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Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide

Lesson 14 of 20

How To Find Any Image Quickly

Ben Willmore

Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

14. How To Find Any Image Quickly
Lightroom has powerful search tools -- powerful enough that, when using the tools properly, the software can find any image in five seconds or less, Ben says. Walk through all the different search tools and options for narrowing down the results to quickly find that specific image.

Lesson Info

How To Find Any Image Quickly

Here we are with Lightroom Classic: the Complete Guide. Let's take a look back at what we've done since we started. On the first week, we tried to develop a firm foundation of how to think about Lightroom, therefore we had to learn all about how Lightroom's catalog file works. We also thought about how we might be able to organize our images using folders and collections in unique ways. And we found out how to get your images into Lightroom and get them back out again if we ever need to deliver them to someone else. The second week, we really concentrated on organizing our images and adjusting them. Therefore we learned how to keyword our pictures so that we could then search for them using text. We learned a little bit about retouching and we enhanced our images with noise reduction and sharpening. Well, week three, we covered special features. That means we learned how to do things like facial recognition, where we can have Lightroom automatically find all the people in our photograp...

hs as long as we educated them about what are their names and therefore if it knew this face equal this name it could search through our entire archive and try to locate those people. We also saw how to see our images on a map, how to do black and white, HDR photography, and panoramas. Well today, we're gonna talk about how to find any image very quickly. Ideally ,in five seconds or less. But in order to be able to find it five seconds or less, you really need to know about all of Lightroom's search capabilities. And with a little practice after that, hopefully you can find any image that is memorable to you in five seconds or less. Let's get started. The first way we can think about finding our images is over on the left side of our screen when we're in the library module. Because that's where we usually store all of our images in folders. Well at the top of the folder list, we do have a choice here for filtering our folders. That's a relatively new feature they've added to Lightroom, but it's really nice because I can think about well if, I name my folders based on the location or subject matter I was shooting, then I can think in my head, "have I ever been to Iceland?" And I know the answer to that, but I don't remember when. So, I'm gonna go over here to the search field at the top of the folder list and I'm just gonna type in Iceland. If I can spell it correctly. Then, I can expand whichever hard drives I want it to inspect, and if I do, I should be able to figure out when exactly I've been to Iceland. Looks like I was there in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, and I wish it kept going. But it doesn't. Anyway, there I can tell when I've been there. I can also see on the other drive if there happens to be any folders that contain that name. Well, you should know also, when it comes to folders there is a way now to go to the little magnifying glass icon, click on it, and there is something called favorite folders. So let's say that I really wanted to work on a project on Iceland, so I come here to my folder list and I see all those folders with Iceland on it, I right-click on one of the folders, and there's a choice called mark as favorite. If I choose that, I'll then find a little star icon on top of the folder and I could do that for each one of these folders, right-clicking. Or, I could click on one, hold down the Command key and click on other ones. So therefore in this case, I'm gonna mark three of them at once as favorites. Well, if that's the case, if you mark the folders you really like to be working with as favorites then when I get to the search bar up here, if I simply change this menu to favorite folders, then we're already limiting my view in my folder list so we're only seeing those favorite folders. Then, I can come in here and if I only wanted to see one version of that maybe I type in 2009, and now I'm looking at only the favorited folders that are from 2009. So that's one way of finding our images. Should know a little bit more about that though, because if I go back in here and I want to remove something from my favorites, I can click on that image and there's a choice called unmark favorites. And I can do that and it seems to be rather straightforward. The problem becomes, when I get down to the next folder, if you recall when I marked that as a favorite I actually had three folders selected at the same time. Well, if I right-click on that folder now, there's a choice called unmark favorites, but it's actually gonna give me a weird error message. And that is, if I ever had more than one folder selected at the time I marked it as favorite, then I have to have those same folders selected again in order to unmark it as a favorite. I can't unmark just one of these three folders because I had all three of them selected at the time that I did it, marked them. Well the problem with that, is it's very easy to forget what other folders happened to be there. How do I know that they happen to be the Iceland folders that I had together? So, it can be a little bit where you get stuck with folders marked as favorites and you're not sure how to get out of them. There is a little trick. If you go to the bottom of your screen and you click on the arrow that's down there at the center to make your filmstrip show up. I believe there is a pop-up menu right here that we can get to. It says the folder name right there. And if I click on that right here it says favorite sources. And, if you ever see here the word folders, in plural, that means that I had more than one folder selected at the time I marked it as a favorite, and if I choose it from here, it will go back and select all of those folders that I had so that now only when all three of them are selected can I unmark this as favorites. To me, that's really odd. And I think you should be able to unmark individual folders from your favorites list. Not caring how many of them you had at the time you marked them. But for now, that's how it's set up. It's just really nice to know how to get out of that setup if you need to. So, what did I do to search my folder list? Well first, I just went up here to the folder filter bar here. Then I have to decide, by clicking on the little magnifying icon, do I want to search every single folder that I have on the list? Or, do I only want to search my favorites? I don't have anything marked as a favorite right now. So if I set this to all, I can perform any kind of a search that I'd like. And let's see, when have I been to San Francisco? So, I type in San Francisco. Press Return or Enter. And now, I'm seeing what it is finding here but since those are two separate words, it's finding any folder that has the word San in it, or the word Francisco. So, sometimes when you filter down if it's a multi-word name, you might only type in one part of it, the part that is most unique. Like in this case, Francisco might make it a little easier for me to narrow it down. So anyway, that's one method we could use to try to quickly find a series of images. But not everybody organizes things using their folders in a useful way. So there are other methods. Often times, I organize projects using collections. And if I do that, then we also have a little filter bar here at the top of my collection list. And if I click within it I can search there. Let's say I would like to teach something about Adobe Camera Raw. I often use an abbreviation of ACR for that. I'm not certain if I have a collection that starts with that name or not, but I'm gonna type ACR and see if anything shows up. And it does drill down to the collections that include that name. So therefore, I could very quickly, here it says split toning, I know it's cut off a little bit. There's only so much I can expand this, but I can see that. So now, I can talk about split toning a photograph and get to it very quickly. Because I organized things using collections and I filtered my collections. Now, when you filter collections though, you can also have a little side menu here if you click on the magnifying glass in here, we can search either every collection we have or only those collections that end up getting synced to the cloud. We haven't talked about that yet, that I can remember, but there's a little square to the left of collections. And if you click on that little square it means sync that to the cloud so I can view it on Lightroom on my phone, or on my tablet, or in a web browser. So, if you wanted to limit yourself to only searching those particular kinds, you could choose this option right here, synced collections. Then I believe there's a way to make this field disappear. If I recall. And it might be over here on the right where this little plus sign is. There's a choice right there called show collection filter. So, if you ever find you go to this list and that's simply not there at the top, then you need to click on that little plus sign and show collection filter. And I've actually never tried it cause it's such a new feature up here in my folder list, let's see if they made it, allowed us to hide that as well. Let's see, it doesn't look like we can hide the filter that's there. Alright, so that's one way of quickly trying to discover images based on folders, based on collections. But now there are other methods. Let's say I want to go to all my photographs. That's 229,000 photographs. All I have to do is one click right here. That will bring me to viewing all those images. Then at the top of my screen, this is called the filter bar. That's gonna be able to limit, out of the images I was already viewing, what I'd like to see. Let's take a look at what we have for choices. First, there's a choice here called attribute. And here I can find all images that are five stars, or four stars. All I have to do is click these stars. If I click right there, I just got all five star images. Here I can get only four star images. Here I can get three star images. And so on. And right here is a little icon for greater than or equal to. Therefore if I want three stars or above, I can click there to limit it and I can choose from this menu. For me personally, I don't like using this bar. The problem with it is it's too easy to not be able to tell what's turned off or on. For instance, if I click on this icon to look for images marked as rejected. When I glance across this filter bar it's not blatantly obvious to me if these little stars are turned on, or the flag is turned on. I really wish they would stand out a lot more. Like make it blatantly red, whatever it is I click on, so it's easy to tell what's turned on and turned off. Well, I almost never use this choice that is called attribute, and let me show you why. First, I'm gonna set this to none, so we're not filtering anything at all. And then, let's go over here to metadata instead. And with metadata we have various columns I can populate at the top of my screen and I'm gonna populate those with the same general choices that we had when we were in the section called attribute. In there, we were able to filter based on flags. We were able to do it based on rating. We are able to do it based on labels as well. And, now when I set it up this way, it's more useful information because I can tell how many images would actually show up when I limit it to these various choices. And the way it works is you first populate the left most column. So, if I come in here, and say I only want to work with images that have been flagged, well I've just reduced 229,000 photographs with a single click so that now I'm only viewing 2,407. That's what it tells me here. Then the next column over tells me, out of those 2,407 images that I've already limited us to viewing, then out of those we have only 570 that are marked with one star. We have 134 that are two stars, and so on. So I notice we have a lot of three star images, that's what I'm gonna filter next. Now, before I click there, watch the next column over. Do you see the top most of each column says 2,407. Well the moment I click here on three stars that number's gonna go down. What does it go down to? The exact number that this filtered out. So, the first column narrowed us down to this number of images. The second column has now narrowed us further to this number of images. And now, it says well none of those are labeled. So I can't further reduce it down using this column. I could always click on the heading of the column and choose something else here. Maybe I want to see, is there a particular location involved? Not sure if I'll have location information, but yeah, I have them here. And maybe I want to now only see those images that where in Kuala Lumpur. There's only ten of them. The next section over now is only inspecting ten images. So it works from left to right. You want to set up the left most column for the first thing you'd like to have to reduce the number of images you're viewing. And then work towards the right. So now, I'm looking at only images marked as flagged, that are three stars, and that were in Kuala Lumpur. I can always modify these though. I could hold down the shift key and add four and five stars to it. Like this, so now we're viewing three through five stars. And once I've changed one of these columns, anything to the right of it is reset. So, we're no longer viewing only images in Kuala Lumpur, because here at the top it changed to all locations. So, I'd have to scroll down again. And there, if I want to get to the city, I'm down to still ten images. But, this I find to be much more versatile, then working under the section called attribute. In here, it's more obvious to me what is chosen. And if I scroll up to the very top, I can tell if all is turned on. All means this particular column is not doing anything. It's not eliminating things. So, if I set every column here to all, then I'm gonna be seeing all 228,000 pictures. And it's only when I click on one of these choices that it limits it. So start on the left, work towards your right until you've narrowed it down enough to limit what you want. So, let's look at a few of the choices that are found in this area that are special. If I change this to a choice called date. There are two different ways of viewing the date. And let me change a setting because this is not the default. When you first set one of these headings to date, you'll find that it simply lists the individual dates where all these photographs were taken. And if that's the case, I can scroll through here and I have everything from 1995, the pictures from that time. Keep going down here, now we're at and this list is just way too long to be useful when it is listed this way. I mean it's nice. I can see how many images I shot on everyone of those days. And I can see how big of a gap is there between when I shot one day, and when I shot the next. That could be useful for some business purposes. But, in general, the list is way too long to be generally useful. So, instead of changing the heading here where I can change from date to something else, I'm gonna leave that on date and instead I'm gonna go to the right edge of that same column, and there I can choose between flat and a more organized view. If I choose that, we get a different view of dates, and now it's kind of nice because you can see how many pictures I shot on each, year even. And if I go through here, I can compare each year, and I can see that 2005, dang, what was I doing? I didn't look like I shot much. And I can see which years I was more prolific as a photographer. Then I can drill down. I can go into 2016 and say, well what was my most what month did I shoot the most in? Looks like probably September. So I can drill into September. And then I can say, what specific day within September did I capture the most images? And it might be this one, the 14th, or no, it's actually above that. Might be this one, 464 images. But there's a different way of looking at the data because I'm able to drill down in this way instead of just having a general list of dates. Now the same thing is true when it comes to being able to change this from a flat view, to a more structured one, if I change this from date to location. Just take me a moment to find the location. I should mention though, that the location is not based on keywords that you apply to your picture. Instead, it's based on GPS data. If you have the GPS coordinates attached to your pictures. Now for me, I used to use something I slid onto the hot shoe of my camera, that tagged all my images automatically. Back when I shot with a Canon camera. And therefore, a lot of my pictures have that location data. I now shoot with Sony, they don't have such an accessory, but if you run their, the app that they have on your iPhone, and you sync it with your camera, it can automatically also tag the location. So if I look at here, I'm gonna have a long list of locations. And to me this long list is not all that useful because there's just so many choices listed within it. If I go to the right edge of that column though, I can say give it a more structured view. And now, it's just taken a moment, now I find this to be much more useful. And I can say, well, it looks like I've taken an awful lot of pictures in Indonesia. I can expand it and see where within Indonesia I've been. And, if I find a place where I've taken a lot of pictures, like in Bali, I can expand that out again, and further see where these images were taken. And as I drill down, I'll eventually get to something that might be called unknown location. Cause it doesn't know the exact name for that spot. But I can click on this heading here to find all the images that I shot in that particular location, 167 of them total. Then, I can further limit this by going to next column over. And I can see, when it comes to ratings, there are some one star ratings, at least one of them. And there are some three star ratings. Well, let's view our three star ones, we might get to some better images. And I can simply continue to fill out these columns as I go across. So, some of the useful things you could use in here, let's see, there is a choice, it'll take me just a moment to find. Where is it? It's a new choice. And it means, has edits. It just takes me a while, oh, up here, edit. Okay, here I can look for only photographs that have been edited. Meaning, I've taken them in the develop module in Lightroom and I've done something to them. Therefore I know, they didn't just come straight out of the camera. In this case, all my three star images happened to be, have been edited. But I could have just as easily changed this column to the left to say, let's view all the images. And then, see only the images that have been edited. So, that's another nice way to view your data and quickly find your images. But that's not gonna get me to find an image in five seconds. It's just a different way of being able to explore what we have. Before we move away from this, let me show you something else that can be nice. Once I get these columns set up the way I really like them to be, let's say I want to first always sort by location or limit things by location, then the next thing I'd like to do is the ratings, and then over here, I want to limit by file type so I can make sure I'm viewing only raw files. Or maybe I look for DNG files, cause usually those are stitched panoramas or they are HDR images. And then the final column I put in here to edit. To say, has it been edited or not? And that's really what I like set up. Well, what I can do is if I set up these columns the way I like them to be, then near the upper right is an area, right here it's currently saying No Filter, but if I click on it, I can save the current settings as a preset. And therefore, I don't need to come in here every time and repopulate those various columns instead, I'll save this as a preset and I might call it Location, Rating, Type, Edit. And then, if I were to change these later on, maybe I just put this on date, put this, I'll just pick a random choice in each one of these columns to let you know it's changed. And, I want to get back to the setup I had before, I go to the upper right where I see the words No Filter, I click there, and now, right there I find the preset that I created earlier, and if I choose that, it repopulates all of those columns with those same choices. And therefore, if it's something I'm gonna use on a regular basis, I might as well save it as a preset. Just be careful when saving a preset, because it's gonna remember what within each one of these columns was selected. Meaning that if I had this set to Bali here, when I saved my preset, then what's actually in that preset is not only the names of these particular columns, but what was chosen within each column. So, it would always bring me to images that are from Bali. Well, I might want to just insure that the top most choices chosen across all of those columns, and therefore it's not going to be limiting my view when I first load in that preset. So, that's one thing to be concerned with. So, you can load up this list with as many things as you want. Whatever it is you find to be most comfortable, or, or, most useful. For instance, shallow depth of field. Here, possibly shallow. Well if I choose that on the left side here, I could have the aperture setting. And if you look at it I have f/5.6 selected, although I probably also have, no I'm surprised I don't have some others. What I would usually do here before saving that preset is I would say, let's grab everything that was shot maybe to about f/5.0. Let's say those. Those should be things with relatively shallow depth of field possibly. But those would only be really shallow depth of field if they were shot on longer lenses. So, here I set up my focal length. And I don't want these mega wide angle shots because anytime you shoot with really wide angle lens it's going to end up usually having most things in focus. So, I'm gonna instead limit this to 500 millimeter shots and maybe down to, I don't know, about 170 millimeters. Might even want to limit it more than that. So that, let's say we go from 500 to 200. Or 215, cause I can't reach the other one. So therefore, it's gonna limit us to something shot in a long lens with a close to wide open aperture. That is probably a better idea of what might be narrow depth of field. I could populate the rest of the columns if I want to with just things that I might usually use. For instance, that choice called edit. So if I want to find images that have been edited instead of things straight out of the camera, and I might also have my rating. That could be a nice setup for looking for images that have shallow depth of field. So I go over here, and I say that we like to either save this as a preset, or if I loaded one where this is in there, you can update. So here, update preset. And the last one I had chosen is listed there so that's what I'll do is update that one. So the next time I use it, these will automatically be populated with these choices and then I can come in here and let's see all of our edited images that used a long lens and see, just grab a random image, hit the Spacebar. And look at that, shallow depth of field. It's easier to find. So it might take me a lot more than five seconds to set up and find those shallow depth of field images but that's only the first time I set it up. After that, if I simply come to that menu in the upper right of my screen, I chose possibly shallow DOF, meaning depth of field, then that's taking me, the five seconds I'm waiting just for the screen to update and actually show me the pictures. So that's where you can save what's in the filter bar. Now, the problem there is I started out here working on all photographs. And that means, I'm searching all 229,000 pictures. What if I only want to find photographs that I captured in Africa that have possibly shallow depth of field? Well, that's where, instead of clicking on all photographs here, I would do what we did earlier. Where first, at this filter bar at the top of my screen I'm gonna set it to none, to say don't limit the number of photographs we're looking at. Then I come to the left side of my screen, I go to folders, the top of my folder list. I type Africa. And, hopefully it finds, right there, a folder from Africa. Then, I can get my filter bar up here at the top going. So I change my filters, possibly shallow DOF, or Depth of field, and now, I should be looking at only images from Africa that might have shallow depth of field. One problem though, is we're not looking at all these sub-folders. And that's where those images might be hiding. So, what I'm gonna do is in the library menu, there's a choice here called show folders, or show photos in subfolders. And if I choose that, we're not just gonna be looking at the base level of this particular folder, we're gonna be looking at everything that's in the subfolders as well. And I bet ya, that's gonna make it so we can find some images that were shot in Africa, and might have shallow depth of field. So you can see how you can kind of combine these ideas together, is that first you want to decide exactly what is it you'd like to search. And that is going to be either all your photographs, you get that from the area up here where it says catalog. Or do you want to drill down to only certain folders, or collections? After you've done that, then you go up to the filter bar here at the top of your screen and you either manually fill it out for what you'd like to use, or, you go to the upper right and you load in a preset. So you can quickly get to what you like. But so far, all of our searching has nothing to do with keywords that we tagged to our image. So, let's figure out how we can do things with keywords, because that's when things really become powerful. I'll look at all my photographs, 229,000 of them. And all I'm gonna do is type what you would type in any program to find something. There's a standard keyboard shortcut for finding isn't there? Command F on a Mac. Control F in Windows. I'll type it right here. When I type Command F, we're still using the filter bar at the top of my screen. But instead of using the two areas we talked about thus far, the one was called attribute, or we saw a bunch of icons that I didn't like. The other one was called metadata, which I'd liked much more. Where we could see the various columns we can populate. But, there's a third choice and it's called text. And if you've never used it before, it defaults to any searchable field. Which means, it's gonna search things like the file name, the keywords, and other metadata that might be attached to your image. So, I'm gonna come up here and just type, I'm guessing I have a picture of an elephant. I hope that just when I type in start typing in, I can get it to narrow it down. I've gotten just the word elephant and look how quickly I was able to do this. Now, some of these, you might be thinking, that doesn't look like an elephant. That doesn't look like an elephant. What's going on? Well, you have to look at more information about these files. This image right here, was captured in, near Elephant Island, in Antarctica. And so it's searching based on the file name in this case. That's one of the pieces that it found. So, what I'm gonna do, is over here, tell it not to search just any field. Instead, I can narrow it down to any of these choices. And the choice that I use the most here, is keywords. Once I set it to keywords, I've never tagged those images that I shot in Antarctica with Elephant Island. Once I start doing that, it might start showing up in some of my searches for that based on keyword. But now, it's much easier to narrow things down. Now you can further search. I have the word elephant typed in here, if I click back in that area I can always add a comma after that, and then type in a second search term. So let's say I have elephant, and I'm not sure if these are tagged for these or not, but what about panorama? I want a panorama of an elephant. Yep, there it is. I ended up with one image, which is a panorama. It was of an elephant. Or elephants. And so, what was I doing there? Well, I was in the library module. And if you saw me suddenly make my image go fullscreen, Spacebar means fill the screen. Or F, means fullscreen. And then G means go back to the grid. So if you saw me use my keyboard for a moment, those are the keyboard shortcuts. Spacebar to make it big. F to make it fill the screen. And G to go back to the grid. All by itself, those keys. So now, if we're gonna start filtering things based on keywords, we might as well just start talking about keywords in general. This is when I can really start finding just about any image in five seconds is, as long as I spent the time to keyword my images. When we talked about keywording, I mentioned that my ultimate goal is not to have every single image in my catalog keyworded, but to have every single image that is done and ready to show the public, keyworded. And if you go back to the lesson where we talked about how I organized things into folders, it's only the images that are on the base level folder of each shoot that are finished and ready to show the subject. Therefore, it makes it relatively easy for me to figure out which images I really need to spend the majority of my time keywording. If I devote at least five minutes a day to keywording, eventually I'm gonna get through all the images that are in those base level folders those are all the images done and ready to show the public. And if they all get keyworded, then right here, I can quickly find them. So, I can go over here and say I want to find a church. And look at how quickly I can find a church. I want to limit this to churches that are in Iceland. Well, okay, well those top ones already were. But now these are all churches in Iceland. I want to turn all of those into churches in Iceland let's see, that maybe there's a river in front of. Hopefully I keyworded the word river, I'm not sure. Yep, there's a church in Iceland with a river in front of it. It's just a matter of continuing to add additional search terms until you narrow it down to the actual image that you thought of in your head. Or enough images that let you find something appropriate. So, if I wanted churches in Iceland that are in Reykjavik. I could type in the name of the capital. Or maybe I want to see if I have any churches in Iceland shot at sunset. Not sure if I do. No, let's try sunrise. No. And that usually means that I might not have keyworded something. So, right here I found an image and it's either at sunrise or sunset. I'm not certain which one. I could probably go on the right side of my screen. I'm not sure if I set my clock correctly when I was there, but I can see that this looks like it was in the morning. I think Iceland is later in time, cause you go towards the, the right it would be later. I could be off there. But it looks like I didn't set my clock properly. And, but I can try to guesstimate, if it was later in time this would be maybe sunset. And it's just a few hours later. So I could go to keywording, and now I'm gonna come in here and add sunset. So that in the future, if I ever try to locate that image again, this one right here, I'll be able to find it by adding the word sunset. And if I discover something like that I might want to scroll through these images again, and see if there's any other images of a church in Iceland that was shot at either sunrise or sunset. That one is hard to tell, with that little warmth in the background. I could possibly tag it. But that's about it. So, when you type Command F, it's going to bring you to that field up there to search for text. And when you search for text, it's going to remember the last search term that you used. What that means is, if the last thing I did was search for Iceland, then when I was done doing my search, I set this little bar to none, so we're no longer limiting us to only pictures of Iceland, when I type Command F, watch the filter bar, you see it says Iceland again. Well, that's alright because it also selects all the text that's there. So if I simply start typing, it's gonna replace the search term that's currently up there with whatever I type in. Or, if I truly did want to work with Iceland, I could just use the right arrow key to get to the end of that text. I could add a comma, and then I could come in here and say I want to see if I have any horses in Iceland. I want to see if I have any horses by a river in Iceland. Yes, I do. Right there. And so, it's just a matter of getting to be efficient with the way you can search. And so when we're here, if I type Command F, it will highlight whatever's there and now I can stop searching Iceland and just type San Francisco. I want pictures of my wife doing yoga in San Francisco. There they are. I want her doing yoga in San Francisco with a bridge in the background. There it is. Doesn't take me long as long as I've been good with tagging things. Or I don't need a bridge, but I do like that red top. So, I'm gonna delete the word bridge and just put the word red in there. Hopefully it finds only images now where she's wearing red. I can press delete, and just continue to do it. Let's say again I want yoga, but this time I want her to be in Japan. Okay, now we're looking at yoga in Japan. And I think there was a street scene, I remember, and it was at night. So let's say night. And nothing showed up. So, that's when I delete and I look because I remember taking one at night. It's right there. That one didn't get the tag of nighttime, so I go to my keywording area, right here. Here's all the keywords that I have attached to this, and I'm just gonna come down here and add night, or nighttime. And if I find I searched for the word night instead of nighttime, I can put it in as a synonym, if you remember, with this. So let's see if there are any other ones taken at nighttime in that area. And I don't think so. So now, if I test this I do yoga, Japan, night. I can find that image. So, often times it's a matter of refining your keywords as you're doing searches. You know you think of a particular image, you start searching for it, and by the time you put in all the words that you think should make just that image show up, no images show up. So you start deleting some of those words that you're searching for until you do find the image you were looking for and you tag those additional keywords. So next time you search for that image, it might actually show up. Alright, there are other things we can do. And that is we can actually go to the right side of our screen. Here we have our keyword list. And a whole different way of exploring your images is to use a search field that's found at the top of the keyword list. I want to see, I don't know, where have I been in Japan? Well, I could either search my folder list, if I always include the word Japan when I shoot there. Or, if I keyword my images, I could type Japan here. If I can spell it right. It's going to limit the keywords shown here so I can see what was captured in those areas. And here I can see I've been to two different castles there, I've been to Tokyo, and other places, and if I only keyword my finished images, then these numbers represent how many finished images I have. And if I go and click the arrow to the right next to that particular keyword, I can just about instantly view the images that I captured in that particular location. Now you should be aware though, in this case it showed me the keyword of Japan but it also chose to show me the children of Japan and that's not always gonna be the case. When you go to the filter bar that's found up here, click on the little magnifying icon and there's a choice right there and if that's turned off, then it'll only drill down to it finds the, the results of your search, like Japan, but it won't show you the children that live inside of Japan. And you have to go to the little magnifying glass, turn that on, which I like having on, in order to be able to see those children. So if you organize your keywords in a useful way, then that means I can come in here and say, I want to see all architecture. And if I choose architecture, now I can drill in here and if these are organized, I can now think about my images in a completely different way. And, if I want to come in here and maybe find, I want to find religious buildings. Well, if I search here, maybe I want to find all my churches. Maybe instead I'd rather find pagodas. Or, let's say temples. It becomes a much easier way to drill down and find what you want but that's only going to be the case if you start to organize your keywords. We covered that in a whole separate session, of how to add structure to your keywords. Now let's take a look at some of the smaller details about searching for your images. I've been going up here to the filter bar and choosing between these various options. And you notice that I can type Command F, to search for text, that's kind of a shortcut for getting to here. But often times, I need to click here on none, to stop filtering which images I'm viewing. So I can view all the images in the folder, or collection, or whatever else I was viewing previously. Well, there's a couple things about the filter bar. The first one is, you can change its visibility using your keyboard. On my keyboard, right above the Return or Enter key, is the Backslash key. And if I press it, it should make the filter bar go away or show up. If you hate keyboard shortcuts, you can do the same thing here under the View menu. So, there's filter bar. Cause on occasion I plan to use it, I glance up there and it's simply not visible. So, I wanted to make sure you knew how to get her disappear, or to show up. But then there's a keyboard shortcut for toggling search on and off. And with that is, is Command L, Control L in Windows. If I type Command L first, notice it's set to none at the moment. When I type Command L, it goes back to whatever I was using last. Then if I type Command L again, it'll go back to none. So if the very last thing that I did was do Command F to search, and I searched for temple, oops, if I can spell it right. Then if I'm done doing that search, I just type Command L and I can turn it off. Want to get back to things? Command L again, and you can see I'm right back to searching for temples. So if you do it a tremendous amount of searching, which I often do, then it's really useful to get used to certain keyboard shortcuts. That Backslash to make the filter bar show up or disappear, Command L for toggling it from none, to whatever your last search was, and Command F, to say I want to text search. Knowing that when you do a text search, it will highlight whatever's already in that field so that you could just start typing if you wanted to replace it, or you could press the right arrow key to get to the end of it. And then you can do a comma and add some other search term. Let's say I want a temple at sunset. I hope I've tagged something. There we go. I don't know if I've ever shot a temple at sunrise before. It doesn't look like it. Let's say a temple in Burma. Yep, these are temples in Burma. Alright, I want a temple in Burma with a monk. So just another comma, and m-u-n-k. Nothing matches that. Well, that means I want to back up one thing. I'll just hit the delete key enough times and that could be because I misspelled monk. I put a U in instead of an O. But, if I do that all the time, if I misspell monk all the time, put it in as a synonym for the normal correctly spelled word, put in a synonym as the misspelled word and then you can get it. And, further here I could try to type in red cause they're wearing red clothing but I think that would conform to all of these. There's one that, he looks like he's running or jumping over there. So I could say, I don't know if I tagged it with running, maybe it's jumping. Yep, there it is. So you can simply continue to further narrow it down. The next time I type Command F, I just hit the delete key. Completely cleared out and easy to go. So, let's say that I wanted to search for temples, like I did before, but right now I think I might be viewing all my photos on my entire hard drive. And I don't want to be. But the problem is if I change my source, here I'm currently viewing all photographs, what I'd like to do is come down here to my folder list and I want to say I want to find all the temples that I captured in a particular year, based on folders. I'm gonna come and say, let's hope I've captured a temple in 2016. I'm gonna select all of these folders. Now the moment I click on a folder, and change my source, watch what happens to the filter bar. Right, now we're filtering based on keywords for the word temple. I come over here and I click on a new source and what happened to the filter bar? It cleared out. Well, here's how we can fix that. I'm gonna do a new search, Command F, I get the word temple. And do you see the little lock symbol? That looks unlocked right there. Well that lock symbol means should it clear out whenever you change sources on the left side of your screen? Well, if I click that, now we're locking the filter bar so it's not gonna auto-clear anytime we change sources. So I could come in here and select this entire list and see if there are any temples. It happens to not be because I'm guessing in there, there were different kinds of religious buildings but I think, back more like in 2009, or 2010, I might have them. And if I don't, we'll start searching for churches, or even better, religious buildings. Because that would include both churches and temples. But you can see that now it doesn't matter if I switch what my source is, it is still going to end up limiting my search. So, here's southeast Asia in general. Here's Burma. And so it can be nice. Often times I'm looking only for raw files that have been processed, and are five stars. That kind of thing I can set up in my filter bar. I click the lock symbol, now it doesn't matter if I switch folders or not. Even with the lock symbol turned on though, you can still use the keyboard shortcut that I used, the Command L, to turn off filtering, or you can manually click on the word none, to stop filtering. It just means that if the lock symbol is turned on, this whatever is in that bar, will stay consistent when you change sources. Whereas if the lock is unlocked, it will clear this bar every single time you change the source. Now there, sometimes you're gonna run into issues. Let's say that I search for something over here. I'm gonna go for, just to be consistent, I'll do temples. In my keyword list, I see that there's supposed to be 214 temples. Those are how many images I should find. If I click the arrow right to the, just to the right of the word temple it should bring me to all 214 images that are tagged with the word temple. But, you might find that there's not that number of images being shown right now. I'm not certain, we'll find out in a moment. If you go down to the very bottom of your screen into what's known as the filmstrip, it will tell you right down here how many pictures you have. And I say, right here, I notice it says 212 images. Whereas over here my keyword list it's telling me I'm supposed to have 214. Why are those numbers not matching up? Here's why. Whenever you do any kind of searching, there's one kind of thing that will be ignored in your search. And that is anytime you take more than one photograph and you stack them. When you stack more than one photograph, it'll put a number in the upper left corner of the photo to indicate how many images are in the stack and then it'll usually only show you the top most image from that stack. So, here I have an image and I believe this image is in the same folder. Cause I think these were taken right around the corner from each other. If I were to take those two images, I could go to the photo menu. Here's the choice called stacking, and group it into a stack. When I do that, only this top most image in the stack is searchable. If I want to be able to search the other images in the stack, I need to expand the stack by clicking on the number in the corner. As long as I can see them side-by-side like this now it will be included in my searching. But if it's collapsed like that, then only the top most image is going to be included. So what can I do about that? Well, whenever you do a search, you could type Command A for whatever images we have here. I can go to the photo menu, go down to stacking, and there's simply a choice here called expand all stacks. And you might want to do that before you start putting in your search terms. So if you're viewing all your images, if you come up here with this set to none, I type Command A, to select all, which can take a while cause this is 200,000 images. And then photo, Stacking, and because it's 200,000 images Photoshop's getting nervous. You can see it. I can feel it. But if I choose expand all stacks, with that number of images, it could take up to about two minutes for it to expand all those stacks. But that's what I can do. If I do that, we're not gonna wait the two minutes it might take to actually update this. But then, the number that you expect to show up, like the number to the right of the keyword, is actually going to be the number of photographs you have in your results. So that's an issue I've run into in the past. Now, I'm gonna take this image here and I'm gonna unstack it because I only stacked it for your benefit. And, I don't want that to mess me up in the future. And so I'll quickly unstack. One other thing that can be useful, sometimes I'm searching for something that does not meet a particular criteria. Maybe I'm viewing an entire folder of images and I want to find everything that has, does not have the color red in it. And so, I'm gonna come over here and I'm not sure that my tagging will be accurate enough for this. But I'm gonna do Command F, I want yoga pictures where my wife is wearing red, or there's red in the background. And I want the opposite of this. I want every yoga picture that does not have red in the background. Well, you can select all with Command A. And then, if you clear out your search I'd have to first be viewing only yoga shots though. If I clear out my search, then I can go to the edit menu, and there's a choice called invert. Invert means give me the opposite of this. And so, that's an idea that can be useful on occasion. In this particular case, when I'm searching my entire catalog of pictures, probably not quite as useful. But when I'm viewing just a single folder and I have a very specific search, sometimes I simply need the opposite. So, I select all before clearing out the filter bar, and afterwards I go to the edit menu and I can choose invert selection to get that opposite. So, with a little bit of practice, and with a bit of work when it comes to keywording, you should be able to come in here and on the left side of your screen click on the choice called all photographs, and then if you can remember a picture, I can remember a shot I do Command F, and I start typing what I want. I want a trailer. I want it to be, to have a fire in front of it. With a guy named Pinky. I already got it, right there. That's what I envisioned in my head. How long did it take me to get it? Five seconds or less is the ideal with a little bit of work you can get there. Well now that we have an idea of how to get our images searched, I gotta give you some homework. And part of your homework if you purchase a class you'll get a PDF that describes this. Is to think about, what are the things you need to find on a regular basis? And, to go up to the filter bar, the top of your screen. And dial in the various columns and how you'd like them to be filled out. Go to the right of that and you can save things as presets. Well, if you think through your workflow, think about the most useful searches that you could have there. If you make your presets tonight, then tomorrow it will be much easier to find your pictures. Now we have six days to go before we're done with this class. And in those six days, I'm gonna show you how to refine your workflow quite a bit. To speed up the way you move through Lightroom. And part of that is showing you a lot of little tips and tricks. We'll concentrate that in one particular lesson. And, I'll show you how to do troubleshooting. So, if anything in Lightroom ever doesn't quite go the way you expect it to, you might know how to solve those problems. Tomorrow though, we're gonna talk about showcasing your work, and creating slideshows and books. So therefore, we can print out a hundred page long book of a trip that I went into. Or, I can just have a slideshow ready to show at any moment and I might customize it so we have our logo at the bottom, we have my favorite color in the background, and it plays to music. And I'll even, if you're good, show you a tip of how we can hack Photoshop and make it create time-lapses for us, even though it doesn't have a feature to do that. Well, before tomorrow rolls around, why don't you head over to Facebook and get on the Facebook group. And, let us know about what kind of searches you need to perform. And if there's anything you can't figure out how to do when it comes to making those searches, then ask a question on the group. When you purchase the class, you get a lot of extra stuff. Each day, you get a homework assignment. And it's not usually a one sentence homework assignment, it's me thinking through, how could you best integrate this into your particular workflow? How can you work ahead of time so that by the time you get one of your own images that need a particular feature we discussed, you already have practice using it? A lot of practice images come with the class as well. You have a workbook that reminds you of how everything was done. And, a lot of other sample images, presets, and just, I try to pack it with everything you need to get the absolute most out of Lightroom. Now, if you want to find me online, my main website is But you can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest, and on Instagram. And here's how you can search for me. So this has been another installment in Lightroom Classic, the Complete Guide. I hope to see you tomorrow.

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!