Lightroom's Organizing Features -- Part Deux

by Jan Kabili

The many ways to organize photos in Lightroom include not only folders and keywords, which I covered in Part 1 of this post. Take things a step further and try out collections, Quick Collections, and stacks. Here's a quick guide to what these features are and when to use them:


Collections--A collection is a virtual group that can include any imported photo, regardless of where it's located or what keywords you've assigned it. Collections come in handy for organizing photos by project. Think use, rather than subject matter, when you're creating a collection. For example, you might want to collect an assortment of unrelated photos to include in a Web Photo Gallery, a contact sheet, or a slideshow you're creating in another Lightroom module. A library can hold multiple collections, and the same photo can belong to more than one collection.


Quick Collection--A Quick Collection is a one-off, temporary collection. You can have only one Quick Collection at a time. Use it to group items for immediate, short-term use. If you want to preserve a Quick Collection, choose File > Save Quick Collection to save it as a regular collection.

Stacks--A stack is a virtual pile of photos. When photos are piled into a stack, you see only the one at the top. This saves viewing space, and helps keep track of similar shots. Stacks are useful for grouping multiple exposures of the same subject, and for grouping original photos with their virtual edited copies.

Armed with Parts 1 and 2 of this quick guide to Lightroom's organizing features, you're ready to go out and get serious about organizing your photos. Let us know how it goes by adding your comment below.


2007-02-23 11:27:10
I like the stacking feature....helps with sports where you have so many shots that are similar. It's a great tool.
2007-02-23 11:45:46
Thank you :). You really help me to make a choice. I like a lot Develop module in Lightroom but dislike the library (most part from managing keywords, no smart lists). Maybe I'm like this because I'm an Aperture user, but I had great hope in Lightroom since Aperture need so much ressources (even on my MBP 17" 2Ghz 2GB).

As I said, I really love the Develop module, the speed of Lightroom but the "one scroll" panel for Keywords (when you have a uge keywords list) is a pain when you want to access both panel.

Anyway, I think I'll switch to Ligthroom for the speed.

2007-02-24 21:29:13
I generally like Lightroom with the exception of the Library section. Adobe has taken a unique, but non intuitive and cumbersome approach to organization that doesn't work well for me. I find myself organizing files faster and more efficiently elsewhere and picking up the process starting with the Develop module and completing from there.
Erik Pronske
2007-02-26 17:27:06
Many of my images are archived on gold CDs and DVDs and are therefore not on any drive. I would like these images included in the Lightroom data base. I am finding the best way to handle this is to import them into Lightroom and then place them in the Collections area. The files do show up under "D" drive in Folders (the designation of the drive for my CD/DVD writer), however the title of the CD/DVD that is imported is not seen in under "D" drive, so this would make it hard to determine which disk an image is on when I go back to look for it. In Collections, I can put the title of the CD/DVD and then move the images to corresponding CD/DVD title. Is this a reasonable strategy and is there ant downside to doing it this way?
Erik Pronske