LIGHTROOOM - Compound keywords

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  • Idea
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
As I explained in a different post, Lightroom works best with a normalized keyword hierarchy.

This leads to collecting adjective keywords (e.g. blue) in a separate part of the keyword hierarchy from the noun keywords (e.g. jeans).

The thing is, adjectives can pair with many different nouns. If I have a photo with the keyword set blue, jeans, black, studio, are the jeans blue and the photo background black, or the other way around? What if there are two blue things and one black thing in the photo? How then do I search for blue + jeans and find only those photos where blue modifies jeans?

(If you doubt the utility of this feature, ask any user of stock photography whether blue jeans conveys the same message as black jeans.)

I propose that Lightroom's keyword list syntax be extended to allow compound keywords. I propose the use of square or curly brackets for this purpose. I prefer square: [ blue, jeans ], [ black, studio ].

I expressed the problem in terms of nouns vs adjectives above, but it's really broader than that. For example, you probably have relatives that sometimes wear glasses, and other times wear contacts. If you have an eyeglasses keyword and a photo of Aunt Jane and Uncle John, Lightroom currently lets you tag the photo eyeglasses, Aunt Jane, Uncle John. So, who's wearing their glasses in this photo? Both, or just one?

Why would you care? Maybe you're on a quest to collect photos of Aunt Jane in her glasses for an amusing slideshow to play at her upcoming birthday party, so everyone can have a laugh over the changing styles, but now you're having to weed out photos where she wore her contacts in the same photo where her husband John was wearing his glasses instead.

Along with this, I'd want some ability to query such things in Smart Collections. For example, I'd want to be able to create a collection that warns me of gender mismatches, such as [ blonde, Uncle John ]. As it stands, I have no way to detect such things in a keyword set like blonde, Aunt Jane, Uncle John. If they're both Swedes, they could both be yellow-haired, but maybe both have dyed their hair at various points in their life, or maybe both have gone silver-haired in their old age. blonde could belong to Aunt Jane in this example, but I can't be sure because the current syntax leaves adjectives unattached to the nouns they modify.
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Warren Young

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Posted 2 years ago

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