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Organizing Projects with Collections

Lesson 4 from: Organizing Your Images in Lightroom Classic

Ben Willmore

Organizing Projects with Collections

Lesson 4 from: Organizing Your Images in Lightroom Classic

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

4. Organizing Projects with Collections

Just like playlists help you organize your music, collections do the same in Lightroom Classic. But we’ll go beyond the basics so you can see how they can change the way you approach printing, slideshows and more.

Lesson Info

Organizing Projects with Collections

now let's take a look at how we can use collections in lightroom to further organize our images. Collections are like playlists in your music software. And that means that when you drag an image onto a collection, it doesn't physically move that file on your hard drive. It just remembers where it is stored and the same image can appear in more than one collection. Just like the same song can have more than one playlist that's assigned to. But collections are really how I organize most of my projects. So let's jump in and see what's involved first. Let's say I want to do a slide show and I've been to spain many times. So I'm gonna go to my folder list and right at the top of this area called filter folders. And I'm going to type in Spain And here I can see all the times I've been to Spain. It was in 2013, 16 and 18. And I know as far as how many images are done and ready to show the public. If I've gone up to my library menu and I have this turned off because my folder system should be ...

implemented here and if it is then here I know exactly the image is ready to show the public. Well I want to make a slide show out of them. So how am I going to do it? Well, I'm going to come in here and click on a particular folder. The base level images should be images that are done and ready to show the public. If I want to view the contents of more than one folder, I can hold down the shift key and click on another folder. In this case I got all the folders that are in between and I can hold down the command key as well. That's controlling windows to click on individual folders to add them one at a time. And I'm just gonna add those Now. I'm gonna skip Barcelona just because I don't know if I ever created an in progress folder there. I doubt I have 510 finished images. I'm somewhat doubtful of this one too. So I'm gonna just un select those two just in case I have yet to implement my in progress in out takes folders. Let's say these are all the images I want to organize. Well what I'd like to do now is create a collection. So down here is my collections list. I'll just hit this little plus sign and say create collection and I'm going to call it Spain slideshow and I'm not going to include the selected photos because I haven't looked at them yet. And so I don't know if I'd like to use them or not. Uh then there's a choice here called set as target collection And that's a special feature. I am going to turn on when I do then there'll be a very quick way I can add images to that collection. I'll hit create and down here in my collection list, it just expanded so you can see the collections I usually have. And right there is a new one called Spain slideshow notices. Low plus on the end. And that means it's the target collection. And right now there are zero images within it. So now I'm just going to cycle through these images and decide which ones I think should be in my slide show. I like this image. So I'm going to drag it down there to my slide show. I also like this one so we'll drag it down as well and I'll just progress through here a bit. Uh going down a little further. Uh Oftentimes I want to be viewing my images full screen. So I click on an image then I hit the space bar to make it large. Or I can hit the letter F. For full screen and I can cycle through these with the arrow keys. Well, let's say I wanted this image to be in that um collection. Well, how do I get it in the collection? Can I click on this and drag it over there? No. It thinks I want to zoom in on the picture of that. Well, you remember that little plus sign, that's what's known as a target collection. Watch what happens to this number right here when I typed the letter B. B. Is going to add it to whatever the target collection is. So right now I can use my arrow keys. And if I like that I'll just hit the letter B. It'll add it to that collection. I like that one as well. So I'll hit B. That was not so great. And let's see all I'm doing is cycling through these images. I have a series of images where I take pictures of my wife doing yoga. That's my wife, Karen and I'm going to see if any of those should be included. I like that one. So I'll hit B. And like that as well. And so I can quickly go through this whole series of images. Or I could instead type letter G. To go back to the grid and drag them over there individually. Now I turn this into what's known as a target collection at the time I created it. And that was when I hit this little plus sign next to the word collections. And I said create collection. That was one of the choices right here. Set his target collection. Only one collection can be set as the target. And if you want to set it after a collection has been created, just go to the collection right click on it and you're going to find a choice right here. Set this target collection and you'll find the little plus sign dips, moves to that particular collection. So now if you hit the letter B, you're either going to be adding to or taking away from that particular collection and I can go back to ours and say set as target collection. Now I can click on that particular collection and these images came from different folders scattered throughout my hard drives from multiple years worth of time. And now I'd like to organize them a little more. I want to change the order of the images. Well, all I need to do is drag and if I just click and drag here, I can decide exactly what order these are presented in. And so I could set this up for a nice little slide show. Now there is one default for your target collection. And that is up here. There's an area called catalog and in there is a special collection called a quick collection. And if I right click on it, I can set it as the target collection. And that is the default target collection. So if you've never defined a target, that's where things go. When you hit the letter B. The quick collection is just a temporary collection. It's where I go. If somebody gives me a request that I'm going to fulfill very quickly and then not think about again. And so let's say, my wife just ask, can you send me some pictures, possibilities for a christmas card. And I'm going to go through my Lightroom catalog file. I'll hit the letter B Whenever I see an image that I think might be appropriate, I'll export those images so I can deliver them to my wife. And then when I'm done, I come over here to my catalog list and if I right click on that quick collection, we first put an image into it. But if I right click on it, there's a choice to clear the quick collection. And therefore I could use that for just quick tasks that are kind of one off tasks where you don't want to save a collection for long term use, which is what your collection list is for. And once you're done, you right click and you clear the collection or if you get enough images into that collection and you decide it is something important you want to keep long term, you can right click and then it says save quick collection. And when you do that, you'll get a brand new collection within your collection list at the bottom left of your screen. And it will include all the images that were in that quick collection. But I'm going to clear mind for now. Now, once you have images stored in a collection now, you're kind of separated from where they're stored on your hard drive. So if I want to find out what folder is this in on a hard drive. Well, all you need to do is click on the image. And if I press the right mouse button, there's a choice here that says go to folder in library and if I choose that it should in my folder list, highlight the folder. That particular image is in and show me all the other images that were in that particular folder that was just right clicking. And there was the choice of go to folder in library. Then if you're viewing an image anywhere in a folder or a collection, you're going to find some little badges on top of your image. In one of those badges represents a collection and it's the one that looks like two rectangles that are overlapping. If you click on that particular icon, it's going to list all of the collections that this image resides within. And if I want to very quickly switch to them, I can select it and it will navigate to my folder list to that particular folder and I can see all the other images um that are in that collection, I should have said collection earlier. Uh So remember you're viewing a collection right click on an image. Go to folder in library. And if you see an image sitting in a folder or anywhere else with this little icon on top of it. Just click on it and you will find the names of all the collections that resides in. And then you can switch to that particular collections. You can quickly navigate around without having to completely rely on your folder in collections lists. And if you remember when I imported images, there was an option to put it into a collection. So maybe you have a collection just called vacation. And while you're out shooting on that vacation you could have it add things to your collection right as you important. But then there's some other special things. Let's take a look at our folder list in right down here said spain slideshow. Now what if I want all of these images to appear on my phone or my tablet? So I can have this slide show to show at any time? Well if you look at your collection list to the left of the name of any collection, you're going to find a little square. If you click on that square, you're gonna add a little kind of lightning bolt to it. And if you do that it means sink that particular collection with the creative cloud servers on adobes end. And that's going to make it. So they will appear on your phone, your tablet and you can also see them on the web. If you right click on the collection, you'll also find the choice of sync with Lightroom and that is the same thing as turning on that little lightning bolt icon when you have that lightning bolt icon turned on. Then in the upper right of your screen you will find a little cloud icon. And if you see two little curved arrows, it means it is actively sinking. If you click on it, it will tell you that it's sinking one photo left out of all of these. And if you are on an internet connection where you really don't want to use a lot of bandwidth, you could pause the sinking. Maybe you're on a cruise ship and the inter naturally slow so you can pause this to speed up your web browsing and other things. But this should finish in a moment when it's done sinking that last photograph. Then the icon in the upper right will eventually change to indicate it's no longer sinking instead it's done. Also if you look in my collection list, you'll find up here is a collection with that lightning bolt on it. And if you compare that lightning bolt to the one down here, you see three periods you might have sought a second ago. There were three periods next to this one and that means it was actively sinking. It's not done yet. Once the three periods disappeared, then it means it was done sinking that to the creative cloud servers. And now if you look in the upper right of my screen where that little cloud icon is, you see a checkbox meaning it's all up to date. So now I could grab my phone and I could view those images. Now if you create a lot of collections, you'll want to organize your collections. And if you look in my list, you're going to find that my organization goes rather deep because I teach a lot. And if I come in here and say let's say projects that are my archive. If I expand this, I can actually organize these things and go rather deep, let's see what creative live my past classes. And then I go through various levels and expand them out and keep going and going. You can do however much of this organization as you want. But the way you do it is you use something that's called a collection set. A collection set has an icon that's supposed to look like a shoebox. So to create a collection set, go up here to the word collections just to the right of it. You have that plus sign and say you would like to create a collection set, then I'm gonna just call this one. I'm using all caps. So I can easily find it. And if you wanted, you could put it within a collection set that already exists, that's what this would be for. And if I click here, you can see the full organization that I have in my collection list. But for now I'll put it on the base level, I'm gonna hit create and then I'm going to have a brand new one of those shoe boxes. If I come down here, you can see it down there, today's class and I can take our slideshow and just drag it right on top of that. I can put as many collections as I want inside of that collection set. A collection set cannot contain individual pictures. It can only contain collections and you can put a collection set inside of a collection set. And that's what I've done up here where I get deeper and deeper with my organization. The only problem with this is if you grab the edge of this window and pull on it, you can only get this to be so big, then I can see even way up here. It's starting to cut off the names of my collections and if I go much deeper in the organization, I can barely read what they are at all. Well you can actually get this to be wider than the supposed limit that you're running into. You do that by holding down the option key Alton Windows, then you can resize any of these side panels in lightroom to larger than their normal with and therefore I can see my full organization system. So it's up to you how you're going to end up putting these together. I just have portfolios and that I can do it by subject matter or by location. Uh and by location I might say within Portugal, I want to go even deeper or within spain to different locations. It's up to you as far as where exactly you need that kind of detail. And then remember if you see the little lightning bolt on the left, that means that that particular collection is sinking to the cloud and if you were to come to any one of these in right click on it. You're going to have a choice here first called sync with Lightroom. That's what turns on the lightning bolt. But if you've done that, then you'll also find another choice called Lightroom links. And this is where you could make this content public. Therefore anybody can view it and only after you turn that on, would you be able here to copy a public link or if you haven't made it public then you privately can view it on the internet and if you are signed in with your adobe ID D, you'd be able to see it. But any time you sync with that little icon, any iphones, any android devices that are logged in with same adobe ID. If they have the mobile version of Lightroom installed, you would be able to see all of those collections that have been sink. Then there's more to collections than that. Uh there's a whole another special kind of collection and that has to do with the various modules that we find in Lightroom. Most people are used to using the library module, in the develop module. And those share the same normal kind of select collections we've been using. But then if you move on and you start working with the print the web in the book sections of Lightroom, you're going to find that collections act a bit differently. Let's take a peek Well here we have the collection we made earlier are spain slideshow. Well, let's say I want to take that and actually turn it into a slideshow. So, up here in the upper right, I can change which module I'm working in. And let's go to the slideshow module and within the slideshow module we have all these settings over here on the right side and I could swap them out to really dial in what I would like here, I can change my background color, maybe I put it on a lighter gray or a different color and whatever it is I like to do, I could even include music when this place back. But what's nice is when you set up a slide show and you spec out all these settings on the right side of your screen. If you go over here to the left side of your screen and you go to collections. Things act a bit differently because usually a collection just contains images and that's all it is, remembers where those images are stored. But if you create a collection here, when we're in the slideshow module, you can create a special one and here's how you do it in the upper. Right up here, it says create saved slideshow. Well, where is it going to save it? Well, if I click on that now, I can give this a name and I'm gonna put it inside. Where's our location? Today's class? And I'm going to call this spain slide show with music even though I don't think I've actually specked music over there. But I can put it there. I'm gonna hit create Now when I do, if I end up scrolling down here in looking at the collection and the collection list you're gonna find. It has a different icon next to it. That icon indicates it's a slide show and it contains not only all the images I was viewing at the time I was in the slideshow module, but it also contains also all the settings that have been specked out on the right side of my screen. And not only can create a slideshow one, you can do one for a book or for making prints. And so let's take a look at a few of those within my collection list. I can see right here. I have a book. It's called venice book. Well, I'm going to click on that and it's gonna bring me to the book module in here. I can see a book that I had never finished that was going to be on venice and I can continue working on it. How was this created? Well, I went to the book module, I expect out exactly the size book. I wanted the background colors, everything else down at the bottom of my screen. I may have grabbed an image, drag it up here to my layout and controlled exactly where it was positioned whatever I needed. And then there was the choice of saving this as a collection, just like when I was in my slide show there was a button in the upper. Right now this book has already been saved as a collection and therefore that button doesn't exist because all the changes I'm making right now are updating that collection up here. I also have a print package. Well, let's click on it. That's going to bring me to the print module and let's say offers standard sized prince. Maybe I shoot high school seniors and been the process. They always get a certain pre prescribed print layout. Well, that's what this is going to remember, what it's going to be. Is any settings I've set up in the print module along with the photographs that were used in the print module. And once I set up all those things, you can save it as a collection. And if you look it gets a special icon as well. So we can have this for printing for books for slide shows. And I believe we can also do it for websites. Although I don't use the web module in lightroom myself, we will take collections to even another level. Once we get into smart collections, which is the subject of our next lesson

Ratings and Reviews

Deb Green
 

Brilliant in-depth, on-topic information well presented. Ben has forgotten more about LR than most people will ever know - his depth of knowledge is exceptional and he's also a polished presenter. Love the way each of Ben's words count, no chatter for the sake of it - straight to the point every time, but still engaging and friendly! I like the new office location, but do miss the excellent handouts that have come with Ben's earlier CreativeLive classes.

user-8a69fb
 

Ben is the best instructor! I have tried several different Lightroom organizational strategies from other instructors but find Ben's way is what works best for me. It is well thought out and makes working in Lightroom Classic a joy. Thank you Ben!

a Creativelive Student
 

Great ORGANIZATIONAL overview course for Lightroom Classic. Ben presents everything quite clearly. I've always been a "Collections/Sets" person and now considering working more within the Folders structure he presents. Which leads to a key concern - with Ben's "240,000" images in his Lightroom catalog - I wondered about discussing how to use Preview types (since they chew up space, and the discussion about local/internal image storage vs. external storage is an important one). Also with that type of quite detailed folder and photo naming structures, I wonder how often he runs into "character length restrictions" Overall, great organizational info and I picked up a few things, as always. Would recommend it for anyone new to Lightroom Classic or NOT new to Lightroom Classic. It's never too late to learn things or - in this case - move photos to another organization type! :)

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