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Collections are one of the more powerful features inside of Lightroom. When they were introduced in Lightroom 2, a lot of photographers were really excited, because finally we had a way to organize our photos in a way that wasn't contingent upon the file location or the folder location. Yet there was a limitation with collections, and the problem was that you could only use them in specific modules. Well now that's completely changed,and we can access collections in a really unique way. What I want to do here is start off in the Library module and then make our way to some of the other locations where we can work with collections.
So here we are in a Library module. I am in this folder letters. One of the reasons why you may want to use a collection is so that you can customize the order of images, and the nice thing about having a collection with a particular user order is that it will always remember that. Because a lot of times we sort our images based on their capture time or different things like that, their file name. So in this particular case, let's go ahead and select one image. Press Command+A on a Mac or Ctrl+A on a PC in order to select all of the images.
We will click on the plus icon, and that's in the Collections panel, and we will create a collection, and we will name the collection Letters. We want to include the selected photos. We don't need virtual copies here. We will do that later. And we will go ahead and hit Create. Well now that I have these, what I can do is I can simply click and drag these letters around in order to begin to spell something out with these letters. Well, new to Lightroom 3 is the ability to take advantage of this collection and other collections inside of the Develop module. Here you can see I'm in that same collection and I can use that custom user order in order to spell out a word.
So one of the things that we can start to do is do more organizational work right inside of the Develop module. Yet it's not limited to organization. We can do some creative things as well. Let me explain. Let's go ahead and navigate to one of our other collections that we created previously. This one titled Surfer. Here we have some of the surfer photos. One of the things that you can do is you can create a collection from right inside of a collection. So let's go ahead and do that. We will click on these images. Click and then Shift+Click to select the contiguous files there.
Then we are going to navigate to the plus icon. We are going to create a collection from these photos. What we are going to do here is call this one Surfer-bw for black-and-white. We are going to make virtual copies this time. Go ahead and hit Create. Well, now you can see we have another collection there. What I am going to do is click on one image, Shift+Click on another. Then if I go to my Sync button, I am going to turn on Auto Sync. This will give me the ability to convert all of these to black-and-white and we will see that that updates those thumbnails down below.
Now if I go to one of the images and I decide, you know what, it could really be nice to modify just one of those. I will go to Develop module here and what I am going to do then is turn Auto Sync off, and I will go ahead and increase the Fill Light for that one and then the Contrast perhaps a little bit less and then a little bit brighter on image. So we can modify those images however we see fit. We have already talked quite a bit about Auto Sync. Yet the thing that's interesting here is that I now I'm able to work with Collections in order to do some creative things.
In this case, I have a set of images that are black-and-white and I also have a set of images that are color. When I go back to the Surfer folder, we notice that we have the main photos and also those virtual copies. The color and the black-and-white. Let's look at this in the Library module. Click on the word Library there. Here you can see I have the master photos and then the virtual copies. One of the nice things about the Library module is we can filter things. If you press the Backslash key, it will open up the filtering options.
Here we can go to Attribute and then we can say, "you know what, just show me virtual copies." So in this collection, I kind of think of a collection is like a folder almost. So in this collection of folder we just have these virtual copies. Well, I don't want them in this folder. I want this one to be just the color images. So in this case, I will select all of these files, click and Shift+Click, and then we can right-click or Ctrl+Click, and that gives us the ability to open up this contextual menu. Here we are going to select Remove from Collection.
We will see that we now only have three images located in this collection. So we will turn off this filtering attribute, and now we have all of the color images. So, if I want to rename this, one of the ways that I can do that is to right-click or Ctrl+ Click and then choose Rename. It will get me into that field there and I will just name this one collection of Surfer - color. So now I have these two collections here. Now one of the main points here is just to get in this idea that we can start to do some organizational stuff in other places like in the Develop module and we can take advantage of what we know with collections in order to expand the way that we process and work with images.
At this particular point you may be thinking, well, am I really do use that? Well, I think so. For example, let's say you're a wedding photographer. Well, a lot of times you need to give your client color images and also black-and-white images. This particular example will really speed up your overall workflow. Or maybe what you want to do is have some images that are color, some that are high contrast, some that have a creative effect applied, some that have a vignette. Again, you can have all of these different collections without increasing your file size and really expanding your overall creative potential with how you actually process your photographs.
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