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Join photographer and author Chris Orwig in Photoshop Lightroom 4 Essentials: Organizing and Sharing with the Library Module, as he explores the interface of this popular image-management program and shows how to use its Library module to organize and manage a photo library. The course covers importing both still images and video; shooting in tethered-capture mode; organizing and rating images with flags, stars, labels, and location tags; and working with collections. The course also details how to export, email, and share photos, and introduces the Lightroom 4 video-editing features, as well as its ability to work together with the full editing power of Photoshop. Exercise files are included with the course.
In the last movie we left off with a question why have catalogs? Because they give us flexibility in managing, identifying, and organizing our photographs and media files. Well here what I want to do is try to make this whole idea a little bit more concrete. Now I want to do this by way of comparison or analogy, and see if this might help us deconstruct and demystify what a catalog actually is. So just for the sake of an argument, let's try this on for size. Let's say for example that instead of talking about photographs, we are going to talk about bikes.
And let's say that you own a really small bike shop. Well in your bike shop let's say you have a small storefront, and then you have all of the bikes in storage somewhere in the back warehouse. Well if a client comes in and asks you about a particular bike, you can always walk back, look in the warehouse, and see what you have, and in situations like it's kind of like using Adobe Bridge. Now Adobe Bridge is really good at just glancing at things. Go to the warehouse, glance to see what's there, okay I got it, and now I know. It has no memory.
It forgets every time you leave some location. So if you have a small bike shop and just a few bikes back there in storage, no big deal. But all of a sudden, your bike business is booming, I mean is going just off the charts. Now you have all of these bikes back in storage. Well it's not going to work to run back there, look what you have, run back to the client, back and forth and back and forth. You need something which gives you access to what's back in storage, and also somehow organizes all of that storage area, and this is really where Lightroom comes to save the day so to speak.
What Lightroom does is it takes all of this mess and it analyzes it, organizes it. And it says, okay, I know what's there. And it kicks out or creates what's called a Catalog. And it generates this catalog file. Now what's great about this is, if you have this little catalog, you can flip to page 1, 2, 3 or whatever it is, and you see these little thumbnails, of what actually exist in the warehouse in the back. So when the client comes in, it says, hey, do you have this bike in blue in this size? You say, oh yeah, I do.
You don't have to run back to the storage area, and then you will do this back and forth thing. So in other words, this catalog, it gives us this new layer of organization and memory, and it remembers a lot of really important things about our files. So why is this important? Well if you just have a few photographs, it really isn't that important. But if you have a lot of photographs like most of us, most of us captured too many pictures, what this catalog element does is it really helps us access and work with those files in fascinating ways.
So kind of summarizing what we've already talked about. In Lightroom, we have this catalog file. And it contains different things like File name and information, Metadata, Ratings, Labels, Flag, Previews, Develop Settings so on and so forth. So why have them? Well they do give us flexibility. They give us flexibility in just dealing with all of our photos and videos, in finding those, in organizing them, also in processing them. Because we have this catalog, we can process or we can get through many more images than we could have.
It's really about effectiveness, about speed and ultimately about creativity. This catalog isn't something that is dry and uninteresting; rather this is kind of like a backbone which ultimately helps us to be more creative and to create more compelling photographs.
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