For almost twenty years there was one piece of software any ‘real’ photographer had to know how to use, and that was Adobe Photoshop. That changed in 2006 when Adobe released the public beta of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. More than a photo organizer, but less than a full blown photo editor, Lightroom performs important functions of both. Dealing with large numbers of photos can be time consuming, so finding ways to streamline your workflow is important. Here are some ways to streamline your Lightroom workflows.
One nice feature of Lightroom is the ability to set where imported photos will be stored as you are importing them. This saves a lot of time if you import the files straight from your camera or memory card into the program. Make sure Lightroom is open and plug in your camera or memory card. The Lightroom dialog comes up and from there you can specify where the photos will be moved to on your hard drive and even make new folders for them. You can specify how you want the imported files named.
Another time saving trick is to apply metadata while importing. You can either create a metadata template and save it to apply when importing, or create one on the fly when importing. The data you use is up to you, but can include your name, location of the shoot, date, or any other data you think is important, including keywords.
Learn More: Adobe Support, Create and apply metadata presets
In the Develop module you can save groups of settings and use them later on other photos. In the import window there is an ‘Apply During’ panel on the right side. In the Develop settings all of the Develop presets you have created are available to choose from. Presets can be created from settings used on one photo for use on similar photos, or they can be created to work with a particular camera.
Learn More: Support, Lightroom Help / Specify import options
Lightroom provides three ways to rate photos, but if you want to streamline your workflow the best option may be flags. With flags you can hit either ‘p’ or ‘x’ to mark the photo as either a ‘pick’ or a ‘reject. ‘ In theory selecting between two choices is faster than deciding between five stars. When you delete rejected pictures from Lightroom you have the option to delete them from the hard drive, too. If you want to go over them later just tell Lightroom not to delete them from the hard drive.
Lightroom is a powerful tool for managing and manipulating your photos. Like any tool that deals with large amounts of data it can take time to perform tasks like sorting, evaluating and saving photos. These simple tricks to streamline your Lightroom workflows can make your time in Lightroom more enjoyable, more efficient and more effective. That makes photography more fun, because the easier it is to get your photos ready to view, the more time you have to take pictures.