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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.
One of the things that most photographers discover is that many times you will have images that are kind of similar. Like in this particular case, we have these three photographs which are very similar, and then following it we have another set of images that are similar and then following that, we have four more images that are kind of similar, right? Because we have shot these in one particular context. Well, what's kind of helpful, in regards to Lightroom, is that we have the ability to stack, or to combine these images that are similar, whether it's similar based on subject matter or context or exposure or the way we process them or if it's a virtual copy or not, and we can do all of this with something that's called stacking.
Let me show you what I mean. I'll press the G key here to go the Grid view mode. What I am going to do then is I am going to click on one of these images, in this case this first image - I'll increase my thumbnail size so you can see that - and this image is very similar to these other two. So I'll hold down the Command key on a Mac, Ctrl key on a PC in order to select those three photographs. Well, next what I can do is I can group these images into a stack. There is a shortcut to do this, and on a Mac the shortcut is Command+G; on a PC the shortcut is Ctrl+G. So when I press that it will then group those photographs.
So at first glance it may look like those photographs have disappeared and in fact they kind of have, right? What we are seeing is just the first image in the stack. In other words, it's almost like taking cards and putting them on top of each other. You can see that there is a new icon, these two handles here. Well, let me decrease the size of the thumbnail, so we can actually see this a little bit more clearly. So currently, I only have one image showing in this particular stack. What I can do is press the S key to expand the stack, and there you can see that now it showing me all of these images. Press the S key again, and it collapses the stack.
So let's take a look at that in a couple more cases. So I'll go ahead and click on this image, and then hold down the Shift key and click on the last image in this group here. I am going to press Command+G for group as stack. And I am going to do this yet a few more times; click and then Shift+Click and then press Command+G for group. And then one more time, click and then Shift+Click, Command+G for group. Well here you can see that I have all of these different stacks, and what this is doing is it's giving me the ability to group these images in unique way, so that if I know, you know what, I really want to jump to that one scene right here where it was the mom and the daughter, and I want to start to work on those files.
Well, back in the Grid view what I can then do is press the S key - that will expand that - or press the S key again, and it will collapse. On the other hand, if I were on a larger view, we'll go to the Loupe View, press the E key, and you'll notice now that when I press the S key, the collapsing and expanding is happening down here on the film strip, so I still have access to that. I'll press the S key again. It collapses that particular stack. Now if you are thinking, "Yeah that's kind of interesting, and I could see that being useful. Where could have find some more information about stacking?" if you want to go beyond the essentials, what you can do is navigate to your Photo pulldown menu, and there what you can do is choose Stacking. And here you will see that there are some more options in regards to stacking that will take you beyond the essentials.
Although that being said, I find, for the most part, in regards to how I actually use stacking, the one thing I need to know is Command+G groups to stack and then S toggles between expanding and collapsing that stack, and just knowing those two shortcuts and those two techniques can really help you get quite a bit out of this particular feature.
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