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Lightroom Classic: Essential Training

Lesson 11 of 33

Library Module: Organizing Your Images

Mark Wallace

Lightroom Classic: Essential Training

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

11. Library Module: Organizing Your Images
The key to finding images in a large catalog is to organize them. Mark describes ways you can add information to images that will make it easy to find and work with them for years to come.

Lesson Info

Library Module: Organizing Your Images

I have completed importing. We have 3200 images now in Light Room. Classic. And so now we have the time and the ability to go in and start organizing this stuff. And so what we're going to do here is take a look at how we can do some keyboarding and stacking and all kinds of stuff that we didn't do on imports. So just as a reminder, light Room automatically organizes your image according to the X. F. Data, whether you like it or not, and we can use this information to organize and find images. So back here on the Light Room catalog, you can see on the left hand side. It doesn't really help us understand anything. We just have a bunch of dates over here. Because what I had Light Room do if I go back to my hard drive is this is what the photos folder looks like. I have these different countries. And so you can see it came in and organize them by date. But because these only show the most, the lowest most holder, it doesn't really help us out. We don't know What this 2015 is unless I go h...

ere and I say the path from the volume and then you get too much information. So I'm like, okay, that's chilly. So even though we had those naming options, this doesn't really help us out a lot. Now. I also imported and I just didn't use the date structure. I said just import by folder name. And so this is a little bit clearer. But still when we look at all of these photos, if we just look at the hard drive structure, we're in that same situation that we were in before where it's just really confusing. So luckily, light room organizes stuff for us in a really efficient way. So as a refresher, we went in and we saw that we have metadata. So I'm looking at in my catalog all photographs. So we can see all photographs have been selected, not just the previous import. And you can see this number here. That shows us how many images are in all photographs. And then how many images I previously imported, which was a lot. 1480. So we can go up to the metadata at the very top of the library module. And now you can see what a real world catalog would look like and so we can change these. So right now this is set to look at cameras. I can select this. Buy pretty much anything I want focal length shutter, speed, map, data, location, city, copyright status, anything that I want. So if I said I'm gonna leave it at camera, I want to see everything I ever shot with my like M240. It doesn't matter what year what country whatever this is. Just showing me everything that I shot with my lika. And if I said you know, I knew I had an image that I shot with my LICA. And I shot it with a 35 millimeter. Show me all those images and here they are. Here are all these things. And if I thought you know what I know I shot that in 2015. This also narrows that down so I can go through and you can explore this stuff. But these are ants. So it's if I select a date, it's sort by date and the camera that I've selected and the lens and the label or whatever else that I select here. So these are not yours, these are ants. So it's this and this and this. The other thing that we can do up here is we can select by attribute. So anything in the catalog that's been flagged, we're gonna talk about that in the next session or we can even go in and sort by text. So what I want to do is I want to go and start doing some some extra metadata. So instead of just relying on the automatic metadata, let's add some things and organize this in a little bit more effective way. And so we can look here. Um we have key wording that we're going to do in addition to the stuff that we did on import. We're going to add some captions. We're gonna do some stacking. I'm gonna show you how to use the painter tool. And then we're gonna introduce collections. We're gonna get to those a lot more in depth a little bit later on. So what we want to do here is I'm going to go and organize all these images that I shot of this model. Her name is Casey. And so to find her, I can just type in Casey because I added the Casey keyword when I imported and here are all of her images. So this is all of those images or if I don't want to use this, I can go over here to the left hand side and I can look at all of my folders and let me put this back to just fold her name and down here under random folders. I have a folder called Casey shallow depth of field. Either way you can slice it up any way you want. But what I want to do is I want to work with all of these images. So we have 142 images here. Now the first thing I want to do to these images is something called stacking stacking is wonderful. What it does is that groups photos and any way you want but you can put them in stacks. So what I want to do because I want to organize these photos in this photo shoot by the outfit that they were, you know, the different outfits that we shot. And so if we look back here in light room, what I could do is I could select, I know this right here is the first outfit and I could put these together in a stack which is sort of a group. I can go and manually select or I can do something else. I can do it automatically. So I'm going to select all the images. So I just hit um control a our command a for all. So I have selected all of the images in this folder, in this case the shallow depth of field folder. Now what I'm gonna do is I'm going to right click and I'm going to go down to stacking. And what I want to do is I want to auto stack by capture time, stick with me here. This is really cool. If I click on that, It's going to ask me, how much time do you want between stacks? two minutes, 25 minutes, 20 seconds. I'll explain what this means. I'm gonna cancel this and show you something that really makes sense. So you can see that we shot a bunch of similar images here and you can look at the time. So this is 12 13, 12 12. So these are all shot within a few seconds of each other, maybe a minute. But then down here um we did this a couple of minutes later, so we change something. So this is 11 58. This is 12, 13. So there's a couple of minutes between these. I mean this is 1 11, sorry, This is 1213. This is 1 11. So there's a bunch of minutes between these two photos who changed outfits, we've changed lighting setups. So this is clearly the start of a new set and the end of another set. And we know that if we didn't have eyeballs, we would know that by how much time has passed between these two so we can use that information to group things. So I will right click and then I'm going to say stacking auto stack by capture time and let's put two minutes between our stacks and say stack and now boom you will see that. Now it looks like we don't have as many photos but we do have the same amount of photos. If you'll notice here is a resume in here. This section right here. So right here, that's a stack. There's four images in this stack and then this right here is a stack. There are 24 images in this step. And notice we have these little handles on the left and right and on the left and the right. We have stacks. So what has happened is we have those images um where they were just all out. So in your mind, think of having a bunch of images, uh photos on a table and you're like these all are similar and you just put them all together and you stack them up and you set them in a pile. Like these are all similar and you grab those and you put them all in a pile. So you have little stacks, little piles of images. That's what we're talking about here in light room. Classic. And so if I go to this image and I click on one of those handles, look it expands and we can see all of the images in that stack and then notice the next stack is just behind the scenes stuff. And then the next stack starts with her being a vertical shots. It looks like we ever yawning there, but we can sort of organize these by stacks. Um and so that's how you do it automatically. So let me go and do a different portfolio. So here is one of a model that I shot At a studio called Left 19. So I could also select this first image. So this image right here. Then I'm gonna go to the last image in this set and I will hit shift and click. So I have selected all those and I can right click. And then what I can do here, I've right clicked on the wrong thing. There you stop. Okay, I can go right click and then I can say group into stack and then I have manually stacked that set and I can go in here and say, oh this is all of Jillian on the stairs, click right click. Go down to stacking group into stat. And so we have two stacks now and you can see how this helps you organize all the stuff. I will right click Hit stacking group in the stack. So now I have three stacks. 15 images, 14 images, 21 images. If I right click, I can say stacking and then I can say expand all stacks and everything expands. Right back to where it was. You can right click, go to stacking, collapse all stacks and then don't those all shrink down and then I can start organizing. Here's another stack that looks pretty good. And so it's just a much easier way to sort of see what's going on there. All right. So stacks are great. Some people love them. Some people never use them. It's up to you to use them if you want or not. Let's talk about key wording and doing some things that um is in addition to what you would do on imports. So remember when you import and you add keywords, adds those keywords to everything. So let's go back here to this model shoot of Gillian here. So um in the keywords, I might have gone in and added her name. So her name is Jillian and that would have been applied to everything in this. So I would have to select everything. So I'm going to do that. Um yeah I'll just select a bunch of these and say add Gillian to that. Now we have Gillian, all of those images but on this image it's red and on this image it's blue. So I didn't want to add colors color information when I imported that information because I didn't want to have read on every image during the import because only some of the images are red. So what I can do is I can now go in here and on this first one here I'm going to add a key word and you can add keywords either in the big window or the small one. Something into red enter. So it's there and okay, that's great. So what if I want to apply that keyword to all of these red images? I can do that in one of two ways. The first way I can do it is I can just select all of these images and notice here we have red and then there's an asterisk. What that means is that all of these images that I selected? Red is a keyword that is applied to one or more photos but not all of them. And this will even tell me that it's two images have read that are mean to two key words that are total. But some of these have red and some of them don't. So what I can do is I can either select all of them like like this hit shift, get all of these that I want read selected to and then I just type down here read, enter, enter and that's going to apply, read to all of those. Now they asked us, goes away, there's another way I can do that. And so the way I can do that is I can use the paintbrush tool. So here's how the paintbrush tool works. Um It's in the toolbar so it's you. The paintbrush is something that you can use to paint keywords and other metadata onto images. And so I can either dab those on or I can say just painted on all of these. So that's great if you have some images that may be every other one or every third one has something that you like, that one and that one and that one and that one you can really go in and quickly use it. So let me show you how this works. So the first thing I need to do is I need to turn on the toolbar. Gonna do that by hitting t to make sure my toolbar is there. So here is my toolbar. All right, so up here we have these are all red images. Um and down here in this stack I have not applied the keyboard so I can go down here there's a little paintbrush, little spray bottle so it's like spraying graffiti or something on there. I click that it's going to say, what do you want to paint onto the image? So you can paint keywords and labels and flags and ratings and metadata and settings and rotation and all kinds of stuff. So you can quickly add stuff to your images. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna paint some keywords on. So what I'm gonna say is I want to paint sad so and some of these images, not all of them Gillian looks sad. Okay, so I want to paint sad On this. That's what I've said. S 80 sat. Okay, so now I can go in here and I can say she looks sad on this and I'm just going to click. So I have painted that on that one on this one. She looks sad and on this one she looks sad and she probably would not like it, but I'm saying she said but you get the idea, I can say I want to paint the keyword red, it's all type red in there and instead of just so this is hard to show you on the screen. So let me illustrate this instead of just dabbing, I'm going to push my mouse button and then I'm gonna spray this all over these images. I'm gonna add the red key bag keyword by painting it on. So here we go. So we have a bunch of images. So I'm painting across all of these. I'm just adding red. So these will have the red key word. Okay, so then I'm going to go down here and notice that my icon is a little paintbrush and this is an empty circle. I need to put this away by clicking there now, it's now it's back alec. What happens if I go in here and look at the keywords? This one has read, this one has read that's got red, that's got red and sad, this has got red, that's got red, that's got red and sad and so I can very quickly add keyword data using the painter and it's really cool. I can also with the painter let's see, I can do settings and so I'm going to do a setting of and we haven't gotten the presets yet but we will get there. I have a preset called crushed black and white, which is a really high contrast and watch what happens when I go up here and I'm going to paint that onto this and I'm gonna paint it onto that, I'm gonna paint it onto this and notice everything I touch turns into a high contrast black and white image. I can go and paint across all of these and glam they're all converted to a black and white high contrast image. I can also paint across these and I can go back to, oh let's say a natural color, I do that. So you can really quickly automate developing stuff. It's it's a sort of insane. So that's the paint tool, you can use it for adding keywords, you can use it for changing, develop presets. And so you go from what we have here to what we have here in literally a click of a button truly great. Let's talk about keyword sets. So on the right hand side, way over here we have our key words. Once we have a couple of different things going on here, we have our keywords, we have keyword suggestions. Then we have keywords sets. So the way that keyword suggestions work is as you're entering keywords and zipping along through your catalogs, the catalogue is going to start keeping track of what you type in. So I just typed in Sad a few times and so it's like he's probably gonna want to have Sad applied several more times. So if I click on this right here, um notice there's still Sad. I can just click on Sad and it adds it. And so Gillian is another one. I'm gonna click on that and model is one I can click on that and so you can have these suggestions and you just click on them and having instead of having to type them in, she's tall. Yes, I'll click on that. So I just clicked and added Gillian model, sad and tall, which all apply to this image and I didn't have to type any of that. They were just suggested to me by uh light room classic and lightning Classic would sort of learn from you like google does, it's sort of scary. The other thing that we can use our keyword sets. And so if you have um some key words that you use frequently for specific things, maybe you're a wedding photographer and you're constantly marking different images as bridal portrait, uh, groom shot, best man, bridesmaid, ring, bear, whatever. And you, instead of having to type those over and over, you can just make a set and then you can select the images you want. And just click really fast. Maybe you have outdoor photography, you can create a set for that golden hour or sunset or mountain Beach, et cetera. And you can create these really fast set. So let me show you how to do that. So, over here, on the right hand side, we have our outdoor photography set. We have a Machu pichu set, portfolio set, wedding photography set, sort of what I showed you before. And so let's go over here. And what we'll do here is we're gonna create our own set for this photo shoot. And so the way to do that is we can edit the set. So what I did is I went right down here to this little drop down, click on that and then click edit set. All right now, this shows you a little box that is going to mimic how this shows up. So the preset I want is not going to be any of these. So we're just going to type a bunch of stuff in and name this a new preset. So this is our Gillian set. So Gillian is one of those that I want to put in there. Uh Sad is one of them. We're gonna put blue as one of them. We're gonna add red. Is one of them dress is one of them. Well, let's say Anwar is one of them. We have some contrast the stuff. Let's say we have um blonde because she's a blonde model. We need model because that's what she is. And then we can say maybe glamour. Okay, so here's our set that we will probably apply these keywords a lot. And then what I can do is either I can click change so right here, I can say change that will change the wedding photography set. Or I can click on this little drop down right here and I'm going to save these as a new preset. Yet another preset and we're gonna call these Gillian keywords and I will create that. Okay. And then change what that does is it changes the keywords set over here. So now we have my Machu Picchu stuff. I've got my outdoor photography stuff. I have my Gillian keywords. Now when I go in here there's a jillion image and I want a keyword that Well that's very nor it's blue. It's sad. It's Gillian Gillian is already there. Now notice that if I click on a keyword that's already in the keyword list, if I click it, it removes it. If I click it again, it adds it add blond. We can add model. We can address, et cetera. And so you can do that either to one image or you can select a bunch of images and so for this we have a dress and blue and you are and glamour and model and you can see how you can start to quickly add things. So you can make so many keyword sets as you want. It's really, really easy to do. Okay, so let's keep going. The other thing we want to do is let's talk about adding captions. Now, the important thing about captions and titles on your images is remember the Library model module module. The library module prepares your images for the other modules. And so it's preparing your images to be sorted and filtered. But it's also preparing your images to show up in books and online and things like that. You can automatically take the metadata from your images and have it show up in some of those other modules. So specifically captions and titles. You can write a caption about a model or a image location, something like that. And then when you go and put that into the book module or the slideshow module, you can automatically extract that text and have it show up as part of your presentation. We're going to do that when we get to those other modules. So I first need to show you how to get that information into the metadata and where that all shows up. So what we're going to do here is over on the right hand side of our library module, we are going to close the key wording and we're going to open metadata now, the metadata area over here on the right hand side has many different areas so you can show everything everything, all the metadata or only specific areas. And so what we want to do is first, let's go to large caption and I think for this um yeah, just like large caption and let's caption this image right here. So this is Gillian looking down. So I will say a uh girl is looking sad while sitting on a chair but this sounds really bad. Um uh she is sitting on a black sofa, I am not a writer. Um she draws comfort from her bare feet knowing that hey, fire is almost ready in the fireplace. Okay, who knew that, would write that. All right, so that is a long caption. Right, so girls looking sad while sitting in whatever you get the idea. Normally you would write something that's a little bit better than that. But there it is. And so we have that. Now any time we take this image and we throw it into an area that uses captions like the book module, the slideshow module um or exporting it to other adobe creative cloud applications like in design or spark or other things that data will come along with this image. And so you don't have to type it in uh, on top of that, you can certainly do it one time if you're an event or a news photographer, you know that pC data is what you used to send your images to your agency and when they print them in the newspaper, all those captions and everything come from that metadata. So this is all embedded when you export your image. It's really cool. So this data travels to other places. Now let's other, let's do one other thing here. I'm going to go in here too quick describe and you can see that there's that caption and I'm going to add a title to this. I want to add a title to this. So I'm going to add the title Gillian sitting in a chair. There we go. And I'm going to say Jillian is looking sad Alright, there we go. So now we have all that information in there and um just to make sure we don't lose this, I'm going to click this flag, which I'll tell you what that is in the next section. So we don't lose this. So we have added a bunch of data to this picture and that is really going to be great. All right. So in the future I'm gonna show you how we use these titles and captions and all of that stuff and you will go, ah that's how it works. There's one other thing I need to show you and that's down here on the left hand side. These are collections. Now collections are little containers that you can use to sort of collect similar images and you can make as many collections as you want. And so that is one of the very best ways for organizing all of your images. In fact, it's so amazing that we're gonna dedicate a complete session to just nothing but collections and collection sets and how that sinks things. So I'm getting ahead of myself. But I want to mention that there's one big huge part of organizing images that we haven't gotten to yet, because we need to sort of learn a few more things before we're ready for that. So speaking of learning a few more things, the next thing we need to do is we need to learn how to pick the winners, which one of these things are the best of the best and then they're ready for editing. So let's take a look at picking winners next

Class Description


  • Understand how Lightroom keeps things organized – the catalog system.
  • Use The Library module: importing, keywording, metadata, organizing, and more.
  • Use the Develop module: Make global and local adjustments, use the tools, use and create presets.
  • Understand the Map module: Organize your photos geographically and use privacy settings.
  • Use the Book module: Create a book from scratch.
  • Use the Slideshow module: Create a slideshow, create presets, learn strategies for increasing your income using the slideshow module.
  • Use the Print module: Create prints, create proof sheets for clients, and learn other hidden features.
  • Use the Web module: Create galleries for online viewing.

In addition to the modules Mark will be covering:

  • Custom Presets for automating your workflow.
  • Watermarking your images.
  • Using Publish Services.
  • Integration with Photoshop, Lightroom, and Creative Cloud.


This class is a step-by-step walkthrough of Lightroom Classic, perfect for the beginner as well as those who have worked with Lightroom Classic previously. This class is everything you ever wanted to know about Lightroom Classic but were afraid to ask.

This class will give you an overview of Lightroom Classic and show you how to maximize its potential by creating a workflow for importing, keywording, adjusting, and exporting your images.


  • Beginner and Intermediate photographers.
  • Professional Photographers looking to streamline their workflow.


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This is an excellent class to learn about Lightroom Classic. Since it's not the same as Photoshop, I found Lightroom Classic to be confusing and difficult to intuitively figure out. Mark Wallace is an expert and exceptional teacher for the program and I learned so much today in this free class presentation that I am planning to purchase the program so I can continue to have a solid understanding of Lightroom Classic basics. Thanks, Mark, for inspiring me to get back into computer photo editing with LR Classic!