Tuesday, 6 August 2019


Last month, we had an overview of Adobe Lightroom and the differences between Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC. Now, we’re going to talk about how I use Lightroom Classic when digital scrapbooking, more specifically the Library Module.

It seems like I’m using my cell phone for most of my photos these days, so that’s where I’m going to go to download a group of photos.

Remember, the left hand side of the screen is representative of your computer hard drive. So to select my source I’ll scroll down to iCloud photos and downloads. Notice I have several other spots that I could select for my photo source, like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and iCloud Drive. The process is the same.

All of the photos in that folder will populate in the center of the screen. Potential duplicates are grayed out because I have “Don’t import suspected duplicates” checked on the right hand side. I’ll check only the photos I want to import. I should mention I’m not a deleter, not in-camera or on my hard drive for the most part.

I have my Lightroom set up to Build Smart Previews on import. Smart previews are a different smaller type of file, a DNG file, that allow you to edit images that aren’t connected to your computer, like an EHD that is disconnected. I also have it set to not import duplicates like I mentioned.

To maintain consistency, I do rename files according to date. My destination is a Photos folder on my Synology where a new date subfolder is automatically created by photo date.  I upload using a copyright with my name and the year so I know which photos I actually took myself. I could choose to apply a specific preset to the entire batch upon import, too.

You’ll note at the top that I have it set to COPY my photos upon import instead of MOVE. Let’s just say that I had a bad experience where I thought I imported images but somehow deleted them and lost the opportunity to import them again. So now, I Copy them instead and then once in a while I’ll go into that downloads folder and delete all the images. This is totally personal preference.

After import, my first step is generally to scroll down and add Keyword tags on the right hand side. Add as many keywords/phrases as you want and hit enter. They’ll all show up in the box separated by commas. This is where it’s important to be detailed. The more keywords you have, the easier it will be to search your photos later.

Notice the Keyword Set area on the right side. I have one called US that includes each of my immediate family members and then a couple of groups that I use all the time. Family and relationships tend to be the focus of many of my pages so that keyword set is the one used most often. You can create several nine keyword groups as set favorites and use them as quick one-clicks.

In the middle section above the filmstrip there is a little rectangle with a face on it. This is for facial recognition and it’s pretty awesome! You click on it and all of the faces in the photos are brought into the middle. For faces it recognizes, Lightroom will add a suggested name.

I don’t use facial recognition all the time. In an upload including a lot of crowd or travel photos like from my daughter’s honeymoon I didn’t use facial recognition because it would have tried to tag all the random people on the streets. It was easier just to tag the two of them using the keyword set.

You can approve the suggested name by clicking the checkmark. You can change the name or click no if it’s not a face you want to tag. The more photos you add and tag with names, the smarter the program gets about recognizing the faces.

My next step is to rate my photos with a certain number of stars. No stars - a “meh” photo I’m not itching to use for anything. 1 star – this I would use to scrapbook or print. 2 stars – a great photo that I know I’ll use. 3 stars – daughter in her wedding dress AMAZING kind of stuff :)

Remember when I said that I don’t delete many photos? I do that because I never know what I might use to tell a story. Sometimes you have good pictures to support a memory, sometimes you don’t. And I have been known to use a blurry photo if it captured the feeling of the moment.

I generally find it better to rate my photos using the full screen mode or FIT view (the second rectangle above the filmstrip) so that I can see the sharpness of the photo. You can scroll right or left in the filmstrip along the bottom or use the arrow keys.

A useful tool when rating photos is the Comparison View, the rectangle with the XY. I find this most helpful when looking at multiple photos from a photoshoot or event to narrow down my favorites.

If you want to look at more than two similar photos, you can use the Survey View.

Another method of selecting good or bad photos to be deleted is to utilize the pick and reject flags. The white flag is used for picks, the black flag for rejects. Some people use the “pick” to mark the photos they want to use or print, like I use the 1 star designation.

Others use the “reject” flag to mark the photos they want to delete after evaluating them. To do this, you would filter by the black flag at the top of the screen to get all the photos (from your most recent import if that’s the folder you have selected on the left hand side) you’ve marked for deletion. Then hit the delete key.

Of course, the program wants to know if you’re sure! To confirm deletion, select either delete from disk or remove. Delete from disk means delete from your computer completely, remove just takes them out of the Lightroom catalog.

Now that we’ve imported our photos, added keywords and ratings if we choose and deleted any photos we don’t want to keep, we can scrapbook one of these photos, print it, include it in a photobook or use it on social media. Next month, we’ll focus on using the keywords and ratings to search for other photos in your library and then we’ll edit them for use on your digital scrapbook pages.

See you next time!


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