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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques, photographer Chris Orwig shows how to master the subtleties of Lightroom 3 and maximize its efficiency. The course begins with an in-depth exploration of Lightroom catalogs to keep track of photos, collections, keywords, stacks, and more. Along the way, Chris shows how to integrate Bridge and Photoshop in the Lightroom workflow and shares advanced techniques, including image editing with the adjustment brush, automating actions, using plug-ins and extensions, exporting to email or an FTP server, and more. Exercise files are included with the course.
So far, we've taken the time to deepen our understanding of catalogs, folders, and collections. You know what? You know more about these topics than the vast majority of Lightroom users, yet here I want to take things even further, and here's why: So far, we've been discussing working with a single catalog and then having that on our internal drive and then having our images an external, or multiple external drives. What about those situations perhaps where you're working with multiple computers? Now, why would you work with multiple computers? Well, one scenario could be that you have a folder of images, like this folder here, and that what you want to do is you want pass off these images to your photo assistant or to your studio manager, and you want him/her to do some keywording, or to do some post-production work on those photos.
Well, in that situation, it would be helpful to export this whole folder here as a stand-alone catalog. Or perhaps in another scenario let's say you have a folder, or for that matter a collection-- it works in either situation. What you wanted to do was you are going to fly it to New York, and you want to bring this set of images to work on on the airplane. Now, you didn't want to bring your entire catalog, but you did want to bring those images so you could work on them, make some Develop module changes, and really do some good hard work on the airplane.
In either situation, what you would do is select the collection or the folder and right-click or Ctrl+Click and then choose Export this Collection as a Catalog. Let me show you this with a folder. For example, here, this is your yosemite_camping folder. We would right-click, or Ctrl+Click, and choose Export this Folder as a Catalog. I am going to go ahead and do that, and it will ask me where I want to save that, or how I want to save this. I'll create a folder called "yosemite." I'll export the negative files, include the available previews, and then simply click Export Catalog.
Now from our perspective from inside of this catalog, it doesn't look like a lot has happened, yet something significant has actually taken place. Let's go ahead and quit Lightroom for a moment, so we can take a look. I'll go to the Lightroom pulldown menu and then choose Quit Lightroom. Now, here we can see on my desktop that I have this folder titled "yosemite." You'll notice that it follows that same hierarchy, or same folder structure there, with the images inside of these subfolders. And you'll notice that it created a little catalog.
Now, this is a stand-alone catalog, which only contains the information about those images, and it also contains the images themselves. Now, let's say that we've exported this folder as a catalog. Well, we'll have that in another location, and it could be any location. In this case, I have just saved it to the desktop. Well, the next step would then be to take this catalog and bring it to another external computer. For example, let's say that I pass this folder off to my studio manager.
I would instruct my studio manager say, "Hey, there is a folder of images in here. It's called yosemite. Double-click the catalog file and then do a little bit of postproduction work, if you could, and also add some keywords," and she would say, "Okay, great." She would bring this to her computer. She would then double- click this catalog file here, so let's go ahead and do that. It would open up Lightroom in a way that it just contained these images that we had previously targeted, which was this folder here, and now he/she could do the work on these photos.
For example, here I'll press the E key, and I am going to add a few keywords. The keywords that I am going to add are "whiffle ball," and then I will add "camping" and also "kids" and "family." Next, I would go to another image, and here this is my daughter Sophia. So I'll type out "sophia" and "cookie," and you get the gist. In here, she would go through these photos, or for that matter you could go through these photos on your own on the airplane, and go ahead and do what you need to do. I'll just add a few more there.
For that matter, you could take this further. For example, I'll go to the Develop module. Because I have the actual image with me, I could then do a little post-production work, warming this up, adding some contrast to there, and just modifying the image a little bit. Now that we've done all of this work, what we'd want to do is then probably either close Lightroom and then kind of restart or think about this in a new way, or we could reopen a different catalog. So here what I am going to do is I am going to go ahead and quit Lightroom, just to illustrate a kind of making a distinct shift, or change, from one computer to another.
So, here I'll go to Lightroom and choose Quit Lightroom. Well, now that Lightroom has been quit, what I want to do is I am just going to leave this folder alone, and I am going to say that I am back on my main computer. On my main computer, I know that I have my main catalog inside of my Pictures folder. So, I am just navigating to my Pictures folder, and here is that main catalog. Now you don't always have to navigate right to those particular locations, yet here I find it's helpful. Just to illustrate, I'll go ahead and open Lightroom from this location.
When I open this one up, there really hasn't been anything that's been changed. This is still the original file. If we look at our keywords here, for example, we don't have any keywords on this image. We don't have any post-production work on this photo. So, what we want to do is we want to merge those two catalogs together. We want to bring in all the work that we've done to this file here. The way that you do that is you go to File, and here we choose Import from Catalog.
Now the catalog that we are going to be importing is in our yosemite folder. There it is. Again, this is the one that our studio manager has worked on. Or, to think it of it in another way, this is the one that we've worked on while we're flying on the airplane. Whatever the scenario. Then here, we'll click Choose. This will then ask us, "What we want to do?" Now, we have a couple of different options. It tells us what the catalog contents are: eight images. It says, "Hey, there isn't anything new." That's fine. What you want to replace? Do you want to replace the metadata and the developed settings? Do you want to replace the metadata, developed settings, and the actual images themselves? Well, in my case, I just need to do the metadata and that post-production work that I've done.
It's showing a preview there, so I can see all the images it's going to bring in. In this case, it's only going to modify those that have had changes applied to them: these three up here at the top, which you can see. The rest of these are grayed out because I didn't do anything. I didn't make any changes to those. This is really helpful, right? Because this can let me know, gosh, my studio manner didn't get to these five images here, or oh, yeah, I didn't get to work on those while I was on the airplane-- whatever the situation is, it's informing me. They are only giving me changes or updates to three photographs.
We'll now click Import. This will then go through that import process. It will pull up the images that have been changed. We'll be able to see those here. What we can also do is go back to our old folder to access these as well. As we click through these, you'll notice that we have new keywords on each of these images and also in this case we have new Develop settings. We could go to Develop module with this image and say, you know what? My photography assistant is good but not great. That's a little bit too warm for me.
I am going to go ahead and just bring that down a few points. That's a little bit more like my style. I really like that. So as you can see, what we can do in this scenario is we can export something as a catalog. We can work on it externally on another computer, and then we can merge, or bring, those two catalogs together.
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