Selecting from Different Folders


Today’s Question: For composite imaging in Photoshop, what’s the best way to select two images from two different folders in Lightroom Classic?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can browse the photos from two or more folders at the same time, and then use filters to narrow down the list so you can more easily find the two photos you want to use. Alternatively, I would recommend using the Quick Collection to temporarily group the images together.

More Detail: You can browse the photos from more than one folder in Lightroom Classic by simply selecting multiple folders. This can be done in the same way you would select multiple files or folders in the operating system. You can click on the first folder and then hold the Shift key while clicking the last folder to select the full range of folders in between. You can also toggle the selection of folders on or off by holding the Ctrl key on Windows or the Command key on Macintosh while clicking on a folder.

Once you’ve selected multiple folders you can use the filter settings on the Library Filter bar to narrow the photos down, such as by star rating or other metadata values.

Another great option is to use the Quick Collection in the Catalog section of the left panel in the Library module to group the photos together temporarily. In general, I recommend that you first make sure the Quick Collection is empty. If you need to preserve the group of images currently in the Quick Collection you can save them to a normal collection by right-clicking on the Quick Collection and choosing “Save Quick Collection” from the popup menu.

You can clear the current images from the Quick Collection by right-clicking on it and choosing “Clear Quick Collection” from the popup menu. I then recommend making sure the Quick Collection is the current target collection, which you can do by once again right-clicking and choosing “Set as Target Collection”.

With the Quick Collection set as the target collection you can add images to the Quick Collection by pressing the letter “B” on the keyboard. You could then navigate among the various folders that contain images you want to work with, select a photo, and press “B” on the keyboard to add the selected image to the Quick Collection. You can then go to the Quick Collection to browse the photos you’ve grouped there, select the photos you want to work, and then send them to Photoshop to create a composite.