Unexpected Sort Order


Today’s Question: I have a problem with Lightroom Classic in the develop module. If it is my lucky day, I can process an image and it will stay in its position on the filmstrip along with the original. If it is not my lucky day when I process an image both the processed image and the original jump to the end of the filmstrip. Can you explain what is happening and how I can ensure that my images stay in place in the filmstrip during processing?

Tim’s Quick Answer: It sounds like the sort order for the images is to blame here. For example, you may be sorting the images by Edit Time or Edit Count. I would recommend sorting either by Capture Time or File Name to help ensure a consistent sort order.

More Detail: Lightroom Classic provides a variety of options for adjusting the sort order of your photos. Some of the sorting options are perhaps more useful and commonly preferred, such as sorting by Capture Time or File Name. Other sort order options are a little more esoteric but can provide a potential workflow benefit in certain situations.

For example, the Aspect Ratio sort order will cause images to be sorted based on the relationship between width and height, so that vertical and horizontal images will be sorted into separate groups. This may not be the most helpful sort order, but there are certainly situations where it could be helpful.

Of course, if you have the sort order set to an unexpected setting, the way images get sorted could be a bit confusing.

The “Edit Count” sorting option, for example, will cause images to be sorted in order based on how many times they have been edited in the Develop module or updated in the Library module. This enables you to sort images based on how much work you’ve done (or not done) with them in Lightroom Classic. That also means that as you apply edits to a photo, the image may jump to a different position based on the current sort order.

I recommend using the Capture Time sort order as the default setting, switching to other sort orders when they prove useful in your workflow. And when you’re finished using a different sort order, I recommend switching the sort order back to Capture Time to avoid confusion.