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Join photographer and author Chris Orwig in Photoshop Lightroom 4 Essentials: Organizing and Sharing with the Library Module, as he explores the interface of this popular image-management program and shows how to use its Library module to organize and manage a photo library. The course covers importing both still images and video; shooting in tethered-capture mode; organizing and rating images with flags, stars, labels, and location tags; and working with collections. The course also details how to export, email, and share photos, and introduces the Lightroom 4 video-editing features, as well as its ability to work together with the full editing power of Photoshop. Exercise files are included with the course.
One of the things that makes a photographer good really is the ability to kind of work a location, to capture images in a similar setting, but to have a different perspective or an angle. And because of this, after the fact a lot of times we have images which are similar, but a touch different. Wouldn't it be nice if we could group or organize those photographs somehow together, like here with these pictures? You can see I have some which are captured at the water's edge and then a few others captured in front of this kind of stone wall, and then a few others, which were close up of this particular person.
Well, how could we group or stack these together? Well, you can do this by selecting the images and then putting them in what's called a stack. So let's take a look at how we can do that. On a Mac hold down the Command key, on Windows that's Ctrl, and then click on the images that you want to group together. In this case, these four, these were all captured at the water's edge. Next, navigate to the Photo pull-down Menu, then go to Stacking. Here you can see we have an option to Group into Stack. We also have a shortcut key there, but let's just click on this for now.
Well, once I've done that all of the sudden those other images are gone. Where are they? You notice that the icon has changed a little bit here. Let's increase the Size so we can see that. There are these two little lines. Now, if I click on these, it expands this stack, click on it again, it collapses that. So what's nice about this is I can have these images all kind of grouped together. Now, I can add other images to this group as well. I see one I need to add, right? This was captured at the water's edge, I am going to go ahead and click and drag that into that stack.
Well, now it's part of that. Let's take a look at how we can do this by way of a shortcut as well. Here are three images we might want to group together. Click on one, hold down the Command key on a Mac, Ctrl key on Windows, and then click on the others. Then navigate to your Photo pull-down Menu, and you may remember we saw a shortcut here, right, it's Command+G on a Mac, that's Ctrl+G on Windows. So let's go ahead and use that shortcut, and we will just press that, Command+G or Ctrl+G, that will then turn this into a stack.
Let's take a look at one more scenario here, and I am going to make the thumbnails just a touch smaller so we can see what we have. Well, in this case, I want to work with these four images. Click on one, hold down the Shift key, click on the last one, and it will select all of these contiguous files, and then let's use our shortcut, Command+G or Ctrl+G.Well, what about a shortcut to open up the stack? Well, you can press the S key, think of S for Stack, to either expand or collapse that stack.
So again, this just gives us the ability to kind of group things together, and what it can do for us is if we go through and say with this set, we'll just group these together here, and try to get the images all captured by the water's edge in this stack over here, and these images kind of captured at that spot there, it all of a sudden helps us make sense of this library. Now, it looks like we have much fewer images, and what this can do for us is oftentimes when we're working with some sort of a subject and we're creating images, well, we may want to access certain pictures, like all those photographs of that one aspen tree, or perhaps all those pictures of that sunset, or maybe all those photographs of that person trying to score a goal in soccer, whatever it is that we've grouped into a stack, we'll have those in that little stack.
We can then click on it, press the S key to expand that, and then access and work on those photos. Now, the great thing about this is if you press the S key again and collapse it, you can also expand all of these at once. Click on the first stack, hold down the Shift key, click on the last one here, all these images, and then press the S key. What that will do is it will just expand everything so that all of those stacks are wide open. So you can work on or view those files. Then of course if you want to close things back up, well, just press S again and it will collapse all of those stacks.
So now after having seen how this works, what you want to start to think about is how can I use this. Because the trick with this of course is that it's kind of interesting, but it has to match your own workflow. So what I recommend you do is start to experiment with this, write down a few of those shortcuts and just think about how stacking might be helpful for you as you seek to organize your images and video files in the Library Module.
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