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Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide

Lesson 18 of 20

Basic Troubleshooting

Ben Willmore

Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

18. Basic Troubleshooting
Why is Lightroom doing ______? Why won't Lightroom _____? Gain the tools you need to troubleshoot common Lightroom problems in this lesson. Ben walks through the most common Lightroom problems, many posed by students like you.

Lesson Info

Basic Troubleshooting

Here we are, with another installment, of Lightroom Classic, the complete guide. Let's think back to what we have covered thus far. Not everybody has joined us from the beginning, and so let's get an idea. Well, on the first week we mainly are trying to establish a firm foundation of knowledge about Lightroom so we know in general, how to think about it, so you know what is a catalog file, how to get your images into and out of Lightroom, and how to organize your pictures in general. On the second week though, we concentrated on adjusting your images, so we got much more in depth with all the features in Lightroom for enhancing images, and we talked more about organizing your pictures, getting it so we can search for our images and ideally getting it so we can get it down to almost five seconds, is all it would take to find, just about any image you can think of. On the third day, we concentrated on the special features that are in Lightroom, and that means we covered things like facia...

l recognition, merging multiple exposures into an HDR or a panorama. On the fourth week, we started out with some start-to-finish examples so you can see how I actually take a raw exposure that came from the camera, and I really polish it using all the features in Lightroom, instead of looking at those features in isolation, you could see how they were used together. On the second day of the fourth week, we talked about heading over to Photoshop with our files for when Lightroom is not capable of doing something, and then getting that to show back up in Lightroom, and be able to go back and forth as many times as you want. Today, we're gonna start talking about troubleshooting, because it's not always working perfect in Lightroom, and when something goes awry, it's really nice to be able to figure out how to overcome your problems So we're going to cover troubleshooting. So let's jump right into Lightroom, so we can spend as much time learning. Now I have a list in front of me, of all sorts of problems that I could think of, and these are also contributed by the last, few years ago, when I recorded one of these classes, but if in the end I don't cover your problem, note on our Facebook group you're welcome to let me know about other issues you might have, and I'll be discussing those during some Q and A sessions that are upcoming. So first let's start off with some relatively common problems. One would be if you attempt to change the name of a folder or file and it simply won't allow you to. Most common reason for that, is that the hard drive that contains the original picture, isn't attached. How can you change the name of a folder or a file, if it can't actually get to that drive that contains it, because any changes we make, to the location of folders, to the file names of folders and files, are reflected on the hard drive and so you need to make sure that that drive shows up. You can tell if a drive is connected or not, by looking in your folder list, at the name of the drive. To the left of the drive name, there is a little rectangle, that rectangle will be gray if the drive is not available, and it could be that just the cable for the drive is messed up or that it's not powered up. If it's green, it is available and usable, and you might occasionally also find that little thing, I think of it as a light even though it's not truly a light, it can also change to orange, and orange means your hard drive is getting close to full, and therefore you might wanna free up space, or add an additional drive to store your material. Now sometimes you get into Lightroom, and you end up looking for a particular feature and it's just not there, well you should be aware, that in most areas of Lightroom if there's something missing to get it to show up, right click, and you'll find a list of like every panel that is usually found in this area, and you might have one of these check boxes turned off. For instance, I personally don't use publish services all that much for what I do, so I commonly have it hidden, but then, if you end up watching a video that covers publish services and you look in this panel here and you simply don't find it, well try right clicking, and see if you'll find what's needed. Same thing is true up here where the module's appear, you can right click and you'll find I have some of 'em turned off, and so that is a common issue. You can, on occasion, run into folders that think they are missing. So let me see if I can create that, I'm gonna just choose any folder. I'll right click on it, and I'm gonna choose an option that is called show in Finder. Show in Finder means show me this folder in my computer's operating system. On Windows it will be named slightly different, it might be called show in Explorer, 'cause I think they call it the Windows Explorer, when you're viewing things, but if this folder gets moved on my hard drive or if the folder gets re-named, outside of Lightroom, then Lightroom is only keeping track of where your files are based on the name of the folders and the names of the files themselves. So if I end up returning to Lightroom, you'll see that now, in my folder list, that folder now has a question mark on it, and that means that Lightroom, sure it has a record that that folder once existed, but it remembers exactly it's location in that hard drive, and it's looking in that spot and not finding it. So how do we fix it, well, one thing you can do is right click on a folder that has a question mark on it, and you're gonna find a choice called find missing folder, and if I choose find missing folder and then I actually go and navigate to that particular folder. It'll take me a moment to find it here, 'cause I'm gonna have to go on my hard drive, and it's stored deep inside my drive, let's see it's 2013, some time in February it's right there, I can see the word renamed on the end, 'cause that's what I added to it. Well if I were to choose that right now, and hit the choose button, you're gonna find it's gonna update, and now if I look in my folder list and I expand it over far enough to see the full file name, you can see that now it has -renamed on the end. Well if I actually wanna rename that folder, I would not have done it on my hard drive, outside of Lightroom, I would've instead, come right here into my folder list in Lightroom, I would right click on that folder and I'd find a choice called rename. If I do that, and I rename it here in Lightroom, that change will also be reflected on my hard drive. So it's only if you do things outside of Lightroom, you don't initiate the change here in Lightroom, that you're gonna end up with missing folders on occasion because you changed the name of the folder, or you changed the location of the folder. So you right click on any folder that has a question mark on it, and there's a choice called find missing folder. You can point it to where that folder has been moved or to where it's been renamed, and it should suddenly have the question mark disappear. The other thing that can happen, is on occasion you might add something to a folder, and if you add something to a folder manually, outside of Lightroom, or you create a brand new file in Photoshop, let's say, and you save it into a folder that you know Lightroom is keeping track of, Lightroom might not be aware of that change. So let's see if I can create that problem. I'm gonna go to the same folder again, I'm gonna right click on it and say show in Finder, and I'm gonna make a change outside of Lightroom, where I'm not initiating the change from Lightroom. I'm gonna go in my desktop here, I have a folder full of some images, and I'm gonna drag one of these images into the folder called Iceland to add it to that folder. So I know that if I open this folder up, and I look within it, right here, is this file. I hit the space bar to get a preview, but since I did that outside of Lightroom, if I come in here to Lightroom, and I come back to the folder, it doesn't matter if I navigate away and back to it, since the change was made without Lightroom's awareness, its not gonna know there's something new that's been added. So if I wanna have Lightroom take a fresh look at my hard drive, and compare the actual contents of this folder to what Lightroom is currently showing, I can right click on the folder and there's a choice there called synchronize folder, and if I choose that, it's going to look within the folder for both missing images that are there and also changed images, if you happen to have changed an image using, let's say, Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw, 'cause you could adjust an image that way. You could scan for metadata updates, and it would look for those kinds of changes, and here it says it's found new photos, and you see the number one, now if I wanna see what that new photo looks like, I can show the import dialog before importing and then I'd actually be able to see it, 'cause maybe it says there's 65 images, and I'm like what, why would I have that many pictures, and I might wanna see the import dialog, so I can choose which images are imported. But in this case I know there's only one, I'm just gonna choose synchronize, and now, it'll take just a moment, and if I return, it sent me to a different view, the view it sent me to just now was one that if I scroll up here to catalog, is called previous import. So that's why it kinda moved me away from the folder I was in, but if I go back to my folder list, and I click on that folder once again, I believe it was this one called Iceland, there you can see the image. So that means we don't wanna manually add pictures to folders, instead, we would like to either hit the import button, if the image doesn't already exist in Lightroom, and you can add it, or if you manually add it, you'll have to right click and that's when you choose synchronize folder. If that image was already in Lightroom, I would've found it in my folder list, and I'm not certain that it is in here yet, and I would've simply dragged it from within, my view over here, to a different folder. For instance, this particular one, I might wanna put in a different folder 'cause it was not captured in Iceland in 2013, instead it was captured in 2018, and in fact was already in here, it's in this folder down here, but I could just drag it in my folder list, and if you wanna move it to the base folder of 2018. So you can move images easily in Lightroom. Alright then I want to delete images. If you attempt to delete an image, on occasion it won't let you, and let me see if I can show you when that would happen. I'm going to access an image, not by navigating to it's folder so I'm directly viewing where it's stored, instead I'm gonna navigate to it using something called a collection, or navigating up here in this area called catalog. The main thing is I'm not in the folder list. Well if I come in here, and maybe I choose something from my Africa collection here, I find an image that I don't like, it's this one right here, and I'd like to delete it. Well you can just hit the delete key, but if you're not viewing the folder that contains that image, instead you're viewing it via a collection, when you hit the delete key, you're not deleting the image. It might go away, and seem like it did go away, but it didn't delete it from your hard drive. The only thing it did is remove it from this collection. A collection is very similar to a playlist in music software and if you think about browsing a playlist of images, maybe you'd call it party music, and you see a list of songs and you find a song in there that's really mellow and you're like that's not party music, you would click on it and hit delete, and you'd know that you deleted it from that playlist, but you didn't delete the song from your hard drive. So I'm gonna choose undo, 'cause I didn't actually want to, delete that from this collection. If you actually wanna delete a photograph, you need to right click on the photograph, and choose go to folder in Library. You need to be viewing the image so that, in this area on the left side of your screen, you're within the folder list, and it's only when you are viewing it that way, where when you hit delete, it'll actually ask you, if you want to truly delete that. I'm not gonna do that 'cause I don't wanna mess up my images but if I click that button this image would be removed from Lightroom and it would be deleted from my hard drive. The alternative is just hit remove, and that means I wanna keep the picture, I just don't wanna see it in Lightroom. But then what if I want to delete a folder? Well, if I right click on a folder, you're gonna find I can remove the folder, but removing it simply means make it so Lightroom no longer keeps track of it, no longer shows the images that are contained within, but the folder would still exist. There is no option in here, for deleting a folder. So how would I go about deleting a folder. Well let me first find a folder that is safe to delete. This one I created in a previous session, and I don't need it here, so that's fine. What I could do if I actually wanna delete a folder, is I right click on the folder, I come down here to show in Finder, and then I manually delete it from my operating system. This is the one time when I would usually tell you to not do something in Lightroom. The vast majority of the time you wanna instigate all the changes you make starting in Lightroom, but the reason why Lightroom does not allow you to delete a folder is because at the time you import things, Lightroom does not always import everything. What if, in that folder, I had a Microsoft Word file, and I had a spreadsheet file, and I had a database file in there, maybe have a PDF file in there too, well when you import the images from that folder, Lightroom would ignore those files. So if Lightroom allowed you to delete a folder, you might accidentally delete some files you didn't realize were there, because they weren't showing up in Lightroom. So, here's how you actually delete a folder. You right click on it within Lightroom, and choose show in Finder, I think it might be show in Navigator on Windows, and then you drag this to the trash. Now it's gone, it's off my hard drive, and now if I return to Lightroom, it still shows the files there, but if you look at the folder, it shows that it's being missing. So then I simply right click on the folder, and I say remove. And now it's gone, but it's a two-step process, and it only mainly forced you to do that, so that it would be difficult for you to accidentally throw away images, or at least you couldn't blame Lightroom on it, because you didn't do it in Lightroom, you did it in your operating system. So deleting a file, just make sure you're viewing it from your folder list not from a collection, you can just hit delete, delete it from desk, it's gone, but to delete a folder we need to manually do it outside of Lightroom and then in Lightroom, just tell it to remove the missing folder. Alright then, sometimes you're gonna have an image, that Lightroom shows as being missing, and let's see if I can accomplish that. Well I can't undo that deletion I just did, so let me see if I can, go back in here, and here I have a folder of images, I'm gonna go to this folder, by right clicking and say show in Finder, and if I were to take one of these images out of this, maybe I'll take two or three, and just move them somewhere else, without doing it in Lightroom, here I'm gonna move these, just to a different folder, like the base level of this folder, so it's no longer where it's expected. I go to Lightroom, and I look at these images, I can still see all the pictures, 'cause it is still assumes that all those images, should be in their original location, but if I attempt to look and work on that file, over on the right side of my screen, here we have this area called histogram, and if I go through here it will tell me, I have my original photo, and I happen to have a Smart Preview, and if I go through enough of these, eventually I should be able to find, that image that I deleted, or I actually moved to a different location, and once I do find it, it should say that it's missing. Now, just because I can't do that immediately, I'm gonna do it to two more images. Right click on them, well I'm gonna right click on one of them. Show in Finder, and just so I know which file it is, I'm gonna move that file somewhere else. Go back to Lightroom, and now it says up here it has a Smart Preview, if I were to discard the Smart Preview, it would've said, what I was expecting to see. I'm gonna discard just one Smart Preview, there. Photo is missing, if it already has a Smart Preview, then it means it has enough information to be able to adjust the image and to export it at a small size, But if it doesn't have any of that, all it can do is preview the image, and here it says photo is missing, so how can I end up trying to fix that? Well first, if it's something like I just did, I moved the picture, just go move it back, and it will show up, but here's what I would end up doing if I get that to show up and I need to investigate it further. The first one is we need to view it in the folder view, to see if the drive is missing. So if I originally got to this, and the way I got to it was through a collection, for instance I'll take this image and put it in what's known as a quick collection, and I'll go and view it via that. Well first to figure out why is this image missing, if I'm not looking directly at the folder itself, then who knows if the drive that contains the picture, is not hooked up, maybe it's just the power button got bumped and it's powered down, or it's just not connected to my computer. So the first thing I would do is right click on the image, and choose go to folder in Library. Therefore, I can look in the folder list and see if the folder itself has a question mark on it. If that folder does not have a question mark, then I know it doesn't have to do with the folder being missing, if it does have a question mark, I would look at the other folders that are above and below it on the same drive. If they have question marks as well, I'd come right up here, and see what's the name of the hard drive we're looking at. I just have to scroll to the top and see if it's little light is turned on. If it's light is gray, then the reason the photo's missing, is that that drive just isn't hooked up, it can't find the original. But, if that light is green, and the other folders that are there don't have question marks on it, then we have to investigate further. If that little folder does also not have a question mark, there, then what I might do is right click on the folder and choose synchronize, because sometimes what happens is that the picture got renamed, and it's just under a different name that's in there, and I'd look up here to see where it says import new folders and see if a number appears. If it does I would import those photos, but down here it says remove missing photos and it shows me there are a total of three of them, so that thing is still not found. So the next thing that I would do, is I would look at the file name for that particular image. And I can find it right over here on the right side of my screen and I would simply select the file name that's there and copy it. Then, I would go on my hard drive, and on my hard drive I would perform a search. On a Macintosh I can go to the upper right of my screen, and just paste in that particular file name, and it'll take a little while to find it, but it should eventually locate the file, if it still exists. If it still exists, then I'm gonna go and find out where that is, I can show all of them in the Finder, so it will bring me to where the file is, there it is, don't know why it got moved here, or what, but there it is with that file name and I can just move it back to that same folder where it's expected to be. So that's kinda the process I would end up going through, and that's another reason to have unique file names. If every single file that you have in Lightroom has a unique name, then when you perform a search to find it, it's only gonna find one image, with that name, whereas if I used the names that my camera generated, it might find dozens, or sometimes even hundreds, of files of that same name. Now, if for some reason it even didn't find it there, then it might be somehow you messed that up. That file literally got deleted and your trash got emptied. I'd go look at my backup to see if I have it, and if I still don't have it there, what can I do? Well, I would end up taking a screenshot of the image, and then at least I would have a screen resolution version of that picture that I could use for various things, and I think you can even find utilities, like plug-ins for Lightroom where it can extract the actual preview that's built in to this file. But that's some of the steps that I might go through, if I end up having a file that looks to be missing. Now let's look at some instances when certain things that you know exist, won't show up in Lightroom. Well, let's say that I have the collection list, and I've opened the collection list hundreds of thousands of times before, and I know I have more than the four or five that are being shown here, well if you find that this list is very much truncated then at the top of it, is an area called filter, and to the left of that, is a little magnifying glass icon, if I click on that icon, you could be viewing only the synced collections. Synced collections are ones that are being uploaded to Adobe's internet server, and therefore, can be viewed on the web or on your phone, that kinda thing, and if it's set to only view those, you're gonna have a limited set of collections. I'm gonna set it to all, and that's what's gonna allow all the collections to appear. A similar problem can happen with your folders. In this case I know I have a gazillion folders, more than that, and they're not appearing. Well, to fix that, again, go up here to the area called filter that's just above your folders, click on that icon to the left where the magnifying glass is and you might be viewing only your favorite folders. You need to choose all, and if you weren't aware that you can have favorite folders, if you look in your folder list and you see any folders that have a little star on top of them, those are marked as favorites. If I were to right click on a folder that has a star on it, I can unmark it as a favorite, and that star would disappear. So let's say that over the next week I'm gonna be processing images from three different shoots. I'm gonna do the images that were shot here in Dubai, so I right click on the folder and I mark it as a favorite, then I also gonna work on images here from Abu Dhabi, and so I mark that as a favorite, and then I'm gonna work on instead, or also, let's see, images that were shot on a cruise ship and I'll right click and mark it as a favorite. So now you see that some of the folders have stars on them. If I want to then very quickly be able to find those, I can go up to that area called filter, click on the magnifying glass on the left, and choose favorite folders, and now that's all I can view are those particular folders that I've marked, and while I'm in that view if I right click and unmark it as a favorite you'll find that after a while, if switching between things that might disappear from the list, or you might have to go back to all and then back to filtered, to narrow it down to just those. But that's something where if you don't realize it's been changed and you use favorites quite a bit, that you might be limiting the number of folders you're viewing without realizing it. Another thing very similar to that, can happen with your keyword list. You can look at my keyword list at the moment, I know I have a lot more keywords than what is stored in the who and what's stored in the what sections, and so I gotta figure out why aren't all my normal keywords showing up. Well again anytime you find a little area for filtering, if there's a magnifying glass icon to the left of it, consider clicking on that, and then choose all if it's available. In this case, we're only viewing people keywords, and therefore it's not showing me keywords that don't relate to people. If I set it to all though, now I'm seeing my full keyword list as I would expect it to appear. And so anytime you see a limited list like that, see if there's a search field, see if there's a magnifying glass, if so click on it, and see if there's an option to expand what it is that you're viewing. Alright then, other things related to your folders, 'cause we just talked about that, sometimes your list of folders won't look quite as clean as mine does. Do you see here where I happen to organize my images based on year, but all I'm seeing here is a folder of year, and if I open it up I see sub-folders are contained within. Sometimes this list will look much more complicated than that, it will instead list the entire path you'd have to use in your hard drive, to get to something, and if you ever find that and you wanna clean it up, then if you go to this list, there's a little plus sign on the upper right, and if I click on it, right here determines how it ends up viewing that list, and if this gets set to path from volume, or folder and path, either one of those, you're gonna find this looks much more complex. Just go up here and choose folder name only, and you'll clean up the appearance of what's there. Other things related to folders, is sometimes what happens is, your hard drive gets renamed or you need to switch to a backup hard drive. If you're on Windows and you have it where your hard drives are named by the letter, then the first hard drive that you hook up, might take the letter E let's say, then you hook up an additional hard drive and that's the letter F, hook up another one and it just keeps going, well if you move those hard drives maybe to your laptop and back to your desktop, putting them on in different orders, the letters might change, and if it changes, then it will think that the hard drive is missing, that it's just not connected because the name doesn't match. Another instance when you might need to do what I'm about to show you, is let's say that this is my main hard drive, where I always store my pictures on, it happens to be a LaCie drive, but let's just say that that drive died. I bumped it off the table, it went into a bucket of water, and it's dead, well then I might need to switch to a backup hard drive. If I have a drive that is set up identically to that one, the folder structure is the same but the only difference is the file name, how can I quickly switch to that drive? Well, here's how it's done. When you look in the folder list, it doesn't actually show you every folder on your hard drive it only shows those folders that you've imported from, and it doesn't show you the path you used to get there. Here's how you can get the full path of, all the way down to your hard drive's name, that's what we need. If I right click on the base folder, any one of these base folders, there is a choice called show parent folder. That means show the folder that this folder is contained within. So now I can see that the folder called is in another folder called Ben's photo archives 2009 and plus. If I right click on that folder, I'm gonna again choose show parent folder, and it'll show me the folder it's contained within. And there it is, it's called Ben's photo archive backup, and if I right click on that, I need to choose this however many times it takes until I get to the actual name of my hard drive. It all depends on how complex your folder structure is, how deep into it your photos are stored, but eventually if you right click, you'll find that the show parent choice is simply not there, and that means you've made it all the way back to your base hard drive. And so now you can actually see how I store my images, I have a big hard drive, it doesn't just contain my photographs it contains my photo backup and what I call cold storage, that's like business documents and things, and if I go into my photo backup here is a sub-folder, and I have these divided up into two separate folders, 2008 and earlier, and then 2009 and newer, why is that? That's because I have back up hard drives where this would fill totally one of my back up hard drives and I just can't have more, I can't fit both of those sections in there, so I have this folder which represents exactly the contents of one of my back up drives, and I have this folder which is my second back up drive. So in there is my folders for that year. Anyway if you get all the way back to the base name of the folder, and if that drive is disconnected, it would have a question mark here, you could right click on it and say find missing folder. If you find missing folder, you could point that to a different hard drive, if that hard drive has an identical folder structure to the one that normally stores your pictures then you have just switched to your back up drive. So what did I end up doing there? I went to my folder list, I found the top most folder I could get, meaning not a sub-folder of anything else, I right clicked on it and there was a choice, I can do it on this one, called show parent folder, and that shows me the folder that actually contains this one, and I continue doing that again and again, always going to the most base folder that's there, until I actually get to the name of my hard drive. And if that drive's not hooked up there'll be a question mark, I can right click on it and say find missing folder, and I can point it to any hard drive I want. So that's what I do when I leave my office in my big hard drive, which is actually what's called a NAS RAID, it's a network attached storage, device with more than one hard drive on it, if I leave that back home and I travel with my back up, well then if that back up has a different hard drive name, I need to go through that process. Once I have, if I wanna clean up my folder list, then I go to that base most folder here, I right click on it and I say hide this parent. Then I go to the next base folder and I right click and say hide this parent, I'm just trying to get the things hidden that were usually hidden, and then I go to the next one, until I've done this enough times to hide the parent until I get back to my normal folder list, that's in here. So there's different ways you can end up switching but if you needed to quickly switch between hard drives that is one method for doing so. Then, sometimes you might be working on a folder and that folder is something that you end up modifying outside of Photoshop. Let's see if we can get something here to be modified, or I should say outside of Lightroom. Here's a folder full of images, and what I would like to do to these, is I'm gonna work on them using Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw. And this could be that I hired a freelancer to come in and adjust some pictures for me and I'm not gonna have him mess with my Lightroom catalog, 'cause that's what I need to work in actively. I'm gonna instead set them up with Adobe Bridge, and Adobe Camera Raw to adjust pictures. So I'm gonna right click on this picture and I'm gonna tell it to show in the Finder, so I can just see where is this folder on my hard drive, here it is, and then I'm gonna view this particular folder in Bridge. Now there's a bunch of different ways of doing that but one, if you're on a Mac, is right up here is the folder name, and I just grab the folder name, and I'll drag it down to the Bridge icon, that should navigate me to that folder. So here are the same images viewed within Bridge, and let's say that I took one of these images, I'll take the one that's of the interior, and I double clicked on it, or I went to the file menu and said open in Camera Raw, either one, to edit it. And just to make an obvious change, I'm gonna make this image black and white, and I'm gonna crop it into a square. Not that I think that'll make it look good, but it'll be a visually obvious change, so you can tell if this shows up in Lightroom or the other version. I'm gonna click done. And there you can see that it's been changed here, in Bridge, now if I go back to Lightroom, Lightroom is not aware that that happened, if I scroll around, here's the same picture and you notice that you can't see it being black and white or cropped square, but what I do see, is an extra icon right here, you see a little up-pointing arrow? Well if I move my mouse on top of that, and I hover, it says the metadata was changed externally. The heck does that mean? That means something changed about that file and it didn't originate in Lightroom. Some other program changed the metadata. Metadata means, not the picture itself, but the text that's attached to the picture. Like the shutter speed, or the aperture setting, that the number that's attached to the file or the date, but in this case it happens to be some adjustment settings that were done in Adobe Camera Raw. Well if I click that up-pointing arrow, now it's gonna say hey it's changed by another application, what do you wanna do? Do I wanna import those settings, or would I like to override it? Well I'm gonna import the settings from disk, and therefore it can read in the changes that were made outside of Lightroom. So this is one way that you can work with more than one people on a project. You can have individual people, using not Lightroom, but Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw, you can assign them to be working on various images, and when they're all done, you navigate to the exact same folder in Lightroom, and you end up clicking that little up-pointing arrow, to import the changes that they've made. Now if they've made changes to many of the images, then instead you'd probably wanna right click on the folder and choose synchronize, because in synchronize, one of the choices is right here, scan for metadata updates. That would find the same kind of changes, and in this case I haven't made any additional changes so it doesn't find them, but it could find, and if I'd synchronize, import those. So that's what I have, now if I wanna get out of that, if I decide hey that's not really what I wanted I could go here to the Develop module at any time and remember you can get a full history of your image and you'll see right there it says it brought in some information from the metadata, I just click on the step that is before that and now I'm back to what I had before, and if I want Bridge to be able to see changes that I've made here in Lightroom, I need to get those changes to be stored on my hard drive as a separate little file and so if you ever do need to get Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw to be able to see the changes you've made here in Lightroom, all you need to do is type command S, that's control S in Windows, and it will save the settings you have attached to this file as a little text file. You can also go up to the metadata menu and you'll find right there, that does the same thing. And that would make it so that if I made one of these black and white and square, within Lightroom, that I could ensure that Bridge would reflect that and that Adobe Camera Raw would be able to see it too. So those are some things you could encounter related to metadata. Alright then, let's start talking about adjustments and what can happen when we're in the Develop module, and a few issues you might encounter. One of those, which will take me just a moment to create, is if you browse old pictures that you shot years ago and you imported into Lightroom many years ago. If you ever go to the Develop module, you may find that the adjustment sliders that are available are not what you expect. Usually in a modern version of Lightroom, if I were to look at the adjustment sliders, we would have not something called recovery and fill light, instead we would have something called highlights and shadows and there's just not everything I would expect is in here. Well if that's ever the case you'll also notice that just below the histogram in Lightroom, there'll usually be this little lightening bolt. If you ever see the lightening bolt it simply means that this photograph was adjusted in an older version of Lightroom, and since that time Adobe has made changes to the sliders that are available. It doesn't automatically update the picture to use the new type of sliders, because it doesn't want to make your picture look any different than it does now, because if you ever wanted to make a print and that print should look identical to ones you've made in the past, it doesn't wanna change these. But if I click on that lightening bolt, it means let's update this picture to the most recent version of Lightroom's processing capability, and when I do you'll find all these sliders below update to what you're used to seeing. Now just so you know the way that I got that to happen, you can also go back to old versions. Let's say you were reading a magazine article and they gave you a tip of how to do something that required an old version of Lightroom and you don't know how to reproduce it with a new version, and it has to do with the adjustment sliders. Because they did something really cool but used sliders with different names. Well what you can do is grab any picture and go down here to an area called calibration. Right here's a choice called process, and if I click here are the various process versions. What this means is back in 2003 is when they came out with the original Lightroom sliders for adjustment, and then once 2010 rolled around they added additional adjustment sliders and changed the way the existing ones worked, and they did the same thing in 2012 and recently, and so I just set this to an earlier process version, and that made all these sliders go back to what an old version of Lightroom would present to you, and therefore we can still adjust photos using that old technology, you know, from a decade ago, if you'd like to. But if you find an image that's already in that way and you wanna use the modern sliders it's just a little lightening bolt up here, click on it and it will update the picture. The appearance might change slightly though, so I wouldn't do that just casually, I'd only do it if I really need the modern sliders. Now let's look at a few miscellaneous problems you can encounter when working with Lightroom. If you work with JPEG files, you need to be kinda careful because if you have the JPEG files in Lightroom, you should realize the changes that you make on your picture are only stored as text, now when it's a raw file that's not a problem so much because raw files are, by definition, the raw data that came from your camera, with no modification, so any changes we make to that need to be somehow separate from the file, so that they're expected to be text. But with a JPEG file, JPEG is considered to be kind of, just ready to share with other people, and if I were to take an image like this one and I just right click on it and saw show in Finder, and I E-mail this picture to somebody thinking hey it's just a JPEG I might as well send it to them, you should be aware that changes that you make to a JPEG file did not actually update the JPEG, it only saved them as text. So if I were to E-mail this off to a friend, this is what the photo would look like. Well if you compare that to even the thumbnail that is in Lightroom, you can see that it's not black and white like it should be. And so, try not to share JPEG files that have been adjusted in Lightroom, unless you go up here to the file menu and in Lightroom that is, and choose export, because it's only when you export an image, here I'm gonna save one to my desktop, that those changes are baked into the file, that they're actually there in a form other than text. So now if I go to my desktop, I can see right there, a black and white version of this picture that has the changes incorporated. So I mainly mention that because some people will end up casually sharing their JPEG files without thinking about hey is this file in Lightroom and has it been modified in there? If so, you need to go to Lightroom and export it to get one that incorporates those changes. If you just send the original JPEG they're not gonna have those changes, you need to export it. So this image I'm just gonna change 'cause I made it black and white just to make it visually obvious, and I'm just gonna back up in my history so that it's the way it's supposed to be. Alright then let's say that we have a series of images, and I shot them somewhere other than where I live, and when I set the clock in my camera, I did it when I was at home, I traveled three time zones away, did a photo shoot, but I didn't think to change my timezone. So how can I update the images afterwards? Well you can select as many images as you want, this could be a folder of a thousand pictures, and if you go to the metadata menu there should be a choice in here called edit capture time and if we choose that this will come up and we can modify the date it thinks that these pictures were captured on, and in here if it was just a time zone difference, here we can say shift to set number of hours and right here, I could tell it how many hours different did I travel to when I captured these particular images. Maybe it was three hours later in that time zone and here I could see if this is what the original image was tagged with as far as date and time, by adding three hours to that, you'd see that the hour of five would go up to an eight, or you could shift the other direction if you went the other direction in time zones. Then you could hit change all, and it will change the original capture date that it thinks that these pictures were captured on. And so if you'd like to fine tune things you're welcome to do that, for me personally I don't rely on the capture time all that much, but it could be useful for some people. I'm not gonna change these 'cause I wanna have them actually set to the original capture date. Here's an odd one, and this most commonly is encountered, for some reason, on April 1st, but it can also be encountered just by accident and what it is is sometimes you can find that all of your pictures are backwards. If I look at this particular shot, see all the text is backwards. Well there's a feature in Lightroom that is designed to flip your photographs horizontally, and one of the reasons why it's there is because if you ever show somebody photographs of themselves, oftentimes they think they look odd in a photograph because the only time they're really used to seeing themselves is in a mirror, and when you show 'em a photo of it, it hasn't been flipped like a mirror would, and so therefore it can look a little odd to them, so if you want to make all the photographs look as if they were viewed in a mirror you can do the following. If I'm in the Library module, I can go to the view menu and down at the bottom there's a choice called enable mirror image mode, and if you look now when you see text it's all backwards, but if I turn that off it's gonna switch back to normal orientation so it's nice to know because on occasion you might use that for a portrait shoot when you're showing an image to a client, and later on you just might not remember where you can find that particular command. Well speaking of that, if you know there's something in Lightroom, you've used it in the past, you know it's in a menu but you're searching around here and you simply can't find where it is, well at least on a Mac you can click on the help menu and in the help menu the very first thing it brings you to in fact it's ready to type in it the moment you choose help, is search and so if I needed to find that mirror image mode I would just type it in to the help system it would show that choice here and if I hover over it then it will actually make the menu choice available so I can discover where it is, and if I choose it from the help menu it actually can turn it on, therefore if you know there's a command, one way of doing things quickly go to the help menu, type in what you want, and just click from it right there. Other things that we can encounter that can really mess you up is I find I run into some issues when it comes to working with keywords. When I work with keywords I can come in here and drill down to, various things I might wanna search for, and let's say I wanna search for pictures of me. Well I see that there's a 101 pictures, it claims, that have been tagged with a keyword of Ben Willmore. If I click on the arrow to the right it's gonna search my entire Lightroom catalog for pictures that have been tagged with my name. And here it finds them, but what you'll find is on occasion the number of pictures that show up after clicking on this little arrow does not match the number that appears here which are the actual number of images that, have been tagged with that. Let's see if that happens to be the case here, one way to find out the number of pictures being viewed is to go down to the film strip, and on the film strip right here it says of the total number of pictures it's searching. And it actually does find 101, well why would that number, on occasion, deviate, well let's find out. If I were to come in here and choose two photos, hopefully these two photos are in the same folder, I'm assuming they might be but if they're not I might not be able to do this but if I select two images and I go to the photo menu, if you ever stack your images where it thinks I can't 'cause they're in different folders. But if they were in the same folder and I stack them, then you're gonna find that those particular images will not be able to, these should be able to be stacked. If that collection is collapsed, it will ignore all the images that are in the collapsed stack and will only pay attention to the top most image. In order to be able to get down to the true number of images that appears next to the keyword, you need to make sure that the stack is expanded. So, if you're gonna end up performing a search and you find that the number does not match, here's what you need to do. You first need to go up to this area called catalog. You need to click on the choice called all photographs, and make sure that you're not filtering anything up here at the top of my screen therefore I'm viewing literally every single picture that is in all of Lightroom. I could then type command A to select all, and in this case it's a large number of images so it might take it a moment to think and if I go to the photo menu there's a choice under stacking that is called, come on, since right now it's thinking about 220,000 pictures I'll give it a little bit of a break for pausing for a moment but here, expand all stacks. And therefore, whatever images might be hidden in those collapsed stacks will no longer be hidden because all the stacks will be expanded. And any time that you do that, I'm not gonna do it here 'cause it might take it a minute or two to complete it, but then every time that you click on the arrow that's next to the name of a keyword, you'll always get the exact number that's listed there, you're not gonna get less than that. But that's something that took me quite a long time to figure out and could mess me up on occasion when I rely on finding things based on keywords. One final problem is on occasion, I've had it where I come to machine, and all my previews for all my images are just grayed out, and I can't see any of the previews at all. That will only happen when the hard drive that contains the originals is not attached but on occasion, no matter which photos I'm viewing, I just can't see the images, it seems like something is totally broken, well you should be aware that you should go to your Lightroom catalog location, here if I go to the Lightroom menu and choose catalog settings, that would be under the edit menu I believe, if I was in Windows, right here it tells me the location of my Lightroom catalog file, well on the right side will be a button called show which will navigate me there, and there it is, there's my folder, I'll open it up. Well the only thing that links this catalog file to these previews which is what allows me to view my images when that drive is not attached, is the file name, and what I most commonly find is that somebody tried renaming their catalog file and either they forgot to rename this file up here or they messed up in it. Maybe you manually typed in the name and you forgot the apostrophe that I have here, or you forgot to put the word previews at the end, but if these names do not match precisely every space and every character, then it won't know that these previews relate to all the images that it's keeping track of in this catalog. So I would inspect the exact naming of each one of these files to make sure the beginning portion the portion of the name that is the Lightroom catalog file, is absolutely identical, and when you do that make sure Lightroom is not running if you're gonna be changing any of those things. Once you've done that then, if there was any change in the file name all you gotta do is relaunch Lightroom and suddenly all your preview files would suddenly be there once again. So those are some of the things that I've thought of when it comes to working with Lightroom, but I'm sure there will be others that you think of so what I'd like you to do is be sure to go to the Facebook group so that, you can let me know other issues you've run into using Lightroom and we can address them both on the Facebook group directly and via a future question and answer session. So tomorrow we're gonna get into tips and tricks with Lightroom 'cause we've so far been concentrated on the big chunks of Lightroom where we'll talk about the big idea of keywording, or the big idea of adjustments, but we haven't had enough time to talk about the little tips and tricks that you can do in Lightroom that make it much more powerful. So that's what you can look forward to tomorrow. Here's the address to the Facebook group and that's where I'd like to know about all the other kinds of issues you might've encountered with Lightroom before, sometimes there are things that I've never encountered and therefore I might not know how to fix them but we have thousands of other people in that Facebook group so you don't have to just rely on me, instead sometimes there'll be someone else that has had a very obscure problem that you're also encountering and it can be really nice when someone else pops in and let's them know how they ended up fixing something as well. And be aware that if you purchased the class it's really the best way of learning Lightroom because here when you're just watching the video goes by and it can seem to go rather quick and you're trying to take notes at the same time and you don't really have time to practice something in Lightroom and then come back to the video, because there's no pausing. Well if you purchased the class, you can pause and replay as many times as you want, you also get homework, that gets you to think through what we covered in each lesson and how could you become much more versed in that before you truly need to use it on your own pictures. And you get a workbook, that reminds you what was done on each day so you don't always have to play the video back. So if you really wanna get the most out of Lightroom, consider purchasing the course, but this has been another installment of Lightroom Classic, the complete guide.

Class Description


  • Develop the confidence to use your imagination and create images you'll be proud to share with your clients
  • Thoughtfully use the Lightroom suite to streamline your workflow and add flair to your images
  • Organize your entire photo collection


Adobe® Lightroom® Classic CC can streamline your workflow, add drama to your images, and organize your entire photo collection -- but only if you know all the hidden features. Lightroom CC is one of the best non-destructive editing tools out there, designed to handle tasks from importing off an SD card and organizing to editing, printing, and exporting for social media. But the extent of the photo editing tools likely means that, if you are self-taught or just opening Lightroom CC for the first time, you're missing out on some key features.

As part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, the Lightroom Classic photography plans also include Photoshop and cloud storage, creating a complete image editing toolkit for photographers.

When you purchase this course you’ll gain access to an enduring resource to build your skills. You will also receive a workbook that acts as a reference guide, Lightroom presets, and Lightroom keywords, all included with the class.

Join well-known software instructor Ben Willmore to learn how to process and organize your images more efficiently, leaving more time to spend capturing amazing images. In this 20 lesson course, Ben covers everything from importing to troubleshooting and everything in between. As a boot camp, this course is set up so professional photographers can spend about an hour or so each weekday to learn the ins and outs of Lightroom in just four weeks.


This class is designed for Lightroom newbies as well as self-taught Lightroom users ready to uncover the hidden features and Photoshop experts ready to try Adobe's non-destructive RAW editor and organizer. As a recent class, the workshop also explains Lightroom's latest new features.

Adobe Lightroom Classic CC 2018


Ben Willmore is a member of the Photoshop Hall of Fame who has taught over 100,000 Adobe® Photoshop® users on all seven continents. His bestselling books, DVDs, and hit seminars have established Ben as one of America’s favorite Adobe Photoshop instructors, and he is often the top-selling speaker at design and photography conferences throughout the world. He writes for numerous digital imaging publications, including Photoshop User magazine, and his award-winning books have helped helped hundreds of thousands of design and photography professionals make the transition from blindly following step-by-step techniques to “Ah-ha! I finally GET Photoshop!”

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Week 1 Workbook

Week 1 Homework

Week 2 Workbook

Week 2 Homework

Week 3 Workbook

Week 3 Homework

Week 4 Workbook

Week 4 Homework

Week 4 Catalog

Develop Presets

Develop Presets Pre 7.3

Lightroom Endmarks

Develop Presets Guide

Lightroom Keywords Guide

Lightroom Keywords Sampler

Lightroom Endmarks Guide

Ben's Smart Collections

Lightroom Classic Q&A (very large 3+ gb zip file)

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


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Just wow! Ben is such an amazing instructor - he is able to explain everything very succinctly and in just enough detail that your eyes don't start glazing over. I've used Photoshop for over 20 years and have been afraid (and didn't really want to learn yet another program) of using Lightroom, until I've heard how awesome it is from my fellow photographer friends. This course is extremely comprehensive and if you're a more experienced user, you can skip some of the lessons and just watch the ones you want - but even experienced users might get at least a few nuggets of information that they didn't know in every lesson. Highly recommend! And thank you, Ben. P.S. You're wife and her yoga poses are amazing. I just got into yoga a few months ago and can only hope to be half as good as she is! :o)


I was taking a lightroom course from another provider and decided to give Creative live a shot as I wasn't happy with the other class. This class blows that one out of the water! I love the detailed instructions, he goes at a good pace and I love the transcription (I didn't even know that was there until I scrolled down). I would definitely recommend this class to anyone wanting to learn lightroom. Thank you Ben for giving this great class!


I have been searching for something to help me with my images. I am fairly confident with my ability to take nice photos but sometimes they need help. I might actually enjoy editing now!