9 Replies Latest reply on Sep 16, 2005 9:28 AM by (Colin_Walls)

    Using tags

      Can anyone give me an idea of a good tagging system? I'm afraid I am "over-tagging". In the book, "How to do Everything with Photoshop Album", it says overtagging can cause confusion. I currently am working with about 150 tags - specific person names, place names, years, pet names, etc. Is this overdoing it? Won't that make it easier to find specific photos later? Just curious how others have organized tags. Thanks!
        • 1. Re: Using tags
          Level 1
          I think the ideal tagging system for each person tends to evolve. It is important to think what you want tags for. You might want to be able to filter out all the pictures of pigmy shrews that you took last August, which also have a rainbow in the background. That would require a particular approach. You might be able to remember an image and have an idea of the time and place, but not exact. Tags could help you home in. You might be just looking for the best pictures. Again, another approach.

          I will tell you what I do, as that might give you ideas:

          First to remember that all images are "tagged" for time/date automatically. Not real tags, but the same effect. So don't duplicate this.

          When I import images I do some initial tagging, which might get adjusted later, but not often.
          I always tag for place. I have a hierarchy so that common places [like my home town] are near the top and more precise. I have very wide granularity from parts of a town to whole countries.
          I then tag for subject. I have defined a few subcategories like "nature", which contains "animals", "insects", "plants". I also have one that contains characteristics of an image, like "close up".
          I treat people as a special case. I again have a hierarchy, where my kids get their own tags, some groups [coworkers] share one and there's one for "strangers".
          I also apply 1, 2 or 3 star tags [categories] to pictures that are particularly good. [Not that many 3 star. :-(]

          This works for me. I tend to find pictures rapidly, so I must have got it mostly right.

          The key thing is to remember that, if the tagging system is too complex, it will be a chore to use it and you'll be tempted to "do it later" [= not do it]. And chaos ensues. Keep it simple!
          • 2. Re: Using tags
            Level 1
            Thanks for your response, Colin. So I guess those pictures I took of the pygmy shrews under a rainbow probably wouldn't be on my 3-star list!!! (Just kidding.)

            I agree that it is an evolving process; I have changed some things up as I go, using the sub-categories. That is cool. I scrapbook, and so have set up some categories that will help me find pictures for that. I guess I won't worry about the number of tags I use --- is there any limit that you know of?

            But I need some further clarification on this statement that you made:

            "First to remember that all images are "tagged" for time/date automatically. Not real tags, but the same effect. So don't duplicate this."
            What should I be careful about not duplicating? When I import my pictures, the older ones only have the date of importing up in the left-hand corner, when I'm working on single pics in the photo well. I am having to go through and reset the year and date on each picture, to make it chronologically correct. (That's my other big deal --- I'm a former teacher, and very left-brained. And so I prefer my pics basically in year/date order.)
            So, please give me a little more info on the not duplicating thing. Thank you so much.
            • 3. Re: Using tags
              Level 1
              My point was that images from a digital camera have the date/time of shooting included and PSA lets you filter on date ranges very easily. In the simplest case, there is no point in having tags for each month/year etc. [but that's probably obvious]. I would tend not to tag for events either, as I can probably figure out roughly when they occurred.

              > I'm a former teacher, and very left-brained

              Are these 2 things connected? Do you think teachers are left-brained [in general]?
              • 4. Re: Using tags
                Level 1
                OK, I see what you were getting at, now. I'm not doing by month, but by year seems to work for me, at least for now. Big family (50+) and many events to keep track of. The scrapbooking thing is well-suited for finding pictures this way.

                About the teacher thing; just my opinion. And I don't know if you are really interested, but here goes. In my 30 years before I retired last year, I attended many in-service workshops on the brain and learning styles. The majority of teachers ARE left-brained (more organized, methodical, like lists, etc.)
                Left Brain:

                Logical
                Sequential
                Rational
                Analytical
                Objective
                Looks at parts

                Right Brain:
                Random
                Intuitive
                Holistic
                Synthesizing
                Subjective
                Looks at wholes

                The right-brained teachers are usually in the arts; drama, art, etc. There is more room for creativity in those areas. Math, on the other hand, is pretty much cut and dried. I never met a right-brained math teacher! A person teaches in the style that is most comfortable also for learning. Right-brained teachers usually drove me a little nuts, because they seemed to have no organized plan; stuff just happened. So, left-brained students do better with left-brained teachers, and vice versa with the right folks. Didn't mean to lecture; left brain at work!

                Thanks for helping me with PSA. I think it is going to be great. Hope I didn't break any "forum rules" by discussing other than PSA. Let me know if I did. I'll try to mend my ways!
                • 5. Re: Using tags
                  Level 1
                  > Hope I didn't break any "forum rules" by discussing other than PSA.

                  Going off at tangents is not frowned on too much around here. :-)

                  I, too, am very left-brain. So, I know where you're coming from. I would like to develop my right brain skills - I am told that I have a good photographic eye and that must be right brain. I have been meaning to work through this book for a long time: http://tinyurl.com/d6y2k [there are varius editions available] - I am sure it would interest you.

                  A right brain math teacher would be a very special individual.
                  • 6. Re: Using tags
                    Level 1
                    > I see what you were getting at, now. I'm not doing by month, but by year seems to work for me

                    Are you tagging by year? If so, that is somewhat redundant, as you can filter the view of the catalog by moving the timeline sliders.
                    • 7. Re: Using tags
                      Level 1
                      I was tagging by year, but will stop doing so. Anything to streamline the process of entering hundreds of photos into PSA. I just wasn't familiar with the timeline until I investigated it, per your information. I do better just piddling around with a program, and discovering things on my own. It just makes more sense to me that way.

                      That looks like an interesting book. Thanks for the link. I don't think that my photographic eye is too well developed, and learning to draw would probably be a good thing. Again, thanks for your assistance.
                      • 8. Re: Using tags
                        How many hierarchichal tag levels are available in PSA 2? The SE version I have only has two, but I could use more and would be willing to pay for it in a upgrade.
                        • 9. Re: Using tags
                          Level 1
                          PSA 2 has Categories and Sub-categories. That's it.
                          PSE 3 Organizer has indefinite nesting.

                          So that's where to go, if that's a real need for you.

                          Just a comment. Unless you are implementing some kind of taxonomy, don't get carried away with a highly structured tagging scheme. If your scheme too complex, you won't use it ["I'll do the tagging a bit later, when I get around to it"] and your pictures will be even more disorganized than if you didn't use tagging at all.