Depth Filtering Option


Today’s Question: I was watching one of your videos about using the metadata filtering options in Lightroom Classic, and so I explored the options in my catalog. I saw an option for “Depth” under Metadata, but when I choose it there are only options for “All” and “No Depth”, with the same count of photos for both. What does this filter option relate to?

Tim’s Quick Answer: The “Depth” option for metadata filtering relates to the depth map created as part of certain captures, such as the Portrait mode available on certain smartphone models.

More Detail: Some newer models of smartphones include the option to capture photos with reduced depth of field, which are created automatically by the camera app on these smartphones by blending an in-focus and out-of-focus image. A depth map is created as a mask defining which areas should be in focus versus blurred, based on distance from the camera.

Lightroom Classic supports images with this type of a depth map, with perhaps the most common example being the Portrait mode capture option available with the Camera app on the more recent Apple iPhone models.

The Depth filter option available with the Metadata tab of the Library Filter bar (View > Show Filter Bar) enables you to filter between images captured with an embedded depth map, and those without.

Images with a depth map can be filtered by selecting the “Has Depth” option, and photos without a depth map can be filtered with the “No Depth” option. This is obviously a filter setting that is primarily useful for tracking down photos that were captured on a smartphone using the feature (such as Portrait mode) that employs a depth map to create the final photo.