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Declutter Your Photolife by Adam Pratt

Obregon Obregon

Is from: Southold, US
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Obregon Moderator Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.  Charter Member
Wed 24-Aug-22 07:48 AM
Declutter Your Photolife: Curating, Preserving, Organizing, and Sharing Your Photos by Adam Pratt

My mother used to say “if it’s worth remembering, you don’t need a photograph”. Fortunately for Adam Pratt and multitudes of photographers, most people don’t hold to that maxim. This book is aimed at people who have large collections of photographs (some have up to a million images, the author claims) and want to organize and recover them more efficiently.

Pratt divides the process into five phases: gathering, preserving, organizing, sharing and maintaining. He recommends doing this on a computer with a big display, plenty of RAM and lots of external storage, using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic. The author recommends an assembly line process that works. It is similar to the process I started using more than 25 years ago, when I bought my first scanner and a computer program for organizing photographs. During the years since, I kept updating and now I use the same Lightroom that he recommends. I could even recover a photograph of my late naysayer mother when my son asked for it.

I was a little jittery when Pratt started to talk about millions of images but I soon calmed down. Over the years I’ve been ruthless in culling my files so that my principal catalog only contains about 5000 images. That will horrify some people who snap away at the drop of a hat but that’s more than adequate for me to keep great photographs of my partner, our 5 kids and their partners, numerous grandchildren and cousins, friends and acquaintances, and our travels and celebrations as well as a complete catalog of the images that I sell. (I keep a separate catalog of videos that I shoot.) If you heed the author’s advice, you may be able to throw away some of those multiple images of Uncle Charlie in the lampshade.

Reading this book, I kept thinking, I don’t need this book; I already do this. But once in a while, I came across a nugget that I hadn’t encountered. For example, Pratt alerted me to John Beardsworth’s “Video Metadata Save”, a Lightroom plug-in that allowed me to embed metadata, including keywords, directly into videos, that I could read in Premiere Pro. That alone made the book worthwhile.

If you are staring at a mountain of photographs and you want to get a handle on them, this is a good book to read and then follow the author’s advice.

G