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Organizing Your Images And Managing Projects

Lesson 6 from: Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

Organizing Your Images And Managing Projects

Lesson 6 from: Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

6. Organizing Your Images And Managing Projects

Lightroom works with the folder structure on your hard drive, sure, but what if you want more structure than that? Learn how to organize photos with Collections, Lightroom's 'playlists' as well as how to use the Smart Collections that automatically update themselves, and Collection Sets. Then, dig into the best way to cull images in Lightroom inside a Collection.

Lesson Info

Organizing Your Images And Managing Projects

We've had an entire week where we've been talking about Lightroom. During that week we talked about the general mindset you should have because the program's a little different than others. We talked about the general workflow of importing your images into Lightroom and exporting them to give them to other people. We've talked about managing catalogs. We've talked about using folders, to organize your images, and we also talked about things like printing. Well now we're going to move on. And we're gonna cover organizing your images and managing projects. Because just using folders will only get you so far. We're gonna get into other features in Lightroom, we'll also talk about just reducing a shoot down to just the images that need to be adjusted so you don't spend too much time on that task. So we're gonna jump into Lightroom and just get started. Here I have a relatively simple catalog. Where so far the only thing that's been used to organize these pictures is folders. And so if I go...

to my folder list, as we've discussed in precious lessons, here I have folders such as Backgrounds, Outtakes, Support images, Textures and so on. Well let's see how things can become more versatile than just using folders. The thing I like about folders is that an image can only reside in one folder at a time. And that makes it so if I move an image from In Progress, which means images that need to be worked on, to somewhere else, like Outtakes, it automatically removes that photograph from the photo folder it was in previously. And that's useful when trying to do something that kinda indicates the status of an image. Is it something I shouldn't need to look at again? Is it something that still needs work? Or is it finished? But there are other times when I need a photo to have more than one kind of status at a time. And I need to use this to organize projects. So let's take a look at a feature in Lightroom that is known as Collections. So just below the folder list is this area called Collections. And in there we have a little plus sign on the right and if you click on it, you actually get a menu. And we're gonna be talking about these three choices. I'm gonna start with the one at the top that's called Create Collection, and I'm just gonna come in here and create a collection called Animals. And you gotta be careful here 'cause there's the check box to include the selected photos and I didn't even look at the photo that was selected, so I definitely want that turned off at the moment. It's just something to consider when you're creating one. And I'll hit Create. Let's end up creating a few other collections and then we'll start populating them with images. So again, I'll hit the plus sign to the right of the word Collections, and this time I'm gonna create one called Brazil. And then let's think of another project that I work on. I take pictures of my wife doing yoga, so I'm gonna create one called Yoga. I almost called that one Toga, that'd be different. And maybe we'll end up creating one other. Let's say I have a collection just called Process Soon. Alright, if you look now in my collections list you'll find all those collections that I've created. Into the right of them you'll find the number zero because I haven't added any photographs to those collections. So now let's start populating these collections with various photographs. Well here I see some pictures of animals, so I could select these and drag them to the collection called animals. And I see some birds up here, we'll include those as well. And so I just select the images, drag them on top of animals. And I can continue looking through here in various areas to see if there's anything else. Here I see my wife. She's doing yoga in a few of these shots. I'm not gonna put all the pictures in, I'm just gonna pick one to represent that. Let's say this one. And I'll pull that over to Yoga. Now, what's nice about this, is the same photograph can reside in more than one collection. And if I look at the particular photo that I currently have selected, I'll just hit the space bar to view it, you see that there's a bird on my wife's arm. And so that includes not only yoga in the picture, but also an animal. So I'm gonna drag this also into the collection called Animals. Since this picture was taken in Brazil, I might also drag it to the collection called Brazil. And if I look at this image, this isn't a processed version of the picture, I see Karen's face is quite dark and so is the bird that's there, so I might also drag it to this other collection called Process Soon. And that'll just remind me as I'm traveling which images I want to concentrate on to finish up soon. So these collections act much like playlists in music software. You know how you can have a playlist called Rock and Roll, and a different one called My Favorite Music. And another one called Country, and you can drag as many songs into those various playlists as you'd like and you can have a playlist, or a song, in more than one playlist. Same thing is true here. Then if I simply click on the name of the collection, it will show me every image that I've ever dragged into that collection, so I can inspect them. And I can click between them really quickly. So this is one way of organizing projects. And so far we're creating what I would call a manual collection in that I have to manually drag things on top of them to add them. You'll see in a little bit that we could do it in a more automated fashion as well. Now with collections, if you're ever viewing a collection and you find an image like this one and you want to know where did that image come from, because right now if I close up my folder list so I can't see the original folder it came from, all I see here is my list of collections, and I know it's in the collections called Animals. But I have no idea where the original folder is. Well, if I go to that image and I right-click on it, you're gonna find one of the choices here is go to folder in library. And that means find this photograph in the folders list that's on the left side of my screen. So if I go to folder in library, now you look at the folder list and it highlights the folder that it's contained within and I see all the other pictures that were taken on that same shoot. And so I can come in here to as many of these as I would like, and anytime I want to locate the original, it's as simple as right-clicking and go to folder in library. Then I might while I'm viewing that folder, add additional images to these collections. And all I need to do is drag them to the collection I'd like. If though, when you're viewing a collection, maybe you come in here to the collection called Animals and you start to evaluate the images you have. Maybe you click on this image, which originally you only looked at as a little thumbnail image, you hit the space bar and you realize that the main subject in this photograph is out of focus. So you don't think it's a good thing to keep in this particular collection. Well if we want to remove something from a collection, there's a couple different ways of doing it. I'll type the letter G to go back to the grid, and I could right-click on the image, and in here we can add to something called a Quick Collection, we have a bunch of different choices that are here. But the main way that I end up removing something is instead of right-clicking on it, I just hit the delete key. When you delete it though, you might be worried 'cause it seems like the image just went away. Well that's just like deleting the song out of a playlist, it does not delete the original. It just means that's no longer part of this particular collection. So I can look at these images and this one also looks a little bit soft, so I'll hit the delete key. These are sloths, just so you know. And I'll continue doing that for any of these images that I don't like. And most of those were soft images. So we just got rid of them by hitting delete. If I ever want to get back to the grid, I either click this icon, just below my image looks like a grid, or I type the letter G. So we've learned that you can drag images onto those collections to add them and just hit the delete key to remove them. They're always gonna be retained on your hard drive, you're not able to actually delete the photograph when you're working in a collection. Then, let's look at another kind of collection. If we go to the collections list, just to the right of it, there's a plus sign and this time I'm gonna tell it to create a Smart Collection. A Smart Collection is really a saved search. It means it's gonna automatically populate this collection with images based on the search criteria that I specify. So in this case, I'm gonna come in here and we have some images in folders called Personal Images. So I'm gonna call this Personal Images. And what I want it to do is look in my folder list and any picture that is in a folder called Personal Images, I want it to collect it for me. So over here I have a list of all the various choices we could use to base our search on. One of them is called location. That is the geo-location like on a map, and I need to go through here to these other areas until I find the actually folder location. That's called Source. So there I'll choose Folder. And over here, I'm gonna type in Personal Images. And then I have to decide is it okay if the folder contains more words than just Personal Images, instead that it might say Personal Images that are bad, and it would still show up or anything like that. I can just say it needs to contain all of these words. I'm gonna click create, and now let's see what shows up. Here we have a Smart Collection. You can tell it's a Smart Collection because it has a little gear in the lower right corner of its icon, and on the right side you see the number five. It's found five images and that's based purely on the name of the folder that they're in. So if I look here, they're most likely pictures of my wife, Karen, just casually taken around different areas, most likely here in Brazil. Now I can use that for all sorts of different purposes. What might I use it for? Well, let's say that I have these folders here called Outtakes. Well the Outtakes folders are images that I plan on never needing to really look at again, that are images that I might even eventually decide to delete. Well, what if all of those images have previews attached to them that are quite large? And if I have literally tens of thousands of images in a folder called Outtakes, or in a series of folders with that name, wouldn't it be nice to collect all of those and then maybe get rid of the previews for them, at least the big version of the previews? Well, let's create one that might help us do that. I'll go to the side menu, next to Collections, I'll create a Smart Collection, and again, we're gonna have it based on a folder name, and I'm just gonna call this Outtakes with Smart Previews. The Smart Previews are what allow you to adjust the images when the hard drive containing the original is not attached to your computer, and if I keep those from my Outtakes, it just makes the file that contains all those Smart Previews, larger than it's really needed. Because the outtakes are things I shouldn't need to look at again. So I'll say folder contains outtakes but then I'm gonna add more to the search. On the right side, you'll find a little plus sign that means add an additional choice in my search. And this time I'm gonna come in here and say has Smart Preview. If I choose that, then I'm gonna say is true. So in this case, it's gonna find every image that is in a folder called Outtakes, and has a Smart Preview. Now I do have to watch out up here because here I can say match any of these criteria, or all. Now I definitely need it to be all. Otherwise it would find every image that has a Smart Preview as well as all the images that are in a folder called Outtakes. But if I have it set to all, it has to match both of these criteria. I'll hit create, and now you can see that it has already collected 674 images. Now this is the kind of thing that really uses the power of Lightroom's catalog setup. In that if you attempted to do a similar search, using something like Adobe Bridge, you would be waiting a very long time because my normal catalog file I use in Lightroom has 220,000 photographs in it. And Adobe Bridge would have to inspect every single one of those pictures to see if it's in a folder called Outtakes, to see if it has something called a Smart Preview, although in Bridge you can't even have something called a Smart Preview. So even there it wouldn't be capable of it. All I'm saying is here, did you see how quickly that number appeared? It was for the most part, instantaneous. So now I can click on that particular collection, and here I see all those images that are in folders called Outtakes. These all have Smart Previews attached to them, so I could type Command A, to Select All, then if I go to the library menu, under here called Area Previews, this is where I can either build previews, to have them added to the image, or I can discard them. Now it won't let you discard every single preview that an image contains, it will always contain some sort of preview, so you can view that image when the drive that contains the originals is not connected. Go to Smart Preview Special, it allows you to adjust your pictures and it takes up more space than a normal preview, the kind you get when you just import. So anyway, I'll discard my Smart Previews, and that's gonna make the file that contains those Smart Previews a lot smaller, 'cause there's 674 of 'em, less. Now you'll see here, the number next to the Smart Preview's going down, and that's as it's processing all those pictures and getting rid of the Smart Previews. It no longer matches the search criteria for that particular Smart Preview. So no longer shows up within the Smart Preview, and the speed that we're getting right now has nothing to do with the collection itself. It completely has to do with how long does it take to discard a Smart Preview. And it takes just a little bit of time for it to go through there and do it, but not gonna be much more than a minute or two and then right now we just got our Smart Previews file a lot smaller. Now if at any time in the future I come in here and I have some images that are in progress here, if one of these images that is in progress happens to have a Smart Preview, let's make sure that this one does. I'm gonna build it for one image. And then if I create a folder within here called Outtakes, and I say to include that image, it has a Smart Preview, it's about to go into a folder called Outtakes, watch in my collections list, notice there's currently zero images there. But the moment I do this, that number went up to one. And it didn't take any time at all. I mean if it ever takes any time, it's a millisecond for it to update. So if maybe each time I'm about to start traveling, or I'm just returning from travels and I'm on my laptop and maybe I've moved a lot of images to the Outtakes folder, maybe a maintenance step would be to come in here and click on that particular collection, Smart Collection, and Select All, discard those Smart Previews to make sure my Smart Previews file that keeps track of those, is as small as would be practical. So that's a great use for it. You can create Smart Collections for all sort of things. I end up having some for high ISO images, you know, where instead of shooting an ISO in your camera, you had it turned up to ISO which makes it so it's really sensitive to light, where you can shoot in really dark situations. Well usually that kind of an image will have a lot of noise in it. So I might want to be able to quickly find the images that were shot with a high ISO setting so therefore, I quickly treat them for noise and it would be easy for me to locate them. But let's look at a lot of the search criteria that's available in a Smart Collection and I'll try to give you an idea of when I might use some of these features. So I could use ratings, and remember all those folders called Personal Images? Well I throw images in there regardless if they're processed or not. what if once I process an image, in my personal images folders, I start rating them and the ones I really like the most I give five stars? Well then I can come in here and create a Smart Collection for something that is Personal Images and down here has a rating that is greater than or equal to, can't really get greater than five, but maybe greater than or equal to four stars. Then therefore I'm not gonna be viewing so many images of my personal images, I'll limit them to only the ones that have been rated. Other things that are in here, let's see. For Source, we can get things that are in a particular collection, maybe that collection I created called Yoga, I want all the images that are in the Yoga Collection that have five stars. Well, I could do that easily here. You can do it based on file name. Maybe I want to rename all the images that have file names that came from my camera. And so I just look at what is the general format of images that came from my camera. Some of them have like an underscore and then the uppercase letters IMG and then a number. Well, I just come in here and say I want the filename to include underscore IMG and I say contains or here, starts with. 'Cause that's what the files all start with. If I wanted to do that only with jpeg files let's say. I could add another list here also setting it to filename and I could say that it ends with .jpg. Although I think there's also a choice of for actually choosing the file format. So you wouldn't have to do it just based on text. But that might give you an idea of when the filename would be a useful attribute to search on. We can do date ranges, so sometimes I might want to do something, what about all the images I captured in the last 30 days? Well, I usually have ones for the last day, seven days, 14 days, 30 days, quarter and year. And therefore I can very quickly with a single click find all those images. 'Cause sometimes you know you captured the image within the last week, but you don't know where it is, which folder. So you could do something like that. So here's a capture date or the date that you actually edited it. So you could say let's do a collection of all images that I've edited in the last 30 days. So you can quickly locate one of those. For camera info I could come in here and say what if I want to get only images that were shot at 200 millimeters and use an aperture setting of 2.8? That would give me a lot of images most likely with a soft background. 'Cause when you shoot wide open at F 2.8 on a zoom lens, you're usually gonna get a soft background, especially if you're at the longer end of your lens. Here's that ISO speed ready, where I can get the ones that were shot at a high rate. Can also get the ones where the flash went off. Maybe I need to do a different kind of white balance for those or something else for flash. We have other things in here as far as Metadata. I could make sure that the images are tagged with copyright information, so if I just wanna look back at my archives, maybe before I implemented what's called a Metadata Preset, we talked about that when importing images. Well here I could find all the images that don't contain a copyright. Under Develop we have a choice here of has adjustments, so I could say show me all the images I've adjusted. Or show me the images I have not adjusted that are in a folder called In Progress. And therefor I know those are ones that I might wanna work on. So anyway, you get the idea that you can do a lot with Smart Collections. I'm gonna cancel that 'cause I didn't really need a Smart Collection of that type. Now after awhile you're gonna end up with this list of collections that's getting longer and longer as you find they're more and more useful. So if I go back to that area and click on the plus sign again, we have one other type and it's called a Collection Set. A Collection Set is something that can't actually contain photographs. The only thing a Collection Set can contain is a collection. So to wave organizing your collections. So I create Collection Sets. I call one Utility. Let's create that. I'll create another Collection Set called Portfolio. And I'll create another Collection Set called Work Me. And now I can start to organize the collections that are already created into those Collection Sets. So maybe this'll be a portfolio of images and I'm gonna organize it into animals. I'm just dragging these collections on top of the word portfolio. So this is going to be my portfolio of animal shots, of Brazil shots, and I might as well have a portfolio of yoga shots. So now I'm organizing that. And if I don't want it to look cluttered where I see all these choices, I'll just collapse that down so all I see is the name of the Collection Set. The one here called Outtakes with Smart Previews, I'm gonna put that under Utility. The one called Process Soon, I'm gonna put that under Work Me, and you can see how I can quickly start to organize this with a list that can stay relatively short when you're not viewing everything, when everything's not expanded. Then as you click and expand them, you can drill down to whatever you need. Now when you end up working with Collection Sets, you can put one within another. So what I frequently do is I'll come in here and create a new Collection Set, then I'll just call this Active Projects. And here it asks me if I want to put it inside of one that already exists. Do you see that I have this one selected active at the time I clicked? I don't want it in there. So anyway, I'll create one called Active Projects. Then if I was gonna teach this exact class, I would create another Collection Set inside of that one. Then I'd call this, I just do LR for Lightroom. If I can spell. And I'll say yes, put it inside the one called Active Projects. Then inside of that, I might create another Collection Set for each day. We have 20 days that is going on here, I'm not gonna create all 20, we have to watch. Putting to Day 1, and I can continue adding more and more Collection Sets, so on day one we might have different topics. So I'll create a Collection Set and I'll call it... But now do you see how this is starting to have structure to it? Where I can drill down and really organize a project and it can be a very complex project. This could be a book I'm working on. And here I have the name of the book, and then indented from that, I have the name of each chapter, and indented from that, each section within the chapter. And I can start organizing things. Just keep in mind that a Collection Set cannot contain photographs. You have to then create collections within it. So here, introduction to Lightroom, I'll just say Create Collection. It asks me if I want to put it inside of a Collection Set, I'll say sure. And I'll just say... So if you look at the icons, you can tell what you're looking at. If it looks like a shoe box, then it is a Collection Set. It's just a container to hold other collections. If on the other hand, it looks like two rectangles overlapping, that's a collection that you could drag pictures into. And so then I can start dragging images into this to start organizing my pictures. If it looks like two rectangles with a gear on top, then it is instead a Smart Collection. So what I'd like to do now is switch to my normal Lightroom catalog file. The one I actually use day-to-day, and I'll give you an idea of how I use Collections, Smart Collections, and Collection Sets on a regular basis. Alright, so here we have Portfolio. I first off have a collection called Best of Ben. It's automatically generated, that's why it's got the little gear icon, and if I double-click on it, it will show me what is the search that it performs. And this is one where it's looking at keywords. We talk about keywords in a different episode. It's what allows your images to become easily searchable. And this looks for a keyword that's been applied to an image called Best of Ben. And therefore, anytime I tag an image with that keyword it automatically appears in this particular collection. Then I have portfolios based on location. And these are all Smart Collections. And so if I want to get to images that are from Africa with a single click, I can quickly find them. If I double-click on it, let's take a look at it, it's searching for images that have been tagged with two particular keywords. One if the keyword of Africa and the other is the keyword of Portfolio. So all I need to do is in the future, tag something with Africa and Portfolio and it would automatically appear within this collection. And that makes it so I can have all these portfolios automatically created. And all I'm doing is keywording my images by adding little search terms to them. And that's how all of these work. Here are manual portfolios. That means portfolios where I have to manually drag my images on there. And so I can see there, if I want ice and snow, well that's a subject matter I decided to want to be able to show people. If I want to show you cityscapes, I can do the same thing. But these are things where I have to remember to put them in there. They're not gonna be automatically done just through key wording. So there's my portfolios. I have a separate portfolio here just for my wife doing yoga 'cause I shoot those so often that I put them on the base level. And let's look at what other things I have. Here's Work Me. So here's one I call Finish Soon. These are images that I just know through time that I want to get these done soon, so I drag 'em in there. I also have things like Move to Base Folder. Remember my folder system that use where I have a folder called In Progress. And when I finish an image that's in there, and I think it's ready for the public, I put it in the base level folder. Well I can't do that when the hard drive that contains my original files isn't connected. Like when I'm traveling on my laptop. So to remember if I finish an image and I think it really belongs in that base folder, and I can't move it there because I don't have the drive of the originals, I drag it into here. So when I get home, and I hook up the hard drive that contains my originals, I know to visit this particular collection and move all these images to the base folder of that particular shoot. So that means I'd right-click on this and say Go to Folder in Library so I could see where it actually is, it'll most likely be in a folder called In Progress. Right here it's in that folder called In Progress, I grab that image and I drag it to the base level 'cause I know it's done. I just couldn't do that when I was traveling because I can't move images between folders or create new folders when the drive that contains the original is not attached. Now the thing about working with collections though, is that it's not gonna automatically remove that from the collection it was in. So after I've dragged it to the base folder, I go back here to this collection, I click on it, and I hit delete. That simply means remove it from the collection it was in. But that's an extra step I have to think of, but I don't usually have to think of when it comes to folders. 'Cause when you move an image from on folder to another it removes it from the previous one but that's not true of collections. If you're just moving things around, you could have this same image in as many collections as you want to and it's not gonna remove it from the first one unless you do it yourself. Here I have move to a different sub-folder. That usually means moved to Outtakes or move to Personal Images. In this case, this is like move to Personal Images. Here's personal pictures of my wife. That type of stuff, I do that again when traveling. Here's images that I want my wife to keyword. So these can be searchable, 'cause I don't know the names of all the yoga poses she's in. But she does, so she could easily handle that for me. Here's images that need re-touching, at the moment I have none. But I have a collection set up for that, so that if I run into any and I just don't feel like doing retouching at the time, I throw 'em in there. And you can see all the other kinds of Work Me related collections. I have Active Projects here, so if I have something like this class that I'm teaching right now, and I'm developing it or anything else, I can find that in there. I have Projects Archive, that's where I drag a collection after I'm done with the project, just in case I ever need to get back to it, you don't have to do that, but when it comes to teaching, like I'm doing right now, if I needed to teach about collections right now, I'm sure in the next 10 years at some point, I'm gonna have to teach about 'em again. So if I kept my organization of my class, and I put it in those Archives, I could just look back in the Archives the next time I need to teach, and possibly find images much quicker. Here's some talks that I do when I get in front of photography groups. General teaching images that are in here by subject matter, so in Photoshop if I want to teach any of these particular subjects, I can quickly get to them. But you can see that Collections and Collection Sets are things that I use extensively because that's how I organize my projects. Remember there are three different things we can create. We go just to the right of the word Collections, click on the little plus sign, and that's where we're gonna create a Collection, which is a manual one, you have to drag your images into, we can create a Smart Collection, which is a saved search, and we can create a Collection Set, which is a container for other collections. Also in this menu we can sort the list that's here by name, meaning alphabetical, or by what kind of collection it is. And you want all your Smart Collections to go together and that type of thing. Just above all your collections, there is an area right here where you can search. And therefore, if I want to teach the topic of panoramas, for instance. I type Pano and in here I can see that is shown me everywhere where I have the word Pano in my collection. So I can drill down and see how many times have I taught panoramas and maybe be able to find an image I need to teach with, pretty darn quickly, because it's going to limit the number of collections I'm viewing. Now with that there is come on, a little side menu of here you have to be careful about. There's a choice here called All or Synced Collections. We'll talk about Synced Collections in another episode, whenever we talk about Lightroom on mobile platforms, like be it on web browser, in your phone or your tablet. But know that if this menu, which is not very obvious when it's changed, is set to the bottom choice, it is going to limit the number of collections you're searching. So it's one thing to glance at whenever you're searching. And if you don't find this field available, you can show or hide it in that same menu where we create a collection. You see right there is says Show Collection Filter? If I choose that, it will go away. Or I can bring it back. Then finally, if you want to modify an existing collection, I've shown you that a Smart Collection you can double-click on, other collections you can right-click on, and there you'll find various options. Here you can delete it, you can rename it, or let's say I'm gonna teach a class over again and I want to have two copies, the old version of the class and the new version. Well, I could duplicate it. There's lots of different things you can do in here. You also find the same three choices we found when I was creating my collections when you right-click on Collection. So I use Collections every single day I'm in Lightroom. And one thing that's really nice about Collections, unlike Folders, is if you are ever in a different module of Lightroom, you're not in the library module, instead you're in the develop module, or you're in the map module, on the left side of your screen, you won't find the folder list. The folder list only appears when you're in the library module. But you will find there, Collections. So if you ever want to switch between a certain set of images and another one, one way to do it when you're in one of the other modules, is to click right here in this list. But it won't list Folders, it will list Collections, when I'm in the other modules. There's one other type of collection you should know about and that's known as a Quick Collection. Let's say a friend asked for some photographs from you. They just wanted to see, I don't know, five images that you might want to show in a portfolio for some particular purpose. And this is something that after you're done emailing them off to a friend, you never need to think about that project again. So it's just a quick project. Well is so, there's gonna be an extra collection you can get to by going up to this area near the upper left when you're in the library menu. If you expand the area called Catalog, you will find there's something called a Quick Collection. If I click on it right now, there happens to be 56 images in that collection. But I'm gonna clear out the Quick Collection. First, if I were to have a bunch of images in there, you will see if I right-click on the collection, there is a choice here called Save Quick Collection. That means maybe I don't remember why I have these images in here, and I want to use the Quick Collection feature, as I described it a moment ago, just to get some images for a friend, but I don't want to get rid of these. So if I say Save Quick Collection, I'll say... And then there's a checkbox here to clear the current Quick Collection. I'll hit Save. What that just did is it got rid of all the pictures that were in that Quick Collection, and down here in my normal collection list, you'll find a normal collection called Old Quick Collection Stuff. Meaning once you collect something to gather, you could use that as a starting point for a normal collection. You can kind of convert it over to a normal one. Alright, now let's look at our Quick Collection. I'm gonna start looking at a series of folders. Let's go in here to maybe oh I don't know, 2017, and let's say I wanted to get some yoga images to send off to a friend, he needs five of them. I'm just gonna start looking though here, and seeing if I can find one. Right there is one of my wife, and I'm just gonna take that and I drag it over here to the Quick Collection. You see the number went up to one. It works just like a normal collection, whereby you can drag images on top of it, and let's see, here's another one. I'll drag that one over. But you notice I have to scroll up and manually drag over there to get it? I'd rather be able to do that a little faster. So I click on the next image, I see it's a yoga image, and this time instead of dragging to the Quick Collection, watch what happens to the number to the right of it when I press the letter B. When I press B, oh it actually added that to a different collection. It's gonna add it to what's known as the Target Collection. And the default Target Collection is usually called the Quick Collection. But we can change it. Let me show you how to specify what the letter B sends pictures to. If I right-click on Any Collection, there's a choice that's called Set as Target Collection. And if you've never used that command ever before in your lifetime, you will find that it is by default, set to the Quick Collection. If you look at the Quick Collection, there'll be a plus sign. That little plus sign means that it is set as the Target. So when I press the letter B, watch the number to the right of Quick Collection, it just added that picture. So now it's much easier for me to go through here and collect, just click the letter B anytime I want to add something to that collection, let's see if we can find a few other pictures to put in it. And it reminds me each time I press that key, there's another one, that it added it to the Quick Collection. So we can do that. As I'm doing that, it's adding them up. So now I can click on the Quick Collection, and I can select all, and export these images, to give them to the friend that requested them. when I'm completely done doing so, if I right-click on the Quick Collection, there's a choice called Clear. And that just means clear it out for the next time I need to use it. So I'll do that. There's one other way of adding things very quickly to the Quick Collection. Let's say I ended up viewing all of the folders for these locations I visited in 2017. I just click on the top most choice, I scroll down until I no longer see interesting locations. I hold Shift, and I click. Now I'm viewing the base folder contents for every single one of those folders. And now I want to be able to go through these extremely quickly and tag whichever ones are yoga shots. I don't want to have to click on every image and hit the letter B each time. So at the bottom of my grid of images, you're gonna find a spray can. That spray can you can click on, and then when you do, you're gonna have a can that you're like moving around here. You can click on images to spray paint 'em, but when you're gonna paint onto them is chosen just to the right of where I clicked to get the spray can. And here I can choose various choices. One of which is Target Collection. If I have that set to Target Collection, let's see how many images are in our Quick Collection, we have zero. Now I'm gonna go through here. There's Karen doing yoga. I'm just gonna click on the image. And it just sprayed that one with the Quick Collection tag. So over there I see the number one appear. Here's another one of her doing yoga and just continue scrolling down, I think that's her doing yoga, so is that. And now this makes it so much easier and faster for me to tag if I'm going through a large number of images. That's another one, here's yet another. And I don't know if you can see her in there, but she's in the bottom of that shot. I can see her here, here, and so on. You could also click and drag, so if I were to find two images next to each other, or maybe even 10 images next to each other, I could, let's just say these two are yoga, I can see three yogas right there, I just click here, and drag across all three. And I've just put all three of those into that collection. So therefore you can very quickly tag these. Now if you go to the bottom, where that spray can used to reside, I'm just gonna click in that same area again to put the spray can back. And if you don't find this bar at the bottom of your screen, that bar is called the Toolbar, and you can toggle its visibility with the letter T on your keyboard. T for Toolbar. Or if you go up to the view menu, it's also found right here if you hate keyboard shortcuts just 'cause you can't remember 'em. Let's go to the View menu. And if that's not showing up, right there's where you can turn it on. So now we've looked at the various kinds of Quick Collections we can create. And so now we can switch over and think about how can I take a large number of images that I might have just finished shooting, and narrow 'em down to only those images that are really worth adjusting? I've switched to a simplified catalog, so we don't have too many choices in our Folders menu, and here I have a folder of 133 images. Now that's quite a few images. Think about when it comes to figuring out which ones we might want to adjust. So how am I gonna go through this folder and decide which ones are worthy of adjustment and which ones are not? There are many different approaches and there is not right answer, it's just a matter of what works most effectively for you and your particular setup. I'm just gonna show you a few options. The first thing I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna cycle through every one of these images and view them where it fits a good portion of my screen. Because viewing the images like this, where they're just thumbnails, is really hard to judge are they in focus? Are they really good compositions? So with the first image selected, I'm gonna hit the space bar. Space bar is just a simple shortcut that means zoom up on the image. It does the same thing as going to the bottom here in the tool bar and clicking the second icon from the left, known as Loop Mode, I believe. Now I'm gonna end up typing one of two keys for each one of these pictures. The keys I'm thinking about are really shortcuts where it's found under the Photo menu. In that area you're gonna find a choice called Set Flag. We're gonna be flagging images as either Flagged, which is gonna mean I'm pretty darn sure this is a good image. Or Rejected, which means I don't want to see this image again. And if we're not sure if something is pretty good image, or something we shouldn't see again, I'll just use the right arrow key to skip it. Which means we're just gonna assign two different statuses. Either it's good or it's bad. And if we're uncertain, we're gonna leave it alone. So, it's the letter X, which flags it as a reject, and a letter P, which flags it as a pick. So I'm gonna have my fingers on X and P and then I'll have another finger on the right arrow key. 'Cause the right arrow key will allow me to switch to the next image. So here goes. That's obviously a bad image. So I'm gonna hit the letter X. Then I can hit the right arrow key to go to the next image. That one I'm not certain about, so I'm just gonna skip it, 'cause I'm just kinda not excited, not unexcited about it. It's just a matter of, is it something really worthy of adjusting or is it something I shouldn't look at again. To me these two people don't look all that excited about me pointing the camera at 'em, so I'm gonna hit X. And I'll go to the next image. Whenever I say next image, I'm using the right arrow key to get there. I'm gonna hit X, 'cause I don't think they're engaged with what's going on in the camera. So that one could be okay, but I don't think it's amazing. So I'm not gonna click the letter P, I'm just gonna go right by it, meaning I did not mark it as either one. X, that's a little out of focus, X. Eh, I don't like the composition and such. X, X. That looks busy, X. Anyway, I would just go through this entire folder and I would go pretty darn quick. After awhile, you end up getting to a point where you could do this where you're evaluating maybe 10 or 12 images in a second. In order to do that though, you should be aware that there's something called, I think it's called Auto Advance. And it has to do with your Caps Lock key. If I remember correctly, if I press Caps Lock, it's either gonna turn on or off something called Auto Advance. What Auto Advance does, is if I press one of those two keys, either P for pick, or X for reject, it'll automatically switch to the next picture so I don't have to use the Arrow key so often. So I just turned on Caps Lock, and I think this is a pick. I think that's a pretty good image. So I type the letter P, and it automatically switched to the next image. That looks out of focus, so I'm gonna hit X, covering up his face, too much out of focus, out of focus face, that's good. No, no. That's pretty good. No, no, no, no. They're just not exciting. That could be okay, but I'm not sure so I'm using the Right Arrow key to say maybe. But I'm not marking it as a pick 'cause then I'll think it's amazing. That one looks pretty good, I'll hit P. Right arrow, right arrow, 'cause I'm not sure about these. If you're not sure, just go right by 'em. Hit X. X, not exciting, not exciting, not exciting, not exciting. So if you can go through one time and go through quickly by doing P and X, what we're gonna end up doing, I'm hitting X for most of these, 'cause I think they're just kind of boring shots. And if a good one comes up, there there's a bird that looks interesting, I'm just gonna do the right arrow key on that one, 'cause I might wanna do it. Same with that one. If I end up with one where I'm zoomed up tight on it or something, I might hit the letter P. Right now I'm not certain if those are gonna be good images. I'll hit X, X. That one I kinda like with the bird, so I'll hit P. Right arrow, X, not really into that. X, X, and so if you can go through very quickly, the next thing we're gonna do once we were done going through the entire folder, is we're gonna move those images. Any image that I marked as a reject, I'm gonna move to a sub-folder that's called Outtakes. And that means don't waste your time looking at those images again. Then I might, if I want to start processing images right away, view only the images that are flagged as picks and start working on 'em. But let's take a look. I'm not gonna go through the entire folder, 'cause I just don't want you to watch something that's repetitive. So if you look at the images now, you will find the images that are marked as rejects have a little flag in the corner that has an X on them, and the image itself is kinda, looks almost blurry and grayed out. That's to try to make them look separate from the rest of the images. Those are all of your rejects. Then there's also some images that will also have a flag icon, but that flag icon, if I find one here, should be white, and that indicates that it was a pick. There's one right there, and here's another one there. So then if I want to be able to limit which images I'm working on, I have a couple different methods of doing so. This bar at the top of my screen is known as the Filter Bar. It's not always there, if you go up to the View menu, right there is how you can toggle its visibility. And if you toggle its visibility a lot, you should know that the Backslash key, right above the Return or Enter key, would do that for you. In there I have various choices. Here I can turn my filters off. And here I can have pre-sets that I save. Once I setup these other setting to the left, if I'm going to use those settings again and again, you'll find the choice right here. Save current settings as new preset. So this is something that I could end up using a lot once I get it set up properly. Let's take a look. I'm gonna choose the choice up here called Metadata. And when I do, we have various columns across the top. If I click on the heading of any column, I can tell it what I want to see, and I'm gonna set it to flag. And therefore, it'll tell me that in this particular folder, we have 69 images that we never flagged as a reject or a pick, we have five that are flagged as picks, and we have 55 that are rejects. So I'm gonna click right there on the word rejected, it gets me all the images that are flagged as reject, I'm gonna select all with Command A, and I'm just gonna drag it right here to a sub-folder called Outtakes to just get 'em out of that folder. We don't see anything here left because nothing fits our filtering that we're currently applying, 'cause we're trying to only look at Rejected. If I felt like adjusting images right now, I'd click right here on the word Flagged, and these were the images that I would start with. And if I wanted to continue evaluating images, maybe I finish adjusting images and I want to work on more, then I could look at Unflagged or I could simply set this entire filter area up here to none. Which means show me every image that's there. So that's one thing I do and it's usually my first step, and I try to go through as fast as I possibly can. And I almost like want to slap myself if I spend more than a half a second on any image. Because really, it's just a very quick, get it out of this set of images, or flag it as something I might want to work on first. But it's not a stressful edit for me. But then let's say that I had a bunch of images that had potential and I need to narrow them down. Maybe there are a lot of images that are similar. For instance, here's a bunch of pictures of boats. And I want to know which of those sets, maybe they were all things that didn't need to be rejected, they were possibilities and I want to evaluate them. Well we have a few options there. I'm going to select the first image of that sequence by clicking on it, I'll hold Shift. Now I'll get the last image of the sequence, and then at the bottom of my screen, down here at the Toolbar, we have a few icons that can be helpful. First, to make it so my images take up the most space, I'm gonna hide this area on the left side by clicking the little triangle that's there and collapsing it down, I might also do the same for the top. Just to maximize the amount of space we have. Then, down here I'm gonna click on this icon right here, and that's gonna send me into what's known as Survey View. And it's just going to maximize the size of those thumbnail images, only the images that I had selected, and now I can take a look at them, and all I'm gonna do is hover over any image that I don't think is all that great. For instance, this one, the top of the boat is almost cut off. So I'm gonna click this little X in the lower right corner, and when I do, it will remove it from this group of images. But all it's doing behind the scenes is unselecting that image. So when I get out of this view, all of these other images would still be selected, that other image would still be within there, but it just wouldn't be one of the selected pictures. So I'm gonna go through here and say well, which ones of these, I don't like that one either. So lower right, click on it. Here we have three that are very similar. If it was obvious which ones, like here the top's cut off, so let's X that one. Same with here, this one I got the full top. And I could do the same thing. Compare these two, X whichever ones I don't want. And sometimes I'm doing this trying to get down to the one picture that is the best, and other times I'm just trying to get a series. But in this particular case, I think it's pretty obvious that this image is the best. Maybe it's that image and the one below that I want to keep. So I get it down to just those two. Then I either type letter G to go back to the grid view, or I click on the icon that looks like a grid of images. And you'll see that we still have all those pictures sitting here. And it's just two of 'em that are currently selected. So maybe right now I type the letter P to flag those as a pick. So that I know those are the ones that I might want to work on. And that picked status tells me that I have evaluated the picture. And I take the others, I select them all, gotta get rid of that one that's flagged. And I'm gonna drag those to the Outtakes. 'Cause I've thought of them as not being worth working on. Got it down to just two images. But there are some other times when I might need to be a little bit more careful with what I'm doing. So let's say I came in here and I had, where's a sequence of images? Well, let's say these lily pads. I think these are the ones that might have had a little bird on the pad and I'm not sure which of these I really should work on. I want to narrow it down to only one. So I clicked on the first image, I held the Shift key down and I clicked on the last image, and this time I might first go to the same view we were in earlier, which is Survey Mode, and just glance to see if there's any obvious ones that shouldn't be in here. This one I don't see a bird anywhere, so I'll hit the little X to get rid of it. And just here comparing them all, I might decide that this one, just looking at the bird's position, isn't very good, but in general, these are two small to really evaluate. So we're gonna switch to a different view, which is just to the left of the one called Survey. And that is called Compare. If I click there, we're only gonna see two images. They'll be side-by-side, and one of them will be considered the select, meaning the one we're really considering, comparing other ones to. And the one on the right is considered the candidate. And if I hover over either one of these, you'll find an X icon in the lower right. And that's where if I click on it, it will be excluded. It will become not selected. So to me this doesn't look like it's in focus. I can actually click on it and if I do, it'll zoom in on both images to the same spot. And I could drag like this, and I see that's out of focus, so it's really not one that I should consider. I'll click again to zoom out, and I'll click the little X. When I click the X, that image is discarded. It's not thrown away, it's just no longer selected. And we're now looking at a different image. This is the image that used to be on the right. It's now considered the select. So I glance at these two, this one he's not in a great position so I hit the X. He's still not in great position compared to the one on the right, so I hit the X. That one I'm not sure about. Maybe I need to zoom in on it. So I click within the image, it might take just a moment for it to load. And I think the image on the left is better. So I'll click the letter X. And each one of these is zoomed in. It's always zoomed in at the same spot though. The second see is soft, so I hit the X. This one I can't really see what's going on, so I'm just gonna click to zoom out. Okay, I can see he's in a different position. Let's say I like that one better than the one on the left. But I'm not sure exactly which of the two I'd like to use yet. I just want this to be the one that I'm comparing all others to. So down here at the bottom, you'll find two icons. One means just swap these two, and the other means move this one to the left. Well I'll move this one to the left. What that did is it did move it to the left, and then it took the image on the right and advanced it to the next picture. So now I'm evaluating these two. I think this image is better. So I'm gonna say move it to the left. This image doesn't look so good. So I'll hit X to get rid of it. And I can continue doing this until in general, I run out of images I want to work with. Also down at the bottom you'll find arrows down here. And that just lets you switch the image that's on the right. So if there are any other images that are still selected, here you could cycle between them to decide if you wanna include those. I'll hit X there. And I don't think I'm into that one. X once again. One thing I don't like about Lightroom that really actually frustrates me, is once I get it down to one picture, meaning this is the image, it will start bringing in some of the other images that were selected over here even if I hit X here to say get rid of it. I wish eventually the image on the right would just become empty to say you've gone through all of them and this is the only image you didn't hit X on. But unfortunately that's not the case. Now when I get down to where I notice the image on the right is always the same image, I can go back to the grid with letter G, and it always brings me down to just two images here. The one that is most selected, the one that is highlighted and the brightest shade of gray, is the one we ended up with. And I can see that's already flagged as a pick. So that's pretty good. I would have flagged it as a pick if it wasn't already. And then I would take all the others, select them, and I just did that with Shift, going first to the last, if you hold down the Command Control in Windows, then you can get rid of individual pictures. So I got all of those images except for the one I flagged as a pick. And I'm gonna put 'em over here in my Outtakes. And I don't trash the images because who knows. When I'm processing that picture of the bird, maybe it just doesn't work out. Maybe when I brighten it up enough it's too noisy where the bird is, and I find that one of the other ones might be a better option to work with. But I'm just trying to drill it down to the one that's worth spending time on. So if you look down here at these various icons at the bottom, the left most one is grid mode. If you ever see me typing the letter G, that's how I always get back to the grid of thumbnails. If you end up seeing me press the space bar, it's the equivalent to send me to the next icon over. It means view a single image as large as I can. Now you can actually see that larger than this, if you press the letter F. F always means full screen. And you press the letter F again to get out of that. But when you're in full screen you can't get to all the features in Lightroom. So instead, the space bar or that icon is the largest view you can have while still having access to the rest of Lightroom's interface. Then the next icon over is always gonna compare your images where you only see two images side-by-side. So you can evaluate one versus the other. You'll have the letter X available down at the bottom to get rid of the image, and also you have some other features. You can flag something as a pick or a reject, you see the little flags down there. These little dots in the center bottom is where you could rate the picture one through five stars if you would like. And then we can also zoom in. I did it by clicking but you can also partially zoom in by moving this slider if you just need a slightly zoomed up view instead of 100% view. Then we had another icon to the right of that and that takes however many pictures you have selected, let's say it's all of these. And just shows you all of those pictures at the same time. And you hovered over them and you could hit the little X to get rid of, maybe I want to get rid of all these dark ones first. These images I planned to merge more than one exposure. To get the full brightness range of the scene. That's why some of these are dark and some of them are bright. Let's just say I wanted to get rid of the dark ones, get rid of the overly bright ones, this is a nice way of being able to narrow them down quickly. Once I get them narrowed down though, where I got rid of the really bright and dark ones, it's kinda hard to tell which are useful here. That's when I might switch to the other view, where I only see two images side-by-side. And now with these little arrow keys down at the bottom, I could switch between these. And if one's an obvious not good image, I hit the X to get rid of them. Trying to narrow it down. And I type letter G or click on the grid when I want to see the full set. One other thing that can be useful, is if I, let's say put these into something called a Quick Collection, if you happen to remember what that is, is so the only thing I was viewing was this particular composition. This particular subject matter. Then what could be useful is if I narrow it down to this number of images, you can usually go to I believe it's the Library menu, although it might be one of the others, maybe the Edit menu. It is under Edit. There's a choice called Invert Selection. Which means I have all these images selected, right now if you invert your selection, you'd have everything that's not selected. And you could drag them to the Outtakes. But I might do right now is just type the letter P to flag all these as a pick. So that gives you some idea of how you can narrow down a shoot. There are other features that you can use for narrowing down a shoot and that would mainly be star ratings. You can see some star ratings on these. But I mainly use star ratings after I'm done with a folder of images. If I'm done and I've processed the whole folder of images, I see a whole bunch here that are all ready to show the public, ready to print. Well then what I try to do, is I try to narrow down what we have here to make it so if somebody asked me for a slideshow of particular subject matter, if I clicked on the base folder for a particular shoot, the number on the right tells me how many images are finished. And here we have 29. But if I start showing a slideshow right now, somebody might get bored watching it. Why? Because there are too many images that are similar. If you look at this image, you see the background, and you look at that image. Well why are you showing me two pictures that are similar? You see this image, you see that image. Do I really need to see two? And there'll be a lot of situations where there are just multiple images, they were all good, they're all finished, they're all ready for printing or whatever I need, but now I would like to further organize. Here's what I'd end up doing. Whenever I see more than one image that looks similar, and then what I would do is select those images, like here's two of them, and I would go to one of these choices down below to be able to view them and just decide which one is better. I think the one with the human in it is better. And I'm not gonna throw away the other one, but here's what I'm gonna do. With those images that all look similar selected, I'll click within the picture of the one I like the most. That's gonna make it the most selected image. It'll be highlighted in a brighter color. Then I would usually group those images. If you go to the photo menu, in here's a choice called Stacking. And right there is Group into Stack. I use the keyboard shortcut of Command G, that would be Control G in Windows. And what that's going to do is take where we used to see two photographs, it's gonna stack two on top of each other so we only see one picture. The top most image of that stack. Then it will show a number in the corner of the image to indicate how many images are stacked on top of each other. If I click the number, it will not unstack it, it will expand the stack. So I can see all the images that are contained within it. You see the background around them is darker so you can tell they are kinda together. And then I click the number again to collapse it. And so I'm gonna do that for all of the images where I have similar shots. So here are three more images. I'm gonna go in here to the view that shows me all three and I'm gonna decide which ones of those is best. It's kinda hard to decide. Maybe this one or this one. It could be that in this case I want to show two, but I'm not gonna show three. 'Cause people are gonna get bored with that. I think this is a better shot than that one. So I'm gonna stack these two shots, putting this one on top. I'll go back to my grid, and I'll do that. I just grab these two images, making sure the one I liked is the most selected, and if it's not, you just click on the picture. It makes it most selected. I type Command G. Here's two more. Do I like this image or this image? I'm not into the yoga shot as much, I like that one better. So, select both of them, make sure that's most selected, Command G. And if I do that for all of the images that look similar, here's two images taken on stairs. Which one's better? Since there's so many yoga shots, I'm thinking the cat. So I make sure the cat's most selected, Command G. Once I got it narrowed down where there's only one image per similar group of shots, then that's gonna help me out when people wanna see a slideshow, I click on the base folder, it tells me there's a certain number of images, and now I know that the ones that are similar I'm not gonna see unless I expand these groups. Now if you go to the Photo menu, there is a choice under Stacking to here Collapse All the Stacks that are in this particular folder, or Expand Them All. So if you're looking for an image, maybe for some project, you might want to see all of those, so you could expand them all. There it expanded them. Or, collapse them all if I want to minimize the number of images I'm viewing. Alright, then the next thing I might do is if I still have a significant number of images, let's say when I was done doing the stacking, I still had 100 pictures sitting here. Well then I would want to further narrow them down, and I usually do that through rating. So in this case I see that two images are already rated. I'm gonna type Command A for select all, I'll go to the Photo menu and you'll find that there's a choice here called Set Rating. I'm gonna start off by setting the rating to zero. Then notice here's our ratings one through five and all you have to do is press the number keys on your keyboard to assign it. And so now what I would do is go through this folder of images and here's how I think about the ratings. I'm only gonna use five stars for very special images. I rarely use five stars. Five stars to me means my absolute best pictures I've ever taken in my lifetime. What I call superheros. They're the things where if somebody asked me for a slideshow of my photography career, I would include these images. So it's rare in a shoot that I give anything five stars. It might be maybe 10, 12 times a year that I give something five stars. Then the way I think of four stars is for that, that's the best of this particular shoot, or this particular subject matter. So I look through here and I say what are the absolute best shots? If I was limited and if I was judged on the worst of the ones I marked four stars, you know, what would be the absolute best thing? So I'm gonna hit the number four for this one, this one, I like that one, and I just think of I'm not gonna casually add four stars. Four stars is the absolute best of this particular shoot or subject matter. And that might be all of them. Then I'll assign three stars for just what I consider to be the second best. And so if I glance through here and there's anything that doesn't already have stars, and what I can do is up here at the top in the filter bar, I can say let's go to Metadata. Let's set this up for ratings. And let's just say show me only the images that are unrated. So these are the only images I have to evaluate. And I say are there any in here that I consider like kinda second level of goodness in here. And I assign those three stars. Alright, as I assign them stars, they disappear because right now we're filtering to only view those images that are unrated. Alright, now I'm gonna choose none up here to no longer filter my images. And let's see what we've done. Well, if someone ever asks me have I ever been to Buenos Aires in Argentina, I can tell them yes I have. Because I can first go here to my folder list and start typing in the name of that area that they asked about. And it would narrow me down to me seeing that yes I have been there. I could glance in here and I can tell you that right now there is no In Progress folder, which means I'm done processing whatever images I did shoot in that particular location. Otherwise there would have been a folder called In Progress, that'd have a number next to it. And if when I click on that folder, I see a lot of pictures, and I look at the person and I'm thinking they don't have the patience for this. Then I come up here and I say I want to view Metadata, and up here's my ratings, and I just can tell just by the numbers that are here, how many of these, first are there any five stars? Nope. Are there any fours? Yep. Are there any threes? And if I just think about their patience level, should they see 25 images or do I want to narrow it down? In this case, I might want to narrow it to four. And I'll hold shift and hit three so I'll get both. And here are all the images I want to show 'em because they're my best and my kinda second best of this particular shoot. And all I did was excluded the ones that were not rated, which are the ones that are just okay. And so if you come up with a kind of standardized definition of what the star ratings mean, and you come up with a standardized way of using the other features, things can become much more useful. Because now I can create a Smart Collection that collects up every image that is in the base level folder, that is five stars. And I suddenly have what I would call my Best of Ben Collection. Which is all my absolute best images I've ever taken. I can do it so it does the same for four stars. And I know that those will be the best of all those subject matters. Although how do you do a search that only produces the images that are in the base level folder, because that base level folder changes depending on subject matter. Well, what I do is a Smart Collection that says the image is not in a folder called Outtakes. The image is not in a folder called Personal Images. Not in Support Images. It's not in In Progress. And all the other standardized names that I use for folders. And therefore, if it's not in any of those standardized names for folders, it's probably in the base level folder. There is one other thing you can use to narrow down your images, and that is you can also assign colors to your pictures, known as a label. And if you'd like to do that, you go to the Photo menu, there's a choice down here called Set Color Label. And I really wish here it would actually visually show you the colors, 'cause these are actually assigning colors. But it won't show them to you. And that's because you can name them and I just want to show you where you can set up these names if you choose to assign colors. But if you choose one of these and I let go. And you should see a color. If I go up to the View menu, you're gonna find a choice called View Options. And in there, there's going to be a choice right down here near the bottom called Include Label or Color Label. And if that's not turned on, then you're not gonna see below your image this little example of the color. And so if I close that, now you can see that this has a blue label, this has a red label, and so on. Remember I got to that by going to the View menu, coming down to View Options, and it was right down here. Include Label Color. If that's not there, we're not gonna see it below the image. You do have a few other options for how you can view that information, but those are the main things. Now if you go also to the Metadata menu, there's one other setting you should be aware of, and that is right here's a choice called Color Label Set. Do you remember when I applied the color label? How it didn't actually show me the colors, instead it showed me the names of them? Well you can setup various names. If I set it to Lightroom Default, the next time I come over here to the Photo menu and I choose Set Color Label, you will actually get the names of the colors, still wish it would show you visibly the colors. But if you want to define that yourself, because you want these particular colors to have a particular meaning, maybe one color means that this has been approved by the client, and another color means it's only been submitted to the client but they haven't approved it, that kind of stuff. You could do to the Metadata menu, choose Color Label Set and right here's a choice called Edit. This brings you in here where at the top, first you can choose which of the presets that are existing, might you want to change. And then down here, you could type in whatever you would like those colors to be defined as. And here are a few that I've set up before. Client Status, so In Progress, Sent to Client, Approved, Rejected, and the Final Print has been Delivered. That's one way you could keep track of things is with that. If you wanted to create a new set, where you put in any names you want in here, I'm not suggesting names of people, but I did. Then you can go to the menu at the top and say Save Current Settings as New Preset. And you can give this a name, hit Create. And now you've made your own set of labels. If I click Change, and now I go up to the Photo Menu, choose Color Label, I could now nickname my photos one of these names. So it's a matter of you coming up with what would be a useful set of choices here and you can always switch back and forth between various definitions using this. And so maybe I end up using Client Status instead. One warning about the things I've just been talking about. When it comes to labels, ratings, picks and rejects, I used to use some of those features to keep track of the status of a picture. Is this picture finished or not? Is is high quality? Whatever it happens to be. But I started to deviate away from that for one reason. And that is that it's too easy to accidentally change the rating or a label. And that's because if you go to the Photo Menu, and you choose Set Flag, all of these choices have keyboard shortcuts. Same with Set Rating, same with Set Color. And none of those keyboard shortcuts will require you to hold down the Command key to do so. That means if I just brush my hand on the keyboard, I could very easily change the rating or the flag status or label of an image. And I find that I've done that too often. Or I've had a series of images and I just didn't realize I had a bunch of images selected at the time, and I changed the rating. And it makes it so it's just too easy for me to change them. So I only use them for particular purposes. The main one for me is my base level images. I will use ratings because there, if I find that they've been misapplied, it's very easy for me to say don't filter down to a limited set of these images. And I'm not really using them for a critical purpose there. So I just wanted you to be aware, it's so easy to change those with a single keystroke, that you should really be cautious when relying on ratings. Alright, so if you've purchased the class, know that each lesson we have has homework. And the homework for this lesson is to create your own custom image management and project management system. We walk you through some of the things you need to think about in order to do that in the homework. Now we have 14 days to go. And tomorrow we're gonna get into making your images searchable by tagging them with keywords. And once you do that, the general concept is to be able to find any important image in five seconds or less. If there's an image you can think of in your head, I want you to be able to find it that quickly. But you're only gonna be able to do that if you learn how to keyword your images. Now before tomorrow roles around though, why don't you head over to Facebook and join our private group there where you can ask questions. Know that if you do purchase the class, you get a lot extra with purchase. First you can pause me, rewind me, watch me at your leisure, and you're also gonna get a workbook for each lesson. You get homework for each lesson, if there's any images that I use to adjust, you get to be able to adjust the exact same images, so you can practice on those as well, and you see a list of additional benefits by purchasing. It's really the best way to truly absorb and use the content. If you wanna find me on various social media or on the web in general, here are the various sites you might want to visit. But this has been Lightroom Classic, a Complete Guide. I'll see ya next time.

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

fbuser 199e5619

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!

Student Work