January 4, 2016

Photography Checklist for 2016

Victoria Brampton, aka The Lightroom Queen, recently published an article in her free Lightroom e-newsletter that lists some helpful tasks to get the new year started on the right foot. You can find a link to the newsletter article here. Below is a version of her suggestions modified to work for Elements Organizer users.


Elements Organizer Checklist for 2016
  • Find missing files 
  • Create a catalog backup
  • Clear out fuzzy photos
  • Update your copyright template
Read more....

Find missing files.
How do you know they are missing? If you use a catalog product like Elements Organizer to manage your image collection, it provides a search feature to help you locate the actual picture files that have become disconnected from their thumbnails in the catalog.

In Elements Organizer, you can search for missing files under Find > All Missing Files. Missing files in the Organizer have a yellow question mark in the upper left corner.

Missing file question mark in Elements Organizer

To reconnect the thumbnail with the original file, double click the missing picture. Elements displays a window where it searches your hard drive for the photo automatically.

Searching for a missing file

Often it's faster to click the Browse button and locate the picture yourself. When you find the file in its new location, Elements asks you to Reconnect it. This makes the question mark disappear.

Reconnect missing file window

Note: To prevent files going missing, only rename or move pictures using the Organizer, not Windows Explorer or Mac Finder.

Create a catalog backup.
A catalog backup will help you in case your Organizer catalog becomes corrupted. (A catalog backup does NOT back up your pictures themselves!) Elements Organizer reminds you to make a backup after you've made lots of changes to your catalog.

Elements Organizer Backup Reminder

You can also create a catalog backup manually by choosing File > Backup Catalog and following the on-screen instructions.

Elements Organizer Backup Options screen

I recommend naming the backup with the date you created it so you can keep track of how frequently you've done a catalog backup.

Saving a catalog backup named with the current date

If you have not recently made a backup of your catalog, it's a good thing to do before you add another year's worth of images. And don't forget to back up your images themselves, while you're at it!

Clear out fuzzy photos.
We all have fuzzy, dark, washed-out or otherwise unwanted photos in our catalogs. Review your pictures to find the "fuzzy" candidates. Give 1 star to those photos you want to delete. Then set the Ratings bar in the upper right corner of the Organizer window to show only images with 1 star.


If you already use stars for your best images, you can ask Elements to show just the photos with no stars instead. Set the Rating bar to be equal to no stars.


With just your fuzzy photos visible, choose Edit > Select All and press the Backspace or Delete key. Organizer shows a window where you can choose to just remove the photo from the catalog or delete it from your hard drive. Check the box to delete the photo from both the catalog and the hard drive. Then click OK. When you select delete from hard disk, the picture is in your trash and you have to empty the trash to permanently get rid of it.

Delete a file from both the Organizer catalog and the hard drive

Finally, to return to viewing all the photos in your catalog, click the All Media arrow in the upper left of the thumbnails window.

Update your copyright template.
You can create a 2016 copyright template in Elements, but you need to open a file in the Editor to do so. Once the photo is open in the Editor, choose File > File Info. In the Description tab, type your name as the Author. Change the Copyright Status to Copyrighted. Type your copyright notice in the box and optionally include your web site address.

To create the copyright symbol on a Mac, press Option+G. On Windows, press ALT and using the numeric keypad type 0169. When you release the ALT key, the symbol appears.

Creating a copyright template with File Info in Elements Editor

If you want to also include your mailing address, phone number, and/or email address, click on the IPTC tab and fill in the appropriate boxes.

Adding contact information with File Info in Elements Editor

To save all this information as your copyright template, at the bottom of the window, click the button next to Preferences and select Export. In the window, type a name for this copyright template. I include the year first since I make a new template for every year. Click Save and then OK to close the File Info window. This copyright template has been applied to this picture.

Saving a 2016 Copyright Template

When you import any new photos for 2016 using the Photo Downloader, you can select this template in the Advanced dialog. Click on Apply Metadata and from the Template to Use list choose your new 2016 template.

Applying a copyright template to new imported photos
In the Photo Downloader Advanced dialog

If you complete all these tasks, your Organizer catalog will be backed up, clear of any rejected images and ready with a 2016 copyright template to stamp all your new pictures.