Lightroom Collections & Smart Collections

Lightroom Collections & Smart Collections

Collections are a handy organizational tool for grouping images within Lightroom.

A Collection is similar to a folder, but it exists only in Lightroom. This means that as you add images to Collections, they are not actually duplicated or moved in the file structure. Rather, Lightroom internally keeps track of which images are in each Collection.

A normal (not smart) Collection lets you manually add and remove images to it. If you want to group a bunch of specifc images, you might add them to a normal Collection.

The contents of a Smart Collection, however, are determined by a set of rules you create. These rules might be “all 5-star images,” “all images labeled yellow,” or “all flagged images that are newer than a certain date.” The rules you set up are endless and quite easy to create.

A Smart Collection’s contents are automatically updated. For instance, if you create a Smart Collection named “Favorites” and set it to contain 5-star images, then every 5-star image in your catalog is instantly added to that Smart Collection. If you later change an image’s rating to 5 stars, it gets added automatically. And if you remove an image’s 5-star rating, it is instantly removed from the Smart Collection.

Pretty handy, huh? Now go give it a try.


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