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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.
Collections are incredibly important in Lightroom, yet sometimes this topic, it can be a little bit vague or even confusing. Therefore, what I want to do here is take a couple of minutes and talk about Collections. What is a Collection and what's the big deal about Collections in Lightroom? Well, I think one of the first places to start in understanding what a Collection is, is in defining what it isn't, and a Collection isn't a folder. Now, if you think about a folder for an instance, we have folders on hard drives, internal, external, whatever.
And on this folder we can have information. Now, this information in a sense is kind of locked down, and that's what makes a folder good, in a sense, it's linked, it's chained to a particular spot, we'll have an image or a video file which lives in one location. Now, again, what's great about folders is they're reliable and they're predictable, right? We'll only have an image, it will live in one folder, and that's it. Yet, this gets a little bit limiting, especially when it comes to managing photographs and video files, and that's really where Collections come in.
You know Collections can give us the ability to do things that folders just can't. Well, Lightroom came along of course and introduced this concept of Collections, and in a sense what this did was it broke the chain, it broke that bond between a physical location. Now, this may seem, again, still a little bit vague, but stick with me. Let me explain this even further. Let's say that we have an image on one hard drive and this image is kind of like a couple of other images. And we want to group this image with those other images, but they all live in separate folders.
In other words, we have images in three separate folders. Well, wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to group those together in kind of a uber folder? Well, let's take this even further. Let's say that we have images that are on different hard drives, in different folders, and let's just say for the sake of an argument that we like to photograph wildlife and we have pictures of lions. We have a photograph of a lion in one folder, another folder, another folder, and then when we went on a safari last year, in a different folder, the previous year, another folder, and another hard drive, and you get the idea, right? Yet, what we want to do is have a way to kind of have a collection of our lion photographs.
We want to somehow group these together without moving them from their folders, because that folder structuring system is kind of set and dialed. Well, that's where Collections come into play. In a sense, Collections are kind of like this super or uber strong folder. You'll hear people say in the Lightroom community that Collections, well, they are king. Now, why is that? Well, in a sense what Collections allow us to do is they allow us to group or to organize images or video files in a way that is not contingent, that isn't dependent on file or folder structure or location.
In other words, we can group things in a just completely different way, and what this allows us to do is just to have a lot of flexibility when it comes to managing and organizing our assets. Now, you may be thinking, okay, well, this sounds good, but I don't quite get it. Well, I don't think you can quite get Collections until you actually start to see how they work. So let's go ahead and take a look at how we can work with Collections, and let's do that in the next movie.
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