photo: © David Moenkhaus - all rights reserved 773 612-4166

Digital asset management and Jazz

Part of the reason I haven’t been blogging in some time is that about a year ago, I wanted to take a break   and   focus most all of  my energy on organizing my collection – my library of images.  Over the last year,  I’ve been dealing with learning a LOT of Adobe software, building RAID drives, locking down back up solutions for my computer system, and that doesn’t include all the time I’ve spent  just key-wording images in my library. We photographers/ videographers/ camera people have to have knowledge in a lot more areas than we used to. These days  I’m realizing  the computer stuff, the drudgery is every bit  as important to being successful as  having passion and a unique visual style. But I’m glad I put all that time into getting my library tight and right.  Now I’ve got a logical, safe and easy system of dealing with all the files I’ve got. I procrastinated – didn’t want to even start, but once I did it was hard work for sure but like most things I come across, the process wasn’t nearly  as bad as I thought it would be!  It’s all critically important stuff  if you want your images safe and accessible now and in the future. Key-wording, managing metadata, and  captioning  is so important to increasing the value of your image library.

I’d been putting off for years organizing  my library of images , video and audio files, and over the last couple of years things quickly escalated into chaos. I’m fairly good at handling things when they get out of control, which probably has to do with all the years I was working on movies in Chicago. Stuff happens all the time on movie sets, both planned and unplanned, so you develop a kind of thicker skin. But not dealing with the chaos of an unorganized media library was kind of  like I had just dumped a few thousand slides on the floor and then when a client called for an image, I had to wade through the big pile to find the image they wanted. I made all my deadlines  and I could fill stock requests but it was incredibly arduous at best.  So since I had the luxury of taking a year off, I could get right down to getting the digital asset management  monkey off my back.  I had to get  Lightroom 4  (totally worth it) and learn it,  along with many other fine Adobe products. Creative Suite CS6 is  absolutely amazing and should ensure that I’ll be sitting in front of the monitor for many hours!  But, I’ve also had to get a deeper understanding of RAID drives, back up solutions and key-wording too. Doing all that work is really worth it, though because  it’s been really fun  finding images in my library I had forgotten about.

So staying with the music photography, this image today is an image I found in my newly organized libray, of  the amazing trumpet player Patrick Hession when he was playing lead trumpet with Maynard Ferguson in the early thousands.  The other image is “The Boss” himself, trumpet legend Maynard Fergsuon.  After I moved to Chicago I they would come through Chicago a few times and being a trumpet player myself, I was of course, a huge fan of Maynard’s. So,  I’d seen him play at The Cubby Bear here in Chicago a couple of years before, but I missed him at his other Chicago gigs over the years because I was camera assisting on movies and  had no time for a personal life.   So like any big fan I vowed I wouldn’t miss another MF concert in the Chicago area, that is,  if I wasn’t working and was actually in Chicago at the time!   So the MF band did a gig at a suburban school and I went. I  brought my Nikon F5 w/ the  80-200 zoom and loaded up with Tri  X black and white film.   I wet scanned this with my Nikon 9000 and imported into Lightroom and processed out to CS6.

The Maynard Ferguson website:

Patrick Hession’s website:


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