2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 20, 2016 6:40 PM by ManiacJoe

    Question Re: Sub-collections

    Geobop Level 1

      I'm learning how to use Lightroom and have found lots of tutorials on editing images, but I haven't found many tutorials on organizing them. I wondered if someone could point me in the right direction...


      First, I have four websites focusing on geography, animals, politics and symbols (e.g. flags). All the images for website A are stored in A's folder. If I want to display a map of Kenya on two websites (e.g. geography and animals), I simply copy the image into each site. I'm constantly reorganizing and renaming images, so I want to make sure I don't mess up an image link on Site A when I rename that image on Site B.


      I obviously want to organize these images by site, but I'd also like to organize them by topic. For example, imagine two collections named "Site A" and "Site B." Then imagine another collection named "Maps." It could include maps that hosted on Sites A, B, C and D.


      So what's the best way to do this?


      I assume I should import my images folder from Site A and create a collection named Site A, then do the same thing with my other sites. So I now have four collections, A, B, C and D.


      How do I create a fifth collection that essentially includes a subset of images from all the above sites?


      (I don't have my terminology down yet and may be confused between terms like library, collection and module, but you get the idea.)


      Thank you.

        • 1. Re: Question Re: Sub-collections
          dj_paige Level 10

          Collections that match the contents of a folder? Am I understanding you properly? In that case, that seems like unnecessary work to me. Just use the folder. You're not gaining anything by creating a collection.


          Stop organizing using operating system constructs. Whatever folder and file names you have already, you maintain those so you don't lose that information. But any new organizing should be done via keywords and other metadata (captions, titles, etc.) No more organizing by folders and renaming of files. Not only does this give you more powerful and flexible organization (which you cannot achieve using folders and file names), but you eliminate the possiblity of renaming a file and causing Lightroom to lose it somehow.

          How do I create a fifth collection that essentially includes a subset of images from all the above sites?

          Assign a meaningful keyword to the desired photos. Use that keyword to call up those photos whenever you need to.


          Lots of information and ideas about how to organize in The Dam Book

          • 2. Re: Question Re: Sub-collections
            ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

            Folders in Lightroom represent the directories on your hard drive. These are the physical locations of your image files. You can use them to help organize your images in the Lightroom catalog, but since they represent the physical locations of the files, they tend to be rather generic, often date based.


            Collections are a method of grouping related images where you get to define the relationship. Collections contain a reference to your image (stored in a folder); they do not contain your actual images. Any image can be referenced by one or more collections. Note that since the collections contain a reference to your image, any edits to the image will be reflected in all the collections.


            Collections have no relationship with folders.


            A collection contains references to your images.
            A collection-set can contain collections and/or other collection-sets. This is how you nest your collections.


            In the collection panel, your collections and collection-sets are sorted alphabetically; you don't get to resort them. The collections and collection-sets are logical objects that exist only in the Lightroom catalog (database). They do not exist separately on your hard drive.


            For example, I am currently shooting lots of beach volleyball. My physical and LR organization looks like this uses even names named after the dates they take place on:



            Under those I have:
            exports/big/ (uploads to my smugmug account)
            exports/small/ (uploads to other accounts)
            originals/grade_A/Team_14/player_1/ (not all teams get broken down by player)


            I do my initial triage and folder sorting outside of LR because other tools are quicker at it. Only the grade A photos are "add" imported. All grade_B photos are deleted eventually.


            Inside of LR, I rate the images in a second round of triage, 1-3 stars.
            Images with 3 or more stars will get edited and exported.


            Along the way, keywords as the team names may be added to the photos. Comes in handy for finding images of the same people in multiple folders.


            A collection is created to hold references to the images that are sent to the event organizers. This images come from all over the folder tree under


            Some of my collections are organized using nested collection-sets:
            organizers / AVA adults / 20160604
            organizers / AVA adults / 20160611
            organizers / AVA juniors / 20160605
            organizers / NWJ juniors / 20160619

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