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“Take Control of Your Digital Photos,” Chapter 6

This article is a pre-release chapter in Jeff Carlson’s upcoming “Take Control of Your Digital Photos,” scheduled for public release in August 2013. Apart from the introduction, these chapters are available only to TidBITS members; see “Streamed Advice for Managing Your Digital Photos” for details.

Assign Keywords and Other Data

When my wife and I moved into our house, we repainted most of the interior walls. It was a time-consuming task, but not because of how much wall space needed covering. Splashing color on the wall was the easy part. Taping around windows, preparing the room, and then touching up the edges and corners took much more time.

In Best Practices for Importing Photos I talked a lot about adding metadata during the import process because, to me, that’s the easiest way to apply it. Assigning keywords and other information during that initial stage takes some prep time, but when you click the Import button, the metadata is applied with a broad brush across all your incoming photos. (It’s like handing a paint roller to a capable assistant while you supervise, preferably with a beverage in hand.)

After import, though, you still have some touch-up work to do. To make your photos easily searchable later—the ultimate goal in our organization project—you also need to apply more-specific metadata to individual photos. This might include identifying people and landmarks, or describing shots.

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