A Lightroom Primer --- TYNTK*

Because you really, REALLY care about your photographs.

*Things you NEED to know

Intro Import Develop Export Step x Step Case Studies

Import & Library Module Notes and Shortcuts

lr-cat-iconWhere Is My Catalogue?

After installing, If you had just started up Lightroom, Lightroom will have created a catalogue in its default location,
in a folder called "Lightroom,"
which is in your "Pictures" folder.
More specifically...

iu-1 On a PC the default Location is:
c:\users\my pictures\Lightroom\

On a Mac the Default Location is:
//Users/[user name]/Pictures/Lightroom/

However, You may save Lightroom catalogue(s)
where ever you want!

The exception is
Not on a Network Hard drive
NOT on a Read-only Drive Like
CD, or DVD or Blu-ray.

How many catalogues can I have?

As many as you need, however,
Please Note!
Lightroom can only Load and display one catalogue at a time!

There is nothing that says you can't put ALL your Photos in one Catalogue. But, it might be more convenient to create a catalogue for each new client or project.
You can Export a catalogue for archiving.
You can also import and combine catalogues!

Creating or Choosing a Catalogue

Catalogueboot When you "Boot" or startup Lightroom, hold down the Alt/Option key.
the Catalogue Preferences panel will pop up and let you choose which catalogue, you want or even let you create a new catalogue!

If Lightroom is already running
you can access your Catalogues from the Lightroom Menu: File >


Starting up Lightroom


  • Clicking on the Lightroom (app) Icon, Opens the last used catalogue, or the chosen √ed catalogue in the catalogue Requester (see above "Select Catalogue" image)
  • Clicking a .LR-Cat Icon!

Moving, Exporting and Importing Catalogues

Key Concepts

  • When you are "importing" in Lightroom, you are creating a reference, a link to a catalogue/database of information about your images and videos.
  • You can put your images and videos where ever you want.
  • First set up an import strategy ---where you want to store your images. And, setup a Backup strategy! -- how you will back up your work.
  • Best practices suggests that you place your images on a hard drive separate from your system drive.
  • Put your ALL your image files in a folder at the root of the hard drive.
  • Decide how you want to name your folders and images.
  • To backup your images you just need to copy the folder to your Backup hard drive at least once a week!

4 Main ways to Import...

  1. Copy as DNG
    • Do NOT convert to DNG on Import... Leave your files in their native format.
    • Import will be faster, and you'll preserve proprietary information in the file.
    • Use the DNG format to later archive your "keepers". You have the option to include the original raw file inside the DNG format!
  2. Copy-- the referred method

  3. Always make sure you select this option (copy) when importing from your Camera or Flash Card
  4. Move
    1. Never delete your files from the camera's flash drive when importing...
    2. Format the Flash card "in-camera" --after you verify they ARE on the hard drive(s)!
  5. Add
    1. If the picture files are already on your hard drive and you want to work on them in Lightroom.

2 Other Import Methods

  1. Drag and Drop
    1. Not recommended --No way to easily add metadata
  2. Auto Import (Watched Folder)

Auto Import

This handy import method, is called a "Watched Folder" useful if you want to do a quick import into your current catalogue allows adding metadata, or a setting.

Auto Import SETUP

In the Lightroom Menu Bar
Lightroom > File > Auto Import > Auto Import Settings…

  1. Watched Folder
    Creates a folder on your desktop, the location where you copy the photos you want to import into Lightroom. I named my folder “LR-Ingest”
    Note: You can only copy photos into the “ingest” folder, ingest doesn’t work if you copy folders
  2. Move to:
    Moves the photos from the watched folder, LR-Ingest to where you store the photos in the hard drive of your choice,. Uses the Finder (Mac) or Explorer (PC) to help you choose the destination…
    You can make a Miscellaneous or a temporary folder.
    You can move the images later inside Lightroom.
  3. File Naming
    Re-name the files, if you wish...
  4. Develop Settings
    Apply a preset if you wish
  5. Metadata
    Add your Metadata File
  6. Key Words
    Always Add some key words
  7. Intial Previews
    Choose how previews are handled.
  8. √ (check)
    √ turns ON Enabling Auto Import>

Tethered Capture

Works really well in a studio setup. Or, in the field if you are well organized.

Setup is similar to Auto Import...

Only a few cameras are supported (Mostly Canon and Nikon)

The studio advantage is that for a very particularly lit setup, you can take a test shot, enhance the photo in Lightroom's develop module, and save the changes as a Preset. Apply that preset to all the following tethered shots...

Import Module: The Right Panel


ToIf you do nothing, your photos are copied to the "Mac/PC" Default location, a folder on your system drive called "Pictures."

You have the choice of placing your photos ANYWHERE you wish...
My personal preference is to place my photos on an external hard drive called Photos2, in a folder called AllPhotographs organized by the month they were photographed.

This is the path (Mac) for photographs shot in January of 2015 /Volumes/Photo2/AllPhotographs/2015-January

I also keep my catalogue in the AllPhotographs folder.

File Handling


File Renaming

FileRenamingI don't rename my files until they have been added to a "Collection" and made it to "keeper" status.

If you are shooting for a client you might want rename the photos to be identified for the client.

Apply During Import

ApplyDuringImport1. Develop Settings


  • None
  • Or a preset, If You want Lightroom to Tone your pics as you ingest 'em.

2. Meta Data

Always add your personal IPTC meta data on Import

Saving IPTC metadata
In Lightroom the Menu item is:
Metadata > Edit Metadata Presets… Instructions
You can also access and edit Metadata in the Import "Apply during Import Panel" or in the Library Module via the Metadata panel on the right side of the screen.

3. Keywords

Decide to what extent you want to use keywording. (A Controlled Vocabulary)

To learn more about keywords, a controlled vocabulary, check out David Riecks website.

Lightroom user, Nick Potter, has made some Prepared Key Word lists for Lightroom ($5.00)

Digital Workflow Lightroom Keywords
D-65's keyword list contains over 5500 keywords in a hierarchal order to allow you to easily keyword your images in Lightroom. ($99.00)

Even If you DO NOT plan on using Keywords, always add SOME keywords at import.


Destination You can preview what the destination structure will look like when you do the import.

You can Organize your import by Date or by Original Folder Structure, or dump them all into one folder...

N.B. (Nota Bene: note well)

Before you Import! Watch this Video! It's required viewing!

Learn the basics of Lightroom's catalog. George Jardine covers where Lightroom stores your previews and metadata, how it links to your source files, and how to use Lightroom with Bridge.

The Library Module

Library View Options
Keyboard Shortcut
Control + J (PC)
Command + J (Mac)

The Library Panels

  • Module Picker
    • On-Off Press keyboard key F5
  • Film Strip
    • On-Off Press keyboard key F6
  • View Modes
    • G = Grid View, E = Loupe View, C = Compare, N = survey, and D = develop or edit the photo.
  • Library Filter Bar
    • Turn Filter Bar On-Off: Keyboard
      Press \ (Backslash Key)

Left Column Panels


  • The zoom is not continuous, it's incremental!


  • It is convenient to have just one Main Catalogue
  • You may create a catalogue for each new client or project.
  • You can Export a catalogue for archiving
  • You can Merge or combine catalogues


4 kinds of Collections

Use Collections to Rate your photos and to work with your KEEPER PHOTOS.

1. The Quick Collection

  1. A selection is a Temporary grouping of photos in various Library folders.
  2. You can add a selection to a Quick Collection by pressing the B key (Unless the B key has already been assigned to a Targeted Collection
  3. Or use, Menu: Photo > Add to Quick Collection
  4. LR remembers Quick Collections until cleared
  5. A Quick Collection is indicated by a filled circle in the top-right corner of the image in the grid or filmstrip
  6. There can only be one Quick Collection.
  7. You can add a quick collection to a new "Normal" collection
    1. If There is NO targeted Collection: Keyboard Shortcut:
      (Mac)Command + Alt/Option + B
      (PC) Control + Alt + B
    2. Fill in the Dialogue Box:NewCollection
    3. If you have a designated "Targeted" Collection, the quick collection will be added to the Targeted + Collection.

2. "Normal" Collections

  1. You choose what you put in the collection
  2. Drag & Drop
  3. Highlight / Select the photos, then creating a new Collection will add the photos to the collection.
  4. You can make a collection a Targeted Collectiontargetcollection
    Add more photos to the collection by pressing the B key
  5. You can sort images in a "Collection" in the Library or in the Film Strip.

3. Smart Collections

  1. The computer adds the photos following the Rules you chose (Let the Computer do the Work)
  2. You can not sort a "Smart" Collection"

4. Project Collections

  1. Books
  2. Slideshows
  3. Printing
  4. Web

Library View Options for the Thumbnails

Grid View TAB
Control + J (PC) or Command + J (Mac)
Menu: Lightroom > View > View Options…

A Grid View thumbnail with Expanded Cells… turned on...
The Library View Options for Grid View are shown below

The Loupe View TAB

Control + J (PC) or Command + J (Mac)
Menu: Lightroom > View > View Options...

Loupe View and Develop Module data… The View Options panel for the Loupe view is slightly different than the Develop View Options Panel The difference is the title of the panel! Either panel lets you customize the metadata you see in the Library’s Loupe view AND in the Develop Modules display… Press the I (eye key) to cycle through the displayed data. The data displayed below in the Develop Module is an Overlay and does not affect the image.

The Develop view Options in the Develop module

By the way, as you work on an image, you can compare the image you are working on to the way the image originally looked by pressing the backslash key “/” (It’s under the Delete key Mac, Backspace Key (PC))
Before and After

Under the Develop Module window in the Tool Bar (T Key) is a comparison tool that lets you see Before, and After images.

What's in the Right Column

Finding Duplicates in Lightroom

Using Lightroom’s Search Filters

Use the Library Filter for just Date, and turn off all the others (set to None)

Lightroom will display the photos sequentially, using the Camera’s EXIF Data for Time Captured
by Month, day, year and hours, minutes and seconds. Any photos with the same Capture time will be displayed side by side…

It would look like this in Lightroom’s Library Module…


Things to watch for are photos shot with a hi-speed burst shooting Mode where 3 or more photos are less than seconds apart. It would be best if you stacked photos shot in a rapid sequence, or bracket first.

You can also try a search by Filename, and use as a filter Contains = copy, or 1 or 2 … sometimes when files are duplicated one of those extensions are added to the filename…



Before you use or try any of these plug-ins, make sure your catalogue is up to date, optimized and backed up…


A FREE fast duplicate finder plug-in for Adobe Lightroom using EXIF meta-data.


I was really impressed with how fast this plug-in worked and how it is implemented. The online documentation is excellent.

LR Duplicate Finder

A commercial plug-in by Jim Keier (England)
Cost is £8.50 (currently about $13.50 in US Dollars

You can watch a video and purchase it on this page http://www.lightroom-plugins.com/DupesIndex.php

Laura Shoe, a Lightroom Guru also has a video with some useful insights, you can watch it right here!

Stand Alone Programs for Mac and PC


My favorite Mac duplicate finder Photo app is called PhotoSweeper

There is a Lite version http://overmacs.com/photosweeperlite.html $2.99

and a Full Version. http://overmacs.com/photosweeperlite.html

The PhotoSweepers work on iPhoto, Aperture and Lightroom Libraries. At the above websites you can even download a trial version.


Awesome Duplicate Photo Finder

A free Tool for finding and remove duplicate photos on your PC.