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Confused over Collections and stuff...

summerseddy

New Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
3
Lightroom Version
8.3.1
Operating System
Windows 10
So I'm not a heavy user of LR, up until recently I used it for basic edits, syncing edits across a set, launching into PS and back again and exports.

My PC is kinda slow and sluggish so I tended to create new catalogs for new jobs or if personal use perhaps a new catalog for the month (August '19 etc).

I've just had my first commission job, and it's taxed my flow more than normal weddings and family shoots. I created a catalog for this job and imported the images, however I have continually created more and more virtual copies as my client has requested to see different edits of the originals. For example, 2-3 different colour kinds (uniformed into a set), 2-3 monochrome versions and 1-2 Sepia. This has all been very reasonable request by the client, it's just usually when I do portrait work the client is familiar with my style and 1-2 variations is enough (basically they like what they get and that's that haha!). This however was different and can understand the necessity for seeing different styles as it's part of a shop design etc.

Anyway... too late now, my library is a mess, but for future how can I best go about sorting this stuff better?

For example, right now I have edited some shots as being used with Really Nice Images preset Agfacolour 40s, and in order to make it easily apparent I have just given those files 2 stars, or a red label or something. What would be really nice would be to finish the set (or at the outset) have those files in a labelled collection or something. Right now I can't seem to figure out how to highlight a bunch of images and send them to some kind of custom named collection or subfolder or something...

Can anyone help? Is there a nice tutorial for organisation in this regard, for projects and different edits of the same files?

TIA!
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
1,734
Location
California, USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic 8
So I'm not a heavy user of LR, up until recently I used it for basic edits, syncing edits across a set, launching into PS and back again and exports.

My PC is kinda slow and sluggish so I tended to create new catalogs for new jobs or if personal use perhaps a new catalog for the month (August '19 etc).

I've just had my first commission job, and it's taxed my flow more than normal weddings and family shoots. I created a catalog for this job and imported the images, however I have continually created more and more virtual copies as my client has requested to see different edits of the originals. For example, 2-3 different colour kinds (uniformed into a set), 2-3 monochrome versions and 1-2 Sepia. This has all been very reasonable request by the client, it's just usually when I do portrait work the client is familiar with my style and 1-2 variations is enough (basically they like what they get and that's that haha!). This however was different and can understand the necessity for seeing different styles as it's part of a shop design etc.

Anyway... too late now, my library is a mess, but for future how can I best go about sorting this stuff better?

For example, right now I have edited some shots as being used with Really Nice Images preset Agfacolour 40s, and in order to make it easily apparent I have just given those files 2 stars, or a red label or something. What would be really nice would be to finish the set (or at the outset) have those files in a labelled collection or something. Right now I can't seem to figure out how to highlight a bunch of images and send them to some kind of custom named collection or subfolder or something...

Can anyone help? Is there a nice tutorial for organisation in this regard, for projects and different edits of the same files?

TIA!
Sommerseddy,

As a general observation, having many different catalogs will make your overall management that much harder. I suggest that you read up on keywords and "regular" collections to separate out each different shoot or assignment.

You can also use keywords to keep track of which images (or virtual copies) got processed with a specific preset. You could go crazy with a hierarchy of preset keywords, based on vendor, or "look" or whatever. You could create smart collections based on specific keywords, or perhaps specific People keywords.

Smart collections can be a very powerful tool in Lightroom.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
14,489
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic 8
Multiple catalogs are only necessary for a defined business requirement to segregate client data. Since you write your own business rules, I think One catalog for business and one for personal use are all that is needed. I'll endorse everything Phil has said.

Now take a look at "My PC is kinda slow and sluggish". How much RAM? How many cores in the CPU? How much free space on the primary disk?
I recommend a minimum of 16GB of RAM, a minimum of 4 CPU Cores and a GPU that supports acceleration. You also need a minimum of 100GB of free space on your C:\ drive. How old is your PC? If it is more than about 3 years, it might be time for an update. This is especially true is you are shooting a high MP camera (anything over 20mp).
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
1,734
Location
California, USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic 8
Now take a look at "My PC is kinda slow and sluggish". How much RAM? How many cores in the CPU? How much free space on the primary disk?
I recommend a minimum of 16GB of RAM, a minimum of 4 CPU Cores and a GPU that supports acceleration. You also need a minimum of 100GB of free space on your C:\ drive. How old is your PC? If it is more than about 3 years, it might be time for an update. This is especially true is you are shooting a high MP camera (anything over 20mp).
One more point about your PC being slow. If you bought your system from Dell, HP, or some other manufacturer, it may have been delivered with a lot of "bloatware" that gets loaded on startup. If you are comfortable configuring Windows, research "Windows bloatware" and "windows startup programs." Bloatware often gets installed when you download and install some program you want, if you aren't watching very carefully during the install process. You might find lots of programs running that you didn't know about, but still suck CPU cycles and RAM. You might even have more than one anti-virus program running. If you arern't comfortable with those topics, it might pay to find someone who can help here."

If you do want to buy a new PC, don't buy strictly on price, because you will get an underpowered system with the issues that Cletus raised.
 

prbimages

Active Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2017
Messages
197
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic 8
Respectfully, I think you guys have missed the actual question from the original post:

... how can I best go about sorting this stuff better? [...] Right now I can't seem to figure out how to highlight a bunch of images and send them to some kind of custom named collection or subfolder or something... Can anyone help? Is there a nice tutorial for organisation in this regard, for projects and different edits of the same files?
Suggest you have a read here to start with: Collections
 
Joined
May 9, 2015
Messages
308
Lightroom Experience
Power User
You have several options.

1) you can create a dumb (regular) collection for each grouping of images and just drag the desired images from the grid or film strip to those collections

2) You create a keyword for each desired grouping of images and tag the desired images with those keywords

3) you can combine the use of collections and keywords. Assign a keyword representing a desired grouping to the desired images. Then create a Smart Collection where the rule in the smart collection is that the images has that keyword. Although this sounds a bit overkill, it is the method I use as I have found that many times using collections is easier for some activities and sometimes using keywords is easier. This method let's me use whichever one is best suited to whatever I'm trying to do at that moment.

In addition to the above,

a) use Start Ratings to denote overall image quality or usefulness. Write a little cheat sheet for your self defining what each level of stars means to you and post it next to your computer. For me it is 0=have not rated yet, 1=poor image or near duplicate of higher rated image, 2=Good enough to post on my website, 3=posted on my website at some point, 4=favorites, 5=best of the best (National Geographic level of quality. Your cheat sheet will be different and may include references to sent to customer, or selected by customer, or purchased by customer.

b) do not use separate catalogs.

c) do not try to use folders to manage variable attributes of images. Folders are good for things that don't change over time such as date images was shot or location where images was shot. Changeable things like how much I like the image or did I send it to the customer are not good uses of folders. Once an Image is placed into a folder, under normal circumstances it should stay in that same folder throughout its life

d) if you tend to physically delete images images that are not up to par, then use pick the "reject" flag to denote the images you want to get rid of and from time to time use the "delete all rejected images" tool.

e) There are only 6 color labels, so I only use them for temporary groupings. For example I'm looking at a grid of images with a specific Keyword. I may mark them all with a RED color label. Then switch to a collection. The ones I had marked with red now stand out and are easy to spot compared to the ones that don't have a color label. Some people use color labels for more permanent informaition like Red=worst, Green=best, etc. or Red=to process, Green=processed, blue=send to customer, etc. I don't like that as keywords and collections work much better for me to manage those aspects.

Hope that helps
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2013
Messages
22
Location
Fountain City WI.
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic 8
You have several options.

1) you can create a dumb (regular) collection for each grouping of images and just drag the desired images from the grid or film strip to those collections

2) You create a keyword for each desired grouping of images and tag the desired images with those keywords

3) you can combine the use of collections and keywords. Assign a keyword representing a desired grouping to the desired images. Then create a Smart Collection where the rule in the smart collection is that the images has that keyword. Although this sounds a bit overkill, it is the method I use as I have found that many times using collections is easier for some activities and sometimes using keywords is easier. This method let's me use whichever one is best suited to whatever I'm trying to do at that moment.

In addition to the above,

a) use Start Ratings to denote overall image quality or usefulness. Write a little cheat sheet for your self defining what each level of stars means to you and post it next to your computer. For me it is 0=have not rated yet, 1=poor image or near duplicate of higher rated image, 2=Good enough to post on my website, 3=posted on my website at some point, 4=favorites, 5=best of the best (National Geographic level of quality. Your cheat sheet will be different and may include references to sent to customer, or selected by customer, or purchased by customer.

b) do not use separate catalogs.

c) do not try to use folders to manage variable attributes of images. Folders are good for things that don't change over time such as date images was shot or location where images was shot. Changeable things like how much I like the image or did I send it to the customer are not good uses of folders. Once an Image is placed into a folder, under normal circumstances it should stay in that same folder throughout its life

d) if you tend to physically delete images images that are not up to par, then use pick the "reject" flag to denote the images you want to get rid of and from time to time use the "delete all rejected images" tool.

e) There are only 6 color labels, so I only use them for temporary groupings. For example I'm looking at a grid of images with a specific Keyword. I may mark them all with a RED color label. Then switch to a collection. The ones I had marked with red now stand out and are easy to spot compared to the ones that don't have a color label. Some people use color labels for more permanent informaition like Red=worst, Green=best, etc. or Red=to process, Green=processed, blue=send to customer, etc. I don't like that as keywords and collections work much better for me to manage those aspects.

Hope that helps
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
14,489
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic 8
Is there a hierarchy to collections. i.e. Dumb,Set, Smart? is there a way to print the collections already installed?
You can create Collection Sets which nest. A Collection Set Can Contain Collections (either type) or other Collection Sets (deeper nesting). You can not add an image to a collection set. The latest enhancement (color Labels of Collections) can extend this further.

Collections show up in the Collections Panel. I'm not sure what you mean by " print the collections already installed"
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2013
Messages
22
Location
Fountain City WI.
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic 8
You can create Collection Sets which nest. A Collection Set Can Contain Collections (either type) or other Collection Sets (deeper nesting). You can not add an image to a collection set. The latest enhancement (color Labels of Collections) can extend this further.

Collections show up in the Collections Panel. I'm not sure what you mean by " print the collections already installed"
I am trying to organize my collections but can not see the entire list at on time. Want to print the list top to bottom?
 

summerseddy

New Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
3
Sommerseddy,

As a general observation, having many different catalogs will make your overall management that much harder. I suggest that you read up on keywords and "regular" collections to separate out each different shoot or assignment.

You can also use keywords to keep track of which images (or virtual copies) got processed with a specific preset. You could go crazy with a hierarchy of preset keywords, based on vendor, or "look" or whatever. You could create smart collections based on specific keywords, or perhaps specific People keywords.

Smart collections can be a very powerful tool in Lightroom.
A few youtube videos suggested using a fresh catalog per job (example;
). Certainly I feel the speed difference on my machine.
I'll look into smart collections, cheers.

Multiple catalogs are only necessary for a defined business requirement to segregate client data. Since you write your own business rules, I think One catalog for business and one for personal use are all that is needed. I'll endorse everything Phil has said.

Now take a look at "My PC is kinda slow and sluggish". How much RAM? How many cores in the CPU? How much free space on the primary disk?
I recommend a minimum of 16GB of RAM, a minimum of 4 CPU Cores and a GPU that supports acceleration. You also need a minimum of 100GB of free space on your C:\ drive. How old is your PC? If it is more than about 3 years, it might be time for an update. This is especially true is you are shooting a high MP camera (anything over 20mp).
One more point about your PC being slow. If you bought your system from Dell, HP, or some other manufacturer, it may have been delivered with a lot of "bloatware" that gets loaded on startup. If you are comfortable configuring Windows, research "Windows bloatware" and "windows startup programs." Bloatware often gets installed when you download and install some program you want, if you aren't watching very carefully during the install process. You might find lots of programs running that you didn't know about, but still suck CPU cycles and RAM. You might even have more than one anti-virus program running. If you arern't comfortable with those topics, it might pay to find someone who can help here."

If you do want to buy a new PC, don't buy strictly on price, because you will get an underpowered system with the issues that Cletus raised.
I'm aware my PC needs to be retired, but for now my funds are accounted for in other ways. I get by, I can edit, I just know I could do it faster without waiting for small delays (like clicking an image in LR Library and it doesn't recognise the click etc, so I have to click a second time).

Respectfully, I think you guys have missed the actual question from the original post:



Suggest you have a read here to start with: Collections
Thanks for that, just what I am looking for, I'll read up on that.


You have several options.

1) you can create a dumb (regular) collection for each grouping of images and just drag the desired images from the grid or film strip to those collections

2) You create a keyword for each desired grouping of images and tag the desired images with those keywords

3) you can combine the use of collections and keywords. Assign a keyword representing a desired grouping to the desired images. Then create a Smart Collection where the rule in the smart collection is that the images has that keyword. Although this sounds a bit overkill, it is the method I use as I have found that many times using collections is easier for some activities and sometimes using keywords is easier. This method let's me use whichever one is best suited to whatever I'm trying to do at that moment.

In addition to the above,

a) use Start Ratings to denote overall image quality or usefulness. Write a little cheat sheet for your self defining what each level of stars means to you and post it next to your computer. For me it is 0=have not rated yet, 1=poor image or near duplicate of higher rated image, 2=Good enough to post on my website, 3=posted on my website at some point, 4=favorites, 5=best of the best (National Geographic level of quality. Your cheat sheet will be different and may include references to sent to customer, or selected by customer, or purchased by customer.

b) do not use separate catalogs.

c) do not try to use folders to manage variable attributes of images. Folders are good for things that don't change over time such as date images was shot or location where images was shot. Changeable things like how much I like the image or did I send it to the customer are not good uses of folders. Once an Image is placed into a folder, under normal circumstances it should stay in that same folder throughout its life

d) if you tend to physically delete images images that are not up to par, then use pick the "reject" flag to denote the images you want to get rid of and from time to time use the "delete all rejected images" tool.

e) There are only 6 color labels, so I only use them for temporary groupings. For example I'm looking at a grid of images with a specific Keyword. I may mark them all with a RED color label. Then switch to a collection. The ones I had marked with red now stand out and are easy to spot compared to the ones that don't have a color label. Some people use color labels for more permanent informaition like Red=worst, Green=best, etc. or Red=to process, Green=processed, blue=send to customer, etc. I don't like that as keywords and collections work much better for me to manage those aspects.

Hope that helps
Yep, few ideas there, cheers.

Ideally I was hoping for a Catalog whereby I can highlight a bunch of images (that have been rendered the same way for example) and then just 'create an album' and call that album something sensible (like Agfa Color 40's, the render choice), and then see that album name in LR library. Should I wish to see only those images in my Library, click on that album etc.

I guess that's what I will find really important going forward, the ability to name a collection or something, I can't do labels and star ratings again as it gets to confusing trying to remember what render style was used for which label or star rating etc.

Once a set has been edited, is it not possible to highlight a bunch of them and create a brand new catalog with just those files? Reason being this was the first job I did as a collab, might be nice to send the files and LR catalog to my partner etc (or even just to gain further clarity of a set of images).
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Messages
201
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic 7
Once a set has been edited, is it not possible to highlight a bunch of them and create a brand new catalog with just those files?
Yes you can. Right click on the set and select "Export this collection set as a catalog".
 

Mrdavie

New Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
11
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic 7
If your edits strictly utilize the LR Develop module (not creating tiff files or other raster files to edit in external apps such as Photoshop or Nik collection), then perhaps you could utilize the Develop module snapshot feature and name the snapshots uniquely and succinctly. Example: the name of a preset, preset name version x, or some other identifier. Just some unique name allowing you to go to a specific development point while working with a single image. You would avoid multiple virtual images this way. Export jpegs along the way and perhaps title them to match the snapshot name. Your client picks an image, you go to that snapshot and voila! No need for large, cluttered collections.
 
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