Unravel Your Photos: Lesson Three

Thursday, September 24, 2015

In Lesson Two, we learned how to import and organize photos in Lightroom. It makes perfect sense that Lesson Three showed us how to search for and view photos in Lightroom.

Ronnie goes over the different ways to view images in Lightroom, helpful keyboard shortcuts, and explains the functions of the Catalog and Folders Panels. She also goes over the all of the different ways you can search for photos using the filter bars.

I never knew that there were so many ways to search for photos in Lightroom. Combining the different filters (text, attributes, and metadata) along with the folder structure created when photos are imported results in a myriad of search options to choose from. This is extremely helpful, especially when dealing with a massive photo library with tens of thousands of photos.

Next, we learned how to pick and reject files in Lightroom. I suspected that this, for me, will be the hardest part of the photo organization process, as I have always found it difficult to weed out less than stellar photos. Ronnie anticipates that some of her students will have difficulty with this step and offers an alternate workflow to allay those fears about deleting those photos right away. 

Ronnie also taught is how to edit file data, such as the filename or capture time, after files are already imported, in case those were incorrect at the time of import. She also goes over how she handles video files in a similar manner to the way she organizes photos, just somewhat simpler. After all, most of us have far less videos than photos, so a simpler workflow is appropriate.

Lastly, Ronnie went over virtual copies and RAW files. Virtual Copies are useful when you want to try editing your photos in different ways to see which is best for your project.

With each lesson, I am becoming more comfortable and confident using Lightroom. I recently read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and was finally able to let go of a lot of possessions that I have been reluctant to get rid off. After this lesson, I am  excited about applying the same principles to my photo library, organizing and culling my pictures instead of keeping all of the ones I ever took. 

Unravel Your Photos: Lesson Two

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I've just completed Lesson Two of Life:Captured Inc's Unravel Your Photos photo organization class and learned quite a bit! 

First, I learned about Lightroom catalogs. What they are, and how many I should make for my photo library. I learned exactly what Lightroom does when it edits photos and where it stores all of that information. I also learned about the various type of preview files Lightroom can create when it imports your photos.

My favorite part of Lesson Two was learning how to import photos directly from my cameras and phone and how to create a custom file naming preset which automatically renames my photo files as they are imported. I had never imported my photos directly into Lightroom from my camera before, so watching Lightroom automatically rename and organize my photos was quite an eye-opener. I was very excited to learn this and wish I had learned how to do it sooner. But that’s ok, better late than never, right?

Ronnie explained what the end goal of this 12 week photo organization boot camp is, which is to build a single all-inclusive system for all of our photos. A system for both the photos we have already taken and the ones we will take going forward. I’m excited about using Lightroom to organize future photos, but just thinking about the backlog of photos I have to organize seems daunting. Lucky for us, Ronnie already anticipates that we will feel that way and offers a manageable strategy for working on your backlog.

This lesson’s assignment was to import all of the photos on all of my cameras into Lightroom. With Ronnie’s clear and concise instructions, this was a breeze and helped instill in me the confidence that I will really be able to use Lightroom like I never had before. Can’t wait for Lesson Three... 

Unravel Your Photos: Lesson One

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Photos. If you're like me, you love to take pictures and as a result, have thousands of them sitting on your phone, camera, SD cards, computer, and hard drive. 

What have I done with my photos? I love looking at them and reliving the memories they capture, but I haven't done much else recently. I've printed some for friends, family, and our home's gallery wall, plus made a few albums and photo books, but I always yearned to do more with my photos. My newfound love of journaling and keeping a daily diary has only increased my desire to document my family's life in words AND pictures.

Enter the #unravelyourphotos movement by Life Captured and Artifact Uprising. A chance to join other Instagrammers and bloggers in learning how to organize and bring order to our ever growing photo archives. I applied for the 12 week photo organization boot camp, crossed my fingers, and was very fortunate to have been chosen as one of the participants. The class went live on Monday, August 24 and I eagerly dove into Lesson One.

Lesson One goes over the benefits and principles of photo organization, and introduces you to Adobe Lightroom. I've had Lightroom for a few years and used it to edit photos, all the while not realizing that the program could also be used to organize my photos. Reading through the first lesson, I found Ronnie's writing style engaging and  encouraging. She obviously knows her stuff, and the material is detailed without being intimidating. I've found that books on Lightroom and Photoshop often seemed to be geared towards professional photographers, and as a result I would get lost and discouraged by all of the unfamiliar terminology. 

Ronnie also shares the secret to tackling the monumental task of organizing your photos. That key principle is a simple one, but it got me excited about starting the whole process.

The lesson ends with a recap and review to help make sure that you have absorbed the most important points of the lesson. And finally, you are given assignments. The lesson's assignments are easy, practical and help you prepare for the first step of the organization process, which is importing your photos into Lightroom. 

After completing Lesson One, I am happy to say that I am confident that the next twelve weeks of my life that I am about to invest in this boot camp will be well worth it. Are you interested in learning more? Then check out the Unravel Your Photos home page.
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