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A Collection is a virtual grouping of photos. A Collection can contain photos that are located in different folders on your hard drive. The photos don't have to be all on the same place. And including a photo in the Collection, doesn't move it from it's original location, it just creates a pointer to the files wherever they originally reside. And that means that you can have the same photo in more than one collection. Let me show you what I mean. Let's say I am starting to make a Collection of all the photos I can find throughout my Library that have boats in them. Maybe because I plan to make a Photo Book of boat photos later.
I've selected a folder in the Folders panel. This folder of photos that were shot in Crested Butte in 2010. Among those photos are two that contain boats. So I'm going to select both of the boat photos. I have one selected here, I'll hold the Cmd key, that's the Ctrl key on a PC and I'll select this one too. And I'm going to create a new Collection that contains these two boat photos. To do that, I'll go to the Collections panel and I'll click the plus symbol there and I'll choose Create Collection. Here, I'll give the Collection a name.
I'll call this Boats. I'll come down to the Collection options and I'll make sure that includes selected photos is checked and I'll click Create. Now, that's created a collection in the Collections panel, the Boats Collection. That Boats Collection is selected and so in the image window, you can see its contents. The collection has the two boat photos in it but making that collection did not move those two boat photos. They still live in the Crested Butte folder on my hard drive. The Collection is just a pointer to them there.
So if I go back and click on the Crested Butte folder in the Folders panel, yes, those two photos are still there. Now, I can add other photos to that collection from other locations in my Library. For example, here I have another folder. This is separate folder and it could be anywhere in my library and this folder contains photos taken in Grand Lake in 2011. There are two boat photos in this folder so I'll select those, Cmd+ or Ctrl+click on this one and then I'll click on either one and I'm going to drag from the Image window down here into the Collections panel and drop on top of the Boats Collection and that adds those two photos to the Boats Collection.
Now they haven't moved out of the Grand Lake folder as you can see but when I click on the Boats Collection, you can see that those two photos here have been added to the two photos of the canoes in the Boats Collection. I'll do that one more time with this folder of photos from Italy from Cinque Terre. I'll select some photos of boats here. And then I'll drag into the Boats Collection and that adds all of those photos to the collection too, without removing them from the Cinque Terre folder where they reside.
Now, if I were to delete a photo from a Collection, that's fine. It doesn't do anything to the actual photo on the hard drive. So, if I decided that this really isn't a photo of boats that there's some kind of beach raft, I'll select the photo of the beach rafts and I'll press the Delete or Backspace key on my keyboard. And that removes it from the Boats Collection. But that photo is still on my hard drive and it's still in the Cinque Terre folder. I can even delete the entire collection without harming any of the photos or moving them or removing them from my hard drive.
So if I select the Boats Collection, and then I go to the top of the Collections folder and click the minus symbol, that removes the entire collection from my library, but when I look in these folders, I see that those photos are fine. They're all still there. So that's how to work with manual Collections in the Library module. There's another kind of collection and that is a Smart Collection. Let me show you how to make a Smart Collection. I'll go to the Collections panel and I'll click the plus symbol there and I'll choose this time, Create Smart Collection.
Here I'll give my Smart Collection a name. This Smart Collection is going to include all of the flagged photos in this Lightroom Catalog. So, I'll call this Flagged Photos. And down here, I'm make a rule that defines this Smart Collection. I'd like this Collection to automatically include all photos that have a Pick flag so I'll choose Pick Flag from the First menu that is, so I'll select Is in the Middle menu. And from the Third menu I'll choose Flag. So I've created a rule that says make a Smart Collection and include in it all photos that have a Pick Flag that is flagged.
In other words, all the photos with one of those White flags on it then I'll click Create and that automatically created the Smart Collection, it went out to my entire Lightroom catalog and found five photos to which I had added a White flag. I actually did that in the last movie if you've been following along. And the really great thing about Smart Collections, is that they automatically update. So, if later I give another photo a White flag, for example, this photo of the lemons, I'll click the White flag on the photo.
And now, if I go back to my Smart Collection, the lemons have been added to the Smart Collection. None of these photos have been moved from their folders, Lightroom is just automatically including them or linking them to this Smart Collection.
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