I have created a smart collection in Lightroom 5 for images (RAW) not previously edited or adjusted. My intention is to work with these images in the develop module, but as soon as I change any variable in the D module for a particular image, that photo disappears from view. This kind of makes sense, since it will then have been edited and, hence, no longer belongs to the smart collection according to the ruleset I've defined. A workaround would be to first finding the photo in its original folder before developing it, but that seems to defeat the whole purpose of using collections.

My question is: how do I define my smart collection in LR5 for unedited photos so as to be able to select an image and then develop it without it immediately leaving the collection?


This is a workflow question, so it's really a matter of personal preference, but I'll toss out an idea that works fairly well for me when I'm doing something like this. Typically, when I'm working on a batch of photos, they're in the same collection -- via folder, smart collection, etc. When I begin work, I select all the photos in the batch and set their flag, then filter the batch to filter by flagged photos only. As I complete each photo, I clear the flag (which is a one-click operation) and the photo drops out of view without moving out of its collection or folder at all.

I'm sure there are dozens of variations on this idea, but it might be worth a try for you.

  • 1
    Good advice. And just to help out anyone who follows your advice: use keyboard shortcuts to flag them (instead of clicking, as it's even faster).
    – Max
    Aug 1 '13 at 0:06

You can use keywords, flags or ratings to do this, but you need to setup your filter on some value that you are going to use in your workflow to indicate that the image is done being edited. There can't be an automatic way since Lightroom has no way to know if you are done or not.


As everyone else has mentioned you need to change the image in a way on which it can be searched. I just tested and you can create a development preset, called 00-Finished and apply to the photo when you are done working on it. Then make your collection include any image without the preset.

You do not have to apply any changes with the preset. In this way it can be done easily from the develop mode, can be undone (by removing the change in the history), and does not use up any of your rating/color tags.


Replace the unedited rule with a rule such that if the word 'edited' is not in the keywords then the file remains selected. When you're finished editing, put 'edited' in the keyword field to drop the image from the collection. New, unedited images will not have the keyword, and will be selected...

  • Ah, that would work I suppose. But it would require me to mark every edited file manually with the keyword "edited", no? That would seem quite cumbersome in my workflow.
    – Beck
    Jul 30 '13 at 17:30
  • Lightroom keeps the most recently used keywords in an area below the keyword box. All it would take is a single click when you've finished editing and the image would disappear. You could also select a batch of images and apply the keyword to them with, again, a single click.
    – BobT
    Jul 31 '13 at 17:19

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