Organizing a Collection from Different Folders
I'm gonna start with a card. It's gonna take my card and I'm gonna import my card because this is the (knocking) knock at the door. I gotta do before that, I gotta geek out for just a couple seconds. Notice inside of here I have my Lightroom catalog. Now this is a lot of do as I say, not as I do. I tell everybody, "Always have one catalog, "always put everything inside of one notebook." Never put multiple notebooks out. If you're a photographer and you turn around and you go, "Well I want my portrait photography to be in one catalog "but I want my wedding photography "to be in another catalog," then what happens when somebody goes, "Do you have a picture of a child with a red hat?" And you're like hmm, it's like going into the house, and somebody telling you, "I'm looking for this one specific picture," you would have to remember that you have a specific amount of notebooks to remember that you have to find the right notebook to go do something. Or you could just have one notebook. So ...
in that, my notebook right now has zero pictures. If I were to show you my real notebook, I'm just gonna geek out for a second, and this like when I go off the reservation and all of a sudden and I'm like, this better work! This notebook has 309,934 pictures. Out of that maybe 34 pictures are good. (audience laughs) It's just I have no misgivings about what kind of photographer I am. I'm a hoarder. I will tell you this, now I'm consuming a little bit more space on my computer than I need 'cause I have a couple video projects that I'm working on, but I will show you this. I have 287 gigs available. So how do I have 287 gigs available, yet still have over 300,000 images in my Lightroom catalog? Pasta sauce. We gotta talk about that, there's a workflow because it's gonna require you have a philosophical conversation about how you work with your images. So that's kind of the tease, that makes people sit in the chat and go, "I can't wait to see what happens here!" So I'm gonna go over here, and I'm gonna go to my catalog and collection size. Skip this and once this comes back up, I'll import this. So now, what I'm gonna do is I'm just going to insert my card and as soon as I insert my card, I'll bring up a whole bunch of pictures, I went out and I did some panoramics at Kerry park, which is kinda cool, kinda cold, I was pretty excited about it though, it was kinda neat. So I wanna import theses pictures, you'll see that on this side, there's a from and then there's copy, copies of DNG or and a two, so all an average. What I look to do is I like to copy as DNG, and I like to copy to a specific location. More often than not what I do is I copy everything to the desktop. Now, I have like a bigger class that I do and they have classes here at CreativeLive that talk to you about most of this workflow stuff. What I will tell you right off the bat, this is pasta sauce, I put stuff here it has a lot more to do for Franklin Covey than it does with Lightroom stuff, so I put stuff right on the desktop and I give it a specific name. I'm just gonna call this Seattle skyline. There's actually more that I do for this, we can talk about this for hours, but for all intents and purposes, I do want to show this first part. I'll copy, or copy as DNG. And then for purposes now I'll just select copy but you can do copy as DNG, and do you guys know the difference between the two? Because I'm like copies DNG people are like I have no idea. Alright, using up all the time here. What's your name?
Barbara, hi Barbara, you're gonna be my aid, you don't have to move anywhere, it's totally fine you can just kinda hang out. Just, I need your brain, alright, think with me if you will. You can grab a mic. So these are two pictures alright, So your camera is taking two pictures, don't worry so much about what these pictures are like. So imagine if I package a picture, but don't worry about the fact that it's crumbled, it's just packaged. If I gave this to you and I told you to put it inside of a shopping bag, how many of these do you think you could put inside of a shopping bag? No bad guess.
2,000, Okay so here grab that, keep that, alright? Good catch! Now, oh actually I need it back. It worked! Alright, so now, imagine I have this right, 2,000. I take the same information. And what I do I just grab that. And I repackage that information differently. Doesn't matter it's just a different algorithm when we do compression and things like that, it's just math formulas that just repackage things a little bit more efficiently, intelligently. How many of these do you think you could put?
On average, conversions between RAW images and DNG images can give you about a 30% increase in speed on an open format. So with the increase in cost of drives I pick the smaller option, there's a ton of other things that you can do, you can read tons of white papers on it but just right off the bat, these things help. So that's why I do that kind of stuff, I didn't want to just kind of leave it out there. From here I'll go ahead and I'm just gonna select a bunch of images. I'm gonna uncheck this here and I'll select the first, those right here. Just to kind of keep it simple, and we'll import these. While we're importing, so we'll, if you guys have a question shout it out, if there's something in the chat room, shout it out, yes, we have a question here in the front.
I have a question about DNG, and in terms of nondestructive development, are there any drawbacks to having a file as a DNG versus a native profile?
People will generally argue, like nitpick the entire process between the two, I would argue it'd be my opinion that a lot of the times, what you see as a loss would be negligible. I mean if you really wanted to like measure bait it, it's one of those things that you could like nitpick it at 4,000%, but I would argue, for the purposes of everybody else, like general usage you're not gonna see that much of a difference. Your miles may vary. You guys, pulling pictures and you start editing pictures and all of a sudden you go, "I need to be able to find this shoot that I did, "took me 10 hours to be able to process. "I don't know how to process. "All this stuff takes forever." Do you know why it takes forever? Because a lot of the times people do the eye glass test on their pictures. They turn around and the double click on one and they go, "Is it A or B? "A or B? "I don't know, A or B?" And you do that for hours on individual pictures and then you wonder why it takes you 10 hours to go through a shoot. Everybody does it. A long, long, long long time ago, I used to be a teacher. I was an English teacher. And so I'm always looking at everything from teaching strategies and testing strategies. I tell people to kind of think of it as almost kind of like a multiple choice test. And this is something that I tend to call iterative culling. Culling is the process of getting rid of garbage and keeping what you want. If you were taking a multiple choice test, and you looked at the question and you said, "Is this a good answer or a bad answer?" A, B, C, and D. If you know the answer, what do you do? You pick it, right, you answer it. If you don't know the answer, what are you supposed to do?
Best guess? Wrong! (audience laughs) No well, normally you could, you could, but I'll give you a better strategy. Skip it. Two reasons. Number one, if you can get enough pictures, or if you can get enough answers right, you can pass the test without worrying about the ones you messed up. For one. And for two, almost every test that you take is usually not sanitized. But imagine Harry Potter. So we turn around and we go Harry Potter, the girl that used to hang out with Harry Potter, her name was A, Fiona, B, Julie, 3, Hermione, 4, Agnes. If you've never heard of Harry Potter you're like, I have no idea, but 35 questions later, you'll see something like, Harry was hanging out with his friend Hermione, and she was doing this and you're like, who's Hermione? And you gotta go back, and answer the question. All of that stuff applies to photography. So what'll happen is I tell people XP left arrow, right arrow. You hit the Shift + Tab key to get rid of the entire interface that you see there, you double click on a picture, once you have the picture set, you hit the letter L to turn the lights off. Twice turns them completely off. Now you have one job. One job is X, P, L, left arrow, right arrow. X if it's rejected. P if it is picked, left arrow, right arrow, if you want to skip it. Good? So you know which ones are right. The ones that you think are kind of okay, you know which ones are bad, the out of focus picture of your foot because the trigger hit you in the butt. The one that you shot inside the trunk. You know that they're garbage, so why keep it? So in this case I'm gonna go to this one. You have to think about it for a half a second. If you have to think about it for more than a second, skip it. So here this is how fast I'll usually do it. X, P, X, X, X, actually I don't even use that, and that's where I was talking about the palette control. Like I'll use a controller. I try to stay away from this kind of stuff because what'll happen is I turn everything off, because what happens is you look at it and you go, "Oh but if I just added a, if I just added a, "and if I just added a," and if you do that for like 5 minutes and you look at the next picture and you're like, "But this is the better picture." (sighs) (audience laughs) So resist the urge. Shift + Tab gets rid of the urge. It's like putting on a cone and you can't really look at anything and you turn the lights off, you can't do anything. So I started using these palette controls, as a new, whole bunch of different things. But I have one assigned so that one picks, one rejects, and then one cycles. And literally I don't touch it, I just go huh, pick, pick, rejected, rejected, rejected, rejected, that sucks. I don't know, I have think about it for a half a second. Skip. Think about it again, skip. Eh, no, yeah that's rejected. That's good one, that's rejected, eh, skip. Yeah I think I'll use that one. Just go right through it, right through it, get rid of the garbage, get rid of the garbage. Now, Shift + Tab bring it back up, you have pictures that have been un-flagged, you have pictures that have been flagged as rejected and you have pictures that are kept. If you're a photographer, now you can come back and go, alright well lets go over to the attribute tab and in the attribute tab you can filter by pick, rejected, or unselected. If I shop for a client and a client told me, "I want five awesome pictures, "and these are the ones that I want." Select all, right-click, export, next job. I don't have the time for this. Alright you gotta keep shooting, you gotta keep shooting. So if you already have your goal then why, if you already pass the test, why worry about everything else? Right, if you didn't pass the test, then deselect and then filter by unflagged. The beautiful part about doing this is that you've gotten rid of all of the garbage that you want. But also you have context when you look at this picture and you go do I like it or do I not like it, you know that you've passed pictures that you may have liked more or not liked as much, so the process of adding these pictures is much faster because you have that, yeah you know what? I gotta better one, don't worry about it, there's a rejected, I didn't get as good as this, gonna pick that, reject, back to nothing. Once you're done, Shift + Tab, go back to your grid, and now you can get rid of the attribute, go back to none and you've sorted all of these pictures, I didn't wanna just necessarily want to leave you with the concept of collections without talking about culling because it's extremely powerful, very important for you guys to be able to do, it just requires discipline. The cone, you gotta put the cone on in order to be able to do that. Are you guys okay with that so far? Yes sir.
So I see you got some special buttons there, could you tell us a little about those or how they're hooked up?
Yeah and that's, that's what I was talking about. There's a company called palagear.com, and you guys can take a look on that side, but it's basically an analog control system that you can use for that. Like these are arcade buttons that you can use to select, and what you can do is you can go into the interface and you say it, please make this one a pick, please make this one a reject, please make this one a spin-dial and you can take it further like you can grab one of these things and go, all right, well, I want this so that when I adjust it, inside of here I can make temperature changes, I can make tint changes, I can then adjust exposure, I can grab this dial and adjust contrast, I need a little bit of clarity in a picture so it's a quick way for you to be able to get into, it's not required. But it's definitely something like, if you're doing it a lot, I would tell you right off the bat just for the dial and the two buttons it's good for me because anything that lets me pick is great. Everything else is a nice to have but if you can get your hands off the computer to actually pick that's a good thing. Yes.
Is there a quicker way to organize these before you even import them? Is there a way that before you click import all your images and wait for every single image to get in there, a way to cull them before that process?
Not necessarily, I mean what you could do is you could un-check and then you could go through the check process as well but I think that it'll be six to one, half a dozen of the other. You're probably better off. And there'll be some instances like if you do a job for a client, a client might tell you don't delete, you want to be able to keep all that stuff, so you might want that entire process to come into your folder structure when you start.