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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training, author Chris Orwig provides a comprehensive look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, the popular photo-asset management, enhancement, and publishing program. The course covers indispensable techniques such as importing, processing, and organizing images in the Library, correcting and adjusting images in the Develop module, and creating slideshows, web galleries, and print picture packages. In addition to exploring all of Lightroom 3's capabilities, this course is rich with creative tips and expert advice on photographic workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
Currently, I am in the Library module, and if I scroll down, you'll notice that down here on the bottom, I have what's called a Collections panel. Now collections are really fascinating because they give us the ability to organize our photographs in a way that isn't contingent upon file or folder location. One of the things that's great about Lightroom 3 is that collections have gotten a little bit better. New to Lightroom 3, we now have collections inside of the Develop module as well. You can see that same panel here. So we can not only take advantage of collections, but we can also do some collections work inside of Develop as well.
We also have Collections in Slideshow, Print, and Web modules. But let's go ahead and take a look at a collection workflow in regards to working in the Library module. Now, a lot of times what you'll do is you'll create a main kind of collection set. Think of this almost as the big organizational structure. So I am going to go ahead and do that, and I am going to click on this Plus icon and choose Create Collection Set. What I am going to do is name this Family Photography. So let's say that I photograph a lot of families. I have one big set called Family Photography.
So all of my different shoots, or collections, will then fall in this main set. I'll go ahead and hit Create. Now once I have done that, I almost have this icon here which looks like a little box. I then want to create a collection from this particular shoot. So what I am going to do is navigate back to this beach_family folder. I'll then select all the images, by pressing Command+A on the Mac, Ctrl+A on a PC. Scrolling back down to my Collections here, what I'm going to do is click on the Plus icon and create a collection of all of these photographs.
I am going to put these in the set: Family Photography. Now a lot of times what you'll do is you'll define a name perhaps by the family name or whatnot. To keep things a little bit general here, what I am going to do is just name this Beach - All. And I want to include all the selected photos, and if wanted, I could make virtual copies. In my case, I don't. I simply want the photos here to be included in this collection. I'll go ahead and hit Create. Well, now that I have done that, you can see that all 44 photographs are included in this particular folder.
Well, as I mentioned previously, I have already added some stars and labels to these images. And so what I want to do is I want to take advantage of those in order to create a collection based on the images that are rated. So here is how we can start to do some basic filtering. If you navigate over to the right-hand side, you'll notice that Filters are currently off. Well, I can turn those on by clicking on this pulldown menu and say show me all of the images that are rated. In this particular case, it's going to show me all of the images that have a star rating.
So what I could do in this particular case is I could create another collection of just these photographs. So I am going to go ahead and click on the Plus icon and then choose Create Collection. This time I am going to name this Beach and I choose this Picks 1. This will give me my first set of selected photographs, include the selected images, include them in this main set, Family Photography, and I'll go ahead and click Create. So now you can see that what I am doing is I am starting to narrow down my selection.
Well, now that I have started to do this, I could then say, well, you know it might be really interesting just to see the images that have a two-star or a higher rating. So in that case, I'll go ahead and click on 2 stars here, so now it's filtering based on this two-star or higher rating. I'll go ahead and create yet another collection, click on the Plus icon and choose Create Collection. In this case I am going to go ahead and name this one Beach. I am going to call this Final Picks. This will then give me the images, which I have defined as the final keepers, the best of the best.
I'll include these selected photos here and then go ahead and click Create. So now here what you can see is that I have this criteria where I have all of the photographs in one collection. And then I have also the final images and I have the first set of picks in this way. Well, if I want to turn off the filtering or just see all the images, I can click on this flip switch here, so now I can see all of the photographs. I can see my first group of images. So these are the ones that I think are good, and these are the ones that I think are great.
Now, the only problem with my collection workflow so far is that this structure isn't linear; it's alphabetical, in other words, Beach - All and then Beach - Final Picks and Beach - Picks 1. So let's say that what I want to do is rename this particular collection. Well, all that you need to do is right-click and then choose Rename, and here what I am going to do is I am going to give this a little bit more of an appropriate name. I'll call this one Picks 2 and then choose Rename. So here you can see I have a little bit better workflow, right? I have all of the images.
I have the ones that I think are good, and then finally, I have the images that I think are great. So as you can imagine, collections are going to become something that will be really helpful for you as you start to organize and evaluate your photographs, in order to determine which images are actually the best.
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