Searching your Lightroom catalog

One of the key benefits of using Lightroom is that it not only allows for the editing of your photos but also cataloging. Cataloging your files many times is a feature forgotten about since the main thing we as artists focus on is the creative editing. In a recent post I talked about how to Add keywords to your lightroom catalogs and today I want to chat a little about how to search your lightroom catalog for keywords.

Once you have your photos tagged with keywords searching for the photo you need is really a breeze in Lightroom. I’ll start in the Library module and look to the right hand side. We covered the Keywording section the other day and for searching you will be using the Keyword List area.

There are a few things to point out about this list of keywords. First you can nest the list which makes things really easy to find. To do this just drag and drop from the list of keywords to create a nested structure. Click on the arrow to the left of the keyword name to open and close these subdirectories of keywords. If you are someone that loves folders within folders within more folders you can set these as deep as you would like.

search lightroom keywords

If the photo you currently have selected in Lightroom has any keywords those will be shown in this list with a checkmark to the left of the keyword name. You will also see the total number of images in your catalog that have these keywords by looking at the number on the right side.

You can use this window to also add keywords quickly. When you have a photo selected just click on the checkbox to the left of the keyword to add that keyword to the image.

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If you do have multiple images selected and some already contain the keyword the box will have a dash through it. Click this once to add the keyword to the remaining photos or click it twice to remove the keyword from all selected photos.

When you are ready to start finding the images it’s really easy. Just roll over the keyword you want to search for and click on the arrow that appears on the right of the keyword.
This will bring up a view of only these keyworded images with a filter bar at the top.

You will also see on the filter bar here that there are a few other filters that are set to all (a filter for the Camera, Lens and Label). You can refine your search here by clicking on only a specific camera or lens or even change these to search for something else. For example if I was searching for images from this wedding venue but just wanted to find images from a certain date I can change the camera filter to search by date instead. This will show me a list of dates from these keyworded images and I can narrow down my results.

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Pretty simple! Now to go back to your normal view just click the None button at the top of your filter list to view everything again.

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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