I ran across a free auto-keywording plugin for Lightroom the other day! It’s called Wordroom, and this is my first time testing it to see how it well it works!
Here’s the first picture I tried, a church nestled in the valley during the first snowstorm of the season. Last winter, there was only one snowfall that was pretty, so this season I really wanted to make sure I took advantage of every pretty snowfall that I could! This church in town I’ve driven by hundreds of time, but had never actually gone out to take a picture of it before.
And these are the keywords that it suggest. I unchecked the ones that I didn’t think applied and typed in some new ones that it missed.
Snow can give grungy-looking places a special charm. I liked the symmetry surrounding this side door of the church from this closeup angle. Understandably, Wordroom mistook it for an apartment building instead of a church though.
Not too far from the church, I couldn’t help but shoot this icon of our town over by the historic railway depot. I haven’t taken many photos of this caboose because it’s surrounded by so much clutter, but the snow really helped it stand out for once. Interestingly, Wordroom couldn’t detect that it was a caboose.
Surprised that a second snow hit very soon after (the second pretty snowfall in December, which is extremely odd!), I took advantage of it by driving down to a barn next to the highway I’ve driven by hundreds of times as well. On spur of the moment excursions like this I can’t go too far since I still have a full day of work to put in, but since I didn’t remember this barn being in a particularly scenic location, I figured the snow might help solve that problem. I didn’t think Wordroom would know what to do with the light trails.
Close to the barn was another shed that had this interesting subject in front of it. Wordroom actually picked up that it was a chair! It’s not exactly the comfortable interior of a modern home, though.
My favorite shot of the barn turned out to be from when I was walking back to the car after shooting it from several angles. I happened to see these barely-noticeable impressions of a path leading off to the barn. Getting down just right and sticking the barrel of the lens through the crossbars of a gate, I could use them as leading lines to fill in the foreground perfectly. I had to locally increase Dehaze considerably in order for the path to show up in post, but I think it adds the perfect touch; very subtle, matching the mood of the whole photo.
Countryside near Salem, West Virginia
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Though Wordroom didn’t seem to think that this structure was a barn, it picked up on the idea of a “road” at least!
For a free auto-keywording plugin, I’d say it did pretty well actually. For simple catalog keywording, I don’t think it would save much time since you have to scan all its suggestions and then enter in the ones it missed. It would have been faster for me to simply have gone through each picture and manually typed in the three or four major keywords that related specifically to each photo (ie. barn, snow, winter, caboose, chair).
But if you’re keywording your photos for sale on stock, this plugin would be a real time saver. It thinks up of a whole lot more words that I could ever think up in the same amount of time. And it’s real easy to add your own keywords at the same time you review the suggestions.
For those of you who want to give it a try, it’s pretty easy to get set up:
- Download the plugin (it does require providing an email address)
- Unzip the file
- In Lightroom, go to File > Plugin Manager and click Add
- Choose the folder you just unzipped (double check that it automatically enables)
- Select a photo and go to Library > Plugin Extras > Auto-keyword
This being the first batch of photos I’ve used with this plugin, I can’t say whether or not I love it or hate it. So if you have any experience with it yourself, or have another auto-keywording plugin to recommend, feel free to let us know in the comments below!