Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
A Smart Collection is a special kind of collection that can be really useful because it populates itself automatically, using rules that you set up. Any photo that meets those rules will get automatically added to the collection at the time you create the collection or if it meets those rules in the future. A common use for Smart Collections is to make automatically updating portfolios of your best photos. Perhaps those you've marked with a pic flag, for example. Before I show you how to do that, let's take a look in the Collections panel at the Smart Collections Collection set.
If yours isn't expanded, click the arrow to the left of Smart Collections. These are the Smart Collections that come with Lightroom. This Smart Collection includes all photos to which I haven't yet added keywords. So, this one can show you how much keywording work you have left to do. Now you're not stuck with just these pre-built Smart Collections, you can create your own. Before we make a Smart Collection, let's go back to All Photographs and scroll up to the top. Where I'm going to select a couple of photos to add a pick flag to, just in case you haven't added pick flags to other photos during the course.
So, I'll select this photo and this photo, and then I'll press P on my keyboard, and that adds this little white pick flag to those two photos. And then I'll deselect the photos by pressing Cmd+D on the Mac, Ctrl+D on the PC. If you've been following along, you probably have a couple other photos that have the pick flag on them as I do too. Now let's make a Smart Collection that will automatically include just photos with pick flags. I'll go to the Collections panel, I'll click the plus symbol on its title bar, and I'll choose Create Smart Collection. I'll name my Smart Collection, I'll call this My pics. And I would like to locate the Smart Collections inside the smart collections collection set.
So I'll check inside a Collection Set and I'll leave this set to Smart Collections. Then I'll come down I'll create a rule for this collection set. Basically I'm going to be creating a sentence. The first part of that sentence will be the criterion that I'm going to use as the basis for this collection set. I'd like that criterion to be Pick Flag. Now, before I choose that, take a look at how many options you have here. You could make a Smart Collection based on photos that have Smart Previews, a subject I'll cover later in the course. You could make a Smart Collection just of particular file types, like only RAW photos are only JPEGS.
You could make a Smart Collection based on the size of photos or the bit dept of photos, and lots more. I'm going to choose Pick Flag as the criteria for this Smart Collection. Then I'll go to the next field, which happens to be a drop down menu for this rule. And I'll chose is or is not. So, I want Pick Flag is. And then Pick Flag is what. Pick flag is flagged from the third menu. So that's the rule. This Smart Collection will contain all photos that have a pick flag that is set to flagged, great.
Let's click Create. And now in the Collections panel, you can see my new Smart Collection called My Pics. And when that Smart Collection is selected in the Collections panel, over here in the Preview window. You can see all the photos in this entire catalog to which I've added a pick flag. Now let's say a little time goes by, and I've run through my photos again and I've found some more photos to which I've added a pick flag. Let's go ahead and do that. I'll go back to All Photographs and I'll add a pick flag to this photograph. Selecting it and pressing P on the keyboard.
So, remember that's the pink building with the laundry. Now when I go back to My Pics, Smart Collection, you can see that it automatically has added that pink building to the collection of My Pics. And so you can see that this is a great way to keep an ongoing portfolio of all photos to which you've added a pick flag, all of your best photos. But that's not all, you can make a much more granular Smart Collection than this. For example, you may have one Smart Collection for fashion photographs.
That would be made up of all photos with a pick flag that also has the keyword fashion. Let's see how we can get a bit more granular, by editing this particular Smart Collection. To edit a Smart Collection, I'll right-click it in the Collections panel and I'll choose Edit Smart Collection. And here, I see my initial rule, Pick Flag is flagged. I want to add a rule on top of that. So I'll go to the right side of that rule and I'll click the plus symbol. And that begins a second rule. On this second rule, I'll go the first field, this drop-down menu, where I'll go down to the size category. And I'll choose Aspect Ratio as the criterion.
Then, I'll go the second menu, I want this to be set to is. And then I'll go to the third menu and I'm going to set this to portrait. So that I get just photos that are in the portrait orientation. Now this is important and it's something you might miss. Above the rules there's this label, Match all of the following rules, or Match any of the following rules, or none. If this is set to all, the default, and then I click Save. That changes the Smart Collection, so that it only shows photos in this catalog that have a pic flag and that are in the portrait orientation. Let's see what happens if I change that to any rather than all. So again, I'm going to edit the My Pics Smart Collection. And I'll change this menu from All to Any.
Now, I'm going to get a much broader range of photos. Now in the My picks Smart Collection we have any photos that either are in portrait orientation like these, or have a pick flag. So that's going to include photos that have a Pick Flag, even if those photos are not in portrait orientation like this one. And of course, it will also include photos are in portrait orientation and have a Pick Flag like this one here. Now one thing about a Smart Collection is you can't just delete a photo from it. If I try to delete this photo and I choose Remove Photo, I get this message explaining that you can't delete a photo directly from a Smart Collection. And that's because the photo meets the rule.
You can, however, delete an entire Smart Collection. So if I no longer wanted this Smart Collection, I could select it in the Collections panel and click the minus symbol. So I think you can see how powerful Smart Collections can be. And the advantage that they offer when you're trying to keep an automatically updating collection.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
180 Video lessons · 70138 Viewers
64 Video lessons · 91990 Viewers
86 Video lessons · 60238 Viewers
103 Video lessons · 28902 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.