Happy Friday, everybody!

This coming week I’ll be teaching my Lightroom seminars in LA (Monday), San Francisco (Wednesday), and Seattle (Friday). It’s not too late to come spend the day with me digging deep into Lightroom.

Anyway, this is from a post that Matt wrote back in 2010 where he listed some great ideas for Smart Collections, so I wanted to share those (and get some of your ideas, so please share yours in the comments below). Best one wins a signed copy of my “How do I do that in Lightroom?” book. In the meantime, here’s Matt’s 5 Smart Collection ideas:

> Smart Collection Idea #1: PSD Files
Any image edited in Photoshop means it was taken to the next level. Since I’ll usually want to get back to those photos quickly I set the File Type to “PSD” so I can quickly find any PSD files.

> Smart Collection Idea #2: HDR Images
Any time I work on an HDR photo in Photoshop I make sure I rename it (to include “HDR) when I get back over to Lightroom. That way, I can set up a Smart Collection where the Filename contains “HDR” so all of my HDR images are just a click away.

> Smart Collection Idea #3: Panoramas
Along the same lines of the HDR photos, I do something similar for panos. I make sure to rename any panos when I get back to Lightroom and create a Smart Collection where the Filename contains “Pano.”

> Smart Collection Idea #4: Copyright Check
I create a Smart Collection to check for any photos where the Copyright metadata field doesn’t contain “Matt Kloskowski” in it. That way, I can keep an eye on any that I forget to copyright.

> Smart Collection Idea #5: Recently Edited
Lightroom also has some default Smart Collections. I kinda like the “Recently Modified” one so I can see what photos I’ve recently changed. I double click on it though, to change it from 2 days to 5 days, and that seems to work well for me.

Hope you found those helpful. 🙂

Have a great weekend everybody – looking forward to meeting some of you in this coming week out on the West Coast (ain’t no party like a West-coast party ’cause a West-coast party don’t stop).





  1. Natalie (QSOgirl) 13 August, 2017 at 06:11 Reply

    I’m not a professional photographer but I use Lightroom to manage and edit the hundreds of family photos I take each month (I am an avid memory-keeper and love documenting our family’s adventures at home and away). I use smart collections to automatically collect my favorite photos by month (I label my favorites purple as I process each imported set) and I only edit the purple photos for sharing. At the end of the month, I share those photos privately to our families and some friends. Using the smart collections has been an amazing upgrade to my workflow.

    In reading over the suggestions above, I also think I’d like to set up a collection to track which photos are missing captions. Ever since the end of 2011, it has been my mission to ensure that every photo I store on my hard drive has some sort of story or explanation saved in its metadata. The stories are just as precious to me as the photos.

    • callmebob 13 August, 2017 at 22:47 Reply

      Highlight Smart Collection, click the
      +” – Create a smart collection with whatever name you want. On the first pulldown choose “Other metadata” then pick the “Caption” keyword – then “Doesn’t contain” on the second field – and then in the rightmost field, add the characters “a e i o u” or whatever set of characters and digits might be in the captions you’re adding – in English that should get you there, might be different in languages with variant letters for vowel. Ought to get you there.

  2. Florian 11 August, 2017 at 10:26 Reply

    I have a series of “themed” smart collections. I like to take pictures of interesting doors and bicycles, usually older ones. I make sure that I tag those photos with a specific keyword (Doors, Bicycle, etc). Like Scott and his indoor photos of libraries, theaters, etc. Who knows some day I may create a photo book out of them.

  3. Francisco 11 August, 2017 at 10:17 Reply

    My workflow is based on the collections (no on folders), I think Scott is in the same boat. Hence one of my top smart collections is “photos not in a collection”. There is no straightforward way of creating this smart collection, In the web I found multiple (creative) ways of achieving it.

    I am wondering what will Scott propose, and the other readers.

    Have a fantastic weekend

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