How To Find those Missing Photos the Easy Way

Happy New Year!
As we careen headlong into 2022, you may be thinking about straightening out your collection of digital photos.
I’m talking about finding the image you knew you had, but can’t pull it up.
It could be your family holiday images, or a music festival you shot.
Like when someone said: Do you have any photos of that rock group that played at SXSW in 2009? Why yes, I do.
Yes, I’v shot SXSW for many years and only in the past recent years, did I tag correctly.
I started the search but nada.
How do you make you life easier and less frustrating?
Yep, all about the tagging or keywording. Preferably performing this function when you ingest/import the files.
OK, I jumped ahead a little bit. There will be a list of simple steps at the end of this post.
First of all you should decide on a digital asset management system, or a DAM. Basically a program that lets you sort your images via tagging, or written naming of the images.
Or batches of images
My program of choice is Adobe Lightroom Classic. the icon you are looking for is this:

I have used this for years, and I can always find my images. Sometimes it’s a huge hunt for the older ones, but I get there.
Here is how it works:
First when you import images from your media, a window will come up, and will ask for this info in one of the columns:

The program reads the media You will be able to see the images on the disk. decide which images to import, then you can add a general tag/keyword upon the import. You can choose where to save them to, but that’s another story.

With a small amount of images, your computer should be able to handle it. For the heavy users, like myself, it’s external drives.
Then, once all imported,  it’s in your main LR workspace. you can tag images into specific groups , like this:

When you want to find the image you need, the program can search though all of the tagged images and come up with the choices, based on keyword, attribute (was it a flagged image as a pick?), camera, lens, and more


The tougher part is when you don’t have an image tagged correctly, or the location changed.
Then you get this image, with the exclamation point.

With the missing image thumbnail selected, click on the exclamation point, and you can then locate the image from your hard drives. LR shows you the path.

you can identify the hard drove to look through, by looking at drives as icons, below, or a simple list.

and here it is on the hard drive:


Another beauty part of LightRoom: once you have truly located the right image file, click on it, and the surrounding related images will then be be found on the preview! Here’s a hot tip- I keep the library data column at the date created section, so when the image is found on the drive, it’s correct.

Yes, I have in my earlier days, had images with duplicate file names. LR will know which is the image though, and will tell you!.

I know this has been a lot, so here are the basic steps:

Basic initial Steps

*Import images from a media card with a general keywording tag
*once imported, deep dive into more specific keywording per image or group of images
*Add another layer of tagging with an color attribute or flag to further define the image(s)

To find lost images:
Do all in Library mode/tab in LR
*click on exclamation point on missing image
*Search path called out by program
*click on file name on the prescribed drive.
*Surrounding related images will populate and save you the time searching for the rest in a series.

Hot tip: set Library info column to the date/time image was shot, so when the details come up in the search, you will have the right image based on file name, and at least you have the time it was made.


I’ll be honest, I have googled when an act or personality did a specific event, and search my library using that date. It works!

If you have any questions, you can contact me at

And now, back to cleaning up my library!!




Holiday Gift Guide Part 7 – Gifts You Don’t Need to Wrap

I hope you got in on all of the black Friday, cyber Monday, and green Monday sales.
There are more sales coming but getting a physical gift under the tree is a bit tough now, unless you pick it up, wrap it and deliver it.
Here are some items that photographers at various levels of expertise will love and you don’t have to wrap a thing!
Making a nice email could be cool, but that’s up to you.
I’m talking about some great software
Let start with the best and the classic- Adobe Creative Cloud. With a suite of some of the best creative tools around, you can’t beat this for that special person on your list (is it you?)
And you can also get specific bundles for a photographer or videographer.
Plus with free tutorials online, this will enhance any content and give an artist plenty of room to grow.

BTW, Lightroom will be a big part of an upcoming post about digital asset management. How to look over 300,000 photos and find the exact one you want!

If the CC is too complex, and it may be, the best package I’ve seen is the Adobe Elements package.

With so many of the great features in the pro model, this combo software gives photographers and videographers a great start in the content creation path content creators path. And it’s not gonna break the bank. about $100

Want to go pro?

This software gives a system to edit with blazing fast speed when you are on a deadline.

The thumbnails of your images load super fast allowing you to edit and export or upload to make that deadline! Or send the selected images to Photoshop to tweak away.

When you have the time to craft an image even more, this set of products from Topaz will give you an edge to enhance a photograph to the best of its possibilities. Sharpen, increase ability to enlarge, de noise. Love it for those low light night shots

And 25% of to 12/31! Or try it for a free trial

Another choice in the enhancement software is On1– a long time player in the field, check out the possibilities. And the units can be added as a plug in to your favorite Adobe product. Similar software to Topaz so download a free trial and see what works best for you

And of course a good solid gift card to a store like BH, Adorama or Fotocare will do just right!

Yes, there are many different software choices out there. The ones above have been tried and true by me, and work like crazy. I depend on them.

And of course if you are not shipping, and are looking for the last minute gifts for the content creators on your list, the BH Flash deals can’t be beat!

Holiday Gift Guide 2021 – Part 6 : The Gifts Your Forgot to Get!

I hope you did most of your heavy lifting shopping, and scored the deal you wanted/needed! I’ll bet there are some more markdowns coming, so keep an eye on your shopping list.
However, after wrapping and shipping, you kno there are some last minute things you should add to the stockings, or wrap up for under the gtree.

Small-ish things that are totally useful and cool. Not a pair of socks useful, but better.

First up is an item that should be in every photogs camera bag:

The LensPen

Yes, your lens WILL get dirt/Dust fingerprints on it, so clean it the right way. I have one in each kit. $10.00

You must be all TikTok binging at his point, or watching the streaming camera reviews, and you need to perch your phone horizontal or vertical. On TikTok, you realize that everyone is on it, right? And this addition fits about all the phone cases out there. Adhesive backing, work like a charm. $20.00

Clickr grip and stand

As Apple has now announced the coming of consumer fixed repairs, or even if you just need the right tools for your computer needs, this set from OWC, is an amazing deal at $20

All you need to service or repair your computer, tablet or other small or household devices. Complete with rugged nylon tool case. 1 Year OWC Limited Warranty.

This Think Tank Photo Pee Wee Pixel Pocket Rocket Memory Card Case  is  a def solid item, everyone needs. They do have different sizes for different media cards

You will be going outside , an if there is a chill in the air, you still need to manipulate your phone, or tablet. Aglove is the best I’ve found and it’s not just usable at the tips. Good all over!

When you are using your phone as a vid camera, there are a few ways to go.

What i like about the Joby Grip Tight POV kit, is the simplicity, and most of all- the Bluetooth remote control that comes with this set up! It connect easily and you can control stills or vid. Content Creator? yep, you can use this! In this photo you can se the remote in a cold shoe on top. Small unit, works like a charm! this whole rig is a bout $18.00

If you are looking for more of a pro model of phone rig, you have to get the Beastgrip Lens Adapter & Rig System


It worked for the Holiday Apple Spot this year!

So there you have it!
The next gift guide will be an easier group to send, as there are electronic ways to send!

And a few more items coming this week, that may not be on the gift guide, although some great useful products you should know about.

Holiday Gift Guide – Part 5: The Books!

Hope you were able to snag all of the great deals on Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, which seems to be extending out this week.

The things that are not part of those door busters are the things that will probably last the longest: books.
It has been an interesting year in the photo book market, and some of the most respected organizations in the space have put together their own book gift guide for 2022
Here are the links:

and Aperture.

Admittedly, I did go to MOMA to see all of the books in person.
Some great ones, although I didn’t leave with any. Will probably be going back as I’ve had my eye on a few.

However, my favorite book this year has been:
Gordon Parks: The New Tide: Early Work 1940–1950

This book is published by one of the finest book publishers in the world, Steidl. High quality, great writing. Regulation size book, and book you’d be proud to give, are add to your own library.

I’m sure you know of the breadth of work of this master photographer, writer, musician, director and social historian. Here is an exploration of the early work, with many images not seen before.

If you are not familiar with his legacy, Gordon Parks (November 30, 1912 – March 7, 2006) was the first African American to be a staff photographer for Life magazine. He is best remembered for his iconic photos of poor Americans during the 1940s (taken for a federal government project), and for his other many photographic essays for Life magazine, and as the director of the 1971 film Shaft. As the first African American to produce and direct major motion pictures—developing films relating the experience of slaves and struggling black Americans, and creating the “blaxploitation” genre.

and check out the Gordon Parks Foundation for more info as well.
A documentary on him has just been released on HBO – Choice of Weapons

Of course, I always feel that the Family Of Man, which has influenced photographer for decades, should be in everyone’s library. A photo book about the human condition form birth to death, told by over 250 photographers from all over the world, with prose interspersed by Carl Sandburg. A classic

Honestly, I usually have a few copies about to give as gifts. As I looked it up on Amazon, it let me know I’ve ordered this book 18 times!!

At a $17 price for the paperback, you can’t go wrong.

Next up is The Photographer’s Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas 

This is a great book of thought starters to help you get your creative juices flowing from some of the best practitioners around. About 1 page per “assignment” this will def get you thinking

One note is that many photo books are not large production runs, so as a result they go out of print. Sometimes a fave photo book in a first edition is a special gift for someone one you know will appreciate it.
I actually did that this year, and can’t wait to see the reaction!

A fast listing, and I know there are sooo many more, and you will find the photo books ones that speak to you fro giving, or getting.

Holiday Gift Guide 2021 Part 4 – Audio

Ok, let’s talk about audio.
You know that it’s 50% of your content, unless it’s bad. Then it’s 80%

First recco is this beautiful audio recorder, called Tula

The form factor alone should be enough to convince you to carry with you.

You can set the mic to omni for a conversation or even add a lavalier mic to hone in on one or the other participant.
This small footprint unit comes with a pedigree. The creators of the Soyuz line of mics and mic capsules have made this mic/recorder to top level specifications.

Tula mic/recorder goes for about $230.

When you want to go more mobile, and connect directly into your camera , the Rode Wireless Go II. With a receiver and 2 wireless mics, you can quickly hook up your subjects for an interview situation. In NYC, I’ve seen the local news station using these as they cover the local beat.

Another solid choice is the Deity Duo,

looking like many mini mics on the market, but this one has another trick up it’s sleeve: you can either have it just forward facing, OR have it pick up from behind as well, so you can capture the interviewers questions as well.
About $100 ON SALE TODAY, 11/26 FOR $68 at BH!

Let’s go more pro, if you want to get some of the best
Sennheiser receiver/ transmitter system has been in my kit for years,

For lav mic I prefer the Tram tr50

or the Sanken COS 11-D

It’s funny, as i think the Tram is more popular on the west coast, and the Sanken on the east coast.
If you live in a major metropolitan city, like AL, Chicago or NYC, I would suggest going into a local vendor to actually hear the mics to make your best choices

If you are going into podcasting world, a perfect mic is the
Shure SM7B

Couple it with the best headphones Sony MD 7506, around $90
Yep, that good for the best price. Nice and flat so you can mix as you like.

what do you plug into for your podcast?
If you are going to be stationary, I’m partial to the Rodecaster Pro,

which mixes, records, and exports to my fave podcasting platform, Anchor. Once you export to this , it will send your podcast to all the majors.

If you are on the move, and really only have need for no more than 3 mics, the MixPre 3II is a great choice, with a small form factor and high end pre-amps,

plus support with upgrades to the firmware when needed.

Pack all of that into an Orca bag , that you can get from 16×9 suppliers. Your size needs will vary, so choose the bag based on the gear you’ll transport and use.

More guides coming!!

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