From Adobe Lightroom's keywords to Flickr's tags

I’ve had Adobe Lightroom for a few months and still I haven’t really mastered even 10% of what it can do, so now I’m on a serious mission to learn about it and use it to publish my photos on flickr, as well as organise my growing collection of photos.

This post is about something I’ve just learnt which probably you already know about, or you can google around, so I’m offering this to my friends who I know follow the very few posts I write here and who occasionally use Lightroom and flickr (or not so occasionally).

Today I’m learning about the keywording system in Lightroom and how powerful it can be to classify photos. One of the ways in which you can classify it is using a hierarchy of keywords. So you end up having something like:

    • UK
      • London
      • Brighton
    • Spain
      • Madrid
      • Sevilla

which I quite like.

If you google you’ll see that there are even some keyword hierarchies on sale, so trying to avoid the expense, I just created the top keywords by having a look at what the D-65 keyword list suggests. This one includes: Action, Anatomy, Animals, Architecture, etc. Then from there you can just add children to them as you see fit (harder than it looks).

Using Jeffrey Friedl’s plugin for Lightroom to export photos to flickr (which does more than the plugin included with LR) I ended up with a bit of a mess (not Jeffrey’s fault) as it would be exporting the tags in a way I didn’t like.

For starters, if you have your top level keywords in uppercase, as I did, flickr ends up getting it wrong. The way LR stores internally, I guess, the keyword hierarchy is with > signs, so, for the above example it’d be: “London > UK > PLACES”, which gets sent to flickr like that. For some reason, the tags on flickr would end up being: ‘London’ and ‘UK > PLACES’. This also happened to me with ‘D90 > CAMERAS’ which is what made me think that if you have two keywords in uppercase, this is what happens.

Also, I didn’t want to  end up having tags like PLACES, CAMERAS, ANIMALS, etc. as I used these as kind of categories.

So, after a while googling and dicking around with LR I’ve found what I really have to do, which is to mark the top level categories/keywords as non-exportable, and then, the get exported the way I like to flickr!

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So, right click, and unselect ‘Include on Export’, that way, it won’t appear on flickr tags! :-)

Surely, this has all been documented around in many blogs, I just didn’t happen to find it! Anyway, enjoy!

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