Skip to main content


Lesson 12 from: Adobe Lightroom Classic CC Workflow for Photographers

Daniel Gregory

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

12. Metadata

Lightroom catalog so disorganized, it's easier to start from scratch? Learn how to re-launch your Lightroom without losing your edits using XMP metadata. With tools like renaming photos, learn metadata and tricks for cleaning up your catalog.

Lesson Info


I think there's two points where people get that. Get to this point where it's like it just I just need to start over. Um, I have too much stuff and I don't know where it is. And I've done a bunch of different things, So I'm now in a really random state. I've got things name different there in different locations. My folders air by date, thereby subject their by country. I don't. I've got collections that I maybe don't want or don't want. You're in some cod state like that. Um, what I call the nuclear option is it. Sometimes it is way more efficient to go all the way back to ground zero and start over. New catalogue. Make the decision about my final naming is gonna be my name. The date and the sequence number. I want them organized by date. I want him in a year folder, a month folder in a day folder. That's what's gonna work for me from an import standpoint. I think I can do that over and over again. Reimport everything. Just start from scratch. Reimported 1000 photographs, 10,000 phot...

ographs, 50,000 photographs. Okay. Before you do that in the preference file under preferences under, uh, actually is in the catalog settings, actually, in the catalog settings under metadata. There's this option here to automatically right changes into ex MP light room stores. All of the settings, the metadata, all of the slider bargy move it stores all that in the catalogue. The X and P file is little sidecar that living next to the file that also has that set of instructions. If you don't check this box light room doesn't write anything into that X and P file. Distorts it in the light room catalogue. If you went nuclear and started over from scratch and you didn't have anything and you didn't have this checked and you import your photos, every edit you've ever made, every key words you've made everything you've made is lost. Now, what you're fixing is an organizational problem. Not you don't know how to edit a photograph problem. So before you went nuclear and freaked out, which people do their like, I'm just starting over. I'm just, you know, it's it's. Move all the furniture out of the room and paint the walls to start over. Check open light room. Checked that box and let light room sit for several days so we can build all that X and P data sync all that data. So that all gets inked up so that when you then do the import, you don't lose anything. I have only in the hundreds and hundreds of people I've helped with this. I've only had we only I only saw this option happened twice, and it was because it was bad. I mean, we had photos everywhere. They weren't named anything. The folder structure. They were on 15 different drives, full orders, photos on the was 5000 photos on the desktop like it was just It was a mess. And it wasn't like, Oh, I kind of made one mistake and put in the wrong spot. So to do that, we did this little piece and over time, then did the reimport. For the most part, If you've got a horrible, horrible problem and it's disorganized, it's the patients just to see it through. Make the decision. And no, I'm gonna move the folder, rename the folder and then in light room. We've got options to make every change possible. So I've got these photos here I can come in here and I can rename the photos. So I choose here I could now, in when I imported, I had the option to name photos right here. I can come in and choose whatever option I want for naming. So I decide what I really want is a custom name. And I want him to be called, uh, Bob is great. Renames the photographs if we come in and look at this one. Bob is great. Now, the name of the photograph. So I'm gonna have to go through manually and do the work to clean up. But once you make that decision like I made a decision a couple of years ago that all my photographs were gonna have I can't grab We look at the They're gonna be my name on underscore the date Year, month day Underscore the sequence number my society. That's what it was gonna be. Not good. Not bad. I was just pulling my hair out cause I had DCs underscore this Daniel that Yellowstone's awesome. The name of the dog, just random. It was making it harder for me to figure out what things were. Now when I exported a photograph and I sent it to a client or I send it somewhere. I wanted my name in there. So if they threw their photos up on their server or in their email download footage after call, whose photo was, you know it's doing the greatest photograph. I gave my year, a month in a date in a sequence number. So if they call me, they're like, Oh, we love this photograph you sent us Great. Can I have the file name? And then I could knew exactly where it wasn't when it was. I didn't need keywords for it. I could find it because of that identified. That's how I made that decision. Once I made that decision, I went into my light room catalogue. I went to this all photographs. I did command A to select all file rename photographs, looked that template and let it run for about 45 minutes and it just flooded along, did it stuff. And then all of sudden, everything was named the same. I went genius. That small step, though, set me on the path of consistency. Now, every photo that imported after that name date sequence I d. Whatever you decide if you want the camera in there. Some people want no camera. Formacion, whatever you want in there, you set up and set up in that piece. Yes. Let's say I wanted to. Do you have part of this? But like you don't have the sequence number. Say, would you do the same thing? Go back all photographs and just change that one little detail. You could the sequence in numbers in the metadata, even if you didn't keep it. Thank you. Kept it. It's there. The original file name is stored, and then whatever you call it is also in there. So it will go back and look at their very original name of the file, pulled the sequence number and then create the name. Okay, a couple of other efficiency things in the light room. So again, I gotta find photographs. I want to look for photographs, and I'm trying to get more efficiency in what I'm doing. So if I get the backs last key, I get the the library filter bar to come up. So the library filter bar allows me to look through my library. I can search for titles. Caption keywords of specific pieces of information I could search by searchable by PTC e x I f. Data. Not all fields or searchable in light room also feature request I put in. I like we all search through all the metadata. Um, the attributes says, Go in and look at Does it have a pick flag on it? Key word has edits doesn't have in it. So if I click on the has edits, these are all the photographs that had edits. If I click on don't have edits, there's the photographs that don't have it. It's on it a quick way for me to see that ratings I could see. I want to see my four star images that have edits that have the color red on them. So I'm now quickly narrowing down pieces of information in the library to find what I'm looking for. One of my favorites is I love virtual copies, so I want to make multiple edits of photographs. I create the virtual copy. So I have the original. I come in here and say, just showing my virtual copies. Now let's say like I want my virtual copies that have it. It's and more than three stars. Okay, so remember, in my world, three stars means to be edited. Now, I could make a smart collection with this, but sometimes I just need to search that. I just want to see the search results. When I'm in here, appear at the top. It says the word custom. So this is a I've customized the library filter search bar. If I click in there, I have the option to save the current settings is a new preset. This is a library filter search parameter preset. So I'm gonna choose this and do virtual copy. Underscore three star underscore. Uh, has it it create? Now I'm gonna come back up here and just choose Ah, Cameron food, which is this view. But now I want to go back to my original one where I looked at. No, I want those that three star look, it's now saved in the preset filter. I choose that. And now I'm back to that original search. So I've got now within the filter search a quick way to actually make that. Like I said, I could do a smart collection for it. But if you look at my interface here, I've got a scroll down. I gotta find that collection. I gotta locate the correct collection. You know, as we saw earlier, maybe got putting Weird folder and you can't remember where it is. The search bar is always gonna be present there. So if it's a simplified search that I just need occasionally or want to have quick access to putting in the search bar, there is a great piece. It also works if you come over into the metadata. If you're looking for photos And in this case, I've got these columns, date camera, lens and label I could choose I s O. And then I could choose whether or not a flash fire and say, And then I can come in and save this option as a preset that is date camera. I s O. Because that's the look I want to have. And then I want to change for a different search parameter. I use I s so all the time because I can make decisions about noise reduction, sharpening things like that by I s O. So I'm like, Oh, cool. Do I have any okay? About 6400 eso image so I can select that and then I could apply some level of preset to that. That would just because I know that camera gets this level of noise reduction say, so I can use the attribute there. But to be able to save that off is a really nice feature. It's the same kind of thing that people don't ever say. If you come down into your metadata like I click on an image will get somebody to. I've got some views of metadata in here, So if I am looking for certain pieces of metadata I want to control with that metadata looks like No said he might default view. Maybe I don't ever care about e X. I update I'm not a person worries about with shutter speed that stop is, but I do want to be able to come in and City State, Providence R. I have in my business information, copyright information. Then I come in and I say, OK, I actually also have Ah, it is under I t PCC Extension has ah model information model release information. Maybe there's something you have in there that's consistent over and over again. Come in and actually take the time to create the preset for the metadata. So you come in and fill in any of the fields, check the box is going to get applied, and then you can save that setting is a preset. So in this case, I've got set up this presets got 2013. I could come in and say now, actually, I want this preset to be updated in 2019. All rights reserved website, I decide. OK, actually want to include Ah Washington to be included in the preset for the meditated to be written. Come up here and I'm gonna choose. Save it current preset updated. Um, copyright. Now I have that preset anywhere. Metadata can get applied. Now I can come back in and add that specific preset knowing that I'm gonna get the exact same data over and over and over again. And if I come into the import dialog box during import, I can apply that same piece of metadata during import. I can then save my preset down here so that the import preset grabs the metadata preset and keeps everything consistent. This is why I say early in your process, right down everything that matters because this is how you figure out the loop of, like, actually, copyright data matters to me, and I want to make sure it's in every photograph, and I wanna make sure my websites in their my contact information is in there. If I build the meta data template for that and I apply it during import, and I know that it happens every time, I don't have to think about it again. I get to go back to focusing on the actual editing work of the photograph. I think that's to me in that reliable, repeatable efficiency part. That's what all the tools of light rumor about it's not that all. It's just a cool tool or oh, I'm not sure what to do with it. Literally Think about how could that be helpful? And if you do something more than once, you do it twice. 345 times. That's when I create a preset. If I come back in, I'm like, man, I've done this before. If I do it by hand, each time I'm prone to make the mistake. I'm tired. My fat finger it you've all seen. I can't type, so to know that I've spelled my name correctly in the copyright field, and I did it once, right? I can say that. So I'm looking for that repeatability piece. To me, that's a huge, huge piece of that same thing in key wording. If I've got to set a key words that are coming in, if I'm a keyword in person, I can build my key wording list and apply those on imports. I know they're gonna get a certain default, said anywhere I've got that opportunity to recreate. That becomes, I think, important in the workflow. So it's not about follow and always do the same. It's figure out what is important to you and make sure that that happens again and again and again. Question. If you had not set up the preset mode for the import and you decide, OK, I like this idea. I'm going to go and now set it up. But I have these photos that I wanted my copyright on. Great question. So, uh, command Q is not select all that's quit light room free tip. Okay, selected MH. Come on, lewd and select the image command data. Select all of them down here. It's telling me mixed under the metadata. That means it's got different metadata for different things. If we come in and look at when edit the preset for a second, just so you can see this updated copyright will only change the fields that have the check boxes next to him. So if I don't check title copy, name any of that, I won't have to worry about the field being over written on Lee. The field that has the check box in the preset will get updated. Once I do that, I am very photo selected. I choose Update CP. It's going to warn me. I'm gonna Plame across everything if I click all selected on every photo again. This is what makes collections cool, because I could build the collection or a smart collection, even my date smart collection by year. Every photo taken in 2018. Select every photo in there and apply a 2018 copyright preset. Every photos got the 2018 preset on it. You can easily, at any point, you're never stuck us a cool part about light room. That's why the nuclear option so really like It has to be egregious, because I can always select photos, search for photos, amalgamate photos and pull them pull them together in different different ways.

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I watched this course live. Really good!. Of course, I like all of Daniel Gregory's classes. It's a real treasure when one finds a really good teacher who thinks like oneself. I thought that I already knew Lr well so I was really surprised about how much I learned from this course. I learned so many ways to improve my workflow efficiency.

Anne Dougherty

I was impressed by the amount of information covered in depth, and by Mr Gregory’s teaching style. I’m somewhat new to Lightroom and found his explanations of its capabilities, and why you would use it rather than Photoshop for specific processes, enormously helpful. I especially appreciated his lessons covering printing. This is invaluable information. Great class.

Warren Gedye

This was a great course. Daniel certainly explains it well and in terms I can understand! Super worth it and learnt loads of new tricks! Great job!!

Student Work