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Getting Organized with Lightroom
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1© 2020 Mark Fitzgerald
Basic Meeting ControlsYour microphone and camera are off by default when you join the meeting. You can turn on your video camera if you like (if you have one) but please leave your microphone muted.
After the meeting begins, you can press and hold the space bar to temporarily unmute your microphone to ask questions and make comments.
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Locating ZoomIf for some reason you lose track of our meeting on your screen, go to the dock bar at the bottom of your screen where apps are shown and click the Zoom icon.
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1. Working with photos & folders2. Finding missing photos/folders3. Labeling and sorting your favorites4. Getting the most from keywords5. Using collections6. Review of exporting photos
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!Folders: These are your first line of defense. Use a system that makes sense to you.
!Labels, Stars & Flags: Identify winners and losers locally and globally.
!Keywords: Add meaningful keywords that describe image content to help you find important images later
!Collections: Create collections of groups of photos for later use such as slideshows or web galleries.
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Working with Photos & Folders
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! Lightroom Classic lets you store your photos wherever you prefer to store them.
! Internal HD: If you have plenty of room, this is a good option for speed and simplicity.
! External HD: Many photographers have so many photos that they run out of room on their internal drive and need to store some or all photos on an external drive.
! The Folders panel in Lightroom Classic is a reference to the actual physical location of folders on the hard drive.
☞ Photos are not stored in Lightroom.
Where Are Folders Stored?
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! During import: You have control over name and location of shoot folders when importing from camera.
! After import: You can move folders to new locations, including another hard drive provided it shows up in Lightroom. But you need to move them in Lightroom.
! Folder naming: Best to use names that make sense to you. I prefer a date (YYYY-MM-DD) followed by a few meaningful words. For example: 2020-04-18-Columbia Gorge.
☞ You can rename a folder in Lightroom by right-clicking on it and choosing Rename Folder.
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! Parent folders: It’s a good practice to have parent folders for each year and a master parent folder for all year folders. If you don’t see a parent folder in Lightroom but you know it’s there, you can right-click on a folder and choose Show Parent Folder.
! Mark Favorite Folder: If you have certain folders that you use frequently, you can mark them with a star by right-clicking and choosing Mark Favorite Folder.
! Add a colored label: You can also identify folders with color labels by right-clicking and choosing Add Color Label to Folder
! Filtering folders: Use the Filter Folders text bar at the top of the folders panel to use text to search for a folder. Click on the magnifier icon to filter for favorites and colors.
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! Removing folders: To delete a folder, right-click on it and choose remove. However, if there are photos in the folder they and the folder will remain on your hard drive. To truly delete a folder, delete all photo from it and then choose to remove it.
! Moving folders: A folder(s) can be dragged and dropped to any location in Lightroom’s Folders panel. When you do this, Lightroom moves them on the hard drive.
! Creating new folders: The easiest way to create a new folder is to right-click on its parent folder and choose Create Folder Inside. The new folder will be created on your hard drive.
☞ If you preselect photos before doing this, you have the option to move them to the new folder as it’s created.
Managing Folders (2)
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Finding Missing Photos & Folders
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! Because Lightroom uses a catalog, it is important to do all file management in Lightroom. If you don’t, the catalog will get confused and Lightroom won’t be able to find the photos.
" Delete photos/folders in Lightroom.
" Move photos/folders in Lightroom.
" Rename photos/folders in Lightroom.
! When you do these things in Lightroom, all changes are done on the hard drive and in Lightroom’s catalog.
! If you do them outside Lightroom, it will create a mess!
Lightroom’s Golden Rule
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! When Lightroom’s golden rule is not followed and changes are made outside the catalog, a “!” symbol is displayed on thumbnails in Grid view for missing photos and a “?” symbol is displayed beside missing folders.
! If you know where the file/folder was moved to, you can click on the ! or ? symbol and choose Find Missing… and then guide Lightroom where the file/folder is now located. This works with parent and child folders (main folders and subfolders).
When Files And Folders Go Missing
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!A good way to locate missing files is to synchronize their folder (or its parent folder). This allows Lightroom to look at the folder on the hard drive and match the catalog to the reality of the folder’s location. It also checks for new files that haven’t been cataloged, and any metadata changes caused by outside programs (like Photoshop).
!To synchronize a folder: right-click on the folder and choose Synchronize Folder. A dialog opens informing you of how many new photos are found and how many are missing.
!Missing photos are photos that are not located on the hard drive but Lightroom still has references to them. Removing a missing photo simply takes the inaccurate reference out of Lightroom.
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!Useful for adding photos to Lightroom when they were added to a folder outside of Lightroom. For example when using a different editing app.
!You can choose Show Import dialog option to view the found photos. A good idea when the number of photos is large.
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Labeling Your Favorites
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!Sorting for winners and losers is accomplished by adding rating indicators to photos to show their relative value.
!Colored Labels: Applying colored labels to photos is a great way to make the first cut on a shoot. Lightroom has 5 colors. I use red for photos I plan to delete and green for photos that are above average. Average photos get no label.
!After I’ve reviewed all photos from a shoot, I select and delete the photos with red labels. Then I select the green labeled photos and move on to rating stars.
!Rating Stars: Lightroom has a star system of 0-5 stars. I use these to identify the best of the above average, green labeled photos. If a photo makes the cut for the final project, it gets 1 star. If I really like it, I may give it 2 or 3 stars.
Red Light – Green Light
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!Flaging is another common rating system. You can use it instead of colored labels in Red Light – Green Light.
!Pick Flag (P): Adding a Pick flag to a photo places a small white flag at the thumbnails upper-left.
!Reject Flag (X): A reject flag places a gray flag with an X on it onto the thumbnail. The thumbnail is also dimmed in brightness making it easy to notice rejects.
!Unflag (U): Removes flags from selected photos.
!A cool feature of flagging is Refine Photos: After you’ve flagged all photos in a shoot, you can automatically sort the photos by choosing Library > Refine Photos. This will unflag photos that are flagged as rejects, and remove flags from the flagged photos.
!Cmd(Ctrl) + Delete = Deletes all rejected photos. Handy, but can be dangerous and you aren’t paying attention.
Working with Flags
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!The Library Filter bar is only in the Grid view. It is used to filter folders and collections based on a range of criteria.
! If you don’t see it and you’re in Grid view, choose View > Show Filter Bar.
" Text: Filter for text in any field or a specific field.
" Attribute: Filter for labels, stars, flags and more.
" Metadata: Filter for all kinds of metadata, such as date or type of camera used. (We will take a closer look at this later.)
☞ Library Filter bar filters the selected folder (and subfolders) or collection. Choose All Photographs from the Catalog panel to filter the entire catalog.
Using the Library Filter Bar
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!Use the Attribute option on the Library Filter bar to filter for labels, stars and flags, or a combination such as a green label with 2 stars.
!Filter for edits: Click to filter for photos that have been edited or photos that have not been edited.
!Rating Stars: Click the greater than or equal symbol to control how stars ratings are found.
!Colored Labels: Filter based on color label, no label or custom label.
!Kind: Filter for master photos, virtual copies, and/or videos.
Filtering for Attributes
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!A second Attribute filter bar is located on the filmstrip
!This second filter bar is in all modules because it’s on the Filmstrip. (Library Filter bar is only in Grid.)
☞ Be sure not to confuse it with the tool for adding/removing labels, stars, and flags on the Toolbar.
Secondary Attribute Filter Bar
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! Turn on Auto Advance to speed up labeling: Photo > Auto Advance.
! Use keyboard shortcuts for adding labels and stars.
"Stars are 1-5 with 0 equaling no stars.
"Colored labels: red=6, yellow=7, green=8, blue=9, purple has no numeric shortcut.
! Always do it the same – there are lots of ways to do it. Find a system that resonates with you and then use it the same all the time.
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Getting the Most from Keywords
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!Keyword Tags are used to add organizational metadata to photos that identify things like objects in the image, where the photo was shot, etc.
!Filtering for keywords: When you filter for a keyword using the Keyword list, photos with a keyword that matches it are found throughout the catalog.
!The Metadata section of the Library Filter bar opens with the current keyword highlighted when you filter.
!Turn off filtering by clicking None on the Library Filter bar.
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!The Keyword Tags panel is used to show keywords on the currently selected photo(s) and to add/remove keywords. Be sure the menu at the top-right is set to Enter Keywords.
!To add a keyword to the selected photo(s), type the keyword into the large window in the panel. You can also add keywords by typing them into the Click Here To Add Keywords box.
!Separate keywords with commas. It’s okay to have keywords that have more than one word, i.e. “Columbia Gorge”.
!Avoid using keywords like “Oregon Waterfalls” and “Washington Waterfalls”. Instead use a single keyword ”Waterfall” and a second keyword for the location “Oregon” or “Washington”.
Adding Keywords Tags
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! Keyword Suggestions panel is used to suggest other keywords that have been used on photos that also have the current keywords you have on a selected photo.
! Keyword Sets are used to provide quick access to groups of photos. You can change the keyword set using the menu at the top of the Keyword Set subpanel.
" The Recent Keywords set contains the last 9 keywords you used. Just click on one of these keywords to add or remove it from the selected photo(s).
" You can create your own custom keyword set by choosing Edit Set from the menu. After you edit it, choose Save Current Settings as a New Preset from the Keyword Set menu.
☞Hold down Option/Alt to see and apply numeric shortcuts to keywords in a set.
Keyword Suggestions and Sets
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!Keywords are listed alphanumerically. You can create a new keyword for the list without applying to a photo by using the + symbol at the top left of the panel.
!Click the arrow to the right of a keyword to find photos with that keyword tag.
!You can add/remove keywords to the selected photo(s) by using the checkbox to the left of the keyword.
!Use the filter textbox at the top of the Keyword list to quickly find a keyword. Just be sure to clear this box when you are done.
!Use the tabs at the top of the panel to choose if you want to see all keywords, people keywords, or other (all but people).
Managing the Keyword List
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!You can nest keywords the same as you would folders to improve organization and search function.
!Container Keywords are keywords that are specifically used to contain similar keywords.
!To create a container keyword, click the + symbol at the top of the panel. When the New Keyword dialog opens, name the keyword and make sure the Include on Export and Export Containing Keywords options are chosen.
!Then you can drag and drop keywords onto the container keyword to nest them.
☞ I suggest using all caps when naming container keywords to help you find them more easily.
Nesting Keywords in Container Keywords
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!You can rename a keyword by right-clicking on it and choosing Edit Keyword Tag.
!To delete a keyword, choose it and click the – (minus button) at the top of the panel. Or right-click on it and choose Delete.
!Dealing with duplicate keywords. It’s common to end up with more than one keyword for the same thing. For example when a keyword got misspelled.
Editing a Keyword
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! It’s common to end up with more than one keyword for the same thing. For example when a keyword got misspelled and there is a keyword for the same thing that is correct.
!Follow these steps:
1. Filter for photos with the incorrect keyword so you can see them in Grid view.
2. Select all photos (Edit > Select All) and click in the box to the left of the correct keyword to add it to selected photos.
3. Delete the incorrect keyword.
Fixing “Duplicate” Keywords
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!This is one of the most powerful search features in Lightroom. You can filter for all sorts of metadata, for example date, camera used, lens used, etc.
!The heading on each of the four columns can be changed to any metadata field you want to search for.
!When you filter for the first metadata field, additional columns will only show metadata that are on the photos found by the first search criteria.
Library Filter Bar Metadata Search
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!Use the Metadata section of the Library Filter bar to filter for multiple keywords.
!To do so, change the heading of additional metadata columns to Keyword. Remember, when you filter for the first keyword, additional keyword columns will only show other keywords that are on the photos found by the first keyword.
!Consider changing all four columns to Keyword and then saving a preset for future use. To do this, click the menu area just to the left of the small lock symbol at the top-right of the Metadata filter.
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! Here’s a strategy for keywording everything in your catalog.
1. Go to All Photographs in the Catalog panel.
2. Make sure you are sorting by Capture Time (on the Toolbar).
3. Start at the top and begin keywording.
4. When your done for the day, add a special keyword to the last photo you keyworded: Stopped Keywording Here.
5. When you are ready to begin again, do a keyword search for your special keyword to see where you left off.
6. Remove the special keyword from the photo and start keywording where you left off.
Strategy for Getting Started
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!A collection is a virtual group of photos, just like a music playlist. The virtual copy in the collection is linked to the original photo. Edit one and the other is edited automatically because they really are the same photo.
!To creat a collection: Click the + at top of panel. When the dialog opens, choose Create Collection. Name the collection and click Create. Then drag and drop photos into it. To remove a photo from a collection, select photo and press Delete key on your keyboard.
!Collection Sets: Used to nest similar collections together. Drag and drop a collection to add it to a collection set.
☞ Consider creating a collection named “Portfolio” for your best work. This makes it easy to find these photos when you want them.
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!Smart Collections offer a quick way to create a collection based on metadata. When you create a smart collection you “program” what you want it to collect.
!Lightroom Classic comes with a collection set of smart collections with a few basic functions.
!Create a smart collection by clicking + at top of Collections panel and choosing Create Smart Collection from the menu. Then use the menus to determine what metadata is used to populate the collection. Photos are then added automatically.
!Use the + and – (plus & minus) symbols to add additional criteria.
☞ You cannot manually add or remove photos from a smart collection since they are governed by the criteria used to create them.
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!Quick Collection: The Quick collection is located in the Catalog panel at the top left of Library module. Use it to quickly create a temporary collection. Add photos by pressing the (B) key or clicking the small gray circle at the top-right of a thumbnail in Grid view.
!Targeted Collection: A standard collection can become the targeted collection, (taking the place of Quick Collection). Right-click on a collection and choose Set as Target Selection.
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40© 2020 Mark Fitzgerald
! Exporting is used to create derivative files for other uses. For example; if I need to email a JPEG file to a friend or send it to a lab for printing.
! Use the Export dialog options to save the type of file you want, to the location you desire.
The Export Dialog
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!Select files and click the Export button in the Library module.
!Export Location: Add files to a specific folder and/or save in original folder. You can also add to the catalog on the fly.
!File Naming: Create a new filename or leave the same.
!File Settings: Determine what type of file to create: TIFF, PSD, JPEG, DNG, Original (which is a duplicate of the original).
! Image Sizing: Resize to specific size and choose resolution. Choose Long Edge to size mixed vertical and horizontal more easily.
!Output Sharpening: Basic sharpening for print or screen.
Exporting Photos Overview (1)
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!Metadata: Minimize Embedded Metadata to keep metadata private. Add a watermark from the copyright field of the metadata preset.
!Post-Processing: Open files in Finder/Explorer. You can also open files into Photoshop for advanced editing, though this is not the recommended workflow.
!Use Lightroom’s default presets as starting points. Customize with the settings you want and save your own personal User presets.
Exporting Photos Overview (2)
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1. Select the LR preset For Email (Hard Drive) as a starting point then personalize.
2. Choose the desired export location – usually a folder on the desktop but can be anywhere you want.
3. Choose the file size in pixels on the longest edge. 1000 px is a good starting point.
4. Choose file quality – somewhere around 60 - 70.
5. Add any other settings, such as sharpening or watermarking.
! Save a preset to record your settings.
Example: Export for Email
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!Use Lightroom’s default presets as starting points. Customize with the settings you want and save your own personal User preset.
!Click the Add button at the bottom-left of the Import dialog and then type a name for your preset.
!To update a User preset with new settings, right-click on it and choose Update with Current Settings.
Saving An Export Preset
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46© 2020 Mark Fitzgerald