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Bryan

Strategy for dealing with large numbers of shots

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I've just returned from a 5 week tour around France, and, despite quite a bit of in camera pruning, have around 1600 images to deal with.

 

I'll probably only upload a small minority of these, there is some repetition while others are just holiday snaps. I've uploaded the lot to LR, and am currently patiently working my way through keywording and naming the photos. This involves quite a bit of research - wish I had a camera with GPS - and its going to take a long while. I am also deleting the most obvious duds at this stage, but leaving others for future procrastination.

 

There is a temptation to break off and cherry pick the best looking images for development and publication, but I know from past experience that doing that I often miss some keywords or titles and tend to get left with a mess that takes time to sort out. All very inefficient.

 

Maybe I should deal with regional batches?

 

Any thoughts?

Edited by Bryan

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In similar circumstances I always break off and load what I've assessed as the best shots - and I do these for a couple of specific groups - perhaps by location or genre.

 

Having done that I then feel more relaxed about taking a week or two to prepare any future uploads

 

I also like to see where my initial upload lands in terms of ranking on a page

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When i am out  i notice that i have there always more time then at home. In the evening you spend time also in your hotel sometimes and just want to rest. Thats the moment that i take my camera (my camera has a very good lcd) and start to go through my photos and delete the ones that are useless. When i am outdoors i will not do it since you can miss moments and also not good for the battery life. Also i try to minimum the amount of similar photos and get it right at the moment at once. In this way i come home with lets say 500 photos where i can use 450 of them.

 

Mirco

Edited by MircoV

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Dunno which camera you're using, but my Nikon D750 (and my D700) offers the possibility to add a little text before shooting. I just add the name of the location (or whatever essential information), so that afterwards I know which image was shot where. Also, try to keep your images in chronological order which helps a lot when keywording (in case you have a bad memory, like mine :unsure:). 

In Bridge, I add keywords and captions for all similar pictures in batch and "finetune" them later when dealing with each individual image.  

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

This answer i really like and i am sure will help many others. I never tought about the text idea. I guess you mean the file name of the photo?

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I started making short videos on my iPhone when I first got it about 3 years ago, briefly noting the location and other things of interest (e.g. info about wild flowers so I might be able to identify them later). Because the videos are time-stamped, I can easily relate them back to any images I've taken on my camera. The videos are invaluable as I was never a note taker. This could be done with a DSLR but I prefer to keep that for my images and not mix it all up. I download to a laptop when I'm travelling but am usually too exhausted by the time my day is done to get a lot of sorting done on the road.

 

I used to do a still on the phone at each location as well, as this records the GPS data, but the accuracy is not always great (probably my fault as I think it needs to be calibrated before using). I often have a hand-held Garmin GPS with me on which I record the general  location (also helps if I get lost) but I don't record exactly where a picture is taken if I'm walking. I do always try to make sure I can locate where I took the pictures on a map, even if I don't know exact coordinates. If I find the time later, I input the coordinates manually into the metadata in Lightroom. Although well-intentioned when I started inputting GPS data, I have such a backlog of images that this is a relatively, low priority but easily done retrospectively if required.

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If you don't have GPS on your camera, you can use your mobile phone (I use an app called MyTracks on my Android phone) to create a tracklog, which then can easily be imported into Lightroom and synced with the photos in the map module. LR will then put place names into the location metadata fields, as long as you've set this up in preferences. 

 

I used to use GPS units that attach to the camera (which is even easier as the GPS details go directly into the photo metadata when the photo is taken) but found they kept breaking (and I'm pretty gentle with my camera equipment ...)

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I agree with D Hill. It's a strategy I've used in the past. Remember to change the time on your camera to match the time on your phone.

 

These days, I'm not so concerned with recording the exact location of each shot, but I always take s photo with my phone so that I can at least name the town I'm in and also any notices with information about the building or plant I'm photographing.

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I tend to do a quick edit and submit it to Alamy. Later, when I have more time, I look at the files again and choose more pictures. But, TBH, this quick edit is usually a very good one and a second edit is usually unnecessary.

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Thanks Arterra for the Add Comment tip. One of those 'why didn't I think of that?' ideas. 

Colin

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And to reply to Bryan, I tend to go through and do those that I consider the very best and get them uploaded first. Then I go back and go through the rest.

Colin

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I tend to do trip images by the day's folder.

If I didn't have GPS I might be taking the odd note, although before I had GPS I didn't.

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Brian - If you can't remember where somewhere is or want more details try uploading a small JPG to Google Reverse Image Search. That's helped me in the past.

 

I use the gps4cam iOS for Geotagging when in an unfamiliar area.

 

Michael

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Another tip that some might not be aware of in LR is to make a target collection called Alamy, and quickly go through your images for Alamy suitable ones.

 

When you spot a suitable image (at first pass I just look for images which look sharp, and are the best of a series) and press the B key. This sends the image to the Alamy collection for further inspection and processing, which can be done at a later date.

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And to reply to Bryan, I tend to go through and do those that I consider the very best and get them uploaded first. Then I go back and go through the rest.

Colin

That's what I do, also. I think in terms of possible searches by buyers, the more popular searched images, (families, seniors, for instance) and try to get those up first.

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1600 doesn't seem like that many to go through - I've done it in the matter of about an hour.

 

If they are in Lightroom, then you can scroll through them with the right or left arrow or you can use your mouse.  I usually make a quick first pass taking a look at 100% and delete anything that is SoLD, uninteresting, a mistake, or a duplicate.  If it is an image that needs to be culled, I press 'x' for the selected photo - this will set the image as a reject (if you make a mistake, then press 'u').

 

When you are done, then go to the menu bar, select Photo> Delete Rejected Photos.

 

A box will pop up asking you if you want to remove them from the catalog or delete them from the disk altogether.  I just remove them from the catalog.

 

 

Next, I make very basic edits - select a camera preset, lens correction, remove chromatic aberration, etc., etc. on the first image.  Then I highlight that image and copy those adjustments to all the remaining images.

 

Next, I fine tune images - set white and black point, crop where necessary.

 

Finally, I keyword.  If you have a group of images from a similar place, then you can add those keywords and the location in Lightroom and copy the information to the other relevent photos.  Then, make a second pass adding the finite details that are unique to that image.

 

There you go -

Edited by Ed Endicott
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Thanks for the responses folks, both interesting and informative.

 

I do try to keep a log of where I have been during the day, but smaller locations slip through the net. I also always try to include a descriptive shot (place/street name whenever possible).

 

Don't have a phone clever enough to geotag places, but that sounds a very good idea.

 

Ed - How you can process 1600 images in an hour is beyond me, I have spent the best part of an hour trying to find the exact location of one image, but I am dealing with 5 weeks worth of shooting over numerous different locations and lighting conditions.

 

From the advice above, maybe I need to relax a bit and process and upload some of the more salesworthy shots!

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It takes practice...

 

I know a wedding photographer that started offering a service last year that promised delivery of ALL WEDDING PHOTOS electronically (at 1200 pixels long edge with the option to buy larger sizes later) on a thumb drive prior to the end of the wedding reception.  Fully edited!  He does this with 3000-4000 images shot between himself and a second (or third if necessary) photographer.

 

His motto - shoot to print (cull in camera when possible) and then edit as I described above.

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Don't rush, be patient, spread the workload.

..................................

 

I don't have a GPS techno camera thingy either for identifying exact locations of my pictures. And my mobile phone should be in a museum !  (an old Nokia that can't even do any sort of pictures, but does make phone calls.)

 

I photograph (for ID only) the street signs/road names/ tourist information boards for the locations,  to help with the caption location info that may be required.

 

I often use a real notebook and pen to make notes when picture taking. Modern technology can't do it all.

 

I also use Philips OS map books as well to help with locations/historical info, when editing my pictures (I've nearly the whole lot of Britain in Philip's OS county street map books, ...believe me, ..they are better than any satnav !)

 

With loads of images to edit and process, I recommend a comfy chair and a nice cuppa tea at the ready ! ... and rainy days when you are not shooting new material.

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I often use a real notebook and pen to make notes when picture taking. Modern technology can't do it all.

 

And then photograph the notes as soon as you've made them.  It keeps the timeline intact.

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I use one note pen to text function, Just write down the keywords or any words and it gets converted in to normal text. then copy them all over and paste  ;)

 

But when i have 5,000 images the other previous months; i still have to do thinking about it makes me  :(

 

 

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1600 images in an hour - wow! I am still making my way through images from an extended 10 week trip this time last year!

I import to LR into folders organised by date, and generally try and work through them on a date basis. That said, it depends on the location: sometimes, if it is a small place and I don't have many images over a couple of days, I will do the whole location at once. If it is a big city and overwhelming to try and do that, I will break down into localities.

I tend to batch insert some 'top level' keywords across the whole of the relevant sub-batch, regardless of whether I think at the time I will or won't use them. So maybe "France, Alsace", I then progressively narrow down the batches to bulk add words specific to that batch (eg Obernai, summer, day, etc).

I actually then tend to leave the very image specific key wording to manage images because I found it was far too time-consuming to do so in Lightroom and then have to move words all around the place, especially if I am not sure if I will use it. When and if I need to, I just copy and paste the words back into LR.

Others hate presets, but I find they are a great initial time saver. I have a number of presets which I like for specific conditions (architecture, cloudy days, etc). Again, because it is only one button click, I apply these over the whole day (or sub-batch). They generally provide me with a good starting point.

It is only then that I go through image by image, rating for upload or not, and tweaking development on an image by image basis for those that I intend to upload. I will often leave images for a day or so, and then go back and do one more pass double-checking again for no noise, sensor spots.

I have a bunch of smart collections, using stars and colour labels, that I use to know where I am in my own process. I also have smart collections based on the "top level" locations, so I can find them again.

I am sure there are better and more efficient methods, but through trial and error, this is the system that works for me at the moment.

 

Edited by KerinF

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I should add, that I don't always follow my own advice regarding dealing with one whole day, or a location, at once.  Call it poor concentration span, but I often get to the point where I just can't bear to look at another image of [insert name of ye olde cute town].  So I will just upload the finalised ones, and revisit the batch days, or maybe weeks, later.  Strategically, I wonder if it isn't such a bad idea to stagger uploads like this anyway.  I am thinking here that if customers search on the 'new' tab, the images are ordered by upload date rather than capture date.  So spreading out the uploads might attract new viewers.  But perhaps that's a topic for a whole new thread.

 

Oh, and I do have GPS on my camera, but it is not always terribly accurate.  I often take a shot with my iPhone as well, because that is sometimes more accurate.  And I generally photograph info boards, etc for future reference.  But not street names.  When the GPS has been off by a few streets, I sometimes "walk" up and down Google street view trying to find where the shot was actually taken.

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I should add, that I don't always follow my own advice regarding dealing with one whole day, or a location, at once.  Call it poor concentration span, but I often get to the point where I just can't bear to look at another image of [insert name of ye olde cute town.

Yup, I know the feeling!

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I should add, that I don't always follow my own advice regarding dealing with one whole day, or a location, at once.  Call it poor concentration span, but I often get to the point where I just can't bear to look at another image of [insert name of ye olde cute town.

Yup, I know the feeling!

I reached a point where I thought I'd throw up if I processed another St. Croix image, so do I ever understand! Months later, could attack them again.

And guess where I'm going again? You got it. But this time, I'll only take pictures of the part of the island my sister and I never found. They have the screwiest road system ever, and we kept going in circles. After reaching the same crossroad for the 3rd time, we held our stomachs, laughed until we cried, blew our noses, wiped our tears, and gave up. This time I'm traveling with hubby, daughter and son-in-law. The latter will do the navigating and driving. On the wrong side of the road. Uh-uh, not doing that again.

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I view my photos on LR and I rely on the metadata information regarding date and time that the photo was taken to jog my memory of the location. I also have Google maps and retrace my steps and use the street view function to find the specific location of where the photos were taken. 

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