Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs

The Art of Raw Conversion #031

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom™ 1.0

Library Module

Mac & PC

review diary by Uwe Steinmueller


Part 1: Intro

Part 2: Library (this page)

Part 3: Develop Module

Part 4: Other Features

Part 5: Lightroom 1.0 FAQ



Lightroom 1.0: Library

We cover the library only with the features we find most interesting.


Folders now reflect files that are in real folders on you file system. LR only show those files that got imported. On the other side LR also detects if some files got removed from your disk. You then can either remove these files from LR or re-link them to a new location.

LR library pane

As you can see we have currently about 30,000 images (mostly RAW files) referenced in Lightroom.

Check for missing Photos and Folders

If you delete files from a folder you have two option:

  • Remove file only from LR. This means the original file stays untouched but LR won't reference it anymore.
  • Delete file removes the file from LR and also moves the real file to the OS waste basket.

Wish list for Folders

  • Autosync menu and/or in timed intervals
  • Explicit support for offline media



While folders reflect physical files you can use collections to provide a logical structure to your files.

Collection Hierarchy

Very helpful is the fact that Collections are organized in a hierarchical structure. Any single photo can be in as many collections as possible. Removing a photo from a collection doesn't remove the photo from the library or send it to the Recycle Bin (from the help file).

It is important to spend some time to come up with a good structure of your own collection hierarchy.

Wish list for Collections

  • Smart collections like Aperture

Ratings, Flags and Color Labels

Lightroom implements three different rating options:

  • Stars
  • Flags
  • Color Labels


The stars implement a classic ranking schema from 0-5. We find it it very well implemented in LR.


In out personal workflow flags are very important. Here are the 3 options and there meaning:

  • Not flagged: No decision made on this image
  • Pick (P): This photo is selected to be for further use
  • Rejected (X): This photo is a candidate for possible deletion

When you inspect new images it is very helpful to find at least the files that you think can be deleted. We call it the deletion workflow:

  • Flag all files you don't like as rejected
  • Filter your files that you only see files that are marked for rejection (filtering see below)
  • Inspect these files to avoid mistakes
  • Delete these photos using the menu "Delete Rejected Photos"

We find this implementation excellent.

Color Labels

Color labels allow a third classification that is orthogonal to stars. You can create your own organization meaning to these labels:



Filters allow you to filter only certain photos that match Stars, Flags and Color Labels:

Again very simple yet effective implemented.


Stacks can be very help tools to organize a flood of similar or related images. It may seem that Lightroom borrowed it from Apple Aperture. While stacks got popular with Aperture earlier versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements already implemented them before Aperture came to the market.

The Lightroom Stacks are a very useful and easy to use implementation.

First you select a couple of images and also select one image as a pick (to be top of your stack):

with "Group into Stack" the images are transformed into a stack:

Collapsed stack

Un-collapsed stack

Lightroom then provides all the functions needed to manipulate stacks:

Options for Stacks

Definitely a great addition for Lightroom.

Virtual Copies

Virtual copies allow you to create copies without copying the RAW files.

Virtual Copy (look for the curled corner)

Lightroom automatically puts the virtual copy into a Stack. from that moment on the real copy and the virtual copy can have completely different settings in the Develop mode.

While you can drag drop RAW files to Photoshop and open them in ACR (3.7 or future 4.0) you cannot do the same with virtual copies.

Clearly a very powerful feature.

Wish list for virtual copies

  • Be able to open a virtual copy into Photoshop without rendering a TIFF file in LR

Sync Settings / Sync Metadata

Lightroom allows a very powerful and also selective way to apply settings or metadata from one master file to many other files.

Sync Develop settings

Sync Metadata

Note: Be careful not to select the Rating and Color labels as you may destroy all your old ratings and color labels.

Wish list for Metadata

  • Find a way to name same IPTC fields the same in Lightroom, Bridge and Photoshop

View Modi

Lightroom support four viewing modi:

  • Grid View

  • Loupe View

  • Two Up

  • Survey View


Lightroom supports hierarchical keywords.

Keyword tags panel

Panel to add and edit keywords

Like structuring collections the use and setup of keyword hierarchies requires good planning. We plan to write more about keywording in future articles.


Metadata Panel

Metadata Panel

This is a central place to edit metadata for a single or a set of images.

Quick Develop Panel

For some quick (dirty :-) ?) corrections.

Wish list about the Develop Panel

  • We personally don't care that much about this panel and would rather like to see a duplicate panel of the Basic corrections from the Develop module. Overall not a big deal if other people like it.



More on Lightroom 1.0

Part 1: Intro

Part 2: Library (this page)

Part 3: Develop Module

Part 4: Other Features

Part 5: Lightroom 1.0 FAQ




Support Digital Outback Photo by ordering Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 at




For Comments post in our News Group

2000-2004 Digital Outback Photo