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Just having finished our conversation in the previous chapter about filtering and sorting and stacking, it's a perfect time to talk about collections, in particular, Smart Collections. What I want to do here is navigate to the Exercise Files folder, so we're viewing all of those Exercise Files. And then I'm going to close this Folders folder for a moment, so we can focus in on Collections. Now, there are two different types of Collections. We're going to start off with Smart Collections. By default, Lightroom will come preinstalled with some Smart Collections.
Yours may look a little bit different than mine, but basically what these are, are collections which allow us to kind of sort or filter our photo library based on certain criteria. In other words, let's say I want to find the files that have a red label. Well, here click on that option, it shows me all of those images with a red label. Or let's say I want to find files that are video files and, again, here I can simply choose one of those options and then I can see those video files. Well, Smart Collections are great, right, because they allow us to really quickly find images based on certain predefined, kind of general, criteria.
Well, what if I just want to remove this criteria and see all the images? Well, if I go back to the Smart Collections field here, I am now seeing all of the photographs that I have in this particular library. Well, I want to create my own Smart Collection. How do we do that? What you do is you click on this Plus (+) icon here and choose Create Smart Collection. Now, this will open up the Create Smart Collection dialog. The first thing we need to do is to give this a name, and I'm going to name this Jeff. Now, I want this to be Inside of a Collection Set, inside of my Smart Collections.
If I had it Next to the Collection Set "Smart Collections", it just would be outside of this folder. I want it to be inside of this folder. And then I want it to Match all of these rules. I want the Filename to contain something. In this case, the word "jeff." You can see from this pull-down menu, you can choose almost anything. You can choose Rating, Pick, Label, and you can go through the menu and see what the other options are. In this case, I've chosen Filename and I've typed out the word "jeff." I want to create a Smart Collection that finds any files in my entire library with this name.
Let's say this is someone that I've photographed in a number of different scenarios, I want to find those images, and I want to find them really quickly. Well, in this case, we'll go ahead and click Create. Here you can see we have that and it will show us those nine images which have that particular criteria. Now, what's great about this is that we can continually modify these, right? What you can do is go ahead and right- click or Ctrl+Click that Collection and choose Edit Smart Collection. Let's say that what I want to do is have a Filename, but also, I just want to see the ones with a certain Aspect Ratio.
Let's see if we can find that Aspect Ratio. Where is that one located here in this list? All right, it's all the way down here at the bottom, we'll choose Aspect Ratio. Now, we want to adjust the images that have this portrait orientation and then we'll click Save, and you can see here now it's just going to show us those files that have that criteria or that meet that criteria. And so what's great about Smart Collections is, it's really this kind of predefined criteria, and it's a way to access files really quickly. Now, what you want to think about is how you can tie this to different types of filtering and labels and stars and how you shoot.
In other words, let's say you've decided that one label color is your label color for a portfolio. Those are your best images and you have that particular label color. Well, then you could create, for example, a Smart Collection based on that label color, so that you just see those images which you feel are your best. Or you could create a criteria based on any type of information, combining some of these different filtering options together. So in a sense, Smart Collections, really all that they are is a type of filtering, but it's filtering with a built-in memory.
In other words, you don't have to dial in the attributes every time, rather you set it up once, it's always there, and then you can always access and find those images based on that criteria.
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