Transience (and a Lightroom tip)

I just found this photo in one of my “monthly best of” smart collections…

Transience - 4S Ranch, San Diego, CA.
Transience – 4S Ranch, San Diego, CA.
Click to open on FAA.

What’s a “monthly best of” smart collection? Well, you probably know what Smart Collections are – Lightroom collections that are automatically populated by certain criteria from a photo’s metadata and/or its development settings. Lightroom comes with a couple of Smart Collections “out of the box” – the “Recently Modified” and “Without Keywords” collections for example.

My “monthy best of” smart collections show me all photos that I rated with five starts from a particular month of every year. Now, if you know how working with date ranges in Lightroom works, you’ll probably think this is an awful lot of work to set up and maintain.

But it doesn’t have to be – and the solution is painfully simple: on import, I apply the month a photo was made as a keyword. And then the smart collection setup is really simple, and doesn’t require any maintenance:


I find it helpful to browse photos in a different arrangement, or from a “different perspective” every now and then, and these smart collections help me with that. Looking at my own image archive in different ways is a little bit like working a scene with the camera. Often there’s something in there I didn’t see at first, or overlooked.

Thoughts? Let me hear them.

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