Join Tim Grey for an in-depth discussion in this video Using collections, part of Bridge CC for Photographers.
We store our digital photos in folders of course. And then we can utilize metadata to add information about our images which we can then use to search for those images. But in some cases, you may want to have a somewhat more permanent search result so to speak, and we can utilize collections for that purpose. There are normal collections which are sort of like a virtual folder. So that we can have a reference to an image without creating an extra copy of that image. And then there are smart collections which are essentially saved search results.
Lets take a look at both of those options. I'll start off by going to the Collections panel. If you don't have the Collections panel available you can go to the Window menu and then choose Collections Panel in order to make it active. But in this case, I already have my Collections panel available so I'll just click on the tab for it. And then let's assume that I'm going to create a calendar next year. And so I want to, throughout the course of this year, be able to specify images that I will consider for that calendar. That calls for a normal collection. And so at the bottom of the Collections panel, I'll go ahead and click on the New Collection button.
When I do so, because I have an image selected, I'll be asked if I want to include that selected image in the new collection. In this case, I don't want to add this image, I wasn't really thinking about this specific image when I thought about the calendar, I just want to create a collection so that I can start adding to that collection. So I'll go ahead and click the No button and then I can specify the name of my new collection. I'll just call this Calendar 2014 for example. And I'll press Enter or Return on the keyboard to apply that name change.
And now I can add images to this collection at any time. So I'll go ahead and scroll through, for example, my Croatia images. And maybe I think this image might work well for the calendar. So I'll drag it onto the collection. And now that image is in the collection. But it's still in it's original location. The collection is just a reference to that original photo. So if I choose that collection, I can see the images that are currently included in that collection. Note, by the way that I have an option to remove selected images from the collection as well. If I decide that I don't need a particular image included in that collection.
And so I can go ahead and scroll through, and even select multiple images. That I think I might like to include in the calendar, so I've clicked on one image. I can then hold the Ctrl key on Windows or the Cmd key on Macintosh while clicking on another image. And then I can click on either of those images and drag over toward the collection and that will add those images to the collection as well. I can also create a smart collection. So I'll go back to my Croatia folder, here. And then I will click the button to add a new smart collection.
By default, the collection will look in the current location, but I could also specify a different location, for example the parent folder or my Pictures folder. But in this case, I want to utilize the Croatia folder. And then for criteria, in this case, I'm going to include images that have a star rating. That is greater than or equal to a three star rating. In other words three stars or better, my favorite images from Croatia. If I want to add additional criteria, I can click the plus button and then choose an addition option. Perhaps I want to specify only those images with a red color label, for example.
Or only images captured at a particular focal length, but in this case I just want to utilize the star rating, so I'll click the minus button in order to remove that additional criteria. I can then specify whether I need to match all criteria or any criteria. In this case, I only have one piece of criteria and so the option doesn't really matter. But if I have more than one criteria specified, I can choose whether the images must meet all of the criteria or just any one item on that criteria list. I can also choose if I want to search in subfolders.
In this case there aren't any subfolders underneath this folder. So it doesn't matter which option I choose. But you can specify whether you want to only search in the currently selected folder or in all folders below that folder. And you can also choose whether or not you want to include non-indexed files. That will slow things down a little bit potentially but it also ensures you get the most accurate results possible, so I prefer to keep that check box turned on. With my criteria established I can click the Save button, that will create the new smart collection, and of course I need to give it a name.
So I'll just simply call this Croatia Favorites. I'll press Enter or Return to apply that change. And you can see that there are no images in this smart collection. But that's because there are no images in the Croatia folder that have a three star or greater star rating. That's because I haven't assigned star ratings for that folder yet. But I can go back to my Croatia folder, for example, and I'll select an image that I think is a nice image and assign a three star rating. And then perhaps, I'll give this one a four star rating. And I can scroll through my images, and find some of my favorite images out of the Croatia folder.
And add star ratings to those images. And then, when I go back to my Croatia favorites collection. You'll see that I have some images that have automatically been added. To that particular collection, so all of the images with a three star or greater rating that are in that Croatia folder have been added automatically to this Croatia favorites collection. If I remove a star rating from an image, for example, perhaps I decide this image really isn't all that great, and I'm going to change the star rating to two stars. Then that image will end up being removed from the Croatia Favorites smart collection.
If I navigate to a different location and return to that favorites collection, you'll see that the image that does not have a three star rating is no longer included. So, whether you need essentially a virtual folder where you can identify images for a particular project for example. Or you essentially want a saved search result, collections provide a great solution. And they're a great supplement to both the normal folder structure as well as the ability to search metadata. And they can be very, very helpful for a wide variety of situations. Especially when you're working on particular projects.
- Downloading images
- Using workspaces
- Navigating among photos
- Rotating images
- Rejecting and deleting photos
- Using Review mode
- Batch renaming
- Working with metadata
- Sorting, searching, and filtering
- Presenting photos as a slideshow