Lightroom: Workflow UNfriendly "features" that remain in LR4

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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Things that STILL are workflow UNfriendly in LR4:

1) There remains no token available which solves the issue of filename sequencing on successive imports (that I've found). You have a choice of a token that increments until you manually reset it or it rolls over, or one which starts at the initial count on each import. Adobe managers, this is user unfriendly! (As a former engineer, I find it hard to believe the engineers are refusing to provide this token which would not even take a whole afternoon to implement. It's gotta be a management decision.) Photographers whose jobs span multiple cards want the successive imports to be seamless- to pick up where they left off. It makes no sense that Adobe is not facilitating this in a "workflow" product. When you are renaming on import, and using a sequence number in the filename, you should be able to plug the next card in and click import and have the filenaming pick up where it left off. You shouldn't have to check the directory for the last number used and then put the next number in the import dialogue. This is what computers are for!

2. At some point in the past, someone had the bright idea of making Lightroom clear the keywords to be applied with each import. Doubtless this was to satisfy the dopes who forget to set the keywords when they start a new (different) import, and end up applying the wrong keywords. Ok, I get it that some people can't maintain the discipline to verify that the keywords are correct prior to clicking the import button, but do the rest of us need to be punished as well? You could at least make this a user selectable option (to retain the last keywords used in the import dialogue.) This goes along with the previous issue: we want to be able to continue importing a job that spans multiple cards by plugging in the new card and clicking "import". Having to set the "next sequence #" and retype in all the keywords is a pain, time consuming, and error prone. And if you have a bunch of sessions on a card to which you want to apply several common keywords and one unique one, you have to type them all in every time. This is a time waster and discourages people from using keywords.

3. If you use sticky filters (locked library filters, remembering each source's filter separately), when you do a new import, you always get "no photos match the filter". Except if you are putting these images into a new directory, there is no filter to be matched. What seems to be happening is the new "source" is being assigned the filter from the previous source rather than being assigned "no filter". The fix is as simple as it is obvious. If you have to create a new directory into which to place the imported files, you set the filter value to be no filter.

Please, please, please fix these items. The last item is a minor nuisance. The other two, however, impact efficiency and workflow.
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Mark Levesque

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Posted 6 years ago

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Butch_M

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Mark, you may want to keep in mind that those very same "undisciplined dopes" frequent here and could vote for and support your suggestions. They may not be inclined to do so if they feel your appraisal is unjust or unwarranted.

You could probably garner much more loyal support if you could offer suggestions without risking potential insults to those fellow users who could assist you in influencing the developers that your suggestions have enough merit to become a priority task.
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Mark Levesque

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You're right. My apologies to anyone who felt slighted. It's been bugging me since they changed the behavior (back in V2, I think), and by the time I get motivated to find the appropriate forum and post about it I'm pretty riled up. Breathing normally now. I would appreciate any support I could garner in improving what is already a favorite software tool.
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jdv, Champion

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As for (2), if you want the same keywords set on import add them to an import preset.

The implicit save across invocations of the dialogue certainly violated the principle of least surprise, and there was always the ability to add keywords to the preset, so nothing has changed much in that regard.
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Mark Levesque

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I guess creating a preset to be used 2 or 3 times and then discarded makes no sense to me, especially when they are temporally adjacent.
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jdv, Champion

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And having keywords maintained across 2 or 3 invocations makes no sense to me. It is not a given that 2 or 3 invocations of the import dialogue will have anything to do with each-other. It could be; but then again it might not be. The UI can't really predict this, so the best choice is to not do anything surprising.

If I have a set of media that shares the same keywords, I use an import or metadata preset.

This is the best way for the computer to do that grunt work for me, while not making it very easy to make "dopey" mistakes that no one is immune to.
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Mark Levesque

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It's not a given, true, but as you go down each part of the import dialogue, you will naturally change the things that need to be changed and leave the things that don't need to be changed alone. To follow your principle completely, you'd retain nothing from previous imports, and that is not how the import dialogue operates. It remembers certain things, like the destination directory, which may not be such a good thing if the imports are of unrelated jobs. I'm just asking for the OPTION for the import dialogue to reduce repetitive tasks in a common scenario.
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jdv, Champion

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Clearly, it makes no sense to retain everything, or nothing.

So, striking a balance is fine. Over time, the UI will be tweaked to balance one with the other. Where do we draw the line for yet another checkbox? The dialogue was already too cluttered, and has been significantly redesigned for clarity over three releases.

Keywords are exactly the sorts of settings that are more likely to change from invocation to invocation, whereas top-level destination folders and folder templates are more than likely to not change. It is the lesser surprise to remember general metadata like a destination folder than highly specific metadata like keywords.

Couple that with that fact that it is very easy to bulk move folders, while it is a more difficult thing to find mis-keyworded photos and fix them. Usability is about balancing facility and convenience, and minimizing surprises and lobster traps.

I'm puzzled by the need for the dialog to preserve everything for you. Surely you must use a preset for folder destinations?

There is an option: make an import or metadata preset. In fact, if you are not using metadata presets doing bulk event photo imports, you are really doing yourself a disservice.

We will have to agree to disagree. I remain unconvinced that this is more than a simple annoyance with an easy workaround. In short: you got used to bad behaviour. It doesn't change the fact that it was bad behaviour.
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Mark Levesque

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I didn't ask for a checkbox in the dialogue itself. I asked for a preference.

That you are puzzled by "the need for the dialog to preserve everything for you" shows that you don't do a lot of multi-card jobs, or multiple similar imports. One very obvious scenario is a wedding or other event in which images are captured over a number of cards (possibly by multiple photographers). If you are the one that has to deal with all these images, it is patently obvious that being able to simply insert the next card and make a single click is infinitely more efficient and accurate than having to reset the sequence number for the computer and manually re-enter the keywords for each import. It's literally a no-brainer. Another common scenario is if you are doing a number of small sessions on a single card, and you want to reuse several of the keywords but change one or two. Being able to only change the ones you need changed is a big advantage.

I'm sorry, but having to create a preset simply to get around the hassle of re-entering keywords that won't be re-used after the current spate of imports is completed is a kludge.

I am a real user (since V1) and my needs are not being met as well as they could be (with minimal engineering effort). It's that simple.