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Searching using keywords

Explorer ,
Jun 09, 2024 Jun 09, 2024

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I'm trying to find a way of searching for files on my hard drive using key words.

 

I have a structured list of my photographs on my hard drive that I usually browse with Bridge.. The number of photos has been growing over the years and I can no longer rely on my memory to find pictures on my hard drive list. So I thought of using Lightroom Classic to asign key words to my photos. If I do this can I use Bridge to search for photos with particular key words that I have asigned in LRC?

 

Currently, my preferred work flow is to browse with Bridge to the picture that I want to edit and then open it in Adobe Camera Raw, do my edits and then open the picture in Photoshop for further work. But I am finding that I am spending more and more time browsing rather than editing!

 

I have tried asigning some key words to pictures imported into LRC, by way of experimentation and then trying to see if I can use the advanced search options in Bridge. I've not been able to find pictures and make it work. I suppose that I could import all of my pictures into LRC and use its editing features before sending the picture to PS but I'm quite attached to my current work-flow!

Any ideas, please?

I use Creative Cloud and upload all of the latest updates all run on Windows 10.

TOPICS
Camera RAW , How to , Import and export , Keywords , Problem or error

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Community Expert ,
Jun 09, 2024 Jun 09, 2024

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Hi, @FyxIt, if you assign keywords into LRC, they are associated with that file in LRC's catalog, not the image. So, looking for that image via the keywords, you just assigned will not work.

 

UNLESS

 

In LRC's preferences for the Catalog, there is a checkbox that everyone should check:

2024-06-09_11-01-50.png

If the changes (including keywords) remain in the Catalog, they are not with the file. But, if you check that, they are, and this should work. 

 

However, some thoughts from someone who uses both Bridge and LRC almost daily and who has almost 100,000 images in his catalog suggest that you might want to reconsider spending more time in LRC. First and foremost, LRC is a DAM (Data Asset Manager). Thus, it is made for people who want to find their images. In addition, with the advances made with masking and AI, I'm spending less and less time in PS for general photographic enhancement. 

 

I completely understand your statement that you are "attached to your current workflow." I do get that. But as things change, there sometimes can be a viable reason for you to reconsider your processes. As you stated, the number of images you have is becoming a problem, and you are looking for ways to keep doing what you've been doing. You might find that you CAN continue your current workflow through LRC and be better at it because of how LRC functions and its toolset. Remember, you only need to right-click on any image to open it in PS. When you save and close the image in PS, it goes back to LRC as a stacked image on the original—so you always have the original, unchanged image when and if PS (or any other 3rd party software, like Topaz) has an updated feature.

 

FWIW, one of the reasons I migrated to using LRC is that Bridge's search capabilities have always been "OK" at best. LRC search capabilities with the keywords built-in as they are created are vastly superior. 

 

BTW, you do not state where your images are located, but if you currently have more and more images, are they backed up? If you're interested in my strategy on backing images up, just ask. But remember, there are two kinds of hard drive users: those who've had a hard drive crash and those who've not had a hard drive crash yet.

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Explorer ,
Jun 11, 2024 Jun 11, 2024

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Hi Gary and thank you for your comprehensive reply. And you set me some qustions to answer!  Just on back up, I use Acronis to back up to an external hard drive on a daily basis. Ideally I would back up to the Acronis Cloud as well but it all starts to get a bit expensive. I've seen YouTube videos of systems to back up to dual external hard drives but I thought that was a bit pessamistic!

If I were to lean towards LRC more, I would need to import my entire photo collection. How could I ensure that the current hierachy and structure of my hard drive file collection was replicated on LRC? Is this by using "Collections"?  I see a "Folders" drop down as well.  How is this used?

 

In the mean time I will tick the "xmp" box in the Catalogue settings.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 11, 2024 Jun 11, 2024

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"How could I ensure that the current hierachy and structure of my hard drive file collection was replicated on LRC?"

When you 'Import' your photos to the catalog- Select the [ADD] option above the central window of the Import dialog.

Thus all your photos stay exactly in the drive folders where you have placed them.

The [ADD] option only makes a reference to the files where you have them and creates the thumbnails to view in the Library.

You can also check the [Include SubFolders] box  and by selecting a 'Parent' folder to import you also import its sub-folders, keeping the folder hierarchy exactly as it is.

2024-06-11 19_09_16-Clipboard.jpg

 

 

Regards. My System: Lightroom-Classic 13.3.1 Photoshop 25.9, ACR 16.3.1, Lightroom 7.3, Lr-iOS 9.0.1, Bridge 14.1.0, Windows-11.

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Explorer ,
Jun 11, 2024 Jun 11, 2024

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Hi Rob and thanks for your post. So what I did was:

  1.  I chose a file with sub folders on my PC's hard drive;
  2. Clicked IMPORT and highlighted my chosen folder
  3.  Clicked ADD;
  4.  Ticked the sub-folder box.
  5. 1,600 pictures were imported.

 

Where in LRC can I find that folder and sub-flder, please?

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LEGEND ,
Jun 11, 2024 Jun 11, 2024

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There is nothing to find, Lightroom has those images referenced in its catalog. Make sure you are in Library mode for organizing.

Be careful about mixing Lightroom and bridge, there are some bugs where adding keywords in both apps can cause problems. You simply search in Lightroom for the keywords you want to use.

https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-classic/help/finding-photos-catalog.html

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Explorer ,
Jun 11, 2024 Jun 11, 2024

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Hi Lumigraphics and thanks for your post. I've had another look at my Catalogue and it's making more sense to me now. I'm leaping from Bridge to LRC to search for key worded pictures so it's a bit of a steep learning curve for me.

 

Let me ask another if I may?  From camera I download to my PC's hard drive. I have a folder called "Imported Images" and it has subfolders for each of my three cameras and one for my mobile phone. When I get sat down for some photo sorting, I open the recent download and allocate images to the appropriate folders in my "Pictures" list/hierachy which is on my hard drive.  Let's say some of my recent shoot go to my "seascape" folder. If I have already imported my seascape folder into LRC, it will be missing the new content from my recent shoot.  How do I update the Catalogue/Library content to match the new pictures now stored on my hard drive?

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LEGEND ,
Jun 11, 2024 Jun 11, 2024

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Use Lightroom to move images, don't do it outside the app as it can't keep track of your files otherwise.

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Explorer ,
Jun 11, 2024 Jun 11, 2024

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Thanks again for the reply. So just import the changes or import the whole folder again?

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Community Expert ,
Jun 11, 2024 Jun 11, 2024

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"So just import the changes or import the whole folder again?"

The Import dialog is 'intelligent' enough to recognize photos that have been imported before and won't import them again.

So, in effect Yes!,  Select the whole folder again to import - and in the import dialog SELECT only the [New Photos] you added to that folder. (Existing photos in the catalog will be greyed out anyway.)

2024-06-12 05_29_15-Lightroom.jpg

 

There is another method to Import 'New Photos' that you manually added to a folder (already existing in LrC), and that is the 'Synchronize Folder' function in Lr-Classic. But I suggest you use the normal Import methods until you are fully familiar with Lr-Classic.

 

I also suggest that once you are using Lr-Classic for what it is designed to do (index your complete photo library) that you forget about Adobe Bridge- it will not be needed again.

The 'old'  [Bridge > ACR > Photoshop] workflow can be replaced by  [Lr-Classic >< Photoshop].

 

Regards. My System: Lightroom-Classic 13.3.1 Photoshop 25.9, ACR 16.3.1, Lightroom 7.3, Lr-iOS 9.0.1, Bridge 14.1.0, Windows-11.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 11, 2024 Jun 11, 2024

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Indeed.

I use a Bridge/ACR-based workflow at work, which involves multiple computers and would not be usable with Lightroom. Bridge is good with transient files that will move onto and then off the computer.

At home I use Lightroom Classic (RIP Aperture) and the only time I launch Bridge is as a quick viewer after a photoshoot or with photos I don't want in Lightroom.

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Explorer ,
18 hours ago 18 hours ago

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Thanks for the additional guidance, all very useful.  OK so I've imported a large number of pictures from my hard drive into LRC. I want to have a go at ading key words now. Are there any things that I should watch out for? Can I add key words in a batch methodology?

 

Any help to get me on my way would be great.

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LEGEND ,
16 hours ago 16 hours ago

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I recommend looking at Adobe help and going through the tutorials there and at the Lightroom Queen.

https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-classic/help/keywords.html

https://www.lightroomqueen.com/

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Community Expert ,
12 hours ago 12 hours ago

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I would also add that the Lightroom Queen also has excellent guidelines for keywording:

 

https://www.lightroomqueen.com/how-keyword-photos/#

 

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Explorer ,
11 hours ago 11 hours ago

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LATEST

Thanks for all the tips and links.  I'l do some reading.  I may be back at some time!

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