Using Lightroom Smart Collections

Last week I needed to figure out which of my photos I had published and which I had still waiting to go. I did some Google research but didn’t find exactly what I was looking for so I decided to figure it out myself using Smart Collections.

At the end of my workflow, I generate a full-size jpeg image that I move into a specific folder. From there I publish to my store on SmugMug. But since I process in batches and post singly, I needed to figure out the difference between the contents of my published collection and my pre-publish folder.

Lightroom Smart Collections

Adobe has created a powerful database that underpins Lightroom. This has become more powerful as Lightroom has been elaborated over the years. The database doesn’t just cover all the EXIF data and the metadata you can enter into the tool, it also keeps its own metadata about where images are located on your computer and, if you use publish services, which services you’ve published an image to.

This power can be exploited through Smart Collections. Once you’ve built a smart collection, Lightroom then continues to maintain it. So through using Lightroom Smart Collections you can build very complex queries and save those queries to use again in the future.

The video below takes you through the particular problems I had but you can see how you can use this tool to find duplicated images on your hard drive or any number of other queries to help you sort through a growing archive of your images. Or if you have two folders or collections, that you think might have duplicated or partially duplicated contents you can use smart collections to identify the duplicates or unique images in each folder or collections.

Using Lightroom Smart Collections to find images not yet published

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