Can it actually be 2017? Did any of you make New Year’s resolutions?
Well, if you are a garden photographer, now is the time to put your files in order. You’re not shooting much this time of year, and spending way too much time indoors wishing you could be outdoors. Spend a couple hours organizing your files now in January and make a habit of doing it every year.
First, be sure to backup all your photos. Download all of those Flash cards and all the phone photos into their own folder on your computer – somewhere that you can find.
Before you walk away from that, be sure to do a very simple description of each folder. Sure, I could tell you to go in and write a caption on each photo, but I don’t even do that myself. At least put a basic name to your file “Dogwoods, April”, “Sea Ranch, May”. It will help enormously when you try to find something later.
A couple of hours spent every January will become one of those little chores you will be glad you did. Now, those couple of hours organizing may very well become a couple of days reminiscing … but that’s not a bad thing to do on these cold winter days.
I use the winter months to finish my post-production and computer work on many of the gardens I shoot for personal projects. The deadlines and demands of my assignment work too often gets in the way of reviewing some of the most interesting gardens.
It can take me days to finish up a photo shoot. I review every photo individually, add captions, look up the botanic spellings, and make color corrections before I ever put them into my database and upload them to my galleries on PhotoBotanic.
I know it is unrealistic to ask you to put captions on every photo, but really, now is the time to do what you can. Every search tool uses text and every word you put into a caption makes it easier to find.
I always tell students my favorite time in the garden is the early morning light, but if I don’t put the word “morning” into a caption, how am I going to find a photo to illustrate it?
Of course, for me in my business of licensing photos, I want editors to find my photos, so I do extensive captions before I put them on-line, but do at least give your files a name so your own computer can find them.
Didn’t I once shoot a Honey Locust somewhere on a trip back East? . . .
It can indeed be a tedious process but this time of year it transports me back to glorious days and wonderful gardens – even warm autumn days before our rainy season kicked in.
I invite you to follow me throughout the year on the PhotoBotanic site where I add new photos, garden notes, and photo tips all during every week.
And if you follow my Instagram account you also follow my dog Kona. Here we are the day after the election, rededicating ourselves to bringing you beauty.