Deleted Photos Still Taking Up Space


Today’s Question: When I go on a birding photography trip, I usually take more than 10,000 photos and eventually cull more than 80% of those. When I delete photos from Lightroom Classic I use the “Delete from Disk” option. I’m not sure this is the optimal choice as I’ve noticed that the level of used capacity on my external drive does not go down after deleting a large volume of photos. Should I be using another option to delete photos?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You’re using the correct option when deleting photos from Lightroom Classic, but you also need to be sure to empty the Trash (Macintosh) or Recycle Bin (Windows) to actually free up the space still being consumed by the deleted photos on the hard drive.

More Detail: On both Macintosh and Windows when you delete files in most cases those files aren’t actually deleted from the hard drive. Rather, they are put in a temporary holding location so you can recover them if you realize (in time) that you deleted some files by mistake. That temporary holding location is the Trash on Macintosh and the Recycle Bin on Windows.

You must empty the Trash or Recycle Bin to clear up the storage space represented by the deleted files that haven’t yet been truly removed from the drive. Note that the original storage location for the applicable files must be connected when you empty the Trash or Recycle Bin to free up the corresponding space.

In the case of an external hard drive, for example, emptying the Trash or Recycle Bin when the hard drive is not connected to the computer won’t free up the portion of the space represented by files that had been stored on that external hard drive because the source files are still taking up space on the drive even though those files appear to have been deleted.

So, be sure that the hard drive that originally contained the photos in question is connected to your computer. Then empty the Trash or Recycle Bin and the photos that had been deleted from that drive using Lightroom Classic will actually be removed from the temporary storage for the Trash or Recycle Bin, and the storage space will actually be freed up on the applicable hard drive.

Applying Keywords in Batch


Today’s Question: I shot multiple photos of multiple subjects on my media card, so unfortunately I cannot put in all keywords when I import photos into Lightroom Classic because not all keywords correspond to all photos. Is there a way to highlight some of the photos and add keyword to just those that are highlighted?

Tim’s Quick Answer: When importing photos, the only option is to apply the same keywords to all photos that are being imported at that time. However, after the import you can apply keywords to selected groups of photos to help streamline that workflow.

More Detail: While Lightroom Classic includes an option to apply keywords as part of the process of importing new photos, that feature is somewhat limited in usefulness. That’s because any keywords you add as part of the import process will apply to all photos being imported. That means that in many cases there may be a very small number of keywords you could apply during import, and in turn that keywords applied during import probably aren’t going to be the most helpful keywords later in your workflow.

Fortunately, you can perform more useful and efficient keywording after your photos are imported. The process of applying keywords in batch to selected photos is relatively straightforward, and naturally there is more than one approach you could use.

The first approach involves first selecting the photos you want to apply specific keywords to. So, in the Library module select the photos you want to add keywords to. Then make sure you are in the grid view display rather than the loupe view. You can quickly switch to the grid view by pressing the letter “G” on the keyboard. If you are not in the grid view then by default you will only be adding keywords to the active photo, not to all of the other selected photos. In the grid view metadata updates will apply to all selected photos.

At this point you can use your preferred technique for applying keywords, such as typing them into the field found in the Keywording section on the right panel. You could also simply turn on the checkboxes for the applicable keywords in the Keyword List section.

Another option you may find helpful, though that isn’t quite as automated, is to use the Painter tool found on the toolbar below the grid view display in the Library module. After selecting the Painter tool (it looks like a can of spray paint) you can set the Paint popup to “Keywords” and enter the applicable keywords in the text field to the right. You can then click on individual images, or click and drag across multiple images, to apply the keywords with the Painter.

Applying Lens Corrections in Batch


Today’s Question: In Lightroom Classic I want to apply Lens Corrections in the Develop module to all the photographs I imported before I learned to do it at import. Is there some way to do this without having to adjust each photograph individually?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can apply a profile-based adjustment for Lens Corrections in Lightroom Classic by applying a preset to selected images using the Quick Develop section of the right panel in the Library module.

More Detail: As I’ve noted in previous answers, I recommend applying a Develop preset at import to apply preferred adjustments to photos that are being added to your Lightroom Classic catalog, including the Lens Corrections adjustment based on a profile for the specific lens used when capturing your photos.

If you have photos that you did not previously apply this adjustment to, you can easily apply that correction after the fact using a Develop preset.

The first step is to create a Develop preset for this purpose. Select a photo that you haven’t applied adjustments to, and then go to the Develop module. In the Lens Corrections section of the right panel go to the Profile tab. Turn on both the “Remove Chromatic Aberration” and “Enable Profile Corrections” checkboxes. Then set the Setup popup to Auto.

On the left panel in the Develop module click the plus (+) button to the right of the Presets heading and choose “Create Preset” from the popup. In the “New Develop Preset” dialog enter a meaningful name for the preset in the Preset Name field. Select the group you’d like to save the preset to from the Group popup. Then click the “Check None” button at the bottom-left of the dialog.

Turn on the “Enable Profile Corrections” checkbox in the Lens Corrections section, along with any other adjustments you applied to the sample image that you want to apply to other photos. Then click the Create button to save the preset.

You can then go to the Library module, and select all photos you want to apply the preset to. That could even include every photo in your entire Lightroom Classic catalog by selecting the “All Photographs” collection in the Catalog section of the left panel and then making sure that no filters are set. You could also select specific folders or collections, however. You can use the Edit > Select All command to select all photos in the current location you’re browsing.

After selecting all photos you want to apply the Lens Corrections adjustment to, go to the Quick Develop section on the right panel in the Library module. From the Saved Preset popup select the preset you created that includes the profile-based lens correction adjustment. This will apply the preset to all selected photos, which in this case means applying the profile-based Lens Corrections adjustment to all selected photos based on the lens used for each of those photos.

New Features in Lightroom Classic 12


Adobe has released Lightroom Classic 12, and I have a video ready for you that covers the exciting new features. You can learn about the major update to image cleanup in version 12 of Lightroom Classic, see how the masking features for targeted adjustments have been updated and improved, and much more.

If you already have access to my “GreyLearning Ultimate Bundle”, or you’ve purchased my “Mastering Lightroom Classic” bundle, you already have access to the new features video at no additional cost. Just sign in to your GreyLearning account, and look for the “Lightroom Lectures” course on the My Dashboard page.

If you don’t already have access to the “Lightroom Lectures” course, you can either sign up for a subscription to the “GreyLearning Ultimate Bundle”, or purchase the “Mastering Lightroom Classic” bundle. Here are links to each of those:

GreyLearning Ultimate Bundle:

Mastering Lightroom Classic Bundle:

I’m excited about the new features in Lightroom Classic 12, and look forward to publishing more great content totally updated for this new release over the coming days and weeks. Stay tuned!

When Automatic Rotation Fails


Today’s Question: At the end of your answer about setting a camera to automatically rotate photos that are captured in horizontal versus vertical orientation, I noticed that you said that “rotation [would be] generally not required”. Why would you ever need to rotate an image if the camera was set for automatic rotation?

Tim’s Quick Answer: While just about every camera includes a sensor that determines the orientation at the camera at the time of capture, that feature can be turned off and it may also not always provide the intended result depending on how the camera was held.

More Detail: If the option to apply automatic rotation to captured photos is turned off, your photos will obviously not be rotated based on how you were holding the camera. That means that horizontal photos will still appear horizontal, but also that vertical photos will appear horizontal as well rather than vertical.

Even with the option enabled to automatically rotate photos, however, the camera won’t always get the rotation right.

For example, if you hold the camera at about a 45-degree angle, you would have intended the captured photo to appear either horizontally or vertically. However, with the camera held at a 45-degree angle there is a certain amount of ambiguity about what you intended, and so there is about a 50% chance that the orientation of the photo won’t match your intent.

Similarly, you may find yourself in the unusual situation where your camera is held upside down. This is admittedly rare, but I have found myself in this situation a few times. Interestingly enough, many cameras don’t accurately detect when they are upside down, and so the resulting photos will not have the intended orientation.

The point is that in some situations, even when your camera is properly configured for automatic rotation of photos, you may find that you want to rotate the photos to a different orientation later. Fortunately, that rotation is easy to apply regardless of which software you’re using to manage and optimize your photos.

Filtering Portrait Mode Smartphone Photos


Today’s Question: When I first read the question about filtering photos captured in portrait mode, I thought it was referring to iPhone photos captured with the Portrait setting, rather than being about portrait versus landscape orientation. So, is there also a way to filter photos captured in Portrait mode, because I’ve not been able to find it.

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can search for photos captured in the Portrait mode (narrow depth of field) on a smartphone using the Depth column available on the Metadata tab of the Library Filter bar in Lightroom Classic.

More Detail: Most recent iPhone models (and some Android smartphones as well) include a narrow depth of field option. On the iPhone this is referred to as Portrait mode, and it can create images that can be quite stunning. The process involves essentially capturing an in-focus and an out of focus image and blending them together so that the subject is in focus but the background is out of focus.

When you import photos captured with this Portrait mode into Lightroom Classic (or other photo-editing software) the narrow depth of field effect will not be retained. To retain the original effect you would need to use the software from the smartphone, such as the Apple Photos software in the case of iPhone captures.

However, a depth map that indicates the areas of the image that would have otherwise been in focus versus blurred is embedded within these photos, and you can actually use that depth map for applying targeted adjustments to these photos using Lightroom Classic.

Of course, first you need to be able to identify which photos were captured with this special narrow depth of field effect, which means finding photos that include an embedded depth map. Fortunately, Lightroom Classic includes exactly such an option, though it might not be all that easy to find.

Start by navigating to the folder or collection you want to browse. Note that you can also choose the All Photographs collection in the Catalog section of the left panel if you want to search across your entire library of photos. Then switch to the grid view display in the Library module by pressing the letter “G” on the keyboard. If the Library Filter bar isn’t shown at the top of the grid view, press the backslash key (\) on the keyboard or choose View > Show Filter Bar from the menu. Go to the Metadata tab, and click the heading for one of the columns to bring up a popup menu. Choose Depth from the popup for that column, which will cause that column to show options for the images in the current location based on their status.

You can then select “Has Depth” to show only images that include an embedded depth map, meaning photos that were captured with the Portrait mode on an iPhone, for example. You can also select “No Depth” if you want to filter based on images that don’t have an embedded depth map.

Once you’ve located the photos that include an embedded depth map, you can also use that depth map as the basis of a targeted adjustment in the Develop module.

Find Portrait (Vertical) Photos


Today’s Question: Is there a way in Lightroom Classic to set a filter to select the images which were taken in portrait orientation (with the camera turned on end) so that they can be selected and rotated left or right?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Lightroom Classic does include a filter based on the orientation (vertical versus horizontal) of photos. However, your question suggests that you may not be able to take advantage of this option in this case due to the camera setting used when capturing the photos. You would need to change that setting on the camera in order for photos to be automatically oriented properly on your computer.

More Detail: Lightroom Classic includes an option to filter photos based on the orientation, with settings for Portrait (vertical), Landscape (horizontal), and Square. This option is a little hidden, however, since it is labeled as an Aspect Ratio option available on the Metadata tab of the Library Filter bar.

To get started, switch to the grid view in the Library module, and make sure the Library Filter bar is displayed. If the filter bar is not shown above the grid view display you can reveal it by pressing the backslash key (\) or by going to the menu and choosing View > Show Filter Bar.

On the Library Filter bar go to the Metadata tab. Then click the popup for one of the columns on the Metadata tab and set it to “Aspect Ratio”. The column will then populate with options based on the photos you are currently browsing, which could be a particular folder, a collection, or the “All Photographs” collection in the Catalog section at the top of the left panel, for example. Click on the desired option, such as “Portrait” in this example, and the photos will be filtered accordingly.

However, today’s question suggests that the intent is to filter photos that were captured in the vertical orientation but without having the camera set to automatically rotate those photos to appear vertically. If so, the solution above won’t work. That’s because the Aspect Ratio filter operates based on the current orientation of the image in Lightroom Classic, not how the camera was oriented when the photo was captured. For example, if you rotate an image from vertical to horizontal it will only appear when you select the Landscape filter option, not the Portrait option.

Many cameras include options for the automatic rotation of images. If the automatic rotation option is turned on, then an image captured in the vertical orientation will appear vertical on the LCD display. Some photographers prefer to turn this option off so that each image will fill the full area of the LCD display, even though that means images won’t be rotated properly.

In many cases cameras include an option to not rotate the photos on the camera, but to still set the rotation flag in metadata so that the photos will be rotated properly on the computer. In this case it sounds like the camera was set with the automatic rotation option turned off. As a result, every single photo will be treated as being in the horizontal (landscape) orientation, even if the camera had been rotated to capture a vertical photo.

Therefore, you’ll likely want to change the camera settings to allow for automatic rotation of the photos. You would then be able to filter photos properly based on whether they had been captured horizontally or vertically, with rotation generally not required to get the photos into the proper orientation.

5DayDeal Photography Bundle 2022


This year’s 5DayDeal Photography Bundle 2022 is now live, and I once again have content included in the bundle.

This bundle represents a tremendous value for photographers, with a bundle of educational content, software, plug-ins, presets, and more, all focused on helping you make the most of your photography and workflow.

The bundle is only available for a limited time, so be sure to act quickly. You can learn all about the great value included in this year’s bundle, and the special add-on options, by following this link:


Adobe Bridge versus Lightroom Classic


Today’s Question: Should I switch my organizing program from Adobe Bridge to Lightroom? I have been using Bridge for a number of years, but everyone talks about using LR. What criteria should I use in making this decision? I have several TB of photos that would have to be loaded into LR, but Bridge does not require loading files into its program. What am I losing by sticking with Bridge?

Tim’s Quick Answer: In my mind there are only two things (one good and one bad) that you’re missing out on by continuing to use Adobe Bridge rather than Lightroom Classic. First, you’re missing out on a faster and more comprehensive search capability. Second, you’re missing out on the learning curve involved with making sure you understand Lightroom Classic so you can gain the benefits without encountering the pitfalls.

More Detail: The key difference between Lightroom Classic and Adobe Bridge is that Lightroom Classic uses a catalog (central database) while Bridge is a simple browser without a corresponding database. This translates to both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to considering a switch from Bridge to Lightroom Classic.

The potential advantage of having a central catalog is that you can search across your entire library of photos very quickly and easily using a wide variety of criteria. You can quickly see every photo in your entire catalog that matches specific metadata, such as those captured in a particular date range, captured with specific camera settings, containing certain metadata values such as keywords, and much more.

For many photographers, including myself, this is a tremendous advantage. Trying to find photos across an entire library based on specific metadata is a much slower and frustrating experience with Bridge. For other photographers, this may not provide any real benefit, if they don’t need to be able to search across an entire library of photos based on specific criteria. I was just speaking with a friend the other day, for example, who never needs to use this type of broad search because he only really needs to locate photos based on his folder structure.

The point is that for some photographers this benefit for searching photos can be significant, and for others it may be minor or inconsequential.

It is important to keep in mind that switching to Lightroom Classic will also involve a bit of a learning curve. It is critically important that you understand how Lightroom Classic works, especially in the context of the catalog, before using it in your workflow. If you’ve not previously used Lightroom Classic I strongly recommend using resources (such as my video training courses) to make sure you understand how to use the software before you use it in your actual workflow.

I find Lightroom Classic to be tremendously helpful in my workflow. I also frankly find Bridge to be frustrating to use when I do put it to use. So, I’m very happy that I’ve adopted Lightroom Classic in my own workflow, but I also completely understand that it isn’t the right solution for everyone. I don’t recommend that all photographers switch to Lightroom Classic, but rather recommend considering whether it is the right solution based on your workflow needs.

Menu Bar Missing in Lightroom Classic


Today’s Question: In the Develop module of Lightroom Classic, I no longer see the menu across the top where, for instance, it would select File and I could obtain a dropdown menu and export. I can right-click on the image and obtain those commands and export, but I wonder what else I am missing with the menu bar gone from the top of my screen. How do I restore the ability to see that menu?

Tim’s Quick Answer: In this situation you can view the menu bar in Lightroom Classic by moving your mouse pointer to the very top of the screen and holding it there until the menu appears. You can then restore the menu bar by choosing Window > Screen Mode and then choosing either “Normal” or “Full Screen with Menubar”.

More Detail: Lightroom Classic includes a couple of full screen view options so you can have the interface take up the entire display rather than having Lightroom Classic in a window. One of the full screen options causes the menu bar to disappear, but you can bring the menu back by hovering your mouse pointer at the very top of the display where the menu would otherwise normally appear.

You can cycle through the three options by holding the Shift key on the keyboard while pressing the “F” key. Each time you press Shift+F you will change screen modes, with the three options being “Normal”, which causes Lightroom Classic to appear in a window, “Full Screen with Menubar”, which has Lightroom Classic take up the entire screen, but with the menu bar at the top of the display, or “Full Screen”, where the menu bar will be hidden so Lightroom Classic can really take up the full display area.

You can also select one of these options by choosing Window > Screen Mode from the menu, followed by the preferred setting.

In this case I suspect you accidentally pressed the Shift+F keyboard shortcut, causing the display to cycle to the full screen option with the menu bar hidden. It is worth noting, by the way, that there is also a full screen option for the current image, where the single image can fill the screen without any of the Lightroom Classic interface shown. To toggle that full screen viewing option on and off you simply press the “F” key without holding the Shift key.