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Using collections to organize photos

From: Lightroom 4 Image Management Workshop

Video: Using collections to organize photos

There are many ways we can approach the organization of our images in Lightroom. But often times, collections really provide a significant benefit in terms of grouping similar images together. And of course, by similar I don't necessarily mean similar subjects or even simlar photographs, but just as part of a similar project. We already have our images grouped together by folder. And of course, we can use keywords to further narrow down or identify particular images. But the collection can also be helpful. I don't make collections for everything.

Using collections to organize photos

There are many ways we can approach the organization of our images in Lightroom. But often times, collections really provide a significant benefit in terms of grouping similar images together. And of course, by similar I don't necessarily mean similar subjects or even simlar photographs, but just as part of a similar project. We already have our images grouped together by folder. And of course, we can use keywords to further narrow down or identify particular images. But the collection can also be helpful. I don't make collections for everything.

In fact, generally speaking, I use collections to identify projects of some sort. Just as an example here, I have some images of whales photographed in Alaska. In theory, I could create a collection and I could put all whales into that collection and course, name the collection whales. I could then add whale photos from a variety of different photo trips. Maybe I photographed Orca whales in the Puget Sound of Washington state or perhaps I saw some whales off the coast of Baja, Mexico. With all of those images, I could group them into a collection for whales.

But in my mind, that type of situation is better addressed with keywords. I can add keywords to my images. And for example, any image that contains a whale could have a whale keyword, so that I can very easily find the whales in the future. So, I don't need a collection. And in fact that would probably be double work, if I'm already using whale as the keyword in that example. However, in some cases you might have a project that sort of crosses the boundary of key words or a folder structure. And you want to group those images together.

For example, let's assume you're working on a calendar project for next year. Throughout the year, you might want to add images to that collection. So, that at the end of the year or near the end of the year, you can go through those images and identify your favorites to actually include in the calendar. Sure, you could use a keyword, such as calendar and the year the calendar is aimed at. But a collection really works well and its very easily accessible in addition. Let's take a look at a sample project to help get a better idea of how you might use collections. On the left panel in the Library module, I'll scroll down to the Collections section.

And then I'll click the plus over on the right-hand side, and I'm going to create a new collection. So, I'll click the create collection item on the menu. I can give this project a name, let's call this color show because I'm going to find colorful images and print them to hang in a show. I'll leave that as a top level collection. I could place that collection inside of a collection set. Essentially, a folder that contains multiple collections. I have a whale image selected at the moment. And that's certainly not an example of a very colorful subject.

So, that's not one I would want to include. I'll go ahead and turn off the Include Selected Photos checkbox. I'll then click Create and I'll collapse my smart collections. And we can see on the Collections section here of the left panel, we have color show. Now, I can scroll through my images. At the moment, I am looking at all photographs that are currently in this catalog. And I can find images that I think exemplify color. This window, for example, seems to have a reasonable amount of color. Maybe it's not the best example but it is an image that might qualify as working well for the color show that we're using as a hypothetical example.

I'll go ahead and drag and drop that image onto the Color Show selection. You can see the number incrementing now to indicate that there is one image in that collection. I'll then go a head and scroll down. We'll move past the whales here, which aren't all that colorful. And let's see what else we have. Eagles also not exactly the most colorful subjects in this case. here's some interesting color. Maybe I'll include the horse. Not extremely colorful but certainly some nice colors going on there. These clouds look pretty nice, they have a lot of color in them. So, I'll drag them in as well.

And this yarn certainly qualifies as colorful. So, I'll go ahead and drag that yarn photo into my Color Show collection. And I can continue in this manner. Obviously, here I'm being a little bit arbitrary and just using a fake project as the basis of demonstrating the concept here. Now, bear in mind, I'm looking at all photographs. So, I'm adding images from a wide variety of different folders into that collection. And down the road I can access that collection very easily. Simply click on, in this case, the Color Show collection, in the Collection section of the left panel. And I can see all of those images.

I can add images to a collection at any time. And of course, I can remove an image from a collection if I decide that these windows aren't going to work very well after all. I can right-click on that image and then choose Remove from Collection and that will remove it from the current collection. So, as you can see a collection is in large part a virtual folder. It's like a folder and that we can have multiple images in the folder, but we're just referencing the original. We're not making copies of the images. We're just grouping them together? Think of it as a saved search, for example.

With other images, I might search by a key word or other metadata value. But here, I've grouped images together in this collection and I can access all of those images very, very easily simply by clicking on the collection itself. So, this's a great way to group images together that have something in common. It's not necessarily reflected through other organizational means within Lightroom.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Lightroom 4 Image Management Workshop
Lightroom 4 Image Management Workshop

45 video lessons · 1051 viewers

Tim Grey
Author

 
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  1. 1m 46s
    1. Welcome
      1m 46s
  2. 44m 45s
    1. Library module overview
      3m 20s
    2. Preferences for image management
      10m 6s
    3. Catalog settings
      7m 57s
    4. Catalog backup settings
      2m 22s
    5. Backing up with Export
      2m 56s
    6. Working with the Lightroom interface
      5m 21s
    7. Grid view display options
      6m 37s
    8. Loupe view display options
      3m 19s
    9. Working with multiple catalogs
      2m 47s
  3. 27m 50s
    1. Folder structure considerations
      3m 20s
    2. Importing existing images
      6m 53s
    3. Importing new images
      9m 36s
    4. Importing subsequent images
      4m 4s
    5. Using tethered capture
      3m 57s
  4. 28m 54s
    1. Locating images to review
      4m 10s
    2. Getting a quick overview of photos with Grid view
      3m 7s
    3. Reviewing images in detail with Loupe view
      4m 11s
    4. Zooming and panning in images
      4m 19s
    5. Using Compare view
      6m 16s
    6. Using Survey view
      3m 42s
    7. Working with videos
      3m 9s
  5. 1h 8m
    1. Configuring the toolbar
      3m 8s
    2. Picking and rejecting photos with flags
      6m 30s
    3. Assigning star ratings to photos
      5m 39s
    4. Configuring color labels
      3m 20s
    5. Using color labels to identify images
      5m 13s
    6. Auto-advancing during image review
      2m 56s
    7. Working with image stacks
      4m 33s
    8. The Quick Collection
      3m 52s
    9. Using collections to organize photos
      5m 21s
    10. Using Smart Collections
      5m 33s
    11. Basic metadata updates
      5m 8s
    12. Adding keywords to photos
      4m 35s
    13. Using the Painter tool
      3m 13s
    14. Synchronizing metadata
      2m 53s
    15. Writing metadata to images
      3m 17s
    16. Correcting capture time
      2m 51s
  6. 35m 49s
    1. Setting image sort order
      3m 54s
    2. Catalogs, folders, and collections
      2m 30s
    3. Basic image filtering
      4m 32s
    4. Advanced image filtering with the Library Filter
      8m 3s
    5. Locking the Library Filter
      2m 47s
    6. Finding images on the map
      9m 54s
    7. Dealing with offline images
      4m 9s

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