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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques, photographer Chris Orwig shows how to master the subtleties of Lightroom 3 and maximize its efficiency. The course begins with an in-depth exploration of Lightroom catalogs to keep track of photos, collections, keywords, stacks, and more. Along the way, Chris shows how to integrate Bridge and Photoshop in the Lightroom workflow and shares advanced techniques, including image editing with the adjustment brush, automating actions, using plug-ins and extensions, exporting to email or an FTP server, and more. Exercise files are included with the course.
Here I want to briefly talk about a scenario where it may be advantageous to have multiple catalogs on one computer. There are certain situations that photographers run into where they find that this particular technique can work well. For example, let's say you are a wedding photographer and you photograph a wedding, and you have 3,000 or 4,000 images from that wedding. Well, that is a huge undertaking. In certain, wedding photographers find it advantageous to actually have a different catalog for each wedding.
Now their images are still stored on an external hard drive, yet all their catalogs remain on their main computer. That way when they're working on one particular wedding, they can really focus in on all those images. They can go through those images. They can process them. They can export them. They can do everything that they needed to do and then really finish it up. Then they can move to a different wedding. In those situations when you need to refer back to a certain project or a certain wedding, you can just open up that catalog and then access and work on all of those images.
Now another approach that some people take is to actually move the catalogs over to where the images reside. That way the catalog and the images reside together; they live in the same exact space. In those situations, that may be helpful, because it's a little bit easier for backing things up, and it also keeps everything grouped together really nicely. Now, I'm not necessarily saying one way is better than another; rather, what I want you to begin to think about is that if you're a real high- volume shooter, or if you just like to kind of compartmentalize your work, it is a valid approach to work with multiple catalogs, even when you're working just on one computer.
Now that being said, some people ask the question, well, should I do that? I'm not really sure how high a volume a shooter I am. How many images can a Lightroom catalog handle? Well, a lot of times, I like to refer to one of my friend's workflow. It's Julieanne Kost. She is an Adobe evangelist, a great trainer, great photographer, an all-around amazing person. In her catalog, she has 60,000 plus images and Lightroom performs incredibly well. Now, she has a really good system, yet Lightroom is able to handle a real high volume of photographs.
So, sometimes it's helpful to chop things up into smaller catalogs just for preference, just so that you can have a group of images in one space. Other times, if your system isn't up to snuff, you may find that it boosts Lightroom's performance a little bit, because in that way Lightroom is just focusing in on previews and different things of a certain set of images rather than your entire library. Now, the last thing that I want to point out here is a weakness with this approach. Let's say that I'm working on this particular catalog for this wedding, Amanda and Ryan, and I find an image which is just amazing, and I want to keep that image.
I want to kind of set it apart or pull it out or set it aside and include it in my portfolio. Well, in this case, I have no way of having a portfolio collection or portfolio keyword. It's kind of stuck inside of this catalog. Now that being said, it wouldn't be that tricky to create a little collection called portfolio and then to export that collection like we talked about in the previous two movies and then import it into another catalog that contains other types of information. So the whole point here is just to begin to think about how when you're working with one catalog you have a few limitations, yet you can always work around those limitations.
What you have to do is say, okay, I am going to maximize the strengths, and with the weaknesses I need to get a little creative and see if I can create some workarounds in order to make this particular setup work well.
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