LR014 - LrC Tip01 - All Photos Really

April 14, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

LrC014 – All Photos Really

Revised 6/26/2023
www.DanHartfordPhoto.com

SITUATION

When LrC (Lightroom Classic) shows a folder of images or the “All Photographs” special collection it does not display images that are buried in collapsed stacks.  Of course that’s the purpose of having stacks so this should not be a surprise.  But it is misleading when you select the “All Photographs” item in the Catalog panel as the name implies that you’ll get all photographs and that is not necessarily what you get.

In the screen shot below, you will notice that the “All Photographs” special collection indicates that there are 105,160 photos known to LrC.  But after selecting “All Photographs” and then selecting all the images in the grid, the count at the top of the film strip show that there are only 50,107 images being shown.  What happened to the other 55,053 images?

02 Screenshot 102 Screenshot 1

Well, the answer is that when you have image stacks, the images buried in collapsed stacks are not shown when you select the “All Photographs” special collection or one or more folders.  In most situations this is desirable as the reason you put images into stacks and collapsed those stacks was to hide all but the first image in the stack as they are for the most part redundant with the top image.  In other words “out of sight, out of mind”.  But, there are times when you actually do want to see “ALL” the images regardless of their stack participation. 

Note 1: This problem does not exist if you have selected multiple sources at least one of which is a collection.

Note 2:  Stacks can be created only from images in a single folder or from images in a single collection and stacking in a folder is independent of stacking in a collection. 

There are basically 3 solutions to this problem.

Solution 1 (obvious)

The first solution to this problem (once you understand what is going on) is quite simple.  Just select all the images in the grid and issue the “expand all stacks” command.  This command can be found by right clicking (<Ctrl>Click on a Mac) on any of the images and selecting “Stacking” then “Expand all stacks” or by using the “Stacking” item in the “Photo” menu. 

Of course this method may take some time if you’re expanding tens of thousands of images and if you have deliberately left some stacks collapsed and others expanded they will now all be expanded. 

Solution 2 (Smart Collection)

This solution is better than #1 but no where near as good as #3.  So, you may want to just skip ahead to #3.

This solution comes in the form of a Smart Collection.  The downside of this one is that it is difficult to restrict the result to only a set of folders and/or collections but if you’re after your entire catalog of images then it works OK.  As it turns out collections ignore folder stacking when displaying images.  So, what we want is a Smart Collection that selects all images.  Here is such a Smart Collection

03 Screenshot 203 Screenshot 2

This Smart Collection has a single rule which selects all photos where the star rating is >= 0 stars.  In other words, every photo. 

If I click on this Smart Collection rather than the standard All Photographs special collection I now get them all.

01 Screenshot 301 Screenshot 3

Now you can see that the Smart Collection is providing all 105,160 images as the current source.  Of course, the same as with the “All Photographs” special collection, you can still narrow down your selection through the use of the filter bar but you are working with the entire set of images – including those buried in stacks.

Solution 3 (Regular Collection)

This solution is the best of the bunch.  Not only is it quick and easy but it can be used on one or more folders and collections as well as your entire catalog of images.

Setup:  – This is a one time setup step.  Go to the collections panel on the left and click the “+” sign to the right of the word “Collections”.  In the resulting pop up, select “Create Collection…”

04 Screenshot 404 Screenshot 4
 

In the Create Collection dialog box, name the collection something like “Empty Collection”.  You can choose to put it in a collection set if you like but leave all the other checkboxes unchecked.  Then press the “Create” button at the bottom right.
 

05 Screenshot 505 Screenshot 5

You now have a collection that contains no images.

Usage: When you have a grid full of images where the source of those images is one or more folders and/or collections or the “All Photographs” item in the Catalog Panel, and you want to see images that are in collapsed stacks, <ctrl>click (<Cmd>click on a Mac) on this “Empty Collection” collection and instantly the images buried in stacks will show up assuming they meet any filter criteria you may have in place.  That’s it!

Example:  Let’s say I’m looking at folder “2009-02a – Yosemite” and I have a filter turned on for Keywords Contain “waterfall”.  Of the 286 images in that folder, my grid displays 22 waterfall images

06 Screenshot 606 Screenshot 6

But, almost every one of those waterfall images are the top image of a stack.  If I now want to see all the waterfall images in that folder, stacked or not, all I do is hold down the <Ctrl> (<Cmd> on Mac) key and click on the “Empty Collection” collection.

Now I have folder “2009-02a – Yosemite” as well as the “Empty Collection” collection both selected as sources of the images.   And, my grid now shows all 79 images in the Yosemite folder that have the keyword “Waterfall”, regardless of stacking status.

07 Screenshot 707 Screenshot 7

<Ctrl>Click (<Cmd>click on Mac) on the “Empty Collection” folder again and the images buried in the collapsed stacks disappear.

 

 


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