Multiple ratings to same images

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There should be the possibility to isolate the changes you make inside a collection so that they will not update the original files in the original folder inside the catalog.

This is the situation:

After editing the series of pictures that I ́ve shot, I will end up with 20 "good" pictures out of 500. This 20 pictures will have a 5 star rating and I will make a collection named "Edit A". The problem starts here, since I have the need to make another edit of the same work and call it "Edit B". If I change the rating of a picture it will be updated automatically everywhere in the catalog.

So for example a pictures that was rated as 5 stars in Edit A will be rated 4 stars in Edit B, but now it is rated 4 star everywhere!

To me is essential to work with the filters in every collection, so that I am able to filter only the pictures that I want see every time (5 stars the top quality down to 1 star for less quality).

I am aware of the existence of Virtual Copies but that makes the catalog too messy. If I make 4 collections with 500 pictures each, it will make 2000 virtual copies in total. To messy I guess.

We should have the possibility to make changes inside a collection that don ́t affect the original files. I guess it would be enough to have the possibility to right-click on a Collection and choose the option "Don ́t affect original files".

I think it is really an elementary option you should have, in the end Lightroom is claiming to be the all-in-one software for a photographer yet it does ́t cover such a basic feature like this one.

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majlend bramo

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Posted 3 years ago

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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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A few versions back, there was a very similar feature, except it used flags instead of stars.  So few people used it, and so many people were confused by it, it was removed.

You could consider using Keywords for that purpose, if you don't want to use VCs.
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Roelof Moorlag

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For me it's essential that it is (exactly) the same image in all different collections so i would not vote for this one!
It's how you designe your workflow and a keyword driven one like Victoria suggests is a very good idea. John Beardsworth has a good basis to make your own. My advice is to study his approach: http://www.beardsworth.co.uk/smart-collections-for-controlling-your-workflow/
(Edited)
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majlend bramo

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Yes you are right Roelof, that ́s why I was suggesting to make it possibile to switch it On or Off for a particular Collection, so that it wouldn't affect all the catalog. I will definitely check John ́s workflow. Thanks for that.

Thank you Victoria for your advice, but just imagine how slow it would be to just switch from the 3 star rating to the 4 star if you have to select the pictures through the keywords filter.  Even to rate them would be slower. Take in mind that for a large workflow of thousand and thousand of pictures, even if you are just 1 second slower to do an action it will multiply dramatically at the end of the day.
(Edited)
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Robert Petruzzelli

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Since collections are really only "collections of pointers" to the original picture or virtual copy, it would seem to be difficult to implement this request.  At least as I understand collections there really are no physical image files in a collection.  Since a virtual copy is really a separate list of process steps over the original file, it seems it is possible to reference the virtual copy in different collections, but in reality that too is simply a pointer back to the original physical image with a list of processing steps applied to that physical file.  As the original poster indicated you could do multiple virtual copies, but he rejects that as messy.  The request to not affect the original is in fact what Lightroom already does.  No physical changes to the original file occur when tweaks are made.  Only a list of steps to adjust the image are recorded and it is only when the file is "exported" that these changes are baked into a new output file.  The virtual copy allows us to create multiple lists of steps to adjust an image and see what those steps would do to an image when it is exported.  So when an image in a collection is modified we are only modifying the list of steps that the reference in the collection is pointing to back in the catalog not a separate copy of the steps.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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To gain traction on this request, you'll really need to convince the engineers that it's essential - especially since they've already removed similar functionality.

So tell us more about a workflow in which a photo would be good enough to be 5 stars in one scenario but not good enough to be 5 stars in another.  How are you actually needing to use this in your everyday life?
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majlend bramo

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Thank you Victoria, I will try to make an example.
I am a photojournalist and like many other colleagues I use Lightroom from the beginning to the end of my workflow.
When I make the final edit of a work I will end up with the best selection of the pictures and I generally use the Star rating system. This final selection is very variable to me since, one time my selection will be for a magazine, one time for a newspaper, one time for an exhibition, on time for a book... So I can value a picture 5 stars for a book or 4 stars for a magazine or 0 star for a newspaper. When I am working on a long term project I have in one catalog around 20k images. Finding the best working tools is essential to me.
I think that my example can apply to other type of photographers as well. If I have to deliver a commercial photoshoot, I can offer to my client different kind of edits of the work.
I want to make clear that until now I managed to make it work, somehow, but I was just suggesting an Idea to make it more simple.

For Robert, when you say: "The request to not affect the original is in fact what Lightroom already does.  No physical changes to the original file occur when tweaks are made."
I am clearly aware of that; when I used the words "original file" I meant the file that is inside the catalog, not the file inside the computer. I know that the file outside of Lightroom is not touched. 
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anssik

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I'm finding this somewhat useful to me, as well – context really can make a photo 5 stars in one context and 3 stars in other.

I shoot events for a company and consider few photos 5 stars OF THAT EVENT. When those same photos are considered along all other events they all might be worth 5 stars to that group of photos, but might as well be none of them fit the 5 star gallery OF ALL EVENTS.

It goes more troubling when considering the same 5 star photos in the context of all the best photos for the company or for my own portfolio.

For this reason, last year I began marking "5 stars" photos for one event actually 3 stars. This way I can later add a star (so actually a 4 star photo) to one or all or none of those same photos to include them in "5 star" for all events which helps me to keep the "5 stars of all events" more focused. This will not help @majlend, though.

It's a cognitive burden but I find the star rating absolute best (easiest, fastest) way to sort my photos. Stars are easy to move up or down and easy to filter in Grid view to mark photos as part of the best of the collection and then not part of them, to curate the collection as seems best.

I do use flags for marking photos to be viewable in a shared collection (there should be a way inside Lightroom to let people see only flagged photos in shared collections, now it's only possible via Lightroom Web) and I initially mark photos in-camera (Nikon cameras allow key symbol to "protect") with red color in Lightroom to keep track of the photos in my workflow.
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