Most photographers are familiar with Lightroom, the editing software included in the Adobe suite. Even though some amateur and professional photographers prefer to use the editing features offered by Luminar and its artificial intelligence or even the functionalities of Capture One, Lightroom Classic remains one of the most-used softwares in the photography world.
Many of us choose Lightroom to retouch our pictures and to catalog them.
But what are the best tools to organize your photos in Lightroom?
And what are the drawbacks of cataloging in Lightroom?
After introducing cataloging in Lightroom, we’ll talk about a new photo management software that will take your cataloging to the next level. It will be an excellent companion to Lightroom and will allow you to have a totally new point of view on your pictures.
We’ll tell you more about it at the end of this article.
What is a Lightroom catalog?
In a catalog, you will find 3 categories of information:
- metadata related to the shooting of the photograph and the raw file (EXIF)
- metadata added by you, the user (flags, notes, IPTC annotations, keywords, faces)
- adjustments (retouches)
In addition to catalogs, it is also possible to create collections of images (e.g., the selection of the best images that you want to print/share).
These collections can be created either manually (drag and drop images to the collection) or dynamically (define the collection with rules–for example, images with a rating higher than 4 stars).
We will see later in this article how to use these tools in more detail.
Why catalog your photos?
Cataloging photos allows us to classify and organize our images, which, in turn,allows us to find a specific image more easily.
To structure a catalog, we will first have to build a database by adding certain information to our images. A date, a theme, a project, a subject, a place…this is the type of classic information that usually appears in photographic catalogs.
The cataloging tools in Lightroom
In Lightroom, there are 2 families of tools for cataloging. The first family allows us to organize the structure of our catalog and the second to annotate our images.
These tools can be used in many different ways, depending on the user’s preferences. There is no right or wrong way to catalog. The goal is to be able to use these cataloging tools according to your needs so that they best fit your workflow.
Image identification gathers all the elements that allow you to annotate a photo. These annotations will complete the existing information about the picture and will not change the original file.
The stars allow you to rate your images on a scale of 0 to 5. Generally, this rating is attributed to the beauty of your photo. If you find it perfect in its composition, its quality, its colors or its subject, you will give it 5 stars.
On the contrary, if you don’t like the photo but you wish to keep it for X reason, you will give it only 1 star. This allows you to filter your images according to their rating.
Organization of the structure
The most used organizational structures for folders
To have a clean structure in Lightroom and to be able to easily make backups of your photos, it is important that your folders and subfolders on your disk are well organized. Importing your photos to your hard drive before you import them into Lightroom will allow Lightroom to reflect your structure when it imports. Ideally, as we have mentioned above, you should have all your photos in one folder made up of structured subfolders.
There are many ways to classify your photos; it is up to you to find the one that best suits your needs. Here are some examples of classification:
By year, by project, by photographic style, by trip, by theme…
These examples can also be combined together. As long as your structure is ergonomic and adapted to your workflow, anything is possible.
Is multi-cataloging a good practice?
Most photographers use a single catalog in order to have all their photos gathered in the same place because Lightroom does not allow searching between catalogs. Others prefer to separate their professional and personal photos. Some photographers prefer to use one catalog per project to avoid slowing down their Lightroom software when working with it.
I personally use a catalog on an external disk to facilitate backups and to be able to drag all the photos that make up the catalog. I am one of those who have several catalogs.
The problem with Lightroom is that I cannot search in several catalogs at the same time, and having all my photos in a single catalog can slow down the software: the navigation across the photos becomes more difficult. Fortunately, there is now a way to solve this problem and allow the creation of multiple catalogs: Peakto.
Peakto: The grail for better cataloging your photos?
Classifying, annotating and organizing all your photos are time-consuming steps. In general, these tasks are not very enjoyable, but they become so with Peakto thanks to its many innovative features that will make your life easier…
Save precious time
You don’t have time to classify or tag your images? With the Artificial Intelligence-assisted annotation feature, Peakto allows you to classify your photos automatically. Working with image recognition, this solution is ideal for those who don’t have time to annotate their photos.
Thanks to its artificial intelligence, Peakto will do the work for you. And for those of you who already have well-organized catalogs, this feature will allow you to complete work done before introducing Peakto or to perform advanced searches and displays by camera, lens, shutter speed, theme, colorimetry, and many other ways…
A breathtaking browsing experience
Finding your photos when you’re looking for them is great. Having discovery and exploration tools for all the ones you forgot about is even better.
Peakto includes a new display feature: Panorama. Panorama will give you access to a variety of completely innovative viewpoints on your images: by photographic theme, by color harmony, by the number of people present, by their aesthetic qualities or their flaws… Here again, it’s the artificial intelligence that sorts out the photos for you. Panorama’s highly optimized navigation makes sorting through massive numbers of photos a breeze.
Your classification work is totally preserved
As we have shown, Peakto can help you organize your images, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t organize them in Lightroom. Rather, Peakto should be seen as a companion to your editing software: your structural work as well as all the annotations applied to each of your photos will be perfectly preserved and reflected in Peakto.
Use Lightroom catalogs as you wish
In this article, we have seen that Lightroom does not give users the ability to browse through multiple catalogs. Thanks to Peakto, you will now have the choice to use one or more catalogs, depending on the way you like to work. No more slowdowns from trying to sort through catalogs too large for your software to handle! No more need to pile your images into a single catalog. Peakto allows you to browse multiple catalogs quickly and easily, with no huge strain on your computer’s operating system.
Take advantage of the best features of each software
Peakto is the innovative cataloging software that allows you to gather all your photos in one single interface. You can easily view all your photos that are in Lightroom catalogs, but that’s not all…
All your retouching under one roof
No more constraints with your images
Always in sync with your organization
Enjoy your photos–even offline
Finding your way through your photos
With the massive number of images we take and the many softwares we use to edit them, it is not easy to find your way around. By being organized, you can use Lightroom’s cataloging options. To go further and manage large collections of photos, it is better to use a companion tool like Peakto. It offers a centralized search, an elegant view of all the photos and an automatic classification thanks to artificial intelligence that allows you to organize without annotations.
A welcome help in our search for elusive or long-lost photo files, you will find that Peakto makes your life as a photographer easier, simpler, and far less stressful!