Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Are You Keeping Your Lightroom Catalog Under Control?

We all shoot for different reasons and therefore we all have different criteria for what constitutes a "keeper".  I've developed my own work flow over time to help prevent me from turning into a photo pack rat, but regretfully there are times when I'm in a rush or simply take short cuts that leave me with "photo detritus" that I need to go back and clean up later.  Here are a few tips I use to keep keep my collection slim and trim:

  1. Folder Counts - I use my import folder structure to separate imported photos into calendar years and days.  I almost ALWAYS offload my images the same day I shoot them, sometimes more than once, so the subject matter within a given folder is typically rather similar.  With that being the case, a large file count (> 20 or 30) indicates that I most likely have some more comparing/contrasting to do to be sure I'm keeping only the best images.  There are of course exceptions, but it's a good rule of thumb.
  2. Smart Collections - If you read through my work flow for cataloging images, you'll know that flagging and key wording are an important part of organizing the images I feel strongly enough about to keep.  It stands to reason then, that images that are either not flagged or key worded either need to go through the process again or they need to go.  That's where Smart Collections can be very helpful.  Smart Collections let you specify the criteria necessary to help you identify the images in your catalog to add to the collection.  The screen shot below shows the definition of a Smart Collection I created to help me locate images that are candidates for deletion.

Check out the post titled "Using Collections in Lightroom" for additional information.

Have any tips you'd like to share regarding keeping your collection(s) organized? Drop us a comment.  We'd love to hear from you.

Until next time, keep on click'n.


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