Waterfall Photo Shoot


I spent Saturday with a couple of friends shooting some waterfalls in the Ozark National Forest.  The weather was perfect for photographing waterfalls – 2 days of rain- very overcast- drizzle and light rain.  This may not be your ideal weather but it offers a very soft diffused lightsource,  the light level is low enough to allow long exposures, and the wet rocks and trees become super saturated with color.  For more information read How to Shoot Waterfalls which will explain how to get the soft silky look of moving water.










Lightroom 2 – Finding Photos Using Keywords

Note: All information is based upon Windows operating system and Lightroom 2.3


Now that you have applied keywords all of your photos in Lightroom it’s time to learn to use the keywords to find your photos.  As with most things in Lightroom there is more than one way to search with keywords.  In this lesson you will learn to search with a single keyword from the keyword list.  You will learn to use the library filter to search for all  photos matching a single keyword, photos matching multiple keywords, and photos that match all of multiple keywords.

Find photos with the keyword list

To find photos using the keyword list you can drill down to the desired keyword, or use the “Filter Keywords” box to find the desired keyword.


Click on the arrow to the right of the photo count and the library will display all photos keyworded with “waterfall”.


This method is quick and easy if we only want to find photos with one keyword, but what it we want to find photos by using multiple keywords?

Library Filter

The Library Filter is a very powerfull tool in Lightroom for finding and sorting your photos using just about anything in the database other than your develop settings.  The problem with the Library Filter is that Adobe did a fairly good job of hiding it and it’s functionality.  In this lesson we are only going to look at finding photos using Keywords, but as you will see looking at the Library Filter there is much more you can do and it all functions in the same way.

To get to the Library Filter (you must be in the library module)  go to the menu bar and click “Library” then “Find”  or use “Ctrl + F”  or just hit the “\” key and this will open the Library Filter as shown below.


You will see four options in the center which will be grey other than “None” (this means that None is what is active).  For our purpose we will select “Metadata” by clicking on it.


You will now see four columns with “Date”, “ Camera”, “Lens”, and “Label” (This is the default assuming you have not changed the layout).

At this point it appears that these are the only methods that you have to sort and would seem fairly useless to finding a  photo of a waterfall, which is what we want to do.  Fortunately there is more here than meets the eye.


Move your cursor over the “Date” heading in the first column and it will turn white and a double headed arrow will appear.  Click on the double arrow and you will get the following dropdown list.


In this list you will see “Keyword” as  one of the choices, click on keyword and you will get a copy of your Keyword  list  in the first column.


On the right side of the column header you will see another little symbol indicating another drop down box and when you point to it with your curser will get a dropdown arrow, click the arrow and you will see the following.


Be sure that the Hierarchical has a checkmark next to it.  If it does not click on the word “Hierarchical” to toggle it on (if the check is there and you click, it will turn off).

Note: Important – Be sure that you have selected “All Photographs” in the Catalog panal (if you want to search all of your photos).  If you have a large Catalog with many thousands of images Lightroom can be very slow to respond when doing searches.  However it is still much faste than I can find them manually.

You should now see a miniture version of your Hierarchical Keyword List that you have been using to tag your photos.


Now you can scroll down and expand to find the keyword you want to filter on and the click the keyword.  Be sure that on the other columns that you are not using that you have  all selected at the top of the column.  You can now see all the “Waterfall” photos in the library window.

Let’s take it a step further and say we want to find all our “Waterfall” photos but also  photos of “Creeks & Rivers”


Hold down the Ctrl Key and click on the “Creeks and Rivers” keyword in the same column and we will now see all photos that have either the “Waterfall” keyword or the “Creeks & Rivers” keyword.  You can select additional keywords by simply holding the Ctrl key and clicking on the additional keywords you wish to add to the search.

Now we want to find only photos of “Waterfall” but we want to narrow it to photos taken in “Arkansas”.  Go to the second column in the Library Filter and click on the column header which is “Camera” in our example and click to get the dropdown list and again choose “Keyword”.  You will now have two columns with the “Keyword” heading.  In the second column we choose the keyword “Arkansas”.


You can see that I have 388 “Waterfall” shots from “Arkansas” by looking at the number in the top of the third column, and additionally know that I used 5 different lenses to take them.  I could further sort by more specific keywords by using the next column for another keyword search.  You can create up to 8 columns at one time.

This will give you an idea of how the Library Filter works.  By customizing the content of the columns and using multiple criteria you can perform very complex searches for your photos.  You can also use of combination of the “Metadata”, “Text”, and “Attribute” modules by holding down the shift key and clicking on another module to expand the filter to show more information. 


With a little practice this should make finding your photos a snap!

Flower Shoot – Botanical Garden of the Ozarks




 Saturday I went to the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks with the Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas (PSNWA) as part of a Macro Photography Workshop led by Marc Langille, you can see Marc’s work here.  The weather was both working in our favor and against us, we had great subdued lighting from an overcast sky, but we also had constant wind of 10-20 mph.  Overall it was a good day for shooting and everyone really enjoyed the day and hopefully learned more about Macro or Closeup photography. 








 Below is a gallery of images I shot during the day.  Click on the thumbnail to see full image.


Marc and I will both be teaching sessions at the Mid-America Photography Symposium in Eureka Springs Arkansas on May 16th and 17th 2009.  Marc will be teaching an early morning nature session and I will be teaching a session on Adobe Lightroom.

Mid-America Photography Symposium

Columbine Macro Photographs

I spent the day working in my office today and had some spare time waiting on some large file transfers and decided to take some macro photos of the columbine flowers growing in my garden.  These were taken with natural light and an f-stop of f/18 or f/32 and up to 1/4 second exposure in order to get the depth of field.










Cherokee Prairie Natural Area – Arkansas


Cherokee Prairie


Cherokee Prairie Natural Area represents one of the largest remaining tracts of tallgrass prairie in the Arkansas River Valley. Located just north of Charleston, this tract is a high-quality prairie representative of the more extensive Cherokee Prairies that once occurred across the western portion of the Arkansas River Valley. The natural area contains a diverse array of forb species (herbaceous species other than grasses) including compass plant, purple prairie clover, and Indian paintbrush. It also hosts several animal species that are now considered rare, or even endangered. Prairie Creek flows through the center of the natural area.

No Fee
Best Time to Visit: Spring is a great time for shooting a great variety of native wildflowers
Where it is:
Directions: The natural area is located approximately 2 miles north of Charleston, at the intersection of State Highways 60 and 217.
Map: cherokee-prairie-locator-mapClick map to enlargeTopo Boundry Map
Links: Cherokee Prairie Brochure
Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission

An Agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage
1500 Tower Building, 323 Center Street
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Phone: (501) 324-9619 / Fax: (501) 324-9618 / TDD: (501) 324-9150

Arkansas Natural Areas Natural areas are lands specifically managed to preserve, and sometimes restore, natural communities that are now rare. Lands within the System of Natural Areas belong to all Arkansans and represent some of the only opportunities present and future generations will have to experience what Arkansas was like prior to settlement. They also represent vital habitat for a host animal and plant species.
Along with actively managing these areas to maintain their ecological character, the ANHC also promotes low-impact, considerate use of natural areas. That means that activities such as hiking, botanizing, and bird-watching are perfectly suited for ANHC natural areas. However, to minimize impact on these lands, camping, horses, mountain bikes, and motorized vehicles are not allowed on natural areas.

Tips for the Photographer

Equipment: Shooting wildflowers will require closeup or macro lenses.  If visiting on a bright sunny day a diffuser will improve photos of flowers.
What to Photograph: If you are looking for something big and exciting to photograph this may not be the place.  This is a natural prairie (a field) which hosts over 150 spieces of plants and many animals and birds some of which are considered rare.  Prairie Creek runs through the middle of the area so you have a variety of habitat.
Photography Tips: Great location for macro photography.  Best to shoot on an overcast day.
Links: How to Photograph Wildflowers














Cherokee Prairie Photo Gallery

Click Here for full page gallery

More Photographic Destinations in Arkansas:

Interactive Google Map

Use the map  + – controls to zoom in and out, use the Map drop-down to change to “Map”, “Satellite”, “Hybrid”, or “Terrain” views.  Drag the little man icon from the upper left corner to a map location for street level view. Click on a pushpin for more information about the Photographic Destination, then click on the title to go to the location page.

Click Here for Photographic Destinations by State




Greg Disch is a freelance photographer located in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  Greg specializes in nature, scenic, wildlife, and other outdoor subjects in Arkansas and other areas of the country. Greg also shoots portraits and event photography and is available for assignments.  Greg teaches photography classes and workshops in Arkansas and other locations.  Most of the images on this site are available for sale as prints, personal use, or rights managed stock photos.


I will post images I have captured, primarily in Arkansas and Oklahoma, but also from my travels.  I will also post articles about photography , photographic tips,  articles on using Adobe Lightroom and other random photo related information.

 I will be posting an ongoing project I call "Photographic Destinations".  In this I will give details on where, what, when and how to photograph various destinations both locally and from my travels.  Click on the "Photographic Destinations" under Categories and they will be sorted by location.


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