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Lightroom Smart Collection

Lightroom Smart Collection Makes Life Easy

Lightroom has many advanced tools which help photographers enjoy the life behind the camera rather than spending time in from of computer. One of the most useful tool is the Lightroom Smart Collection.

We all know how important it is to organize our pictures, and sometime it is not an easy task. Especially for advanced photographers who deal with hundreds of images per week, organizing can be very time consuming chore. Many thanks to Lightroom Smart Collection, photographers can program the Lightroom to track down certain photographs and collects them in particular albums (Collections).

I have recently received many questions about how to use Smart Collections to organize the photos, so I decided to repost the article that I wrote in July 2016. I hope that this article would answer many of your questions. Feel free to contact me if you have more questions.

So let’s get started:

Lightroom Smart Collection

Lightroom Smart Collection is truly smart 

Previously we looked at Lightroom Folders, Quick Collection, and Collections. In this article I’m  going to discuss Lightroom’s Smart Collection and how it can be very useful for all types of photography assignments.

What is Lightroom Smart Collection?

Lightroom Smart Collection is in fact a collection that we looked at in a previous article, with the added power of setting specific rules for each group. Generally speaking, you make rules for each Smart Collection and Lightroom will search for those rules and gather the pictures which have all or some of the rules into a designated collection. Without duplicating the pictures!

How do I create a Lightroom Smart Collection?

Creating a Smart Collection is very easy. Just go to Collection tab and click on the (+) sign to add a collection. From the drop down menu select “SMART COLLECTION”. In new window, name your collection and create rule or rules that you want to apply and click CREATE.

Lightroom Smart Collection

Lightroom Smart Collection is truly Smart!


Lightroom Smart Collection

Name the Smart Collection, apply some rules and sit back. Lightroom Smart Collection will take care of the rest!

Can you have more than one rule for a Smart Collection?

Absolutely! You can set one or more rules and ask your new assistant (Lightroom) to apply all or part of the rules to your photo Library.

Lightroom Smart Collection

You can create as many rules as you like and Lightroom Smart Collection will apply the rules.

Do these rules apply to existing photos only?

The genius behind Lightroom Smart Collections are that the rules are for existing images as well as photos that you are going to import in the future! How’s that for a time saving feature?

Can you provide a real life example for how to use Lightroom Smart Collections?

As you all know I teach many photography classes. I have created a Smart Collection and created two rules for this Smart Collection: 1) Must have “Workshop” keyword, 2) Must be rated 4 stars or better. Lightroom Smart Collection not only gathers all existing photos, but from now on whenever I import photos to Lightroom Library, if the picture has key word “Workshop” and is rated 4 or 5 stars, Lightroom will add them to this collection. Lightroom Smart Collection makes it really easy for me to find the photos that I want to use for my workshops.

Lightroom Smart Collection

In this example I created 3 rules that one of them is about the Date Range!

Can you change or modify the rules?

Absolutely! This is another hidden Lightroom gem: just right click on the Smart Collection and select “EDIT SMART COLLECTION…”.

Lightroom Smart Collection

You can modify the rules

I hope you enjoy using Lightroom Smart Collections as much as I do.

That is all for now. We love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any questions, feel free to send  us your questions and we will be more than happy to answer them. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more Free Tutorials and Tips.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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