Working with Smart Collections

Smart collections use metadata from the images to automatically compile a collection. You choose the rules for selecting the metadata and Lightroom adds all images that match the rules to the Smart Collection. You cannot manually add images to a Smart collection.

Lightroom Classic includes five Smart collections out of the box: Colored Red; Five Stars; Past Month; Recently Modified; Video Files and Without Keywords. The included Recently Modified Smart Collection includes all images that have been modified in the past two days.

Creating a Smart Collection in Lightroom Classic:

  1. In the Library module, choose Library > New Smart Collection;
  2. From any module click the plus icon (+) in the Collections panel and choose the Create Smart Collection option;

    Create Smart Collection menu

    Create Smart Collection menu

  3. In the Create Collection dialogue box that appears, type a name for your new Collection;
  4. Check the Inside a Collection Set option if you want to add this new Collection to an existing Collection Set;
  5. Add rules by selecting them from the drop-down options. My advice is to experiment with the many available options;
  6. You can add additional criteria by click on the plus icon (+), or you can remove criteria by clicking on the minus icon ().

Example Smart Collections

Example 1

In this first example, we are going to create a Smart Collection that includes all images that are Flagged and have a rating of three stars or higher.

  1. From any module click the plus icon (+) icon in the Collections panel and choose the Create Smart Collection option;
  2. In the Create Collection dialogue box that appears, type Flagged plus 3 or more Stars;
  3. Check the Inside a Collection Set option and choose Smart Collections from the list;
  4. Change the option to All in the Match menu;
  5. Select the options as per the image below;

Click Create.

Smart Collection Example 1

Smart Collection Example 1

The new Smart Collection is included in the list with the other Smart Collections. It also shows the number of images that match the criteria.

New Smart Collection in Collections Panel

New Smart Collection in Collections Panel

Example 2

In this second example, we create a Smart Collection that shows all the photographs shot using a 70-200mm zoom lens. The new Smart Collection is stored in a nested collection set. I recommend a nested collection set as the logical place to store all your custom smart collections.

Before creating the new Smart Collection, it is necessary to create the nested Collection Set:

  1. From any module click the plus icon (+) icon in the Collections panel and choose the Create Collection Set option;
  2. In the Create Collection Set dialogue box that appears, type My Smart Collections in the name field;
  3. Check the Inside a Collection Set option and choose Smart Collections from the list;
  4. Click Create.
    Create My Smart Collection

    Create My Smart Collection

     

With the new nested Collection Set created, we can create the new Smart Collection:

  1. From any module click the plus icon (+) icon in the Collections panel and choose the Create Smart Collection option;
  2. In the Create Collection dialogue box that appears, type Shot with 70-200 lens;
  3. Check the Inside a Collection Set option and choose My Smart Collections from the list;
  4. Change the option to All in the Match menu;
  5. Select the options as per the image below;
  6. Click Create.
Shot with 70-200 Smart Collection

Shot with 70-200 Smart Collection

Shot with 70-200 lens in Collections Panel

Shot with 70-200 lens in Collections Panel

 

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