Build a stress-free workflow to import, tag, rate, and organize your digital photos!

Take Control of
Your Digital Photos

Jeff Carlson

This book gives photographers using Mac or Windows computers the information they need to build and maintain a digital photo workflow that makes it easy to import, tag, rate, and store photos to find them quickly and easily later. It helps you spend more time on the enjoyable aspects of photography—shooting and viewing your photos—and less on the mundane but essential task of managing all your photos.

All Take Control books are delivered in three ebook formats—PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle)—and can be read on nearly any device.

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Are you drowning in a sea of digital photos? Unable to find the shots you’re looking for, or to stay on top of managing all the photos you’re taking? Digital photography expert Jeff Carlson gives you a plan for tackling this problem, starting with preparing your camera ahead of time, then choosing the right app to manage your photos, judging and organizing your photos, and backing up your photos for safekeeping.

In this book—an expanded and updated version of Take Control of Your Digital Photos on a Mac—Jeff extends his advice to cover both Mac and Windows users, and to address a broader range of photo management apps: Photos from Apple, Lightroom Classic CC, Lightroom CC, Photoshop Elements, and Mylio.

Go deeper with Lightroom CC or Photos: This book discusses photo management with Adobe’s Lightroom CC and Apple’s Photos, but for much more detail on these apps, be sure to pick up Jeff’s book Take Control of Lightroom CC, or Take Control of Photos by Jason Snell!

With this book, you’ll learn how to:

Get started with the minimum amount of work: Take advantage of software intelligence to do some of the categorizing work for you, and find out how you can accomplish some tasks even if you have little time.

Prep your camera: Learn four actions you can take before you head out the door that will make things easier after you return with new pictures.

Get your app together: Decide which app you’ll use to organize your digital photos, compare popular choices and find out Jeff’s recommended application.

Import the right way: Learn how to assign valuable metadata to all images that come in during the import stage.

Pick winners and losers: Assign ratings to your photos, and remove or hide unwanted photos.

Apply keywords and metadata: Take a second pass on applying keywords to individual shots (after starting the process during import), learn how to apply geotags using GPS data from external devices (like an iPhone), and use facial recognition to collect shots of specific friends and family members.

Search with smart albums: Build smart albums whose contents change depending on criteria you’ve specified, allowing you to find photos more easily. While searching, learn how to remove duplicate photos.

Go mobile: Find the right online service for making your photos available on mobile devices, based on your needs and which desktop photo management app you use.

Protect your photos: Learn how to implement a backup strategy that will preserve all your data, not just your photos, and how to archive photos for the future.

“After 20 years of struggling to stay on top of family photos I now have an effective workflow, tagging strategy, and storage. I’m back in love with photography thanks to your eBook.” —Tony Stevenson

Jeff Carlson

About Jeff Carlson

Jeff Carlson is a contributing editor of TidBITS, a columnist for the Seattle Times, a frequent contributor to Macworld, and the author of best-selling books on the Mac, video editing, digital photography, and, in earlier incarnations, Web design and Palm organizers. He consumes almost too much coffee. Almost.

The world of photo software continues to change in dramatic ways. And with this revision, so has this book: it’s effectively a new edition of Take Control of Your Digital Photos on a Mac, but it was renamed to reflect the fact that it’s not longer limited to macOS (see the second bullet point ahead). Here’s how these changes are reflected in this edition:

  • Nearly every chapter of the book has been updated to include information about the new Lightroom CC application that Adobe introduced in late 2017, as well as the rebranding of its predecessor as Lightroom Classic CC

  • In general, the book is more Windows-friendly, since photo management isn’t platform-specific. Aside from Photos for Mac, all the software discussed runs on both macOS and Windows

  • Added Mylio to the list of applications to consider

  • Added Photoshop Elements to the chapter about how to Take Advantage of Software Intelligence

  • New explanation of how photos imported into Lightroom Mobile apps and synced to Lightroom Classic CC are stored differently than images imported directly into Lightroom Classic CC

  • Expanded and updated section on Lightroom Mobile within the Go Mobile with Online Photo Services topic

  • Added information on Merging Tracking Data in Windows, including how to record a geotracked trail and match up locations with specific photos by their timestamps

What versions of software are described in this book?

The text was written based on the latest versions of Photos for Mac (3.0), Lightroom CC (2017), and Photoshop Elements (2018) in February 2018.

It primarily covers macOS 10.12 Sierra or later, Windows 10, and iOS 10 or later.

March 15, 2019—The text of this book is still accurate, but since the tools for managing photos continue to evolve (as does Jeff's advice in how to approach them), we plan to release a new edition of this book later in 2019.

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