Main Structure of Adobe Lightroom CC 2017
So now lets go back to Lightroom. And let's go back down, instead of looking at these, instead of looking at the folder area, 'cause we've already discussed that I think ad nauseam, I think everybody knows what that is now, right? So, I'm gonna close that folder, and I'm gonna look at this Collections area instead. Now collections are different. Collections are like folders but they're not, because they're virtual, they don't actually exist, so nothing is actually in a folder, if I were to right-click this folder, notice that there's no, there's no area where I can say "Find this folder in my Explorer or in my Find," I can't find it, it's not there. There's no option to go to this folder on my computer because it's virtual, it doesn't exist. So, collections are where you collect 'things.' You collect them for references for various purposes, like for instance, here I collected a bunch of, so I have a collection set, which looks likes a little box or a folder, it actually looks like a c...
ard catalog, look at that, looks like the little drawer you pull out. So that little area right there is a place where I put a bunch of collections, and to create that, you just go up to the top of the Collections area and click on the Plus button, and you can create a collection, a smart collection, or a collection set. Collection set is like this little drawer right here. A collection is like these things here, which is just a virtual folder full of images, and then a smart collection is a collection that makes itself based on intelligent instructions, so you would say "I want all five star images that have the key word 'sheep' in them," and it would just all the time, just be looking for that, and any time you tagged something that was five star and it had the key word "sheep," all of a sudden it would just "boop," right in there. And it's just automatic, so it happens all the time, so it can, it's fluctuating, and if you suddenly took a five star image and put it down to four stars, it would pull it out of that collection. So you constantly go to those smart collections and just say "I want to see all of my best work on this topic," click on it and you would see it. So you could constantly be sending that stuff out again and again and again to people. Okay, so that's what, those are the types of collections that you can use, and if you have a whole bunch of collections in here, you can always click in here and find 'em, just by typing something in and it'll sort out, so if I'm looking for things that say "select" in them, there, so now there's all my collections that have the word "select" in them right there, see that? So it's really easy to find various collections, you don't have to just like scroll through a thousand things looking for them, 'cause I have hundreds and hundreds of collections and things, so I just use that Search bar to find them. Okay, so I have the Select Images here, so I'm gonna click on my images, and I'm looking at images but they are not in here, they're actually somewhere else. So if I right-click this, I can not only say "open this" or "show it in the Finder," but I can also say "go to the folder in the libraries," so watch what happens when I click on this, that's where it actually exists. It's in an untitled folder inside of my wedding rejects for a particular wedding, that's where it actually exists but it's here, inside of my collection, where I've collected it for use, but you can also use it for things like "Oh, I wanna collect a bunch of images for my portfolio, so I click on it, and voilà, there I have a whole bunch of images for my portfolio. All right, and then I want some for some landscape photography. Well there we go, there's a whole bunch of landscape photography that we're gonna talk about. All right, and I just went to every photo in my entire collection, and I just made, or in my entire library, and I just made collections and dragged stuff into 'em. And I can put the same photo in five different collections and it doesn't make five copies. It's the same photo in all five, and if I change the photo, it will change in all five of them. So I can update one and it updates every instance where I am collecting that photo. And, not only that, but I can have, so I can have multiple images from multiple folders, so I can have images from a folder that I made in and images from a folder I made yesterday, all in the same collection, but it didn't move them on my hard drive, so if I take images and move them around in collections it doesn't move them around in my hard drive like it did when we were playing around in the Folders area and that's really important to note, so the Collection area is the perfect place to start playing with your photos for different uses. I prefer, a lot of people try to use the Collections area for like organizing, so like let's say you're a wedding photographer and you like to separate your images by Getting Ready, Ceremony, Portraits, and Reception, a lot of people start making those things in the Collection area, which is kind of a weird use for the collections. What should be done is that should be done in the Folder area of your hard drive, so that it's actually making those folders inside of the Folder area because then, you can go up to any given job, like for instance here, and you can click on the entire raw folder, like this, so I can click on this entire raw folder, and that puts me in and I can see the entire job, everything, rejects, internals, selects, videos, everything, or I can go to just one folder which is inside of that, and now I'm just looking at my selected images. But then if I were to go and look at this, I right-click it and show it in the Finder, it's gonna show me that job, but look at this, this is important, all of those folders where made by Lightroom and it's organized, so if for some reason in the future I was to stop using Lightroom, I would still have the organization. I'm not dependent on Lightroom in order to be able to see the organization. All right? Okay. So that's my preference in using the Folders area for all organizational-type things, and then I use the Collections area for uses. If I'm gonna use something, like for instance, if I'm gonna make a proof book, or if I'm gonna make a wedding album, or something like that, then I will make a collection of that because that album is going to have images coming from all sorts of different folders from the Getting Ready folder, from the Reception folder, whatever, but I don't wanna move 'em around in the folders, I just wanna collect images for that use. Or if I'm making a retrospective book for the year 2016, it's gonna come from all sorts of different jobs. I don't wanna move those photos, so I'm gonna collect them, because it's virtual, and then from that collection I can make slideshows, I can make movies, I can make albums, books and prints and whatever, okay? All right, and then the collections themselves also can be known as publish services. So you got collections, which are virtual, but if I close that, I'm gonna open up the Publish Services. Publish services are just collections that have a connection point. So when you go to the Publish Service area, you'll see that I can make hard drive publish services, and that means they would actually publish to my hard drive. So basically I'm collecting things in a virtual location, and when I hit Publish, it will then spin off JPEGs to send to my hard drive, or it will send JPEGs up to a Cloud service, or it will send a JPEG to Facebook, or it will send one to wherever. So for instance, right here I have an Adobe Stock publish service, so if I see an image that's really good and could be used in Stock I simply drag it into the publish service, and then when I get enough images in there that I wanna publish, I just hit Publish and they all get sent to the Adobe Stock website and then Adobe sells them on Stock for me. All right and we'll talk a little bit more about that later. There's a service called Evlaa, really great little service for proofing. Facebook, I could drag 'em, so if I just click this down like this, I can just drag it into my Photography album, and anything I drag there and hit Publish, it's just gonna publish it inside of my Facebook and it'll instantly be available on Facebook, so I don't need to go to Facebook to publish, which is a really great thing because as soon as you go to Facebook to put an image on there, what do you end up doing? Scrolling through the feed, reading other people's stuff, wasting your time, instead if you just do it from here, you can start publishing, you can publish photos all day long and you never actually have to see Facebook. You can just publish, and it's great, so you're not wasting time reading Facebook, you're providing the content that you want to provide. And then later on and you know when you're at the drug store or something and waiting in line, if you want to scroll through Facebook, do it then, but don't do it here. So, and there's all sorts of publish services. I work with a company called SmugMug, that I put stuff on for clients and things, and that's an excellent place to use a publish service, so that you can just simply click on Make a Job, drag the stuff in there, and it's on your publishing website for people. So, and then by the way, SmugMug does also a great portfolios and stuff, so if you need a really good-looking website portfolio, and you don't have one right now, you're just like, you've got like a Facebook page, SmugMug's a great place to do that because you can literally publish your images constantly to SmugMug, as a portfolio, and you never even have to go to the website, it just increases your portfolio as you do it, so that's a great place to look. So publish services are really simple in that way. They're just a collection, they're virtual, but the thing is, is that they never actually save the files that they're sending off to these services. They just make a JPEG, send it, delete the JPEG. So you're never costing yourself any extra space with these things, you're just delivering stuff out. Yeah?
So if you were to export, say, a folder in Facebook on CreativeLive, you export that one photo, you bring it into another catalog, will it remember that it was in your publish services under that folder? Does that make sense?
Yeah, so, if the image is still available inside of the catalog that you're looking at, it will show you, like for instance, if you go to the SmugMug here, you can see that I've got this Cutler Wedding England right here, if I click on it, all the photos are still there, and they're attached because they're still in this catalog. If I got rid of 'em, it would still show you the folder, but no images because I got rid of 'em out of this catalog. So if I didn't have 'em in this catalog, it would see the folder but it wouldn't see the images. All right, because it only shows you the images that are currently in the catalog, but the image is still up there, it's just that this Lightroom catalog might not know about it. So if I go, say to this one here, see how there's no photos? But it sees the folder, and the folder is still there but see how there's zero images, that's because I removed this portrait from my system because I was done with it. If I kept some of 'em for like my portfolio or something, then they would be in this catalog so then it would say, "Yes, I know that this image is in the catalog, so I'll show you that one," and I would see like one picture, instead of zero. All right? Okay. So, let's do a quick review then, of what we've learned. First off, catalog does not contain the photos. The photos are supposed to be in a hard drive, not on your computer but separate from your computer. So, the catalog looks at those photos when you click Import, when it brings those images in and imports them it is looking at it, it is making notes about 'em, it is making a little JPEG and a Smart Preview hopefully, and we'll show you how to do that, of the file, and then all the information that you work on inside of Lightroom stays inside of Lightroom, it never touches the file, until you export that file and send it out as a JPEG, a TIFF, a PSD, whatever. If you do something in folders, it actually does it inside of your hard drive, it's moving stuff around. And you want to do all of that work inside of Lightroom, not outside of Lightroom, because once you import, then you need to trust Lightroom to do all that for you rather than moving it around yourself outside of Lightroom. But, if for some reason you do that, there are ways to find it, you just need to right-click it, tell it to find that photo, it'll say "I can't find it, you have to locate it." Show it where it is, and then it's fine again, it can reconnect itself. Then, if you look down below that, you've got collections, those are virtual, so are publish services, all that's virtual, but great for collecting images and doing certain uses for them. And that's the basics of what the library module is, it's for reviewing your images, but that's how Lightroom operates as a catalog system.
RedMango had asked, "How should you organize your photos before you start using Lightroom? Does that matter, what kind of folder structure you have before you start importing things into it?
Nothing matter before Lightroom. In fact, there are some people who are like, "What do I do if everything's disorganized?"
That was the next question?
the number one question, yes.
Okay, so if I have, if I was 100% disorganized and I was like, "There are photos on five different drives, and there all over the place I have no idea," right? What I would do, is I would open up Lightroom, especially if you've never used Lightroom before, but even if you have, I would go to Lightroom, and I'd click on the Import button, and instead of going and it importing entire, like folders, I would just go import the entire drive, now you see how I clicked on that working drive right there? And if I go and say, "Include the selected folders," it will show me every image that's, look at that, it's like everything that's on that drive, right? And then I would just simply import that entire drive and then I would go and do it again and import the next drive, and then I'd do it again and import the next drive and the next drive and the next drive and the next drive until all of my drives, you could plug in a hundred drives to your computer and import every single one of 'em, and do what we're gonna tell you when we get back on Import, and then unplug all the drives and then go through and figure out what you wanna keep and what you wanna get rid of by hitting Rejects and Pics and whatever, and then when you plug the drives back in, just simply grab all of your pics and drag them to a certain place, and it would literally steal them from wherever they are, and put them wherever they're supposed to be. So you could reorganize everything and you wouldn't even have to know where they were. And Lightroom would take 'em from where they are, and it would suck them and put them to wherever they need to be, and then you would be 100%, or you would just have one empty disk, this glorious big empty disk that's ready to be organized and then you'd just highlight a bunch of images and move them over to this disk and say, "I wanna name that folder, you know, Landscapes." And then I go and find all of my photos of cats, and I could just highlight all of those, and move 'em into a folder called Cats on this drive, and Lightroom would just move it all for you, organize it all for you, and then when you were done, and all the stuff that you didn't necessarily want, you can either delete it, or you could say, "I'm gonna leave it where it is, and then you could just right-click those folders and forget about those folders and then you would only have that one drive that was all organized and beautiful, and then everything else would be gone.