Daily Archives August 14, 2019

Greetings! I’s been about two years since my last guest blog post on 10 years of Lightroom Help Desk Advice, and I thought it would be a good chance to follow up with 10 more tips to help you get the most out of Lightroom Classic. 

1. Dig Into Smart Collections

Smart collections allow you to harness the power of the database inside of Lightroom Classic by leveraging the information contained in your photo’s metadata. Plus, any additional data you may have added (like keywords, titles, captions, etc.), to automate the process of finding, grouping, and organizing your photos in meaningful ways. You can think of smart collections simply as saved searches that run automatically.

Smart collections are just one of three types of collections you can find in the Collections panel. If you click the plus sign (+) in the header of the Collections panel, you can access the menu for creating each type of collection. In addition to the Smart Collection, there is the regular Collection type, which is useful for manually grouping photos together based on a common theme or purpose, and the Collection Set, which are essentially containers for other collections and enable the creation of an organizing structure for your various collections.

For example, you might have a Collection Set named for a trip or event, and then within that set, you could have a combination of regular collections and smart collections that contain relevant photos. These can be grouped together based on any criteria that suit your needs, such as dates, names of people, locations, and so on.

I typically use regular collections when I am manually going through photos and picking and choosing specific photos that I want to group together for some reason, and I use smart collections when I want to automatically gather up a group of photos that all meet the same criteria. I organize those various collections inside of relevant collection sets.

To create a new smart collection, you can use the Create Smart Collection menu in the panel header, the New Smart Collection command in the Library menu, or simply right-click anywhere inside the Collections panel to access the same Create Smart Collection menu. This opens the Smart Collection dialog box.

When it comes to creating the rules for the Smart Collection, you first need to decide if you want the photos added to this collection to match any, all, or none of the rules you go on to define by choosing an option from the drop-down menu next to Match. Leaving match set to all is the most straightforward way to get started. You can see all the possible rules at your disposal by clicking the rules drop-down menu and scrolling through the list.

Remember, the only way photos can be added to a smart collection is if they meet the defined criteria, and the only way they can be removed from a smart collection is when a particular photo no longer matches the defined criteria. There are so many ways Smart Collections can leverage the power of the Lightroom catalog and make your life simpler. Experiment and have fun!

2. Designate A Target Collection

Speaking of collections, have you discovered the ability to set one regular collection to be the “Target” collection? The Target collection has a super power, which is that you can add selected photos to the Target collection simply by pressing the B key.

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