As we are going to begin our process of developing our photos it would help if you were to create a new folder on your desk top and copy six photos into it. We will then be able to use these as a practical means of understanding and making use of Lightroom.

If you open Lightroom it will begin in the library module, and with the last catalogue that you developed. It will look something like this.

Library-1

There are four numbered arrows and four circles. Before we consider their importance press the tab key, its above Caps Lock “│←→│”.  The tab key removes the side menus so that you can see a larger grid view of your images. If you now repress the tab key. There are other ways to remove the side menus, and that is by the tiny white arrows that are in the circles in the image above. This gives you the option of seeing more of your photos, or a larger photo if you are in Loupe view.

The numbered arrows are parts of the library that we will explore in this exercise

1 – This arrow is pointing at metadata

2- Folders that you have previously imported into Lightroom

3 – A menu that gives you the option to view images that contain certain text, metadata and attributes.

4 – Quick Develop, Add/View keywords, Add/View metadata, Add/View comments

Exercise

Import the folder of photos that you just made by going to the top menu, Click File, Click import photos and videos. We are importing in this manner rather than using the import button at the bottom left of the screen so that we don’t add our photos to the current library.

Locate the folder from your desktop. It will then bring the photos into the library. There is a button at the lower right of the screen that says import but don’t press it yet.

Your screen will now look like this.

Library-2

1 – Build Previews. Lightroom generates thumbnails and full pictures as virtual copies in the library and the develop module. I use 1:1 previews because they are the highest quality. It may take a while for Lightroom to build the previews, but you can still work with your images while it is doing so. If you set this to standard or minimal then Lightroom will import more quickly, but each time you edit a photo it will build a 1:1 image each time and this slows down your workflow.

2 – Develop Settings – Until you are sued to the develop settings, which isn’t necessary right now, then either select auto tone or none.

3 – Keywords – Keywords are an important part of recording metadata into photos. Keywords are not the only metadata and I will explain more later. Lets add some keywords. Why? Over time you will process thousands of photos and will want to find one or two really quickly. If you have keywords then you can search all of your photos in Lightroom via keywords and it will take you to the photos with those words. I have added Lightroom library module walk-through, followed by a comma. Adding the comma after each word or sentence means you can add another keyword or phrase, so I have then added Lightroom, and FiP. Adding keywords here will add them to all photos that you are importing, but you can add photos to individual photos later on. Now click Import.

Library-3

Because I had my develop settings as auto-tone, my photos have been imported with the tone corrected. The first photo with the light grey around it is the active photo.

The screen that you are seeing is called grid mode. You can select a different photo with the arrow keys, left click or Ctrl left click for multiple images. You can also click on one photo, then move to any other photo and press the Shift key “↑” and click with the shift pressed down. This will now select all of the photos from your orignal selection to this photo.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Press Ctrl A and all images are selected and then Ctrl D to deselect the images.

Press E – you now have one photo selected in full screen and this is Loupe mode. Press G and you are taken back to grid.

Click on any image to select it.

Press 2, and a message set rating to 2 flashes on the screen, now press { (next to P) this will decrease the start rating “attribute” and the key next to it will increase it. Keys one to five will do this. Keys 6-9 add a colour rating. 6=red, 7=yellow, 8=green, 9=blue. I use the attributes to select photos that are either worth developing or to review again as Maybe’s.

Press 2 on three of your photos, and on one of these press 6.

Above your photos is a short menu, text, attribute, metadata or none. Click attribute and your screen looks like this.

Library-4

Where it says rating click on the first star and your screen will now only show the photos with an attribute of 1 star or above, so you now only have three photos showing. Now tick the red box, and you will only have one photo showing. Click on the red again to deselect it. This is a really good way of reviewing your photos, and sorting through which ones that you want to develop so that you don’t take them all into the develop module and feel like youre wading through photos to find the ones that you wish to develop.

The right hand side of your screen will now look like this

Library-5

Click Metadata, then where it says preset None, click the arrow to the right and then edit presets.

Library-7

Edit Metadata Presets is an important tool. Once you have this set up you can then import your photos with your presets, copyright and contact information embedded into your photos.

IPTC metadata

IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council) state that “Photo metadata is key to protecting images’ copyright and licensing information online. It is also essential for managing digital assets. Detailed and accurate descriptions about images ensure they can be easily and efficiently retrieved via search, by users or machine-readable code. This results in smoother workflow within organizations, more precise tracking of images, and increased licensing opportunities.” https://iptc.org/standards/photo-metadata/

Not all search engines look for photographic metadata, but some do, and Adobe are encouraging Google to do so. Many Stock libraries use metadata and WordPress has a widget that can tag your photos by reading metadata. We can add lots of information.

Here are the settings that can be most useful

Camera Info

IPTC Copyright – in this section there are four boxes.

1 – Copyright – I add my email as my copyright but you can add your name.

2 – Copyright Status – I tick the Copyrighted box

3 – Rights usage terms – I use a creative commons license and add the details of my specific license https://creativecommons.org/

4 – Copyright info – I provide a link to my copyright page on my website

IPTC Creator

I don’t fill all of the boxes within this section but I do add my name, email, Country and website details. You can add your address and phone number if you wish, but I am not comfortable with this at this stage of my development as a photographer.

IPTC Status

Title – If I am producing a series such as Northern Pride then I will add a title here, as its OK for all of the images to have the same title. However you can add individual titles to photos later quite easily without using the user preset that you are now creating. I then add my name in the credit line and my website into the source.

Keywords

I then skip down to the last section and add keywords. These are words that fit the whole series generically, and then can add photo specific keywords to the individual photo later.

Click DONE and then you can name your preset. You only need to do this once, and then in future you can import your photos with your preset. You will need to add title and keywords in future but nothing else.

Warning

I have found that sometimes Lightroom has not saved my keywords to photos, so whenever I close Lightroom, I go to the menu at the top of the screen – Click Metadata and then Save metadata to files. NOT ALL FILE TYPES RETAIN METADATA, but RAW, TIFF, JPEG and PSD do.

PNG files do not retain metadata, but we don’t need to worry about this in Lightroom. Be aware of this if saving photos in other editing software such as Photoshop. If you save photos in formats other than TIFF, JPEG or PSD you will lose the metadata that you have spent time adding.

Metadata for individual photos

Click on a photo to select it. Using the slider on the right hand side of the screen find where it says title, add a title to a photo. Then go up slightly to where it says Keyword List, there is an add button + and you can now add keywords to individual photos. Once you have done this you can again go to the metadata drop down at the top of the screen and save metadata to files.

You can also use the quick develop module by moving the right hand slider to the top of the screen and adjust tone, white balance, exposure, clarity and vibrance, but I prefer to do this within the develop module, which will be the next theme.

 

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