Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Digital Photography > Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Library Organizing Your Photos

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

The first module you wind up using in Adobe Lightroom is usually the Library module—it’s where you go to sort and organize your photos. Now, here’s the thing. While what you’re supposed to do here is organize your photos, very few people have the intestinal fortitude to actually do it—to actually go through all their images, and tag each and every one with keywords and custom metadata. My hat’s off to these meticulous people (freaks), but I’m not one of them. That’s because as soon as I import my photos, I take a quick look at ‘em, separate the good from the bad, and then start messing with the good ones in the Develop, Slideshow, and Print modules. Those are the party modules. That’s where the fun is, so I hang out there (it’s kind of like the Rain® Nightclub in Vegas, only without all the celebrities, flashing lights, music, and liquor. Okay, there’s some liquor, but not all that much). You know who uses the Library module to its fullest extent? People who have a metabolic predisposition to become serial killers—them and molecular biologists. I don’t know why. Anyway, maybe I’m just speaking for myself here, because honestly, I couldn’t keep track of all my photos if they had my name and phone number embedded in them with a microchip tracking device. I guess it’s because I don’t care about my bad photos. I only care about my good photos (you know, the ones that are “large and complex”), so I don’t want to waste my time tagging photos I’m probably never going to use for anything other than my work in molecular biology.

Separating the Keepers from the Losers

One of the most important parts of the digital photography workflow happens right after you’ve imported your photos, and that is sorting the “keepers” (your best shots from a shoot) from the “losers” (the shots that hopefully will never be seen by anyone, including your dog). Photo editing (separating the good from the bad) is an art. In fact, many people make their living at magazines as professional photo editors, and luckily this is an area where Lightroom really shines, because it makes what could be a task into an awful lot of fun.

Step One

Sorting takes place in the Library module, so if you’re not already there, press Command-1. Then in the Browse by Shoot panel on the left side of the module, click on one of your recently imported shoots (as shown here). We’ll start by finding the keepers in this shoot. We do this by starting in the Grid view, which displays small thumbnails of all the shoot’s images in the Preview area in the center of the screen.

Step Two

Here’s a close-up of just the Preview area in Grid view. The size of the thumbnails in the Grid view is determined by the Grid Size slider (shown circled here in red). To shrink the size of the thumbnails (and fit more thumbnails within the grid), drag the slider to the left. To make the thumbnails larger, drag it to the right.

Step Three

To check the sharpness of your image, you’re going to want to zoom in close, and to do that you’ll use Lightroom’s Loupe view. To view your image in Loupe view, just double-click directly on that photo’s thumbnail, or select an image and press either the Loupe view button found beneath the Panels area on the left side of the window or the E key (the Loupe view shortcut). This makes your selected photo fill the Preview area (as shown here). If you want to view other photos while still in Loupe view, just use the Left and Right Arrow keys on your keyboard.

Step Four

If you want to zoom in even closer, just click your cursor right on the spot where you want to zoom in to, and your image instantly zooms in to give you a 1:1 view of that area. To quickly zoom back out to the standard Loupe view, just click anywhere on the image.

Step Five

Besides just clicking to zoom in on a photo, there’s another way to inspect your photo up close, and that’s to pan around your zoomed-in image by clicking-and-dragging the zoom square. The zoom square appears in the smaller preview window at the top right of Lightroom’s interface. Just click within the square and drag it around in the preview window. As you drag, the area that appears within the zoom square is displayed at full 1:1 size within the center Preview area. Remember, if you want to return to the standard Loupe view, just click anywhere on the image within the center Preview area.

Step Six

Now that you know how to view your image up close (again, that’s critical for viewing the sharpness of your photos), it’s time to get down to business and find those keepers. We do this in Compare view (C), and if you’re already in Loupe view (in other words, there’s only one image open in the Preview area), you’re just one click away. Just press-and-hold the Command key and in the filmstrip, click on the photo that you want to compare with the photo you currently have onscreen. Once you click that photo, the two images appear side-by-side onscreen (as shown here), so you can easily make comparisons.

Step Seven

Want to add a third, fourth, or more photos to compare onscreen? Just press-and-hold the Command key and click on those photos in the filmstrip as well, and they’ll join the two photos already being viewed in Compare view.

Step Eight

Stuffing all these photos onscreen at the same time can get pretty crowded. That’s why I recommend hiding the panels and the filmstrip (press Shift-Tab) when reviewing more than two photos at one time in Compare view. The photos are then large enough for you to really make smart decisions on which ones make the cut.

Step Nine

All right, now that you’ve got your photos onscreen at a decent size (thanks to having the panels and filmstrip hidden), how do you remove one of the photos under review when it doesn’t make the cut? You can do it one of two ways: (1) move your cursor over the photo you want to remove from contention and click on the tiny X that appears just below the photo’s lower-right corner, or (2) press-and-hold the Command key and click on the photo you want to remove. Now, I’m down to just three photos (as shown here).

Step Ten

So, that’s the process—to remove a photo from the Preview area in Compare view, Command-click on it. To add another photo to be compared (while you’re in this panel-and-filmstrip-hidden view), move your cursor down to the bottom of the screen (so the filmstrip temporarily appears, as shown here) and Command-click on any photo you want to add. Now, there’s another way to enter this Compare view, and that’s to enter it directly from the Grid view, so first let’s get back to the Grid view by pressing the G key, then press Shift-Tab to bring back your panels and filmstrip.

Step Eleven

To enter Compare view from here in Grid view, you have two choices: (1) you can Command-click on the thumbnails of the photos you want to compare, then press the letter C, or (2) Command-click on the photos you want to compare, then press the Compare view button on the lower-left side of Lightroom’s window.

Step Twelve

One last thing about Compare view— while you’re in Compare view there are going to be times when you need to take a closer look at one of the photos you’re comparing. No sweat, just click on that photo, press the letter Z, and it takes you to a zoomed Loupe view of the photo. Once you’ve seen what you needed to see, press the letter Z again, and you’ll return to Compare view with the same photos selected. Pressing the letter Z is the shortcut for toggling between a zoomed Loupe view and the previous view—in this case you toggled between Compare view and a zoomed Loupe view.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.peachpit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020