Part of the challenge in the digital age is finding your best photos in the large amounts of digital images you take. It can sometimes feel like finding a needle in a haystack.
If you are Lightroom user, you can find your images in a couple different ways. As always, the more time you spend upfront cataloging your images, the easier it is in the long term to find the images you are looking for.
Most of these options can be used together, so start narrowing down using one method and add another filter to choose from fewer photos.
When importing photos, you can put your photos in Folders. (You can also have Lightroom auto-create folders based on date). If you label your folders with an event or client name this can be an easy way to start your image search. Folders can often help you go from looking at your whole multi-thousand image catalog to a more select number.
Library Filter Bar:
If you name your Folders (as opposed to having Lightroom auto-create folders based on date.), you can still search by date. In the Library module, press “\” (Or “View > Show Filter Bar”). In the metadata tab, there is a date field. If this does not show up, select any menu bar and there will be a list of options including date.
You can select the date when the photo was taken. You can also multi-select a date range if you are unsure of the exact date.
There are other options here as well. If you want to search by keyword, camera, lens, or file type these filters can also be helpful. (If would like to search by ISO, focal length, shutter speed or aperture… God bless you.)
You can also search by keywords. In order to search by keywords, you need to put keywords in your photos. (Obvious… I know.) Some users will choose to put in keywords on import and use this to find their photos.
The nice part about keywords as opposed to using a folder name, is that one photo can have multiple keywords. You can search by keywords within the Library module, in the right menu or in the Filter menu. You can also just use the text search button. (Separate multiple keywords with a comma.)
Create a collection and put your best photos in there. This makes seeing your photos very easy.Maps:
Maps is a new feature in Lightroom 4. If your camera has GPS embedded you can find your photos easily based on location using the new Maps feature. If you use your camera phone often, these cameras typically have GPS embedded in the data (you can choose to turn this off and on.)
As with anything in the digital age, the more time you spend indexing and cataloging your images upfront, the easier it will be to find them when you want them. Try all of these method to find your photos in Lightroom and find a system that works best for you.