Lightroom Magic! - Smart Collections - no more lost photos! | Joe Houghton | Skillshare

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Lightroom Magic! - Smart Collections - no more lost photos!

teacher avatar Joe Houghton, Passionate about business and photography!

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (19m)
    • 1. Why you should enroll for this class!

    • 2. What are Smart Collections?

    • 3. Why Keywords are important

    • 4. Creating Smart Collections

    • 5. Smart Collection Filters in Lightroom

    • 6. Thanks for listening!

    • 7. Closing credits

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About This Class


Do you ever have trouble finding those old photos?  Where are those shots of the kids from holiday 2 years ago, or, can you show me all your Lighthouse images so we can include one of your shots for a book or calendar?

In this class I share one of the "hidden" secrets of Lightroom - Smart Collections.  These can be created very quickly and then let you easily find photos from your entire collection, automatically adding new ones as they match the rules you set up to create the collection.

Anyone can use Smart Collections, and they will make finding your shots SO much easier if you use them!

Meet Your Teacher

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Joe Houghton

Passionate about business and photography!


I'm passionate about helping you improve your business & photography skills.

I've worked in global business for 20 years, and for the past 12 years taught at one of the world's top business school, and my business classes will introduce you to some useful and practical tools to help you plan and run your businesses and projects better.

I also run a photography training company. We all love capturing those wonderful moments, and whatever your camera or skill level, I can help you make better images and have fun doing it! I'm also an Adobe Lightroom Certified Expert, so as well as tips on taking your photos, I'll also share how to best use Lightroom to post-process and turn them into awesome images!

Join my classes and bring your business & photography skills up t... See full profile

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1. Why you should enroll for this class!: Hi. In this video, I'm going to show you have to get control of your photos. Have you got hundreds of thousands of photos building up on your hard drive on? You just can't find that particular one that you want or you can find all the shots of light houses when somebody rings you up on want Teoh commission a print or get a print from me. I'll show you how to do this in light room using smart collections. So hit that enroll button and I'll see you on the other side. 2. What are Smart Collections?: one of the most powerful but very often overlooked features of light room is thief functionality around collections. Andi collections allow you to create sets of images, which you either select yourself but what I want to show you. Where is something called smart Collections on This is based around key wording on the image data that you put in when you when you save your images. But it allows you to set up collections, which are based around rules. So, for instance, I'm going to show you how we set up a collection to search my entire library of 190,000 images on automatically pull out all the images that are in any way tagged with the word lighthouse. So let's have a look at that and see how we get up. 3. Why Keywords are important: Okay, so here I am in the library module. If we click over to the left hand side and look under catalogue, you'll see that my entire catalog, all the photos that I've got on all the drives that I've kind of got total 189,000 277 images. As you can imagine, keeping track of what you've got when you've got that many images can be a little tricky. Andi. So one of the things that I try and do is stay on top of key wording. When you import files, you can assign keywords as part of the import process on. You can also keyword a set of files or an individual image at any time by going into the library module, clicking on the key word tab over on the right here on, then entering information. So, for instance, the shots that we've got upon screen at the moment the shot that selected April and Danny, I've got a shot of April over here. So if I hold my command key or the control key on on a Windows machine down, I can select that one as well. That's also April. So as I've selected those extra files, you can see more keywords have appeared because there were additional keywords associated with this particular file on this particular file. So there we are. There's although keywords associated with those three files on the ones with stars next to them okay, only associated with one or two of those files, not all off them. But if there's a keyword such as April, which is actually associated with all of tha Maiken, just to make sure that it is applied to all three of them by just taking that star away. So just remove the star on your tempter on. If I click off now and click on each individual one, there's April. April had April, um, as a key word on all of them. Okay, on to apply a new key word, you can choose one or more shots. Eso let's say I wanted to a play keywords to these two shots, so command and click. So these two shots shot in London. Well, we can see I've got London in there. I've got houses of Parliament in there, but that's only associated with one, so I couldn't just associating with them both by taking this star off. But let's say I wanted to you know, Lighty, I don't know. There we are bloody right, So So that's now apply to both of those shots. So keyword and is quite important because it lets you search when you get hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of files. 4. Creating Smart Collections: So if we come down to the bottom of the screen on the left hand side, I'll just close up folders. Um, we come to this tap court collections, and if I open up my collections tab, you can see I've got lots of collections to create a new collection. We click on the plus key here, Andi, I want to create what's called a smart collection. So I'm gonna create a smart collection. I'm going to call it Lighthouse. Now, I'm not going to create it inside a collection set, but I could could make a set of different collections on, then give the set of name. But for this particular one, I'm just going to match this rule so much all of the following rules. Now, here you can choose pretty much anything to do with any information that light room has about the photo camera, the lens, the serial number, all kinds of stuff. So but I just want to pull out any photos that mention lighthouse. So any searchable text is what I'm gonna choose, contains or contained all. I just contains the word or doesn't contain. So you've got a lot of flexibility here on I'm going to type in the word lighthouse. That's not case sensitive. Okay, so, lighthouse, any sexual text contains the word lighthouse create. Okay, So what that's now going to do is search through my entire 190,000 photos? Andi, just return as a subset off them. And in this case, there's 59 okay on there. They all are. So I've got this one which was taken. And if we go and have a look at the meta data, this was taken back in 2003. Okay? With her with a little Casio Q v 5700. Okay, um, but to two megapixels. Something like that on. Then, as we as we come further down, this one was taken with, I think a d 600. Yep, down in Valencia on carry coast. This more shots of Walesa. Here's a shot that I took in Port Edward. Um, I took a tripping in a helicopter. Andi shot this from the helicopter. I'm flying over Port Edward in January 2015. So you can see all the shots there on G. Brings me back to grid. Have something to do with light houses. Okay, Now, if I wanted to end it that further, I could come back in and I could edit at Smart Collection on. I could add some models so I could plus on add another rule and say, Well, just show me all the shots where any searchable text contains lighthouse Andi, my, I don't know my Let's have a look. Camera info. My camera. Yeah, waas a d 600. Safe. Good. There's nothing in that collection, according to this, So let's come back out then. So my camera contains D 600. Let's see whether that works there. Were you OK? So yes, Because if I if I look down in the meta data, the model is the Niccum D 600. So contains fans D 600 wears is it was looking for just D 600. So there's just the shots of light houses that I shot with a Nikon D 600. So it's a hugely powerful way of keeping track off images on finding images very, very quickly. If as long as you've got into the habit of keyword 5. Smart Collection Filters in Lightroom: The final thing I wanted to do in this look at smart collections is just take you through all the different options that we have for selecting photos from the different metadata. Um, that's stored along with the name of the files from the camera. So we come over to collections, repress the plus. We create a smart collection, and we get the dialog box where we can enter a name for the collection. But I just want to take you through very quickly. All these all these different things here because there's a huge amount of information, some of which you you may not have even considered could be used to sort or to filter your photos. So rating is is this star ratings that a lot of people use in light room where they are picking? Perhaps you see, down here, this this photo of the bottom has got a rating of one. So I've gone through and I said, Yeah, that one's one I'm going to work on. Whereas thes ones that I haven't rated, I'm probably not going to do any more developed so you could pick a rating known. Just show me the one stars would show me all the ones that a three stuff or you know only my five star 18. Um, the pick flag. You can use P as a short cut to just flag a photo as a pick during your your kind of initial culling sequence in light room so you could use pick flag, but the filter. You can use a color to label photos, or you can use text or you can hear, say, used. It has smart preview filter. So if over on the top right near the hissed a gram, you have built a smart filter for for this smart preview. Sorry for this photo, which is a 2.5 1000 picks or smaller version of the image, which is is edita ble offline. Even if the original picture is say on a an external hard drive, then you can just tell light room that you just want to see the pictures that have smart previews built source. Okay, so you couldn't you couldn't look for a particular folder. You could look for photos in another collection or in a published collection. On published collections are collections which are specialized on linked to particular output like maybe Facebook or smug mark or squarespace or whatever. So you can set up published collections. And if we go down to the bottom of my screen here, I just come to the left of that dialogue. You can see that that way down at the bottom. I have various, um, published services. So adobe stock, Facebook flicker instagram, SmugMug on. Then within SmugMug say, which is where I published a lot of my my images that I sell. Then I have different collections under my images for sale, so I can You can search through collections like this using the smart collection. So let's come back up to the smart collections dialogue. So that was source file, name or type, so you could just search for a particular type of a file name or part of a file name or file types. So your computer perhaps imports the photos on they might be J. Peg J. P g. Photos. They if you shooting rule. If you're a canon shooter, there probably C R W files. If you're a Nikon shooter, there dot any F files. If you convert your your shots on import to DMG Digital negative on format a zai do. Then you can just search for D and G files. So this is this gives you a lot of ability to if you like, sort out your for your photos based on the type that they're in. Obviously the dates, the date that to your photo was captured, which will come out to the camera. But then the edit date. So you could say Just just show me all the photos that have been edited in the last month or in the last week on a smart collection As time goes forward, the photos that Aaron that collection will change because the last week is obviously changing day today. So what's in that collection is maintained as just your current set of photos that you've been you've been editing. There's a lot of camera information stored in each picture. We have the camera itself, so that would be, you know, a Nikon D 600 or Uganda 10 or whatever it is, the serial number, the lens. Now that could be quite useful. Um, just show me all the shots that I took using my macro lens or using my wide angle lens or not necessarily just the lens. But show me all the photos that I took. Where whatever lens I was using, I was zoomed out 200 millimeters or shots that I took recently we had a camera club monthly competition. We have one every month on the set subject waas 1/30 of a second. So we have to submit shots that had been taken after 30th of a second. So it was very easy for me to come into light room and just create a quick collection. Yeah, and set the shutter speed of 1/30 of a second. And that's all it showed me from. All my photos were ones that have been taken of the 32nd or you could say the aperture. So just show me shops that have been taken it up. You know, F eight or 5.6 or 1.8 I. So speed rated. Show me photos that were taken with an eye so of 100 or a nicer of 10,000 and you can combine these so you could You could have multiple rules here, so the 1st 1 might be the camera. So show me all the d 600 Negandhi, 600 shots where I was using the 72 200 lens. Andi, how to shoot a speed off more than 100 of a second so you can get very complex criteria set up with this location. Increasingly, cameras are being equipped with GPS, or you can let your mobile phone to some cameras now so that the GPS is low. Is is recorded as well. But again, if you putting in keywords as well, I always keyword my floaters with the country that they were taken in, whether it's Ireland or England or Wales or South Africa or wherever I've bean. So this would pick up those those keywords as well. And then there's lots of other matter data the title that you've applied to the picture, the captions, the key word. Copyright status. If you have certain shots that were copyrighted to you, that maybe in your collection you have other shots that have come in from other people on, Do you want to just pick out the shots that no, perhaps were taken by a friend of yours. So there's lots of stuff Love it you can do. You can search by the state off the photo in terms of how it's been developed. So has the photo being adjusted? Yeah. Has it been, Has it had a developed preset applied to it? Has it bean cropped or not? So these air all again options that you can apply when you're setting up your smart search , if you like sighs. But show me photos where my long edge is greater than 7000 pixels. So that would just really return things like huge panoramas for photos where I had stitched maybe three or four shots together and had resulted in really big shots. Well, if perhaps you've got to go and set some sense, um, shots into a local paper off, you know, sporting events that you shot over the last year so you could say, right, we'll just show me that the two megapixel or or lower shots that I've shot because the paper only wants shots of only two megapixels or less, so you can see all the different options you've got there on the aspect ratio, so you can choose to show just the portrait, orientation shots or the shots that I've got on screen at the moment of a landscape orientation. Okay, so you could just say, Well, just show me the ones where the orientation is in landscape, for instance. You know you're sending in shots for a a calendar, and they want all the shots to be submitted in Land State. Former because the calendar is going to be in landscape former. So this is a very quick way of doing that. Any searchable text was covered on. Now even we have we have instagram. So if you've replied an instagram filter or you've keyword it shots with an instagram user name or you instagram i D, then you can search on that. So, as you can see, there's a tremendous amount of data which is hidden behind the scenes with your actual images, which you can use to create smart collections on Really get a good handle on what's in your growing collection of images. Because really, if you can't find an image, then you may as well not have that image on If a client or somebody who publisher rings you up and says semi images that you've got off the Dublin Docklands at night, you need to be able to assemble that collection very quickly so that you can men e mail those off for Dropbox, a link or whatever and this is a really, really good way of staying on top of all the photos in your collection.