Lightroom Tutorial on Collections

Lightroom Tutorial on Collections

Jonathan, our Lightroom instructor prepared this useful tutorial on Lightroom Collections and how important it is.

A lot of people realize how great of an editing application Lightroom is, it’s fast, powerful, and quick to get work in and out. I often feel though that people over look how strong of a tool Lightroom can be for photo management. Yes we all realize that it’s a library application, but some of those tools are often over looked. One such is the collection sets.


Open up Lightroom, and make sure you are in your Library, with all photographs selected under the catalog drop down



On the left hand bar, a few drop downs lower, you’ll see the header of Collections. Expand that and you’ll see a bunch of collections already created, these are the default ones Lightroom comes with.



Some of these may be handy to you, and some useless, but the real power comes from creating your own, based on rules you define. Clicking on the little Plus in the top right corner of our Collections area, opens up a small dialog, where we are going to click on “Create smart collection”



We have several options here, Name at the top is what this smart collection set will be listed as on the left in our Collections box.

Top Level, creates it just as it’s own collection set on the side.


Inside a Collection Set, This allows you to have a collection, inside of another collection. Lets say you’ve shot a wedding, you create the first collection set that pulls in all the keywords for “BobandBerthaWedding” Suddenly you have all 1500 photos you’ve shot of the day, well you can then create another collection inside that, that only pulls in the keywords “BobandBerthaWedding_Ceremony” So you can organize your days events into multiple collections.


Match All/Any/None Of the following rules. Lets you define what criteria of the rules the photo needs to meet to be included in the collection.

Finally we get to our actual rules, by default lightroom gives us a rule for


Is greater then or equal to

and then nothing set. So if I were to set that to two stars right away, and hit Create in the bottom right. I would create a collection set, that says “If my photo has been giving a rating of two stars or higher, include it in this set”. Now I can easily expand upon that rule by pressing the plus at the far right of that rule. This creates another rule set

I’m going to set this one to Keyword, and the rule to Contain, For my keyword i’m going to use one I know exists and type in the word Clouds, Now when I hit create, my rule is “If my photo is rated 2 stars or higher, and also has the keyword clouds, then include it in this collection set”

So for myself in this case, I have only 2 photos that meet this criteria.




So there you go, another powerful tool to manage and organize your thousands of photos. It’s hard at first to let a program control your organization, but once you let Lightroom do its thing, you will start saving yourself so much time, that can be spent on shooting and editing rather then management.

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