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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.
Here, I want to discuss a habit that you'll definitely want to integrate into your workflow, and it's a habit of regularly optimizing your catalog. Now, a catalog theoretically can contain up to hundreds of thousands of images. There are a few people out there who are running Lightroom with 100,000 plus photographs. Now, Lightroom will work well as long as you are regularly optimizing the catalog. In order to do this, you need to navigate to your File pulldown menu, and then here you can select Optimize Catalog. Now, whenever you see "..." that's telling you that something is going to happen.
It's going to open up a dialog. In this case, the dialog is saying, "Hey, you know what? Your catalog was last optimized on this day at this time. If it has been running slowly and you haven't optimized it recently, optimizing will probably improve its performance. It may take a few minutes, but it's probably going to be worth it. Do you really want to do this?" Now, if you haven't optimized it recently, you'll definitely want to click on this option. And again, because this is a smaller catalog, it's going to go really quickly. For larger catalogs, that's going to take a bit more time.
Now we already talked about including that check box to make sure that that's going to happen when you exit Lightroom, yet that being said, if you're like me, you probably leave your computer on a lot and you probably leave Lightroom open a lot, so it's a good idea just to get in the habit of going to that File > Optimize Catalog frequently, in order to make sure things are running quickly. Especially do that if you notice that Lightroom is just running a little bit slow. So whenever you notice that, head over to that File pulldown menu and then select Optimize Catalog.
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