5 Housekeeping Tips For Adobe Lightroom | 2 Day Photography Workshop Singapore
Before there was Adobe Lightroom, I kept my images in multiple hard drives and folders. Adobe Lightroom helped me to organise and edit my images since 2006.
Over the years, my images accumulated. I believe that if you have 100,000 images now, and you have not done serious house keeping, at least 40-50 % can be deleted. With the pandemic lockdown, since I could not travel , I took the opportunity to routinely do my housekeeping. I started a few months after the lockdown. There is no better time than to do it now and it is not too late to start.
Problems with Poor House keeping in Adobe Lightroom.
1. You don’t know what you have.
2. You can’t find what you want .
3. You have no backup.
After deleting about 30 % of my images since the start of the pandemic in mid 2020. I have found the following steps useful. Don’t try to do too much in one goal like a yearly spring cleaning but take a small step at a time regularly.
Here are the 5 Housekeeping Tips for Adobe Lightroom:
1. Group the images:
Group and move images of the same category or event into a PARENT FOLDER. Let’s say I went to India several times in 2003 and 2005, I put INDIA as Parent folder, then India 2003, India 2005…etc as child. This helps me to mentally see the big pictures without going to the details. If I found that I have another India trip in 2007 tugged somewhere else in a different drive or SD card, I will import and move the entire folder into the Parent folder INDIA with India 2007. (Important note: all these steps must be done within Lightroom program not via file management outside Lightroom otherwise Lightroom cannot recognise them.
2. Cull and delete the rejects from each folder:
I go to Library mode and go through the images in GRID or NORMAL and assign “ X” to cull it. I would filter all the rejected images, press “Alt A”, delete all the rejected images permanently from the drive ( not just remove from Lightroom as this means that images are still stored in hard drive).
3. Assign Keyword:
Once I have done the above, I will create keywords that I can use in all the images. For example I took many kinds of images in India, I will create PHOTO TRIPS keyword and inside it, I would put Landscape, or People or Wildlife…etc. I can assign my images to the different keywords. You don’t want to overdo by creating too many keywords that go all over the Keyword List that you can’t find.
4. Cull and delete the rejects from each keyword:
Once I have the keywords assigned, I will filter all the images with the same keyword and cull them accordingly by going through the library mode and assign “X” to cull them. This way I get the best of what I want in the category of keyword.
5. Backup the Catalog and images:
After doing the hard work, the last thing I want is to lose my data. This happens a few times for me. Luckily I have backups. Therefore it is important to backup not only the images but also the Lightroom catalog into a different drive.
If you have not done this before, take a small folder and try it. It may be tedious at first but you will get better at it. The secrete is not to take a big chunk and try to do it all in one goal.
I hope the 5 Housekeeping Tips for Adobe Lightroom will help you organise and optimise your photo library. If you wish to learn more about Adobe Lightroom in Singapore visit our page on 5 Hour Adobe Lightroom training in Singapore