More Than Just Keywords

As you know I'm a really big proponent of keywords and using them on all your images. Even if you only apply a single keyword it is still easier to locate that file later than if no keyword was applied. But Lightroom has room for more than just keywords. If you haven't spent much time in the Metadata Panel then you are missing out!

Start out in the Library Module and you'll find the Metadata Panel on the right.

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There are several presets for viewing the information in the Metadata Panel. After adding keywords to your images and gathering them into collections it is a good practice to add additional information such as Title, Caption, etc.

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To the left of the panel name is the drop down menu where you can select the view preset. Click on the arrows and choose Quick Description from the choices presented.

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The Quick Description view shows several areas of metadata useful for entering fuller descriptions for your images. Some are input fields you can change and others are informational.

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The first section is where you can apply any Metadata Presets you have created. Simply click on the arrows and choose the preset from the drop down menu.

Section 2 file data. Here you can change the name of the file. You can also give the selected copy a name. This allows you to name not only the master image but any virtual copies you have created. The status of the metadata is also shown. If you change the data and do not have changes automatically written back to the file then that will be indicated to let you know to write your changes out.

Star ratings can be set in section 3.

Information about the image size, crop size, capture time, and camera are shown in section 4.

Five key data points are in section five. You can title an image and give it a caption. Copyright and creator information can be entered as well as some location data.

When you are ready to start adding additional data to your images I recommend you set up your Library Module in loupe view. Hide the left panels and the filmstrip. Then drag the right panels as wide as they will go. This allows you to see a large view of your image and have plenty of room to work in the Quick Description metadata view.

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Doing this level of data input for all of your images is certainly a noble goal. But we all shoot a lot of images so start small and do this for select collections you have put together. Generally these collections have common data points and that can make the process a bit easier.

NOTE: I've added a new feature to Lightroom Secrets. Starting with this article you can click on the images to see larger version. I hope you find this useful.