Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Keywords and Lightroom – the basics

As with any photo management tool Lightroom 2 offers you the ability to add keywords to your images. In this way you can make it easier to find images later on by searching for them by keyword. One simple way of adding keywords to your images is to do this as you import your images into Lightroom. Of course this requires that you’re importing a series of images which all share the same keywords. As this is not always the case, you may need to add keywords from inside Lightroom and I’ll show you how to do this.

Start in the Library module in Lightroom. While it appears possible to select multiple images in the Filmstrip whilst in Loupe view and add keywords to them this is not the case. The keywords will be added to only the first of the selected images and not all of them. Not only is this frustrating but it also is a little misleading.

Step 1
Instead, to add keywords to multiple images at the one time you need to select Grid view (G). Select the images to add the keyword to and type a keyword in the Keyword Tags panel on the left of the screen (open Keywording) to access this. You can also drag and drop a keyword from the Keyword Suggestions onto the selected images.

Step 2
You can add keywords to any image from the Keyword List by selecting the images, then right click the keyword in the Keyword List and choose Assign this keyword to Selected Photos.

Step 3
Once you have added keywords to your images you can find the images by keywords by accessing the Filter panel. Press \ to toggle the display of this panel which appears above the Grid panel of images. Select Text, in the first box, select Keywords in the second box select Contains All (or Contain) and type the keywords in the last box. Contains All is an AND search and requires that an image contain both keywords such as Florence and Church. Contain is used for an OR search which would return all images with either or both the keywords, Florence or Church. To cancel the search, click the X button in the search field.

While keywords aren’t the easiest thing to get a grip on, in Lightroom they are key to being able to index and find your images quickly.

I contribute to the Digital Photography School blog and this post first appeared on that site.

Helen Bradley

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Tags in Twitter – why and how to use hashtags

One issue with Twitter is that there can be things happening in Tweets that you’d be interested in reading but which you may not know about. So, for example, people you don’t follow may be talking about subjects of interest to you or, as happened to me this week, I was at Photoshop World and I wanted to read other people’s tweets from the conference although I may not choose to follow those folk on a more permanent basis.

So, when you want to share information relating to a particular and discrete topic you can use hashtags. Hashtags were, so far as I can understand, first supported via a website called Provided you add hashtags to your Twitter posts and you Follow hashtags on Twitter, tracks the tweets that you post that have hashtags in them and makes them easy to find. A hashtag is simply the hash character (#) put in front of a tag name.

So, for example, at Photoshop World in Las Vegas, the tag #psworld was used to discuss things relating to the conference by attendees using Twitter. By following hashtags, any posts that you created that had the #psworld tag in them would be tracked automatically by and could be viewed on that site or followed using an RSS feed. However, it seems that although this should work in theory, it didn’t in practice and still the #psworld tag doesn’t appear in hashtags.

The simpler solution is to use Twitter itself to show you the tags. Simply visit and in the search field type the tag you want to follow, for example #psworld and click Search. Now you’ll see all the tweets which include that tag. You can also grab a RSS feed for this query by clicking the RSS button in the search window.

When you track the hashtag information on either Twitter or you can read tweets posted by anyone using that tag whether or not they are someone you typically follow. Of course, if you find someone posting regularly using a tag that you’re interested in then you can click their icon to see who they are and to follow them if desired.

So, here’s what I suggest:

1 Follow hashtags on Twitter (optional since its performance seems to be erratic)

2 Add #tag_name to your Twitter posts

3 Use to find and read other’s posts on a particular topic.

4 If you’re attending a conference or tradeshow, try to find the hashtags used by other attendees so you can keep in touch with what’s happening.

Helen Bradley