Filtering Your Photos
First off on the film strip down at the bottom of the light room interface, aiken turn on the filtering and then set my criteria. Now this is just based on primary criteria are pick flags are star ratings and our color labels, so I'm just going to choose the one star or greater rating, and they're the images to which I assigned a one star rating that's pretty cool, but we can take it a whole lot further. What about key words? I'm just going to go to all photographs and I'm going to turn off the attributes there. So now I'm looking at every single picture I've ever taken ever except in this case that's only one hundred twenty two images a subset, obviously, but now aiken search for any searchable field so let's search five hundred I don't know why that's just what came to mind. Ok, so here's an image with five hundred and it why? Uh, the shutter speed was one five hundredth of a second. And do I have any? No, I don't know any five hundred millimeter focal length images here, but here's ...
another five hundredth of a second, maybe one of them has a file name that's got five hundred in it, all sorts of possibilities. What am I really looking for? I want water and so let's search for water and that is contained in key words and so here the images that contain water as a keyword or just alaska, which obviously in this case is a little bit redundant because we could just go to the folder, but you get the idea we can search for all sorts of criteria based on those searchable fields you can see a populist here where we can choose specific thing, so oh, I know there was a picture that I put in the title sunset or maybe I didn't what I put in that one paris know those headline wasn't it so somewhere else, so we'll do all searchable fields sunset there we go so there's that picture so if I can actually remember where I put stuff, then I confine my images so more importantly, what about those situations where you can't remember anything about you? Pictures are you can't normal things that really matter, like I can't remember what is the name of that lit up structure? It was somewhere good and it was a night and I can't remember I have no idea but here's the weird thing about photographers, photographers are weird bunch, all right? We could remember the craziest things about our pictures, like, I don't remember where I was, but I mean, what shutter speed it wass remember what lends aperture which focal length ones I was using or whatever the case may be? Well, check this out, so I'm in all photographs, I don't have to be in all photographs, I'm just using this because I have no clue what folder to go to, at least hypothetically, I could obviously go to a specific folder here if I wanted to, but I'm just going to search across my entire lite room catalog again. In my case, this is over three hundred thousand photos, and I can filter based on a wide variety of criteria. This is awesome, so I'm going to choose the metadata option up here on the library filter bar. By the way, if you don't have that library filter bar visible, you could just go up to the view menu and choose show filter bar. The backslash key on the keyboard is the toggle for that. So if you're so inclined, if it's not there, even bring it up very easily with either of those options. All right, so what sort of information? We can search by date? Yeah, like I'm going to remember what the date was by which camera? Well, in this case, I do happen to remember which camera was because it was a long time ago, and this was with the cannon twenty dig and I remember that it was the twenty four to one of five millimeter lens because I use that for almost everything uh, when I'm walking around a big city, but I don't know what the color label is anything like I used to cover label, so I've run out of options and I still don't find my image well, actually, each of these can be changed so I can change my label option to something else. What do I remember? Well, I remember that I stopped down the lens like can't remember exactly to what extent I stopped down the lens, but I know I was trying to get a starburst effect and I usually stop down, you know? F twenty two f sixteen, at least f ace, I'm gonna choose f eight and I'm gonna hold the shift key and click on f sixteen to choose all of those options in between. So now I'm filtering based on a range of apertures justcause I'm looking for an image that I think has a starburst effect in that calls for stopping down the lens. So you see all these like free association wacky things you can come up with, but I'm still not finding the correct image I need to take things a little bit further so that maybe I need to add a column, so if I click up here at the top right of that library filter bar of those columns I can actually add another column four bits of criteria not enough no problem will add a fifth and what we're going to choose for that option let's say for example maybe our shutter speed and there's a ten second this switched switch that back there's ten seconds I think was more like four seconds if memory serves out there it is that's the image I was looking for see the starburst so every four seconds because I remember which camera model which lens which aperture which shutter speed did I really remember those things about this image? Not without studying it beforehand but that's not the point. The point is that we can use all these criteria and it's interesting how often I confined the photo just based on random meditated criteria I know it was at night I therefore probably stopped down the aperture to get a starburst effect or I know it was a long exposure so I can use that shutter speed in combination with the aperture. I probably brought the eyes so down to one hundred a bird photo it was probably if it's a bird photo that I really like it was probably a three hundred or four hundred or five hundred millimeter lens not six hundred because nobody would let me borrow theirs so these random things that you might remember about your photos allow you to go out there and find your photos and again don't forget we still have the ability to search or filter by keywords weaken still search or filter based on star ratings pigs on pick flags based on the color labels we have all of those criteria and there's even more oh my goodness, we can choose based on the file type I use this one all the time I'm looking for a raw capture because I take a lot of pictures in case that wasn't obvious sometimes there with my slr sometimes there with my iphone sometimes there with some other random camera and so I might have different file formats, so maybe I'm looking at I'm looking for raw captures with a one star or greater star rating with, you know, specific keywords so even when I can on ly remember tiny little tidbits about my photos and how they were captured or where they were captured aiken still filter in light room let me underscore one last point, then we can open up for some questions I'm looking across all photographs light room because it's using the central catalog I'm able to filter across the entire catalogue all at once three hundred thousand images and in a split second light room khun tell me that I have no images with a five star rating out of all of those it's sad but it's okay but across my entire catalog, across all of my photos in no time flat try doing that in adobe bridge where sort of you can accomplish it. But it's going to take a while you're going to want to let it crank away for the weekend to filter across every folder you've got because it needs to analyze the data in each of those folders because, like rooms using that catalog, it's able to do all this work very quickly, so across as many images as you'd like, really? Is there an upper limit? Not really. Obviously, storage capacity starts to become an issue. As I say, I have three hundred thousand images just shy of three hundred thousand images. In my catalog, I can filter across all of those very easily and fairly quickly and, you know, do I always find every single image when I needed exactly no time flat? You know, sometimes I have to think about it for a little while, but by taking a sort of careful, measured approach by thinking about that folder structure by assigning attributes such as star ratings. And key words and just by being familiar with my photos, more often than not, I can do a pretty good job of narrowing the list down. Not necessarily the one photo, maybe it's only narrowing it down to four hundred photos or two fifty photos, but that's not so bad when it comes to scrolling through and evaluating those images and trying to find the one that you're looking for. So again, it boils down to first and foremost being thoughtful, ideally ahead of time, or going back to finding your own workflow, cleaning things up. If you already got started with light room and kind of made a little bit of a mess of your folder structure, what have you and then being consistent so from, you know, once you've defined that workflow being very, very consistent from that point forward so that you're always taking the same approach, you'll gain a lot more familiarity with the specific attributes you've used for your images so that you can find the specific images you need when you need them with relative ease. And it could make a huge difference in your sanity when it comes to keeping your photos organized.