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Difference between Folders and Collections

New Here ,
Jan 10, 2018

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Hi everybody,

I just got started with lightroom CC classic. Whats the main difference btwn. folders and collections?

Correct me if I'm wrong, Folders are were photos are located in your HDD. I can acces them, rating them, flagging...

Collections are like a bunch of folders within Lightroom, where I can delete move photos without affecting the original files from the folder.

Additional I have some more questions:

Why I would work with collections if I have a nice folder structure in my HDD?

Smart Collections are working directly related with the keywording system?

Difference btwn smart previews and 1:1 previes?

I found really nice the tutorials from Adobe but I would like to have a tutorial from scratch where I can see all the options, and deep menus in the software, any recommendations?

Thank you very much!

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Difference between Folders and Collections

New Here ,
Jan 10, 2018

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Hi everybody,

I just got started with lightroom CC classic. Whats the main difference btwn. folders and collections?

Correct me if I'm wrong, Folders are were photos are located in your HDD. I can acces them, rating them, flagging...

Collections are like a bunch of folders within Lightroom, where I can delete move photos without affecting the original files from the folder.

Additional I have some more questions:

Why I would work with collections if I have a nice folder structure in my HDD?

Smart Collections are working directly related with the keywording system?

Difference btwn smart previews and 1:1 previes?

I found really nice the tutorials from Adobe but I would like to have a tutorial from scratch where I can see all the options, and deep menus in the software, any recommendations?

Thank you very much!

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Jan 10, 2018 1
Advocate ,
Jan 10, 2018

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Youtube is replete with Lr videos, some quite extensive.

Chris Orwig, Matt Kloskowski, Terry White, Julieanne Kost would be a fair start.

Lightroom Killer Tips

Dozens of Lr tutorials at jkost.com  <click the Lightroom tab>

Then, of course, there is Lynda.com. Hours of tutorials on the subject.

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Jan 10, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 10, 2018

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Folders are physical- they exist on your hard-drive. They contain your photo files.

Collections are Virtual- they are only a list of photos that you have gathered together for a special purpose in Lightroom.

Some people explain Collections like "Play-Lists in iTunes" or a "Grocery List" of items you want to look for in the Store.

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 10.0, Photoshop 22.0, Lightroom 4.0, Windows-10. Nikon DSLR.

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Jan 10, 2018 3
Advocate ,
Jan 10, 2018

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Difference btwn smart previews and 1:1 previes?

Previews are essentially jpgs created by LR for display in the Library module; 1:1 previews are the same size as the original and therefore useful for examining the image display at 1:1 zoom, but are not needed otherwise. Smart Previews are dng files that are no more than 2560 pixels on the long side and can be used by the Develop module as surrogates for the originals when they are not available - as, for instance, when the original image files are on an external drive at home and you are in the field with your laptop. If the originals are always available, SPs are not needed.

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Jan 10, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 10, 2018

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Collections are just LIST of images. Like if you wrote down all your Record Albums or CDs on a piece of paper. That piece of paper doesn't have your Records or CD in it.

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Jan 10, 2018 1
Community Beginner ,
Apr 17, 2020

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You're a genius! I've been trying to explain the difference between collections and folders to a client, and this ananlogy is SO helpful.

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Apr 17, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
Jan 10, 2018

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dustins8429052  wrote

Why I would work with collections if I have a nice folder structure in my HDD?

Collections are different than folders. They can contain photos from many folders. They are simply a list of photos, which LR can use for specific  tasks. The only time I use collections is to produce things like slideshows or photo books or similar. Generally, I would not use collections to organize, for pure organization I use keywords and other metadata.

Since you ask the question, and since you state you have a nice folder structure, the whole point of LR is to give you tools that are more powerful and flexible for organization and searching than the folder structure. If all you use is folders for organizing, you can't really search and find all pictures of a particular subject matter (for example, all photos of your children, or all photos of mountains) using folders alone, you need keywords and other metadata assigned to the photos, and then such searching becomes very simple.

Smart Collections are working directly related with the keywording system?

This isn't really a question (despite the question mark at the end), it is a statement which is sometimes true, and sometimes false. Smart collections can work with almost any metadata to provide a way of finding photos that have certain common characteristics.

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