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So is there a silver lining?

December 11, 2011

© - Northern Cardinal (Juvenile/1st Yr)

If there is any silver lining to the fact that my keywording is nearly non-existent for about 22,000 images it is the fact that recently I’ve learned a trick or two about speeding up the process of getting images labeled the way I wanted them done.

On birds I like to get into the weeds if you will on naming.  I like having the common name, the scientific name, and the 4-letter codes maintained by the The Institute of Bird Populations.  The common name because that’s how most people know them.  The scientific because as I deal with folks overseas the scientific name is the accepted international name for the bird.  And the 4-letter code is great because for file naming conventions, the 4 letter is concise and consistent.

On locations I also like to get into the weeds.  I want all of my images to have state, county or parish, nearest city, and then specific location.  If I can break it down even more, then all the better.

What is great about Lightroom is that keywords can be nested.  What that means is if it is created properly in the first place, entering one keyword will cause a series of other keywords to be filled in.  As an example, if I am shooting Northern Cardinals at the Acorn blind at South Llano River State Park, all I have to type in is “SLR Acorn, Northern Cardinal” and Lightroom will fill in the following terms:  Bird, Cardinalis cardinalis, Junction, Kimble County, NOCA, Northern Cardinal, SLR Acorn, South Llano River State Park, Texas

If I moved to a different blind in the park and entered that name, Lightroom would still do the heavy lifting on the categories above the blind.

Lightroom still needs you as the human to build the hierarchies to terms.  As an example, for Texas and Ohio locations I’ve done this myself.  For the birds those folks at the Institute of Bird Populations has published a spreadsheet that, with a little bit of effort, can be converted into a readable format for the bird names/codes which I will likely make available in Lightroom’s format in the near future.

About the Image:
This immature/juvenile/1st year Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) was captured in 1’s and 0’s at San Angelo State Park’s bird blind.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2011 1:38 pm

    Very good, enlightening post, Jim. I, myself, need to use the 4-letter codes more. 🙂 Something to remember.

    • December 11, 2011 11:05 pm

      Thanks, Bob. I love the 4-letters for both filenaming and for shorthand when I’m trying to keep track of the species I see while birding.

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