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Creating a contact sheet

From: Lightroom 4 Image Sharing Workshop

Video: Creating a contact sheet

For a variety of reasons, you might want to print a contact sheet, of a group of images. In other words, you'll print multiple images, per page, of a series of images, so that you can share those images with others. This is commonly used for example to send a contact sheet to clients. So that they can choose which image, or images, they'd like you to print for them, or to otherwise use in a project. So I'd like to get some feedback on these images, from a client. So before, I decide to print some of them larger, I'm going to produce a contact sheet and as you will see the process is actually quite simple. After having navigated to a folder that contains the image that I want to print in the Print module I start by choosing a template.

Creating a contact sheet

For a variety of reasons, you might want to print a contact sheet, of a group of images. In other words, you'll print multiple images, per page, of a series of images, so that you can share those images with others. This is commonly used for example to send a contact sheet to clients. So that they can choose which image, or images, they'd like you to print for them, or to otherwise use in a project. So I'd like to get some feedback on these images, from a client. So before, I decide to print some of them larger, I'm going to produce a contact sheet and as you will see the process is actually quite simple. After having navigated to a folder that contains the image that I want to print in the Print module I start by choosing a template.

I will go ahead and scroll down the Template browser. And you'll see that there are several templates for contact sheets. Of course, we could always fine-tune these settings using the controls over on the right panel. I'll start with the 4 by 5 contact sheet. In other words, 4 images across by 5 images down. And that will create a contact sheet layout for me. You'll notice that at the moment, I only have one image displayed in that contact sheet. And that's because on the toolbar I have the options set to use only the selected photos which happens to be just one image at the moment.

The folder that contains the images I'm currently working with contains only 20 photos. So if I use the all filmstrip photos option I'll have a contact sheet with 20 images. And that just happens to be the total number of images that will fit on this layout. I could also use the flag photos option. So if I had used the pick flags, to identify images that are my favorites, within this folder, I could include only those images within the contact sheet. But in this case I'll leave the option set to all film strip photos. I can then take a look at the options on the right panel, for example, layout style.

I'll leave that set to single image, or contact sheet since I'm not printing a picture package or a custom package. Under Image settings, I don't want to use the Zoom to Fill option, because I want the viewer to be able to see the entirety of every image. In this case, I don't think I'll use the Rotate to Fit option. If I turn that option on, then horizontals or verticals will be rotated as needed so that they better fit the frame. Here the frames happen to be square, so that's not really an issue. But in this case, I don't want that option turned on.

Because I want the orientation to be consistent so that the contact sheet itself is easier to evaluate. The Repeat One Photo Per Page option is used for the picture package layout, so I'll leave that option turned off. I'm also not going to include a stroke border for the images. I'll let them stand alone as they are. If I turned on that stroke border I could change the color and the width of the border, but again I'll just leave the option turned off. I can specify the margins for the overall layout so I can specify left right top and bottom margins.

Those are all set to about a tenth of an inch at the moment. I could adjust those as needed if I wanted to allow some extra space at the bottom of the page, for example. I can also fine-tune the page grid, so if I reduce the number of rows, for example. Now, I can only get 16 images to a page, 4 by 4. And so now, I have two pages of images to present. I'll go ahead and click the Next button, so that we can see the second page. And there we have just 4 images that have overflowed from the first. But in this case, I think fitting all of the images on one page will work very nicely, so I'll set the number of rows back to 5 with 4 columns.

We can also specify how much space we want both vertically and horizontally between the individual cells. If I adjust the spacing, of course, those cells will need to be reduced in size. So you'll notice that the cell size is going down as the cell spacing is going up. If I were to increase the cell size, obviously that spacing would adjust accordingly. So I'll go ahead and fine-tune. I'd like to have just a little bit of space in between both horizontally and vertically. So I'll increase the values for spacing just a little bit.

Notice that we also have a checkbox to keep the cells square. And I do want to keep that option turned on, in this case. Just because it'll allow the images to fit a little bit better. I'll scroll down a little bit on the right panel, and we can see the guides. These are non-printable items that just make it a little bit easier to see the overall layout. I'll go ahead and turn off all of the guides by turning of the Show Guides checkbox. And you can see now I have more of a print preview for my contact sheet. If I turn the show guides option on, I can specify which individual items I actually want to see in my print layout. I'll go ahead and scroll down to the page section and here we can adjust some settings that effect the overall printed page.

I can change the page background color if I'd like. I can turn that option on and then click the swatch in order to choose a particular page color. Generally speaking, I leave the option turned off so that I have just a white background behind the images. I can also include an identity plate that will allow me to give some branding to the print. Of course in the case of a contact sheet that often times is not going to workout very well. Because the identity plate would either be invisible, locked by the images or it's obscuring some of the images so I'll leave that option turned off.

I can also specify a watermark for the images. If I turn on the watermarking checkbox I can choose one of my templates. I've already created a Tim Gray with website and Tim Gray copyright template for example. You could also create your own with Edit watermarks. I'll go ahead and choose the Tim Gray option. And now each image will have a copyright symbol and my name displayed at the bottom left in this case for every single image. I can also specify that I'd like to include some page options to be included on the page. That includes the page numbers if I'd like, I can put a page number at the bottom right corner.

Not necessary in this case, since I only have one page to print I could also include page information. But I consider that really to be only useful for my own purposes. It indicates, for example, whether or not there's sharpening applied, which profile was used. And which printer was used, so that's really only useful for myself. Since this is a contact sheet I'll send to someone else, I'll leave that option turned off and I'll also leave the crop marks option turned off. With the crop marks turned on we can see crop marks that indicate the boundary of the printed page. I'll then go ahead and scroll down and we can see some adiditonal information. I have the photo info option turned on and you can see that that is set to file name.

That is causing a file name to be displayed below each of the images in the contact sheet. Naturally I can turn that off if I'd like or I can choose different criteria to be displayed beneath each of the images. And then I can also adjust the font size as needed. I generally use 10, that's usually pretty well readable by most folks but I could increase or decrease the size of the font if I felt the need. That takes care of configuring my contact sheet, so as you can see all I really need to do is specify which images I want to include on the context sheet.

Choose a template for the contact sheet and then if desired. Adjust any of the settings on the right panel in order to fine-tune the appearance of the contact sheet. And then, I'm ready to print the contact sheet and send it off to a client.

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This video is part of

Image for Lightroom 4 Image Sharing Workshop
Lightroom 4 Image Sharing Workshop

34 video lessons · 627 viewers

Tim Grey
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