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In this course, Chris Orwig investigates the Lightroom properties as a digital asset management (DAM) system—specifically, its catalogs, which track the location, metadata, and keyword tags associated with your images. The course shows how to import images into a catalog and keep them current with synchronized folders, maintain good backup practices, and recover and restore a catalog. Chris also provides his recommendations on hard drive options, and explains the process and benefits to raw processing when working with catalogs.
So far on this course, we've been learning that the Lightroom catalog really is the glue which holds the Lightroom together. In this catalog file, well, it contains really valuable information about our images and also about the work that we've done with those photographs inside of Lightroom. And so far, we've really focused in on working with one main catalog. Well, here what I'm going to do is transition a bit. I want to introduce you to starting to think about how you can work with multiple catalogs. And here we'll talk a bit about a few scenarios where working with multiple catalogs might help out.
Well, let's say that what we want to do is when you want to pass off some images, perhaps to an assistant to do some work on those photographs. Well, here are I am at my studio computer. I'm in my main catalog. I have thousands upon thousands of photographs. I don't want to export all of these images. Rather, out of this big giant catalog, I just want to give my assistant a small slice. What you can do is you can select the photographs you want to export. For example, here I'll click on this subfolder, Beach Family. I have some pictures that were captured of some family friends down at a local beach.
I want to export just these photographs so that my assistant can do some keywording on these images. Well, how could I do that? Well, first of all, you need to select the folder or the images that you want to export. The next thing you can do is navigate your file pulldown menu and then choose Export as a Catalog. Here I'll go ahead and give this catalog a name. I'll just name this beach-family. I want to include all the photos, so turn off this checkbox, Export the negative files and previews, great. Go ahead and click Export catalog.
What this will do is in essence, it will take this small slice and create this self-contained catalog that my assistant could then work on and do the keywording or do whatever I need to have that person do with these images. You also might want to do this if you're going to travel. Say, for an example, I just want to bring these images with me on my trip. Well, I could then export those as a catalog. Again, there are so many different reasons why exporting as a catalog might be helpful. This might be especially helpful as well in these output modules, books, slideshow, print, or web.
Whether you've created a slideshow, you want to export and then bring with you to a presentation. Or maybe you've created a printout layout that again you want to export as a catalog for someone to work on. Let's take a look at one of these scenarios. Well, here I'm going to navigate to this Family Book folder. I have some pictures which were captured of our family. I'm going to navigate to the Book module. I'll go ahead and click on this button here. Here in the Book module we can design custom books. And here I'm not going to get into all of the in and outs of designing books, because I've covered that in other places.
Yet, let say that what I want to do is simply create an Auto Layout with these images. To do that, I'll go to the Auto Layout panel and click Auto Layout in order to create this layout here. And then what I want to do is save this. Here I'll create a Save Book Project. I will name this one family-book and then click Enter or Return. Here you can see my Collections panel. I have saved the work that I have done in this module. And you can do this in the Book, Slideshow, Print, or Web modules. And by saving this, what I could then do is export this as a catalog, so that I could take this small slice of my catalog with me and bring it home, so that my wife could rearrange the pictures or rearrange the pages or so that a client could work on these images in a certain way.
And by doing that it kind of extends the functionality of Lightroom. Let's take a look at how we would do this say with a project. Well, what you could do is navigate again to your File pulldown menu and then choose Export as Catalog. Here I'll name this one family-book. Again, I'll use the same settings and click Export Catalog. This will create an Export a New Catalog. Let's go ahead and take a look at what these catalogs actually look like. To do that, I'll press Command+H. Well, here you can see I have them; there is my beach-family and also my family-book.
If I open up one of these folders, you can see I'll have my catalog file and also the images. In this case, just the images, which were in this folder, beach-family. So if someone were to open this catalog, well, all that they would see or all that they would access would be these images. Well, how could we open this catalog? Well, in this case, we would simply double-click the catalog name. It would give us this ability to re- launch Lightroom with this catalog and here we will go ahead and skip our backup for the moment and this will open up Lightroom, but this time rather than showing us everything that was inside of our catalog, it just will show us these particular photographs. Let's take a look.
Here in the Library module, we can see that we now have just 22 images inside of this catalog. If we wanted to open this up on another computer, all that we would do is copy this to another hard drive and then give this to someone else who could then open it up. All right, what about that book scenario? Let's take a look at that catalog just to have yet another example. Here I'll hide Lightroom and I'll do that by pressing Command+H. With this Family Book Project, again, I could copy this to a hard drive; my wife could then open up this folder or my assistant and double-click the catalog file to relaunch this.
This would then relaunch Lightroom with this catalog open, and we could go to the Book module. And in the Book module, click on the project that we had created and then here you can see we have that family- book project here, and we could further customize this layout or work on these images. And here you can see that by exporting something as a catalog, it really allows you to take a slice of what you've done in Lightroom, and export it so that someone could then continue to work on that in another version of Lightroom.
And I've given you a few examples, perhaps, how you could have someone work with keywording or maybe with a book project. Yet keep in mind that you can do this for so many different reasons. Yet here at this point, one of the things that we've introduced is this whole idea of now having multiple catalogs. If we hide Lightroom for a second, we'll notice that we have the catalog we created, our family-book, also our beach- family, and then we have our main catalog. So once you start exporting catalogs, you also have to know how to import them.
How do we then deal with these multiple catalogs? Well that's the topic that we're going to cover in the next few movies.
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