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Converting a collection to a smart collection

frank raney

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I have decided it is better to use smart collections. I have created some, but now am trying to convert my regular collections to smart ones. Can this be done? If so, how?

Thanks lots in advance...
Frank
 
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... for example, open your dumb collection, select all the images and assign them a unique keyword. Then create a smart collection where the criteria is Keyword contains <whatever that keyword is>. Not sure that that buys you anything, but you didn't articulate your criteria for what your dumb collections are used for. If you tell us that, then we can let you know if there are smart collection rules to achieve automatically what you are currently doing manually.
 

frank raney

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Thanks all. Just what I had figured. It's easy to create a smart one and then delete the dumb one.........here I go....It will take a while but will be better in the long one.
 
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You should not think that normal (static) Collections and Smart Collections as mutually exclusive. Their different characteristics are both useful.

For example I do all my image processing, development, keywording, etc. in normal Collections. These are project based, i.e. a specific shoot or event. After import I create a Collection Set "Project_name" and put all the images in to a Collection "Project_name - all". Then I switch the Collection "Project_name - all" to do my processing. This has the advantage that all stacking for HDR or Panorama series are visible and the results of any photo merge or external editing automatically added back into this collection.

There may also be some special purpose collections, for example a separate collection for a star trail sequence or light painting sets where I will do all the work for preparing the source images, send them to Photoshop for all the layering and masking. I then add resulting finished TIFF into the "Project_name - all" . I can then use that collection name as the basis for one or more Smart Collections such as 3Star to quickly find all my top rated images from the shoot.

-louie
 
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Thanks all. Just what I had figured. It's easy to create a smart one and then delete the dumb one.........here I go....It will take a while but will be better in the long one.
Note that smart collections cannot be synced to the cloud; only regular collections can be synced. You should be aware that you may be limiting your options if you get rid of all regular collections.
 

Roelof Moorlag

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One other thing is the performance of Lightroom. For what i have understand is that lots of smart collections can have a negative impact on the performance.
 
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You have to define lots! I have lots and I don't see much of a downside.
 
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One other thing is the performance of Lightroom. For what i have understand is that lots of smart collections can have a negative impact on the performance.
Smart Collections do not exist until you click on it to open in Grid view or what ever, Behind the Smart preview name entry in the list is a SQL query described by the criteria. It does not run until you open or refresh the Smart Collection. SO the only performance hit occurs when you open the Smart Preview.

FWIW, I have only one standard collection and run a version ofJohn's Workflow Smart Collections. Occasionally when working outside of my normal workflow I will create temporary static collections. And of course, I have had to generate static collections for all of the sync'd albums in Lightroom (cloudy)
 
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Smart Collections do not exist until you click on it to open in Grid view or what ever, Behind the Smart preview name entry in the list is a SQL query described by the criteria. It does not run until you open or refresh the Smart Collection. SO the only performance hit occurs when you open the Smart Preview.
No, that is not completely true. I remember we've had this discussion some years ago. I don't think that smart collections cause a great performance hit, but they do get updated all the time, even if you do not open them. Try this: Create a smart collection that searches for a rating of five stars. Look at the number of images that the smart collection displays in the collection panel. Select another source, select an image and press the '5' key to give that image five stars. Look at the number behind your five star smart collection. It will increase instantaneously.
 

Roelof Moorlag

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I remember we've had this discussion some years ago.
That what was i was remembering but i can not find anything substantial about it (prove). However, i have a lot of smart collections (hundreds) and i'm exporting the ones i don't need on a daily base so i can delete them in my catalog. Whenever i need them, i can reimport them. When i find improvement in performance i will let you know :)
 

frank raney

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You should not think that normal (static) Collections and Smart Collections as mutually exclusive. Their different characteristics are both useful.

For example I do all my image processing, development, keywording, etc. in normal Collections. These are project based, i.e. a specific shoot or event. After import I create a Collection Set "Project_name" and put all the images in to a Collection "Project_name - all". Then I switch the Collection "Project_name - all" to do my processing. This has the advantage that all stacking for HDR or Panorama series are visible and the results of any photo merge or external editing automatically added back into this collection.

There may also be some special purpose collections, for example a separate collection for a star trail sequence or light painting sets where I will do all the work for preparing the source images, send them to Photoshop for all the layering and masking. I then add resulting finished TIFF into the "Project_name - all" . I can then use that collection name as the basis for one or more Smart Collections such as 3Star to quickly find all my top rated images from the shoot.

-louie
I do use both... I should have clarified, and yes each has it's own use. I was just trying to convert some dumb ones to smart ones to sync to get into myportfolio. I found it easier to just filter and put in the target collection, and sync it.

Why would you edit from the collection instead of the imported folder? are the collections not updated if you edit outside the collection. I created folders mostly to stop filtering all the time Just filter once and send the results to the collection is what I do.

Anyway I got things working. I just created the smart ones from scratch. The smart ones are always updating, that's why I like them better.
 

frank raney

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from what I understand, collections do not have a photo in it. Only a pointer to the real photo, with a small preview. When you edit you are editing the original.
 

frank raney

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No, that is not completely true. I remember we've had this discussion some years ago. I don't think that smart collections cause a great performance hit, but they do get updated all the time, even if you do not open them. Try this: Create a smart collection that searches for a rating of five stars. Look at the number of images that the smart collection displays in the collection panel. Select another source, select an image and press the '5' key to give that image five stars. Look at the number behind your five star smart collection. It will increase instantaneously.
No noticeable degradation of performance. when you add a photo to a collection, you are not adding a copy, only a pointer to the photo. the main difference between the two types of collections is one is instantly and continuously updated (smart). Regular collections are not updated until you point to it from the photo. There is only ONE photo to work with. The collections just point to the small preview so you can see the photo.
 
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from what I understand, collections do not have a photo in it. Only a pointer to the real photo, with a small preview. When you edit you are editing the original.
Not even a small preview. A collection is just a list of pointers, nothing more. The preview you see is the same preview in all collections. It's like a playlist on a music player. You only have one music file, but that file can be in as many playlists as you want.
 
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No noticeable degradation of performance. when you add a photo to a collection, you are not adding a copy, only a pointer to the photo. the main difference between the two types of collections is one is instantly and continuously updated (smart). Regular collections are not updated until you point to it from the photo. There is only ONE photo to work with. The collections just point to the small preview so you can see the photo.
I'm not sure why you think you need to tell me this... Having lots of smart collections could in theory give a hit in performance, because -as I just described- they are constantly updated. I doubt you will notice it however, unless you really have hundreds of them.
 
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Why would you edit from the collection instead of the imported folder? are the collections not updated if you edit outside the collection. I created folders mostly to stop filtering all the time Just filter once and send the results to the collection is what I do.
All of my import presets put all new images into date based folders so the images for a specific shoot or project almost always reside in multiple folders. Putting all the images in to one top level collection gives me one clearly identified place to to to see all the images captured for that event. This is done one time at the front so you almost never have to to go back and update it.

You do need to be diligent to select the specific "all" collection as your source when doing any organization. That way stacks, merges and derivatives created by external editors are automatically put back into the master collection.

There is one minor bugaboo in the handling of "Rejected" images. For normal working in use custom Filters that all hide "Rejected" images. That works well. However, when it comes time to actually permanently remove these from my catalog and hard drive. You can't do it when your source is a collection. The easiest way is to go to either the enclosing folder or the special collection "All Photographs" and do the remove from catalog and hard drive from there.

-louie
 

PhilBurton

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There is one minor bugaboo in the handling of "Rejected" images. For normal working in use custom Filters that all hide "Rejected" images. That works well. However, when it comes time to actually permanently remove these from my catalog and hard drive. You can't do it when your source is a collection. The easiest way is to go to either the enclosing folder or the special collection "All Photographs" and do the remove from catalog and hard drive from there.

-louie
Louie,

True and it's a minor annoyance for me. I also organize folders by date, and a collection can have photos from multiple dates, so deletion from the catalog requires extra steps.
 
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