Adobe Lightroom for scientific photos

As some readers may know, now I’m retired, I am deeply invested in a multiyear longitudinal study of (primarily) mosses (Bryophyta) at 25 plots near my home. This has been running since end of November 2020, with the first month spent deciding what to do and where.

I have also spend much of the first half of 2021 learning field work and tooling up with equipment and techniques for doing this project, and starting a couple of side projects, some because of suggestions from university bryologists. More about those some other day.

My primary dataset are photos, principally using macrophotography. I do have specimens and they are stored in the conventional way for bryology, as dried pieces of moss in paper envelopes documented with collection information. But because this survey entails getting one or more photos of each of my plots each week, as well as supporting photographs and videos, I now have 5200 high resolution photographs.

I had been storing these in Google Photos, but it offers no capability for mass tagging or editing EXIF data associated with photos, even as collected in albums. So there is no way to tag all photos in an album declaring, say, these or a bunch are Climacium americanum. I have struggled the last two months to find a way around this, including trying to write code to manage photos in Google Photos from R, and shopping for packages and utilities.

After asking at, Jonathan Ryan suggested Adobe Lightroom. At first I did not realize that it backs up its photos on Adobe Cloud rather than locally, so I was hesitant, since I cannot trust putting this painstakingly collected data entirely on a local disk. But it does, and I have now migrated entirely onto Lightroom. And I am beginning the tagging I wanted to do at Google but could not. And I am learning to use LR with facility.

Probably Plagiomnium
Cladonia coniocrea amidst Polytrichum commune

About ecoquant

See Retired data scientist and statistician. Now working projects in quantitative ecology and, specifically, phenology of Bryophyta and technical methods for their study.
This entry was posted in Botany, bryology, bryophytes, longitudinal survey, longitudinal survey of mosses, mosses. Bookmark the permalink.

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