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Making Smart Collections and Quick Collections

From: Up and Running with Lightroom 3

Video: Making Smart Collections and Quick Collections

Now let's make another kind of collection, a Smart Collection. A Smart Collection is populated with photos automatically, based on rules that you set up. All photos in the current Lightroom catalog that meet those rules will automatically be included in the Smart Collection. And if you add another photo that meets the same rules, it will automatically be added to that Smart Collection too. Lightroom comes with a few preset Smart Collections. To see those, I'll go down to the Collections panel and click the arrow to the left of Smart Collections. And here I can see that one of the preset Smart Collections is Five Stars.

Making Smart Collections and Quick Collections

Now let's make another kind of collection, a Smart Collection. A Smart Collection is populated with photos automatically, based on rules that you set up. All photos in the current Lightroom catalog that meet those rules will automatically be included in the Smart Collection. And if you add another photo that meets the same rules, it will automatically be added to that Smart Collection too. Lightroom comes with a few preset Smart Collections. To see those, I'll go down to the Collections panel and click the arrow to the left of Smart Collections. And here I can see that one of the preset Smart Collections is Five Stars.

If I click on that Smart Collection, you can see that it contains all the photos in my catalog which I've rated with five stars. I'm going to go up to the Catalog panel and click on All Photographs, and I'm going to add five stars to another photo, maybe this photo right here. I'll click on the fifth dot here to add five stars, and then I'm going to collapse the Catalog panel so there is more room to see the collections down here. I'll click on my Five Stars Smart Collection and you can see that it includes that photo to which I just added the five stars.

Because this photo now meets the rules of this particular Smart Collection, the Smart Collection was automatically updated; I didn't have to do a thing to update it. Now, you can make your own Smart Collection by formulating rules. So, let's do that. To set up this exercise, take a minute to go to the Folders panel and click on the 02_05 subfolder, and then click to the top left of some of the thumbnails in that subfolder to add a white pick flag to your favorite photos in that folder. I've already done that and so I'm ready to make my Smart Collection.

I'm going to go to the Collections panel and I click the Plus symbol there, and this time I'm going to create a Smart Collection. I'll give the Smart Collection a name. I'm going to call this 'picks in parent folder'. I'll put that new collection in the Smart Collections set. This is just an organizing feature. As you create more and more collections and your list gets longer and longer, it's useful to organize them into sets. And then I'll go down and make the first rule. I'll click on this first field, and from here, I have lots of choices.

For example, I could choose Keywords if I wanted to make a Smart Collection that contains all photos to which I assign a particular keyword. This is a good way to make a subject- matter album, but I'm going to choose Pick Flag for this field, and then I'll go to the next field and I'll choose the verb is. And from this field, I can choose what I want the pick flag to be. Well, I want to pick flag to be flagged. So now, this Smart Collection, if I left it at this, would include all photos in the current catalog that have a pick flag that is set to flagged.

Now, let's make another rule to add to this one. I'll click the Plus symbol here, and then I'm going to go to the first field and I'm going to choose Folder. I'll leave the verb at 'contains', and I'll type 02_05. So this part of the rule is going to limit the photos in the Smart Collection to those in the Folder called 02_05. I'll make sure that Match is set to all, because I want the Smart Collection to contain photos that meet both or all of these rules, and then I'll click Create.

And now you can see that I have a new Smart Collection called 'picks in parent folder'. Here is the content of the Smart Collection automatically made for me, and what this is is all the picks that are located in this parent folder 02_05. Now, what if I add a flag to another image in the 02_05 parent folder? I'll select that folder and I'll add a flag to this image. And now if I go back to the 'picks in parent folder' Smart Collection, you can see that that photo has been automatically added to the Smart Collection.

I can remove a Smart Collection without disturbing the original photos because the Smart Collection, like a Regular Collection, just links to photos. So if I want to remove this Smart Collection, I can click this Minus symbol right here. Now, let's look at the last kind of collection, and that is Quick Collections. I sometimes use a Quick Collection as an intermediate step as I am gathering photos. So I'm going to go to my 02_05 parent folder, and I'm just going to click on a couple of photos holding down the Command key on a Mac, or the Ctrl key on a PC, that I'd like to include in a collection of verticals that I'm putting together.

And then I'll go up to the Catalog panel, click the arrow there, and I'm happy to see that I currently have 0 photos, or no photos, in the Quick Collection. I'll click on any one of the selected photos in the main window and drag and drop it on the Quick Collection, and those photos are now in the Quick Collection. And if I go back to my 02_05 folder, I can see that each of those photos has a gray dot on it, indicating that it's part of the Quick Collection. Now, if I want to use the Quick Collection for other photos, I need to clear out the current photos.

So I'll go back to the Quick Collection, I'll make sure all these photos are selected by clicking on one and holding the Shift key as I click on this one, and then I'll Ctrl+Click or right- click on any one of those photos and choose Remove from Quick Collection. And now my Quick Collection is down to 0 and ready to take more photos. So I'm a big fan of collections, and I really want to encourage you to use them. There are almost endless possibilities for putting collections to work with your business and personal photos. If you spend some time experimenting with the three kinds of collections, I think you'll agree that they are a great idea.

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Up and Running with Lightroom 3

29 video lessons · 11009 viewers

Jan Kabili
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