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A Lightroom catalog contains lots of metadata or information about your photos. Including information that you add to photos like keywords and information that comes from your digital camera like all this exposure information that you see in my metadata panel. The meta data filter up here on the library filter bar is a powerful way to use meta data to find particular photos. Let's see how it works. I've gone over to the Catalog panel and selected all photographs so that I use the meta data filter to search through all of the photographs in this catalog. Keep in mind that you can only search through one catalog at a time, the active catalog.
I've opened my library filter bar by pressing the Backslash key on my keyboard. And I'm going to click on the Meta Data tab to open this panel of meta data columns. Each of the columns represents a different kind or a category of meta data. These are the default columns. If your columns don't look like this, then go over to the right side of the library filter bar and from this Drop down menu, you can choose default columns. So when I'm ready to filter through all the photos in this catalog, I'll start over in the left hand column. Let's say I want to see all the photos taken on a particular date. I'll click on that date here.
And underneath the Metadata panel you can see the results of this search. Now I don't have to search on date initially. I could choose a different category of metadata. I'll go up to the header of this first column and I'll click on the double-pointed arrows next to date. And that opens a menu of all the many categories of metadata on which I could search. Everything from file type to exposure information, to Location, to Creator, Aspect Ratio, Smart Preview Status and more.
I'm going to choose Keyword because the metadata filter is another place that I could go to search by keyword. And if I change the second column to keyword too, I could search on a combination of two keywords and so forth. I'm actually going to change the keyword column to none so that I see just the photos down here that I haven't keyworded yet. And I'll use other kinds of metadata to search through those. I'll go to the second column and here you can see a list of all six cameras that were used to shoot the photos in this catalog.
If I click on one of these, say the EM5, which is my Olympus camera, now down here I see just the photos shot with that particular camera. I can change the category of metadata for any of these columns. So for example if I go to the third column and click Next to the Lens Category, I might choose to change that to ISO speed for example. And now I can see all of the different ISOs with which I shot photos using the Arobis camera. And I know that that particular camera is likely to produce digital noise at ISO's higher than say 400.
So I may stick with just the photos in these categories if I'm looking for photos that I want to print. I'll go to the last column here and I'm going to change that category to File type. And now I can zero in on photos taken with a particular camera at a particular ISO and the file type. Either these RAW files or these JPEGs. And I can even add more columns. I can go up to the top of any one of the columns, hover over it and that brings up a little menu on the right side. If I click that Drop down menu, I can choose Add Column.
And that will add a column to the right of the selected column. And I'll choose a metadata category for that last column. Let's go with Aspect Ratio. And that breaks things down even further into those photos that meet all these other criteria and are in the Landscape mode or the Portrait mode. Now once I've got my columns set up the way I like them, if I think I want to use these again in the future. I can save this arrangement as a pre-set by going up to this menu on the far right of the library filter and choosing Save Current Settings as New Pre-Set.
Another thing I can access from this menu are some of the preset combinations of columns. For example, if I change this to exposure info, that changes all of these columns to these different categories of metadata. So I'm just going to create a search result here by clicking arbitrarily on some of these categories. Let's say that I'd gone through my search using these various metadata criterion and these are the photos that are produced. And I want to keep these photos so I that I can quickly access them later. At that point, I would come down and create a collection in my Collections panel as I've shown you hot do earlier and drag those photos into that collection.
When I'm done with the metadata filters, I'll come back up here and I'll set them back to their defaults or to my preset, whichever I like. And then I'll close the metadata panel by clicking on the Metadata tab in the Library filter bar. So I think you can see that the metadata filter is a very flexible and very powerful filter that offers you lots of ways to find just the photos you're looking for.
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