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Culling has me stumped

Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
170
Location
Kansas, USA
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
6.x
Hi all,
I don't post much here, because most of the time I can find or figure out answers to my questions. However this one has me stumped.
First I do know how to cull select my images. I have a catalog of a little over 15k images. I have added keywords, pick-flags, color-labels and of course collections.
What I'm working on is photo books for my wife's sisters (she has 4), as Christmas gifts for them. So thanks to the keywords I've managed to narrow the images of her family down to roughly 500. I've created a Collection Set and a Collection inside that set, placing all 500 images in that collection, calling it First Selection. Here's where I'm not sure how to proceed.
All those images are RAW, but they also all have pick-flags and various color labels that I've use for other projects. Of course I understand that the thumbnails in the collections are place holders, so changing any attribute in the collection is changing the original.
So what would be an intelligent way to proceed to further cull them down. The photo books will have about 20 pages.
  1. Don't worry about changing the attributes (flags and color labels), clear them all so I can select again?
    1. I have some Smart Collections based on some of these attributes such as color labels.
  2. I've considered selecting those images in this collection and exporting as a catalog then using the new catalog to work on the photo books. I haven't tried this yet, but I think that the attributes would be catalog specific, so changing them in the new catalog would not affect them in my main and only one.
  3. Any other way that's possible in LR, that I'm obviously not thinking of?
Any help in thawing my frozen brain is greatly appreciated. :)
 

Roelof Moorlag

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
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Netherlands
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Have you considered the use of 'helper' keywords for this project only? I'm using this not-exported keywords for organizing purposes too. They begin all with @ (but you can use another character also which you don't use for other purposes of course).
With this helper keywords it's very easy to make smart collections
 

Bruce J

Photographer
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
473
Location
Cooperstown, NY, USA
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Advanced
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I would tackle this kind of issue with additional 'temporary' keywords and smart collections. Using keywords for second and subsequent selections allows you to change your mind at any point just by adding and deleting keywords from photos.
 
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
170
Location
Kansas, USA
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
6.x
Thank you Roelof and Bruce for your help.
So to use the temp keywords, helper keywording, I would need to add that to each photo to select it? The culling or selecting is what I'm having a problem going forward. I've been using the pick-flags and star ratings to cull images after they're imported. I've just left them because, I do have some smart collections setup that use those criteria, and that's why I'm nervous about resetting them.
So again, what I'm doing is going through my catalog, selecting the images I want to put into the photo books. I've narrowed it down to those that are of my wife's family. Now I need to further narrow it down to the finalists, however all the images already are using the "culling" attributes.
Am I ignorant or putting it bluntly, stupid for leaving the pick-flags and star-ratings long after I've finished processing? I'm starting to think that way. :Do_O:unsure::oops:
 

tspear

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2014
Messages
1,770
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Waltham MA
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Keywords or go old school and create additional collections.
For example create the following:
Collection Set -- Book, and all collections in there:
-- Possible Cover
-- Possible Back Cover
-- Possible Theme 1
-- Possible Theme 2

Each theme represents a specific item you want to show off. For example Theme 1 might be "Family Shots", Theme 2, might be Christmas....

Once you have the book effectively broken down to manageable sections it becomes easier to cull the images further. It also gives you the chance to look at the book as a whole before assembly and make sure everything is somewhat balanced (if you desire).

Good luck
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
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Houston, TX USA
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I agree with Roelof and the others. Ratings, Pick flags and Labels are limited and any change is a result in either/or. If you want to preserve your existing Ratings, Pick flags and Labels, then adding non exportable keywords (temporary for the duration of this project) is the best way to select and separate these images. Once the project is complete, you can delete these temporary keywords.
 

Bruce J

Photographer
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
473
Location
Cooperstown, NY, USA
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Thank you Roelof and Bruce for your help.
So to use the temp keywords, helper keywording, I would need to add that to each photo to select it? The culling or selecting is what I'm having a problem going forward. I've been using the pick-flags and star ratings to cull images after they're imported. I've just left them because, I do have some smart collections setup that use those criteria, and that's why I'm nervous about resetting them.
So again, what I'm doing is going through my catalog, selecting the images I want to put into the photo books. I've narrowed it down to those that are of my wife's family. Now I need to further narrow it down to the finalists, however all the images already are using the "culling" attributes.
Am I ignorant or putting it bluntly, stupid for leaving the pick-flags and star-ratings long after I've finished processing? I'm starting to think that way. :Do_O:unsure::oops:
Leave your flags and stars as they are. Set up a new keyword like "Book-final". Open your existing collection of potential book images and add that new keyword to all potential images for the book (select all and click on the box in front of the new keyword). Create a new smart collection with the criteria of the new keyword. Open that new smart collection and you should see all of your potential images. As you identify images to cull, just delete the "Book-final" keyword from each image. The image will immediately disappear from the collection. Repeat as often as needed until you only have the images you want in the smart collection. If you regret culling an image, just add the keyword back and it will come back into the collection. Lots of ways to modify the process to include multiple passes, or include Tim's suggestion for topics, etc. with multiple temporary keywords. Good luck.
 
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
170
Location
Kansas, USA
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
6.x
Leave your flags and stars as they are. Set up a new keyword like "Book-final". Open your existing collection of potential book images and add that new keyword to all potential images for the book (select all and click on the box in front of the new keyword). Create a new smart collection with the criteria of the new keyword. Open that new smart collection and you should see all of your potential images. As you identify images to cull, just delete the "Book-final" keyword from each image. The image will immediately disappear from the collection. Repeat as often as needed until you only have the images you want in the smart collection. If you regret culling an image, just add the keyword back and it will come back into the collection. Lots of ways to modify the process to include multiple passes, or include Tim's suggestion for topics, etc. with multiple temporary keywords. Good luck.
Ok, now I understand. Thank you.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
Messages
42
Location
Vienna / Austria
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Advanced
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6.x
Have you considered creating virtual copies of your selected 500 images?

Select your 500 images, and then create a new collection. At this point you can choose to include the already selected pictures in the new collection, and you can have Lightroom create virtual copies.

With this new collection, you could basically do whatever you like without touching the originals.
 
Joined
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I had more than 500 and LR gave this error;
LR-Virtualcopies.jpg
 
Joined
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I had more than 500 and LR gave this error;
View attachment 8416
LR is simply telling you the the undo button {Cntl/Cmd}{Z} will only be available for the last 500 virtual copies. This is not an error but only an informational warning. You can still remove all 569 Virtual Copies from the catalog at any time using the "Remove from Catalog" option. Since the 569 Virtual Copies are what you want, you won't be needing the undo button.
 
Joined
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Thank you Cletus.
 
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