclaimer, this one is not really that creative or enjoyable, but it is a way to work on your photos. Most photographers these days use some sort of organizing program with Adobe Lightroom being the most popular. Well, there is this little something called keywording. This is simply adding words to your photographs so that you can find them more easily later. The idea is to add keywords to your photographs as you add them to your collection. It can be very simple. For basic keywording, two or three is fine. Choose a word describing the type of photograph: scenic, portrait, night, wedding, etc. Then choose something more specific like the location, the name of the person in the portrait, etc. For example the photos below could be keyworded like this:
Left: landscape, Grand Tetons National Park
Right: flowers, tulips, Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Of course, you can add as many keywords as you like and be a specific as you like. Many professionals add more keywords which increases their chances of finding the photographs that they are looking for as they can narrow their search results in many different ways.
Now to the project! Like most of us, I have a ton of photos that I have taken, especially in the last 15 years. That also means that I have tons of photos that have absolutely NO keywords associated with them. Keywording those photographs is one of my long-term projects. I plan to accomplish this along with reprocessing my older photos (At Home Photography Project 1).
Along with Keywording my photos, I am going to add star ratings and color labels to help me further search my photos for the best ones and for the ones that are examples for our seminars and workshops. I have my own system that I am constantly amending. My system works fairly well for me but can be improved, hence the amending. I can generally find the photos that I am looking for as I have them organized in separate folders by year and by location or event. I admit that having keywords, stars, and colored labels associated correctly with my photos would make this process easier. As I keep adding more years under my belt, I have more years of folders to look through to find those great photos of the lions from the zoo, which I have been to multiple times almost every year for the last 15 years, or to find those photos of the one time that I have visited Yellowstone National Park (now, let me think, when did I go there?). Having keywords in place and doing a specific search for lions or Yellowstone would make this process much easier!
Luckily, keywords can be applied to multiple photos at a time using Lightroom. This will make the process much easier. At any rate, this is a daunting project. My plan to tackle it . . . . set a goal of one folder a week. Sure, it might take years, but at least there is progress, and that is better than nothing!
Happy Summer, y'all!