Lightroom: How To Export Collections to Catalogs

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom allows users who don't want to pay for the full version of Photoshop with ways of editing, manipulating and managing photos. One of the features of Lightroom is the ability to export photos as a catalog. This allows users to keep track of the photos without actually downloading all of the photos.

Step 1: Understanding Catalogs

A catalog is Lightroom is a list of all the photos in a collection (set of photos), and this includes information like the date the photo was taken, the name of the photo and the like. Catalogs are automatically created when a photo is opened in Lightroom or when photos from an external collection are imported into Lightroom.

Catalogs are simply a list of the photos and their information. Photos are kept in external files. Most people choose to keep all of their photo information within one catalog. But, for professional photographers and serious amateurs, they may want to separate photos into different catalogs. 

For example, a professional photographer can separate clients' photos or photos for competitions, or they may want to create a catalog of their best or favorite photos. This will allow the photographer to easily find their best work when they want to create a portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of a photographer's finest photograph, which can be shown to potential clients or to gain other employment.

When adding information about a photo, photographers should be as detailed as possible. Give photographs names that actually describe the image as opposed to one that is simply pretty or just the photo number. It will help when trying to find a photo via the catalog.

Step 2: How to Export a Collection as a Catalog

When a collection is exported, it is exported as a new catalog. Photographers will have to name the catalog based on what is inside the catalog or some type of similar name. All photo information and settings will be exported with the photos as well.

To export a collection of photographs as a catalog, follow the below procedures:

  1. Pick the photo collection that you want to export as a catalog.
  2. A pop-up menu will appear.
  3. Users should select Export This Collection As a Catalog from the pop-up menu.
  4. Users can also specify other options from this menu as well.
  5. When done, uses should hit Save in windows or Export Catalog in Mac.

Now, a new catalog will be created.

Step 3: Understanding Why Catalogs Are Important

If a user wants to find a certain photo, but they can't remember what they named it, they can look at the tags, names and other information related to that photo.  Photographers can then read through the information and perhaps jog their memory. 

Further, if a photographer is looking for photos from a certain date, they can look through the catalog and find all the photographs associated with that day.