Birds of the World – Key Wording in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

One of the key functions of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (hereafter referred to as just Lightroom) is its database and the capability for users to store and manage tens of thousands of photographs. Key-wording is an integral and core component of the database management. For those who might be unfamiliar with the concept of key-wording: Key-wording enables you to very quickly find a specific photograph or a specific series of images that have been tagged with one or more keywords. I know a great many photographers who use key-wording to various degrees in their work-flows. Personally, I keyword extensively on import so that I can effectively manage the more than one hundred thousand images in my Lightroom Library.

When it comes to wildlife I like to keyword with with the species type (Mammal, Crustacean, Reptile etc.) and then break this down by individual animal in each category. Its a hierarchical keyword structure that works well for me in my work-flow.  Once set up in Lightroom its very quick for me to keyword my wildlife images on import. But what about key-wording for Birds?

Birds can be problematic to keyword for several reasons. Firstly, there are more than ten thousand different species across the globe which can make identification difficult, and secondly its massively time consuming to create keywords for them as you import your photographs (especially if you want to add Latin names and appropriate synonyms). I ran into this problem head-on on my recent Falkland Islands workshop where I spent a concentrated week photographing many different species of birds. I shot over 5000 photographs of birds that week and subsequently nearly gave up trying to identify them all, let alone create keywords for them all (and forget synonyms).  Thankfully, there is now a solution to at least the second part of this problem….

Good friend and expedition partner Ole Jorgen has recently completed the herculean effort of creating a complete hierarchical list for Lightroom of all of the birds of the world (yes – all  ten thousand four hundred plus of them). Not only has he put them all into a suitable structure for Lightroom and made it available for photographers to purchase, but he has also offered a number of different versions depending on your needs. You can check them out in his Web Shop or by clicking on the image below.birdsoftheworldOver the last few days I have been extensively testing the Birds of the Word UK Latin Edition and have found it absolutely invaluable in key-wording the many thousands of bird photographs in my Lightroom library. Integrating the list into your existing keyword structure is as simple as importing the list in the Meta-Data drop down menu of Lightroom. The lists are built in a hierarchical structure which makes them easy to manage as well as easy to understand. The UK Latin Edition I have been testing also contains synonyms for added granularity and detail. One of the added benefits of using a complete species list such as these is to actually see how many of a given type of bird you have photographed as well as what other types might be similar. Wether you are a keen bird photographer, or want to save time with your key wording of birds (as well as increase your accuracy and add finer granularity), or just wanting to increase your knowledge of birds I believe you will find these keyword lists to be extremely useful in your work-flow.

Anyone up for creating a complete list of the Mammals…?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s