It's Time for Spring Cleaning!

By Gene McCullagh
March 25, 2009

Spring is in the air and every photographer's thoughts turn to... cleaning out the accumulated gunk in your Lightroom Catalog!

Seriously, though, now is a good time to go through your Lightroom Catalog(s) and see if you are carrying any excess baggage. Take a look at:

  • Virtual Copies: During the course of creating fantastic images we sometimes make several virtual copies before our final product. If you no longer need some of those copies delete them. Having them around gives you that many more images to work with, scroll through, filter, etc.
  • Keywords: Take a look through your keyword list. Look misspelled keywords (sumer instead of summer) or duplicates with different cases (dog, Dog, and DOG). See if you are using singulars and plurals (boat and boats). Consolidating your keywords and correcting errors will make your list shorter, more manageable, and far more useful.
  • Collections: Sometime we create temporary collections while working on a project or reorganizing our catalog. See if you left any of those temporary collections lying around and delete them.
  • Develop Presets: I don't know about you but I seem to have a compulsion to collect Develop Presets. Consequently my list becomes unwieldy. Take some of those lesser used or unused presets and move them out or Lightroom. That will clean up your list and make the ones that remain more noticeable.
  • Images: Yes, I know that all your images are like your children but take a critical look again. You may have some that really aren't that great. If you still can't bring yourself to delete any try gathering them into a collection and export them to a different catalog. That will leave you with a smaller catalog of higher quality images!
In general, take a look through Lightroom and clean out things that have accumulated over the last year and make your experience more enjoyable. Don't stop with Lightroom! While you are at it clean up your hard drive as well. Then go out there are start shooting and filling up that catalog!

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