I am using Eric Scouten's method here: http://ericscouten.com/2012/03/05/lightroom-technique-how-i-organize-my-catalog-and-why-2012-edition/

but I am finding that although his color label presets are a really great idea, I need more granularity than: candidate to show, display, display friends and family, do not show, other because now I am putting together a sub selection of these photos into: portraits, interior spaces, nat geo 'spectacular' images, and another for an exbition I am putting together.

What ways in Lightroom 3 can I quickly and in more detail mark up my images? I still want to keep my color label set, so I presume I will have to use some keyword filtering or flagging? Thanks


2 Answers 2


For anything really fine-grained, you're going to have to resort to keywords.

The "concensus method" I've seen among people who give talks and seminars and such has been to use star ratings as a sort of hybrid processsing status and quality indicator and colour codes as a broad "audience" indicator (reserving two colours for pano and HDR source sets).

Mind you, these tend to be systems used by specialist pros (wedding and event shooters in particular) who can easily create such "audience" categories (large print candidates, album candidates, vendor pics — gotta keep the caterers and florists happy if you want referrals —, web order pics for family and guests). For someone who is more generalist, the top-level categories become pretty broad, and features that only allow you a handful of options can only get you so far, so you have to pick a useful top-level category for your colours and use keywords for everything else.

It's a pretty standard database problem, really — you don't really know until v2.0 what your database schema should have looked like to begin with, and by then it's just too big a pain in the butt to migrate the data.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess a lot of the answer to my question is how I will present my photos. E.g. are these photos for an exhibition or a book? And interesting point about the DB schema and in general how workflow evolves, and yet sometimes you get stuck in a way of doing things... \$\endgroup\$ Jan 20, 2013 at 21:55

Eric Scouten's blog is also where I started but ended up with something different.

For anything that is a gallery, I just use collections and add images to the right collection as I make decisions. This is a manual process and I do not see a problem with that because one cannot indiscriminately and automatically send things to a gallery.

Now, to find the candidates that go into a gallery, I use filtering and keywords. That means tagging things carefully and using a consistent repeatable rating system. I trained myself by going multiple pass over photos to make sure I always give them the same start rating.

This may not be clear, so lets go through and example. My rating system is such that only 4 and 5 images can make it into a gallery. I also have keywords, so if I want to make a gallery about architecture in Guatemala, I filter using the star rating and those two keywords. From what is shown, then I make my selections by setting a color first so that I can do multiple passes to refine the selection. Once the set is decided, I add it to the collection for the gallery I'm making.


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