Photo Tip: Dust off forgotten photos

Photo Tip: Dust off forgotten photos

By |2015-08-28T13:27:14+00:00Aug 28th, 2015|

As it currently stands, my Lightroom catalog has about 185,000 photos and videos stored within it. Of those records, I’m certain that I’ve spent any meaningful amount of time on, maybe, 1% of them. 1%! And the crime is not that I don’t have time to budget for them, but rather it’s because I simply forget. I’ve tried pinning the tail on the donkey and choosing a random folder from a prior year but I almost always lose focus. Recently, I tried something new. I have a smart catalog in Lightroom that houses every single photo that I’ve shared online. It’s a pretty simple workflow – shared photos get four stars. The smart collection automatically populates any photos that have a four star rating. See? Simple.


So it stands to reason that if I had worked on and shared a photo that I liked, there could be others from that same shoot that I’d like but simply lost track of over time. That’s where this simple, buy likely overlooked, Lightroom contextual menu item has proven itself immensely useful. When I go to my four star smart collection, I’ll find a photo that jumps at me. It doesn’t matter what it is or when I took, I’ll just scan the collection. When I find something I like, I right click on it and select the menu item, “Go to Folder in Library.” This brings me directly to the folder containing all the photos from that shoot, photos that had gone forgotten until now.

Master_Catalog-2_lrcat_-_Adobe_Photoshop_Lightroom_-_LibraryThis is how I stumbled upon the two photos in this post. They were taken during a trip to Australia in April 2014. Up until earlier today, I had totally forgotten about them but once I was ushered back to this folder, I saw all of these photos that excited me! I got to working on a few and that’s when I realized the photo tip for today’s post. The more you shoot, the easier it is to forget about what you’ve already shot. You never know what diamonds can be found in the rough. Just remember to go looking for them.


  1. Jim Roberts August 28, 2015 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    I have the same system for my shared programs. I also have a smaller smart collection for four stars this week and this month.

  2. Alain Zarinelli August 28, 2015 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Great tip. I also found that in some instances I had photos that I messed up on originally and could not fix in 2012, 2013 etc, but with the new tools available in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom today, I was able to salvage some of them – and they were worth salvaging!

    • namberak November 14, 2015 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      Ditto! I have a great shot from ’07 that’s just not quite there, but one of these days!

  3. Vijay Ghate September 27, 2015 at 1:22 am - Reply

    Great tip. Could you share your view about using “star Rating” and “Color Label”

  4. namberak November 14, 2015 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    Excellent tip. Just yesterday I was lamenting over my ‘shared’ folder’s car crash appearance; I’m not sure this will let me clean it up but I can prevent future disasters. I used a sort of a variant to control LR mobile shares. When I’m ready to share, I create a virtual copy of the pictures, use the ‘Copy Name’ field to enter something short, then I can do a text search for everything with that same name and there you go: collection of virtual copies that can be shared.

Please share your thoughts! (Markdown syntax is supported)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.