If you’ve been wanting to learn how to install Lightroom presets, make sure and check this out!
Updated for 2016 with a fresh video tutorial! Check it out. 🙂
Today, I’m going to reveal my big secret on how I cull quickly in Lightroom with a simple (but largely unknown!) set of keyboard shortcuts.
Okay, quick review here: when we say cull, we’re referring to cutting our images down to the keepers. I always cull my images before I start editing them because there’s no point in editing images we won’t keep right?
Culling is best done in the library module where you have a good view over your images. I also like using Loupe View where only one image is shown, and you can press E on your keyboard to enter Loupe view.
Remember talking about flags in our last post? That’s the system we will be using for this example, although other systems work as well.
To get started with our speed trick, go ahead and make sure that caps lock is turned on on your keyboard. This makes the images auto advance – once you apply a flag with the keyboard, Lightroom goes to the next image. As a review of our flagging keyboard shortcuts, you can press “P” to flag an image, or “U” to unflag an image.
When I cull, I can fly through a large set of images with this trick. With caps lock turned on, I press “P” to flag an image as a pick for my keeper images. Pressing “U” marks an image unflagged. With caps lock on, as soon as you press the key, Lightroom automatically goes to the next image.
Give it a try for yourself. With this one keyboard tweak, you’ll fly through the culling phase. No more scrolling through to the next image, you can simply press the appropriate flag button and Lightroom handles the rest. Let me know what you think of my secret to quick culling!
Updated for 2016: check out this video to learn everything you need to know!
Hello again Lightroom fans! Today, I want to tackle how we move and delete our images in Lightroom. Doing these both from within Lightroom helps us avoid catalog issues and errors.
There are essentially two types of deletions in Lightroom: deleting the file, and deleting images from the catalog. Today, I’ll help you make sure you know the difference and nail down how to do it.
First thing’s first: to delete images in Lightroom, you first have to select the images! You can select a single image, or multiple. To select multiple images, hold control [cmd on a Mac] – and click as many photos as you want to select. You’ll notice that it highlights multiple photos. We can also select one photo, hold shift, and click another image to select all images in between.
Now, press delete on your keyboard – you can use backspace or the delete button if you have the number pad.
Lightroom will bring up a warning that reads:
Let’s think about the difference here. If we “delete the selected master photo from disk”, that means that we are deleting the file from our hard drive and moving it to the trash bin. Poof, gone. 😀 However, removing it from Lightroom just takes it out of our catalog, but the file is still on the computer.
Clicking “Delete from disk” is going to send the photo to the recycling bin. Clicking “remove” will simply take it out of the Lightroom catalog, but leave it wherever it’s stored on your hard drive. These two deletes are doing different things for sure, but are pretty self explanatory. Make sure and read the menus carefully!
Another option in Lightroom is to move images. If we need to relocate where our images are stored on the hard drive, we want to do it from within Lightroom so that Lightroom doesn’t lose where our images are stored.
I have to admit that moving photos to another folder in Lightroom is a little clunky, and not as full featured as I would like. However, it can be done from the Library module. On the left side of the program, you’ll see a file browser. You can drag and drop folders into new locations to move the entire folder.
Make sense? Any questions on how to handle deleting and moving photos in Lightroom? Leave a comment if there’s anything I can do to help you out!
I love carnivals. When I think of the way that I feel when I’m at a carnival, one word comes to mind: lights! Lights, everywhere. The glow seems to follow you on every ride, to every booth. I mixed this preset up to really give the feeling of that glow in my photos. Enjoy!
Moving files around on your system can really throw Lightroom for a loop. However, have no fear! We can fix this error in just a few seconds.
First, a little background. After you get images in a catalog, Lightroom can’t follow your images if they get moved. You might hit this error message because you renamed a folder, moved it inside of another folder, or anything that changes the path of the files in Lightroom.
You’ll notice the issue when you see this message pop up in Lightroom:
Easy fix, no worries. All that we need to do is show Lightroom where we moved the files to. In the Library Module, look down at the Film Strip (the row on the bottom with photo thumbnails) and click the small box over the thumbnail.
This box pops up to let you locate where the photos were moved to.
Finally, show Lightroom where the photos are moved to, and click the same image that you are locating. Leaving the “find nearby missing photos” box checked will help the rest of the images automatically fix.
If you don’t know what you did with the files, that’s a little trickier. The best thing I can recommend is searching on your computer for those files. For instance, I could use Windows or Mac’s search tool to search for IMG_2266.CR2 for the example above.
Lightroom also has a super cool feature that lets you filter all of the missing images quickly. While in the Library module, just choose Library from the menu, then Find Missing Photo. Lightroom will show you all of the images that have broken links.
Having issues with missing images? Check in with a comment if you need help.
Renaming photos is an important part of keeping my image names sane! It’s so much nicer to come out with “jones-wedding-01.crw” instead of DSC170439182342 when we’re finished. Sure, we can rename photos as we import them into Lightroom. However, how can we rename photos that are already in our catalog? Let’s take a look.
Quick note here: I frequently talk about the beauty of Lightroom not altering our original files. This is one of the tweaks that actually does alter your source files. Of course, just changing the filename is pretty harmless, but just thought you should know.
The beauty of renaming the files is that we basically give Lightroom a “naming scheme” and then it handles renaming them all for us. To get started, go ahead and make sure you’re in the Library module.
Next up, pick the photos that you want to rename. Typically, I’ll want to rename all of my photos, so I select all. Next up, bring up Lightroom’s rename option by pressing F2 on your keyboard, or choosing “Library” from the menu, then “Rename Photos”.
Now, Lightroom brings up a menu that lets us choose the way that we rename our photos. Typically, I keep it pretty simple and choose the option that reads “Custom Name – Sequence”. Let’s take a look.
Here, all that we have to do is enter our “custom text”, which is the text that appears in every filename. Then, Lightroom adds a number to the end of each photo in order. We can also start the numbering wherever we want, but I usually leave it at “1”.
But what if we want to get more detailed than that? We can create custom settings and naming schemes to build much more descriptive names. Instead of choosing “custom name-sequence” from the menu, now try opening “Custom Settings” on the File Naming menu.
Okay, this is one of the most complex parts of Lightroom but bear with me here. Basically, this is a small program within Lightroom that lets us build different naming schemes easily.
You can see tons of dropdown menus. This is one thing that takes a little bit of experimenting with, but the basic procedure goes like this. Those dropdowns have different naming options built in, and we chain them together to build our new naming scheme. What we can do is pick naming “bits” from those options and then “insert” them into our naming scheme.
I inserted four naming bits here. Let me walk you through them:
- Date (YYYY) – adds the date of the photo in the four digit scheme
- Date (Month) – adds the name of the month to the filename
- Date (DD) – adds the two digit date of the month to the filename
- Custom Text – includes the custom text option – we can make this whatever we want
Renaming photos can be really simple and straightforward, but Lightroom also has tons of options to build the rename scheme that we desire. If you need something simple, try out one of the built in naming schemes, but also check out the more complex options that can give you detailed names.
Do you do image renames? Feel free to leave a comment if you need more help or want to share you preferred naming schemes.
In our last post, we got started with keywording our images. We add keywords to give Lightroom info that it couldn’t figure out on its own, and this helps to organize our image collections. We can add tags like “cake” to wedding images with the
Once we get our images tagged, the next logical step is learning how to filter and find images by those keywords.
Let’s go back to the cake example that we applied yesterday. If, for some reason, I want to find all images with the keyword cake, I’ll navigate to the Library module.
The first thing that I want to do is turn on the Filter Bar. To do this, let’s go ahead and go to the View menu, and choose Show Filter Bar. You can also press the “\” on your keyboard.
Once the filter bar appears, you’ll see a number of different boxes that let us choose how we want to filter our images:
Once the filter bar is showing, you’ll see a number of boxes above the image area. Each of these boxes lets us narrow down our images in a different way. Today, we’re concerned only with filtering by keyword, which is on the far left. Clicking “Cake” will show only the images with the cake keyword. Let’s click it to filter our images:
Okay, done! Now, we’re seeing images with cake as the keyword. This is a great example of how we can use keywords to refine our image selections quickly. If we want to leave this filter, just choose “All” from the list.
On the right side of the Library module is another way to filter image by keywords. This is called the Keyword List panel. It shows the keywords of all of the images we’re working with. The number to the right of each keyword shows how many images have those keywords. Hover over a keyword and click the arrow on the far right to filter by keyword.
Some ideas on how to use keywords powerfully:
- Use the keyword flowers to round up images to share with the floral vendors at the wedding for powerful networking
- Add people’s names as keywords to filter by subject
- Keyword by location name to study your favorite places to shoot
In the last two posts, you’ve been introduced to the power of keywording. Once you’ve taken the time to add keywords to your images, you can navigate and manage your image collections so powerfully.
Are you using keywords or will you start now? Feel free to leave a comment so we can share ideas on how to use keywords powerfully.
Keywords are one of the most powerful tools that Lightroom offers to help us tag our images. When we have thousands of images and need to find a few in particular, we rely on the keywords we’ve added to our images. Keywords are going to be especially useful once you start working with “big” catalogs. The more images that need to be handled, the more data that we need to help find the ones we’re working with.
Let’s work through a quick example of how keywords are used in my workflow, and we’ll use a wedding catalog as an example.
We’re going to be adding keywords in the Library module, so make sure that you’re working in it. You’ll find the keyword panel on the right side of the Library module:
We’ll start small with a keyword like “cake” . Let’s go ahead and add the tag cake to our image. In the box that reads “Click here to add keywords” to add our keyword. Type in cake , and once we click away from the Window, it will move to the box above. That shows that the keyword has been added to the image.
Also, there’s no limit to the number of keywords that can be added to an image. If a picture has a cake and the couple, don’t be afraid to add that cake keyword, plus “bride” as a keyword, and “groom” as a keyword after that. Separate each keyword with a comma, and you can add them easily.
The Keyword Suggestions box shows keywords that we’ve used for other images. We don’t have to type them again, because we can just click them to add them to our image.
Tips on using keywords:
- Standardize – don’t use “shoes” for one image and “heels” for another if you want to be able to find them quickly
- Plan! – think about how you might need to round up your best images; I know that I usually do a “Best Of” post for the end of the year, and these keywords will help me get to my favorites quickly
- No redundancy – Don’t use keywords like “Best” or “awesome”, when you can use stars to mark your favorite images
In our next post, you’ll see the real power of keywords as we learn how to find images with shared keywords.
How are you using keywords? Do you have ideas on how you might get started with them? Leave a comment and share your ideas on how keywords will charge up your workflow.
Hey again! Today, we’re diving into the debate of how many photographers cull. Two of the most popular ways that photographers cull in Lightroom is with flags (also known as “flag as pick”) or using the star system. Both of these are ways that we can make our picks about which in images. A reader sent me this email recently about which rating system to use:
I just can’t choose between stars and flagging as picks while culling my images. I like flagging because it keeps it simple, but I love being able to jump to the best photos by filtering by stars. Help Lightroom Love! Tell me what to do!
Sincerely, Stars and Flags Forever
As is the case with many posts here on the blog, I can only share my own personal preferences and opinions. For me, I prefer flagging photos while culling. In my workflow, there are only two types of photos: ones I will deliver to a client, and ones that I will not. And besides, deciding if a photo is a 3 star or 4 star effort is just a headache for me. I like keeping things straightforward.
However, I also see great use for the star system. I might 5-Star an image if I use it in Facebook sneak peeks or for promotional purposes. As always, don’t follow rules that don’t exist – no one says you have to use exclusively flagging or exclusively stars to cull images.
Either way, Lightroom provides us with the flexibility to filter images later based on if images are flagged or not, or by the star rating an image receives. We can also throw in color labels for a bit of complexity.
Let’s also use this as an open mic: which system do you use to cull? Check in with a comment – I’m really interested to hear what you’re doing.
One of the cool features of the Library module is that we have four different views for checking out our images. The default view for me is Grid view, but we can easily switch among four options: Grid, Loupe, Compare, & Survey. To change the view, make sure you’re working in the Library module, and switch among them using the buttons to the lower left of the photo area.
We can choose four different views of our images in the Library module: Grid, Loupe, Compare, & Survey
Picking the right view helps us get through our images more quickly, and that’s always the goal right? Let’s take some time and look at what the different views give us:
Grid view is one that you’re probably pretty familiar with. It’s handy to flip through photos or check out many photos at the same time.
Also, if you want to fit more photos into your grid view, use the thumbnails slider to decrease the size of the thumbnails in the grid. If you want larger previews, just push the slider to the right.
Pressing “E” or clicking the “Loupe” button enters loupe mode, an option that allows us to more closely examine a single photo. We can use any of the zoom options from the navigator to zoom in, or just click on the photo to do the same.
Press the compare button or “c” on the keyboard to enter the compare view. In this view, we can select two photos to compare. Do this by clicking any photo on the film strip to select the “select” choice, and then holding control on your keyboard and pressing another thumbnail to select the “candidate”.
There are also two small buttons labeled “X -> Y” below the image view. You can click these to swap the “select” photo with the “candidate”.
This is super handy if you need to choose between two photos and need to choose the final photo to process or deliver.
When you need to get through and select images effectively, the Library module is the place to be. Even more powerful are the four views – grid, loupe, compare, and survey – that it has to offer. We can so effectively scan the images and work through them with these four different views.
Which view do you like? Let me know what you think with a comment.