All Those Maine Photos — Now What?

After three months away I’ve caught up with friends and family.  Of course, I’ve been taking photos while visiting and I finally finished processing them, along with doing all those errands and house chores.

It took several hours just to import, convert RAW to DNG, and double-backup the 2,576 photos–all categorized according to shooting location. This past week I started the process of tagging the photos with key words so I can quickly find what I need.  This is often an ongoing process of revision as I rethink the tagging.  But just to give you an idea, here are my current tags–imported from Adobe Lightroom:

Back Bay, Bates, Belfast, Berries, Birch Point Beach, Birch Point Beach St. Pk., Birds, Boats, Boothbay, Brass Band, Brunswick, Bug Light, Buildings, Buoys, Cairns, Camden, Camden Hills St. Pk., Casco Bay Bridge, CG Fair, Clouds, Cruise Ship, Crystal Spring Farm Land Trust, Down Front, Drydock, Flower, Fog, Foliage, Ft. William Pk, Georges River Land Trust, Landscapes, Lighthouse, Lobster pots, Mackworth Is., Marathon, Mid-coast, Moon, Netherworld, Night, Ovens Mouth Preserve, Owl’s Head, Panoramas, Peaks, Peaks* Fog, Pemaquid, People, Port Clyde, Portland, Pre-dawn, RachelCarson, Rockland, Rocks, Southern Coast, Sunset, Two Lights State Pk, Waterscapes, Waves, Wells Beach, Windjammers, Wolfe’s Neck State Pk.

These might look daunting, but they’re not. Although tagging these photos took several hours, tagging will make it easier to locate particular photos. The real task at hand is determining not only the “best” photos (i.e., technical and aesthetic qualities) to select for the book, but what subset of these will tell the best story about the Maine coast. Once I decide on that subset, those are the photos that I’ll process to enhance their look without overdoing them. The story itself will then emerge from this last set of photos–I hope. My major concern is that once I start this process I’ll discover that I’m lacking the images I really need.

Once all of this is complete, it’s off to copy-editing and graphics design, and then, a book. Can I do this by next summer? We’ll see.

If you have produced a photo book I would be happy to hear about your experience.

Writer’s Slump

My wife and I have been out on many local bird-watching outings this spring. Between tramping around in the woods and streams of Western, NY; and selecting, processing, and uploading photographs to my on-line gallery, I just haven’t been able to apply myself to selecting the most interesting photographs for WordPress short-stories. Adding to my photographic workload was how to separate and  delete about  14,000 “unwanted” photographs from my wanted photographs–all clogging up my Lightroom catalog on my external working hard drive. Although I make weekly back-ups to a second external hard drive, my on-line gallery is linked to my photos in Lightroom, so upsetting these would have caused me a major headache.

In any event, after about 20 hours of testing and proceeding cautiously, I figured it all out (I also learned that to make this much easier in the future, the only photographs I should flag in Lightroom are those that I post to my on-line gallery).

Still, I would rather be out with the camera than sitting at the keyboard.  However, I promise to come up with something!