I’m the kind of guy who uses a controlled vocabulary to keyword his photos. This means that I use consistent words to describe things. Am I sadly obsessive? Maybe, but there are benefits.
There are about 75,000 images in my Lightroom catalog—some scanned, some born digital. I have assigned keywords and other useful metadata to almost all of them. For keywords I use the Getty Research Institute’s excellent Art & Architecture Thesaurus, the Australian Pictorial Thesaurus, and my own controlled lists of terms for projects, places, people, and specialised subjects.
Give me a few seconds and I can find images marked with rustication (99 hits), or thermae (35 hits), or Lucy Marquis-Kyle (1,873 hits). As I add new images and metadata the whole collection gets richer.