Lightroom: Should detect shoots and allow naming, sorting and searching them

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  • Updated 11 months ago
  • (Edited)
Similar to how it detects and allows naming and hiding people, I think Lightroom should detect shoots and present them in a special section similar to the People section under Albums.

What constitutes a shoot can be configurable by user, or Adobe could use a generalized concept of a shoot. For example, 100 photos in an hour is definitely a shoot, as is 500 photos in 3 hours. But 30 photos in a day is probably not a shoot.

Each detected shoot should get a default name starting with the time stamp and location if available: "2018-12-03 10:00 AM Los Angeles shoot".

The shoots that got manually renamed should be visually different from the detected "raw" shoot. For example, detected shoots should be italicizes, and manually named/configured shoots should be normal.

Each shoot should initially be represented in the grid or list by a stack and a cover photo, either first or "best" photo of the shoot according to AI. The cover photo can be set by user, similar to the cover photo for People.

Shoots can be merged, hidden and deleted. If a shoot is deleted, Lightroom should ask whether the photos in the shoot should be deleted or left alone.

Time and geographic boundaries of a shoot should be modifiable by the user, affecting the number of photos automatically included in the shoot.

Shoots should be ratable 1-5 stars for importance/quality.

Shoots should be taggable as unprocessed/in process/done, etc.

Shoots should be sortable by date, name and number of photos.

Shoots should be searchable by name.

In a sense, the concept of shoots duplicates and augments the concept of albums/collections. It serves as an organizing tool for those who can't remember to always add photos to an album/collection upon import, those who import several shoots at once, and those who have imported large number of existing photos and are daunted by the task of sifting through them in the calendar view in hope of discover meaningful/sizeable shoots as opposed to the flow of mundane, random or everyday photos.

The concept of shoots improves on both the calendar view, which shows every day as a separate line item, even if that day has but a few stray, unimportant images, and on named albums. When naming an album, one day I may name it "2018 Smiths Laguna Beach shoot", another "Smiths 2018 Laguna Beach shoot" and yet another "Laguna Beach shoot - Smiths - 2018". Organizing and locating such albums is difficult later.

Finally, the concept of shoots allows organizing one's photos by degree of interestingness and doneness. I may initially spend a week identifying past shoots, assigning them star ratings of 1-5 stars and "done", "in progress", or "unprocessed" flags. After that, I have a clear picture of what sets of photos to work on first.

Lightroom's DAM mission as I see it is to liberate large number of photos from the obscurity of file storage. This mission can be accomplished better by targeting automatically identified sets of photos known as shoots as opposed to individual photos.

Lightroom is pretty good at managing day-to-day shooting and processing, but is not so great for discovering past photos. When such photos are discovered, it makes for some of the most enjoyable and interesting work.

Lightroom should not only support the well-organized shooter who is starting from clean slate, but also someone with a wealth (or baggage) of a large number of legacy photos with little more in terms of organization than file name and capture date.

I think Shoots can be the next killer feature for Lightroom.

Thanks!
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Alexei Tolkachev

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Posted 11 months ago

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