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Staying Organized

Lesson 4 from: Lightroom® 4 Fundamentals

Laura Shoe

Staying Organized

Lesson 4 from: Lightroom® 4 Fundamentals

Laura Shoe

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Lesson Info

4. Staying Organized


Class Trailer

Day 1


Pre-Show Banter


9:00 am - Introduction: Why Lightroom®?


The Lightroom Library Catalog


Staying Organized


Backing Up Your Library


Importing Your Photos


Preferences & Settings


Settings Q&A


Reorganizing Files and Folders


Using Views and Labels to Evaluate Photos


Filtering and Stacking Photos


Assigning and Managing Keywords


Keywording Q&A


The Metadata Panel


Searching for Photos


Creating a Collection


Day 2


Day 2 Pre-Show Banter


The Map Module: Assigning Locations


The Develop Module


Fixing Your Photos: Histograms and Cropping


Fixing Your Photos: Spot Removal Tool


11:30 am - Upgrading to Lightroom® 4


11:45 am - Basic Developing in Lightroom® 3 & 4


Basic Developing Part 2


Color Adjustments


Tone Curve Panel


Making Subtle Adjustments


Lens Corrections


Local Adjustments: Partial B&W


Local Adjustments: Portrait Touch Up


Additional Local Adjustments


Graduated Filter


Bonus: Day 3 Preview


Day 3


Day 3 Pre-Show Banter


Bonus: Recap of the Develop Module


Virtual Copies


B&W and Creative Effects


Noise Reduction




Sharpening for Portraits


Syncing Changes to Multiple Photos




Creating and Using Presets


11:45 am - Lightroom® and Photoshop


Sharing Your Work


Exporting for Web


Exporting for Print


Workflow Recap


Thanks + Credits


3:00 pm - Lightroom® 4: Publishing


3:30 pm - Lightroom® 4: Video Editing


3:45 pm - Lightroom® 4: Book Module


Lesson Info

Staying Organized

So let's get it. Go ahead and get into the next topic here, which is where a lot of you want to go. And that is how to organize your photos and back up your photo library. Now how? How you choose to organize your photos on your hard drive? It isn't even really a light room topic because light room can work with whatever you decide to dio. But I can facilitate the process. And whether it's a specific light room process or not, it's very important to us anyway, so of course I'm gonna cover it. Okay, so organizing your photos, I wanted them to come up one at a time. Okay, so your photos air like the stacks of books. They can be organized, like like the books on the left in neat stacks. Or they could be organized. He's gonna come here. Yeah, Okay. Says backwards. So the bad news light room doesn't organize your photos, OK? And light worm really doesn't care how your photos organized. So it's up to you. Do you want to look like the stacks of books or the mess on the desktop? Now, of course,...

I've had plenty of the mess on the desktop, right? But whether light room cares or not, it's very important for sanity and for our ability to make sure everything's backed up in everything. So what I want to dio is first point out that the folder structure on your hard drive, which is what we're gonna be talking about here is just one of the tools that you use to keep your light room photo library organized and accessible to you. You have other tools, and I'm not gonna talk in depth about them now. They'll come over the rest of the day today, but folder structure on your hard drive is just the first tool. Okay, you also have star ratings, so you can mark which ones you think are good or bad. Various levels of quality you don't need to split those out into different folders is where I'm getting at pick and reject flags. Color labels, which could mean anything to you read, could mean reject. Red could mean it's not worked on yet, etcetera keywords so you can assign as many keywords is. You want that you'll be able to find your photos based on, and then you have these things called collections, which your groupings of photos that you can pull together for calendar, for example. So I point these out just to suggest to you that your organization on your hard drive can be fairly simple. Um, for example, you don't necessarily need to split out your nature photos into one set of folders and your people photos into another set of folders because you'll have key words for that. So that's how you can pull together those subsets, so keep the folder structure on your hard drive. Simple is my advice to you. Now. There are different solutions, and I don't want to suggest that my way is the highway. Um, but here's one solution toe organizing your photos either on an internal or an external hard drive, and I'll talk in a minute a minute about the pros and cons of Of the two have a master folder called Photo Library called pictures or movies called Photo Library for now, so a master folder that's going to contain both critical components of your photo library, the photos and the catalog, the stacks and the catalog. Okay, so everything will be in one folder, so within the Photo Library folder. You'll have your images. Doesn't matter what these folders Air called, so image files in In. In my last video, Siri's I Did. I called it Photos Go Here, which I got that idea from David Marks, who's an excellent instructor. It just makes it very clear that that's where my actual photos raw files are. So you're gonna have an image files or photos go here folder, and then you'll organize those however you choose to. But here's how I choose to I have your folders and then I have individuals shoot folders within the year folders. So shoot folder within your folder with an image files within my photo library. There's an important piece for that's just missing here, and it's really important to you guys noted, even though it's not on the slide, I've got image files and then at that same level, what's missing here is I have a light room catalogue folder. Okay, so within photo library have got image files and light room catalogue. Maybe it'll show up later. Is I cycle through this so again, I've got both critical components in that one folder. Now the shoot folders I've got a date and then a description. That part is not so. That's just a choice, right? I don't particularly care that I shot downtown Seattle on March 13th but having the date first sorts them chronologically in my folders panel in light room. That could be very convenient if you'd prefer them to sort alphabetically. You could put the date on the end, so the description, you know, with sort chronologically or you could always leave the date off entirely. But I, like shoot folders within year folders with an image files within photo library. The next thing I want to talk about is internal or external hard drive, which is better. Okay, First, they both worked fine. If you have everything on an internal hard drive, most internal hard drives will read and write faster. So if you're really sensitive to small lags in time, you're gonna find that things work faster on an internal hard drive over most external hard drives. Now an advantage of an external hard drive is number one. Your photo libraries completely self contained, right? It's not messed up with other big step with other documents and other things. Another advantage is that if you regularly work on multiple computers, so you know a desktop downstairs, a laptop upstairs, and you want to be able to be up and running with your photo library on either computer at any time. If you put both the catalogue and the image files on an external hard drive, you can just plug that into whichever computer you want to work on. Go into a light room and go file open catalogue toe. Open that catalogue and and you'll be up and running right away. Light room has everything it needs on that external drive. Now that's different from the vacation scenario, where you usually work on one computer, but occasionally you want toe. Take your laptop with you and have a few photos. That's a different scenario that I not gonna get into right now, But if you regularly work on multiple computers, it's another another advantage. Now some of you may just want to stay with the defaults like you know, you don't want to get into moving things around and getting external hard drive. You just want to stick with the default right now, So let me show you what the default is. What light room assumes you want to dio so by to fall light rooms. Works with your pictures folder on your internal hard drive lives within your your name folder within your users holder. So light room works with pictures and it will store your photos in there and it will store your catalog. So if you had light room three and you opened it up and started working, it didn't even ask you where the catalogue was going to go. It just created it in the pictures folder. So for most of us, that's where it is by default. Now, light room does not create this Image files folder. It just has pictures. And then you probably just have sub folders of photos within pictures. I do recommend that you create this Image files folder, put your photos in it to keep it separate from this light room catalogue folder. Okay. Now, with the default light room calls the catalogue light room. Okay, It's That's not cold. Light room catalogue would be nice if it was called light from catalog. But just know that light room is your catalog. Generally you're gonna leave it alone. You don't want to put photos in your catalog. The photos belong in the stacks, right? They belong in the image in the image files folder. Okay, Now, um, other other scenarios that I've heard other solutions are to have different categories of photos in different folders. If you do that, I would just keep it simple. For example, you don't want to get into scenarios where you've got landscapes and you've got people. But then what if there's a person in the landscape, you know, where does the photo go? So you need to think through those scenarios and make a decision because you don't want to create multiple copies of your photos to fit into those kind of categories. That's where keywords can come in. Come in a little bit better. All right, one more, one more slide here, and then I will take a few questions. Now, if you have light room for and you're just starting fresh, opened it up in its blank, it's actually gonna tell you where it's gonna put the catalogue, and it's going to give you the option to put it somewhere else. So a little bit of a changing, like for those of you that already had a catalogue. You'll never see this dialogue. Now you may run out of space on your primary drive, right? Our internal hard drives are on Lee, so large. So you have two choices. Go buy a bigger, hard drive. Keep everything on its everything self contained, one hard drive. The other choice is to have your catalog and some of your photos on one drive and then other photos on another hard drive. So in this scenario here, I've got the internal hard drive. For example, I've got photo library with my most recent years of photos and my catalogue and then on the external hard drive. I've got the older photos. Okay, the 2006 through 2008 photos. So I split the photos amongst too hard drops. But notice that I only have one catalogue that manages those just like in the library of 10 stories of books. But one catalogue that keeps track of those and you'll see when we get into light room. That light room will show you those multiple hard drives, and it won't have any problem managing that process. A few questions does like room. Make it easy. Let's say you start, you know, with all on one drive and you're going you're doing for a couple years. Then all of a sudden, Okay, I'm running out room. You go by the external drive and you say, Okay, I'm gonna take starting with through 2011. I wanna push them off. But I've spent the past, you know, a couple of years creating those on the drive. His light roommate that an easy process to actually. You know, just click a couple buttons something and have it move all of the files onto a new drive and then tweak all of the pointers. You know, they had a lot of locations in order. So it knows where they are now. Yeah, all you're gonna have to do is click and drag him. You're gonna see later this morning or this afternoon that from within light room you'll just move them to the other hard drive, and that's it. Light room will be happy. You'll be happy. So yeah, definitely. So just a question from, um to do it when you said from guest 117 I know eso is light room folder. The one that you can name a different name. When you were saying the catalogue itself is defaulted as, Yeah, Let me go back to the default solution here. So let's see. Where is it? Sorry, it's Ah. Keep maybe, maybe a keynote skill gap here. Okay, So the default solution Your light room folder at the bottom of the screen that just says light room. That is your That's your catalog. You could rename that. Okay, you can go out into finder and you can rename that file. The thing you have to remember is that when you open up light room, it's still gonna be looking for the old one, the one called light room. So when you open up light room, go up to file open catalogue and and you'll choose that light room light room, let me just show you here. So when I go up to file open catalogue and I'll just go ahead and find my catalogue here. And so my users folder it's in my instructor folder. It's in my pictures folder. But let's say that I had renamed this light room catalog, but light room doesn't know about it yet, So what I'll do is I'll go into the one named light room catalog or, in other words, this renamed one, and I'll double click on this Eller cat file Tow launch light room with the catalogue in the renamed folder. I'm just saying, Hey, light room. This is where my catalogue is. Now, remember this from now on on the other questions we have. Ah, we do have a question from Steve for liberation in the folder hierarchy. Would you have to separate folders for a single date? If you've done to photo shoots on the same day, where would you keep all those images in the same folder? You know, I personally would split them out if they were to completely separate photo shoots. If there were two different locations as I'm wandering downtown, I wouldn't bother. But yeah, I would probably split them out. And when we get into the import, I'll show you how you can, How you can do that. Thank you, Laura, for backing up photographs say you have you know, everything's on an external drive and you want to back that up. Obviously, you know more often than not, but do you just need to take the catalog file and copy that somewhere else. Or do you have to go, like, copy hundreds of thousands of images you know every week? Or like however often you're backing backing? That's gonna be my next topic. So that's great. Yeah, absolutely, absolutely critical. Yeah, it's something not well understood, Laura. Any thoughts on Ah lot of the new computers, which have dual says dual hard drives like my new I Mac as an SSD boot drive? That's because these new SSD drives are so expensive they're really small, relatively speaking. 120 or 200 some odd gigabytes. But then they have, like a terabyte or two heart external on external Sorry, internal, but a traditional, much larger hard drive. Is that any different than those generally going to read? Write faster than an external hard drive? So you know, if you can fit more internal hard drives in than that, I think that's a great solution, and it will work the same. Okay, yes. Is there a particular method for combining separate catalogues into one? Or do you just have to import the photos? If what you would do is in the one you want to keep you would go up to file import from another catalogue and tell light from about the second catalogue, and it will bring in all of that information.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Lightroom Day 1 Slides.pdf

bonus material with enrollment


Ratings and Reviews

Miguel Lecuyer

Great workshop! New to Lightroom and found it very helpful. Saved me a couple hundred dollars and time by not taking an evening LR class. Creative Live workshops match my learning style perfectly. Laura is awesome! My only complaint is maybe Laura can use a PC next time which is what she seems more comfortable using. Her shortcut mix-ups on a Mac were making me a bit dizzy :)

a Creativelive Student

I cannot express enough how impressed I was with Laura and this class. I learned more in the 3 days of this workshop than I did in all 6 weeks of a class I took online that cost three times as much. I left not only impressed by the class but MOST importantly - refreshed and energized to put my new knowledge to use! Thank you for that!!!

a Creativelive Student

Excellent workshop bar none. I learned more about Lightroom than I did from any other tutorial/workshp that I previously encountered. Thanks Laura!

Student Work