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Smart Collections for Utility & Collecting Common Subject Matter

Lesson 5 from: Organizing Your Images in Lightroom Classic

Ben Willmore

Smart Collections for Utility & Collecting Common Subject Matter

Lesson 5 from: Organizing Your Images in Lightroom Classic

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

5. Smart Collections for Utility & Collecting Common Subject Matter

Smart Collections are in essence saved searches. Use them to do something as simple as instantly collecting multiple years of family holiday photos, or as advanced as finding images that you have captured in the last 90 days that are processed and ready to show the public and have previews that are sufficient to work with the image even when the hard drive that contains the original is not available.

Lesson Info

Smart Collections for Utility & Collecting Common Subject Matter

so far, all our collections have been the kind where you have to manually add images to them now is look at a different type of collection known as a smart collection, a smart collection is in essence a saved search. And it can search through your entire Lightroom catalog and find images. Let's say all the images that I've taken of skies for instance, or textures or all the images I've shot in the last 30 days using a 70 to 200 millimeter lens shot at F 2.8. Uh I can do all those things. And that is known as a smart collection. Yeah. So to make a smart collection, we go to our collections list on the left side of the library module. I hit the plus sign in there. I find the choice of creating a smart collection. And let's start out by putting this inside the collection set called today's class. And therefore it'll be organized along with the other collections we've made. And then down here is how we define our search. There's just a little pop up menu on the left and I can decide exactl...

y what I would like to do. And in this case, what I'm gonna do is look through here. And what if I look for anything that's in a folder that has a name that contains all the words uh skies. And that's because I create sub folders called skies whenever I captured just a sky that I might want to use later on to insert to replace a sky. So I'm going to just hit create and it's going to now go to my catalog file and it's going to look at 248,000 photographs. And if any of those photographs are stored in a folder called skies, it will locate them just about instantly. And there I have 2512 images of skies. And that's just because of the sub folder system that I use, I could do the same thing, come back up here and create another smart collection and just do all sorts of them. Where instead of doing skies, I think I also collect textures it create. And how long does it take? Okay, here's 397 textures that can collect them that quickly. Uh So let's look at some of these smart collections that I use here. I have a collection set called utility. And if I expand it, you're going to see that a lot of these collections that are in here are Smart collections. Smart collections have the normal collection icon with a little gear in the lower right. It's that little gear on the icon that tells you it's a smart collection. Uh So let's see in here, I could find every image that is in a folder called in progress. Those are all the images that aren't done or all the images that are in the out takes folder. Well, those are images of my hard drive is getting full. I could delete them. Or if I have a full size previews for those files, I could clear out the previews or something else. Uh could be useful to be able to locate those quickly. I can come down here and say, how many images do I recently edit then? I haven't been doing a lot of editing lately but I can say in the last day I edited one picture. Remember that picture of a duck. Well, there it is. That's how quickly I could find it. Or how many images I edited in 37 and so on days. Well, let's look at Some of these. I'm going to click on one of these. You see this one says except except my out takes. So to see what the definition is of these smart collections. Just double click on one and it will bring up the editor for your smart collection. I can say that here. The edit date is in the last 90 days. And then you hit this little plus sign to add an additional search term. And I say the folder does not contain the word out takes. And therefore I can look at all the images that I've added in the last 90 days but I did not drag them to my outtakes folder. Uh and therefore it makes them very easy to find. And what else do we have in here recently shot here. I can see how many images I've captured in so many days or if I had up here. We were only renamed images in a previous video. Well what if I had not done that for the original time? I started using Lightroom and I had a whole bunch of images that had my original cameras file names. Well, I can create a smart collection here that will suddenly find all those images. All I need to do is look at what is the default file naming convention of my camera. Create a smart collection that says search for all images that contain these particular characters in the file name. So if you look here here are all the images that contain underscore M G underscore in the file names because that's what one of my cameras would use as the default. And here I can find a bunch of images that still have default file names. So I could go over here and rename them to get them all to have unique file names. If I double click on this smart collection, you'll see all it is is looking for things with a file name that starts with those particular characters. So now let's look at a more complex example, I want to try to find images that are likely to have shallow depth of field and I want lightroom to find them for me. How the heck do you do that? Well, first off the aperture setting on your camera, it would have to be at a low number. Most of my lenses go down to F 2.8. So I'm going to search for all images, they'd be shot at F 2.8, but not abraham it shot at that would have shallow depth of field. Well, images shot with a wide angle lens are difficult to get shadow depth of field unless you're really close to your subject. So I'm going to ignore images shot at wide angle settings instead, I'm going to concentrate on ones that were shot with a long telephoto lens because if I use a long telephoto lens and a shoot at F2.8, I'm likely to find soft backgrounds. So let's do that with a smart collection. I'm just going to create a new smart collection and I'm going to take a look in here to see what exactly could I use. Well, here's camera information, and right in here is my aperture setting. So I'm going to say my aperture setting is Less than and then I'll put in here maybe three. So it's less than F three. Uh Then I'll hit the plus sign on the right, because I don't want it to include images from a wide angle lens. I'll come down and choose camera info and then I'm gonna choose focal length. And I'm going to say my focal length is uh let's see is greater than let's just say 190 millimeters, 200 millimeters and beyond. Or I could say it's uh more than 350 millimeters, whatever. So there we go. And then I could try to ignore images that are in my out takes because I really don't want to see images that I don't need to see again. So I just hit the plus sign and then I'm gonna come in here and say my source is in a folder that does not contain the word out takes and therefore we'll have a nice search up here. I haven't even named these yet. I'm going to call this shallow D O F for depth of field and I'm going to put those into that folder or the collection site, I should say called today's class. Let's hit create and let's see how quickly it's going to assemble for us. 753 images that are likely to have shallow depth of field. And take a look. There's some shallow depth of field right there. And so you can create as complex of a search as you would like. It's all based on the pop up menus that were available when you double click on an existing uh smart collection or create one from scratch and you can just continuously hit the plus sign here to add as many steps to this as you'd like. So I hope you have a sense therefore how smart collections can really bring your organization system to a new level because it can find images automatically for you. And as you capture new images and you change the settings on existing images. Those smart collections will update pretty much instantaneously to show you all the images that conform to the search perimeters that you've defined. So smart collections get into them.

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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