- Collections are a powerful way to keep track of photos in the Library module. A collection lets you see a group of photos all together regardless of where the individual photos are actually located in your folders. A Collection can include photos from any number of different folders. And the same photo can appear in multiple Collections. Adding a photo to one or more Collections does not move it from its folder. It just displays the photo in a virtual group in the Collections panel, giving you yet another layer of organization.
One thing that Collections come in handy for is grouping together photographs to use in a project. So let's say that I want to gather together photographs to upload to my website. And some of those photographs are in one folder, some are in another. I'll start off by making a Collection in the Collections panel. I'll come down to the Collections panel, and I'll click the plus icon in the title bar there and choose Create Collection. In the window that opens, I'll give this Collection a name. I'll call it Website. I'll leave everything else blank and click Create.
And now I have a new Website Collection in my Collections panel. It has zero photos in it at the moment. I'm going to go to the Folders panel where I'll click again on the Ch03 folder. And I'm going to select a few photos to put in this Website Collection. I'll click on this green boat, and then I'll hold the command key, that's the control key on the PC. And I'll click on this photo. And I'll come down, and I'll click on this photo too. And then I'll click directly on any of these photos, not on its frame.
We have to click on the photo in order to drag all three over to the Collections panel and drop them on the Website Collection. Now, you can see there are three photos in that Website Collection. And if I click on that Collection, we can see those three photos. It's also easy to remove a photo from a Collection. So if I change my mind and I decide I don't want this photo in this Collection, I'll click off to deselect all the photos, and then click back on that vertical green boat photo. And then I'll right-click or control click on that photo and choose Remove from Collection.
The important point is that removing the photo from the Collection does not remove it from the folder where it's located. It doesn't remove it from this catalog. It does not remove it from my drives. It just removes it from this virtual grouping of a Collection. I'm gonna go back and click on the Ch03 folder again to show you that you can both create a Collection and add photos to it all in one go. So let's say I'm gathering photos together that I may want to include in a book about boats. I'll click on this photo of a boat. I'll hold the command key, that's the control key in a PC, and I'll click on this photo of a boat.
There's a photo of a boat down here. Here's one up here. And then with those photos selected, I'll go over to the Collections panel, click the plus icon, choose Create Collection. And this time notice that Include selected photos is checked. And that's what I want to do, include the selected four photos in my new Collection. So I'll give the Collection a name up here. I'll call this my Boat book Collection. And I'll click Create. Here you can see the four photos in the Boat book Collection.
Here are the two photos in the Website Collection. And if I want, I can include the same photo in more than one collection. So let's say I want to add this photo to the Boat book as well as to my Website. I can just drag it from this collection or from a folder into the Boat book Collection too. So now the orange boat is here in the Website Collection. I'm gonna click on the Boat book Collection. You can see it over here as well. And I can include photos from other folders in either of these collections. So let's go to the Ch02 folder.
And let's get these photos with five stars to put these on my website. I'll click on one. I'll hold the command key, that's the control key on the PC, click on these other starred photos, and drag them on top of my Website Collection. One useful thing in Lightroom 6 about Collections is that you can set any photo as the cover photo for our collection. The cover photo for the collection will appear here in the Navigator panel whenever you select that Collection in the Collections panel. So let's say that I want to use this orange boat as the cover photo for the Website Collection.
I'll right-click the orange boat photo, and I'll come down at the bottom of the contextual menu and choose Use as Cover Photo. The cover photo for this Collection is now chosen. I'm gonna click off the Collection. And notice now that when I just hover over the Website Collection, the orange boat appears in the Navigator panel. So if I had a lot of Collections, I could just hover over them and see really quickly in the Navigator panel which one I was dealing with, even without having to click on the Collection. One more thing about Collections.
I've found that some people try to use Collections like subject matter folders. And to be honest, I don't think that works very well as time goes on, because if you try to use Collections to keep track of the many subjects that appear in your photos, you'll end up with an unwielding number of Collections. So I like to use Collections for projects, like I just showed you, or sometimes to keep track of where I am in my workflow. So, for example, you could have a Collection for photos you haven't edited yet, another for photos you have edited, another for photos you've keyworded, and so on.
You also could use Collections to keep track of client work if you're a professional photographer, with a separate Collection for each client. And another good use for Collections is to keep track of your best photos, so you might have one Collection of your best landscape photos and another of your best portraits, and so on. But, of course, you're welcome to use Collections for any purpose that helps you quickly find photos that you're looking for, which is what Collections and all the other organizing features in Lightroom's Library module are really all about.
- Understanding the Lightroom catalogs
- Importing photos from multiple sources
- Organizing photos in the Library module
- Reviewing and rating photos
- Creating collections
- Tagging faces
- Making basic corrections in the Develop module
- Making local photo edits with the adjustment tools
- Stitching together panoramas
- Fixing perspective
- Converting to black and white
- Printing and exporting edited photos
- Fixing missing photos