End-Of-Year Lightroom Chores

Hello everyone! Wow — it’s already February and we haven’t wished you a “happy new year” yet… So Happy new year and we hope that 2014 has started well for you! May it bring you lots and lots of happy and exciting moments.

For Katja and me the year started out very positively, and while we are extremely happy about our engagement, believe it or not, we have plans that are even more exciting than getting married. If only half of them work out then 2014 should be a tremendous year for us. And for you as our readers too!

We cannot reveal very much at this time, but here’s a small teaser: in two weeks we are leaving for a trip to the Lofoten. Everybody who’s been there has fallen in love with this archipelago, and for a good reason it seems. If you are asking yourselves why on earth we would be going to north Norway in the middle of winter — well, it’s because of this.

But enough personal chit-chat for now — let’s go to Lightroom and “finish up” 2013…

The Bad Plus, Elbjazz 2013

Finish up sorting and editing last year’s images

Have you already imported all images from 2013? Also those from your pocket camera and from your smart phone? Have you sorted out the duds and rated and edited the keepers? Great!

If you are following the naming scheme that I presented here, all your images from last year should now reside in your 2013 directory, in subdirectories named like 2013-01-01_fireworks, 2013-02-02_birthday or 2013-10-23_India.

If you have not yet finished all images from 2013, then hurry up. Otherwise you new images from 2014 will start piling up and you’ll never get to finish those from 2013.

Create a “Best of 2013” Gallery

Once you’re done with deleting, sorting and filing last year’s images it’s time to create a “Best of …” gallery. This is a very tough task because you have to distill the hundreds of keepers from the year down to 12 or maximum 24 images. But it’s a great exercise, because it forces you to really look at your images and ask yourself which ones work and which ones don’t.

I really hate this end-of-year task, but I always love the final result as it reminds me of how great the year was and how much fun we had. So as a small motivation here is a link to our best images of 2013.


Convert all one- and two-star images to JPG

Yes, you read it correctly! Bojidar — mister RAW himself — suggests that you convert your images to JPG! How can that be?!

Indeed I am one of those people who always shoots RAW, because RAW gives me amazing freedom in the post-processing phase. But once I’ve done all my post-processing, when the image is ready, a JPG looks just as good as a RAW file. A JPG saves a lot of space, and since I only have a 256 gigabyte SSD in my laptop, I cannot allow myself to keep waste any hard-disk space.

So how can you find the 1- and 2-star RAW images from 2013? It’s quite easy actually, but first make a backup, just in case anything goes wrong…

And now:

  • Press e to go to the Library module.
  • Press G to change to the grid view.
  • At the very top of your window you’ll see the Library Filter.
  • Click on Attribute.
  • Select Rating smaller than or equal to two stars.
  • Click on Metadata.
  • Filter on Date = 2013 and File Type = Raw

This is what you should be seeing:


Now select all images and export to the same folder as the original photo, add to this catalog, image format JPG and quality 85%. Do not activate any other options. Here is how my export dialog looks like in this case:


Now stay focused! After you press Export and Lightroom is ready you will see each image double. This is because you still have RAW files and the JPGs have been added to the catalog. The RAW files are still selected, so simply press Backspace and select Delete from Disk.

That’s it! Once you empty your trash, you will free up lots of disk space.

Update Your Copyright Text for 2014

If you are using a metadata preset which contains a copyright text with the year (as in © Photographically Curious, 2013) now is the time to update the preset.

In the Library module open the right control panel, navigate to the Metadata group, immediately underneath open the Preset drop-down and select Edit Presets.... Adjust the year, then save the preset.

Finally make sure that all images taken in 2014 carry the 2014 preset. To do that go back to grid mode and use the Date Metadata filter which I showed you above. This time find all images taken in 2014, select all, then go to the Metadata panel and paste your 2014 preset.

And that’s it! A few chores that we try to carry out in the first week of each new year.