LR2 Bug: Collection Sets and Rejects

In my continuing efforts to create an easily customizable Smart Collection Workflow, I come across some inconsistencies in Lightroom 2 (and 2.1) with what one would expect to happen. I am calling these inconsistencies ‘Bugs,’ but since extensive documentation on the functionality of Regular and Smart Collections does not exist, I will use inconsistencies for the moment.

This report discusses issues with Collection Sets, Collections and Rejected images. The bottom line is that the rejects marked in a Collection do not move up to the Collection Set level. More importantly, they do not appear to be recorded in such a manner that Smart Collections can pick them up either.

Here is what I did to test it:

1. Create a Collection Set to hold multiple collections: say ‘Test Set’
2. Create a Collection within the Collection Set: say ‘Test Collection’
3. This is important, put a group of images into the ‘Test Collection’, but make sure they are the original images, not virtual copies.
4. Mark a few random images as flagged and a few random images as rejected.
5. Mark a few random images with a star rating, the number of stars is irrelevant.

Now, go back and view the parent Collection Set. You will notice that none of the images show a pick flag or a reject flag. However, the star ratings do appear.

EDITED, 11/4/2008:
Now, go back to the Catalog, All Photographs. Notice that the images there also do not show a pick flag or a reject flag. However, the star ratings also appear here. This is by design as Adobe has indicated that flags are specific to a collection. So, the Test Collection flags set will not show up in the Catalog, All Photographs. Nor should any flags set in Catalog, All Photographs show up in the Test Collection.

Now, pick one of the images in the ‘Test Collection’ and view the metadata. The Copy Name is blank indicating it is the original image file. The rating shows.

Why would this happen? More importantly, this would be counter-intuitive to what I would expect, especially if the star ratings are captured. EDITED 11/4/2008: I would expect all the pick flag information to transfer to the Library and to the Collection Set at the parent level – No, this is by design. I would also expect Smart Collections to be able to pick up on the data.

The result of this bug is that it is difficult to use Smart Collections to analyze a collection of images.


  1. David,
    Flags have always been local to the collection/folder.
    It’s by design. For global selection use ratings or labels.

  2. Sean, that makes sense to some degree. I guess you could have a collection to review with a client and then ‘pick’ some images for production.

    However, if flags are local to a collection, then why does the collection set, which shows the images in the collection below it, not represent the same flags?

    More importantly, if a collection has a ‘reject’ flag set and then the menu item to delete rejected images is invoked, then what happens to the images? Are they a) removed from the collection only or b) deleted from the main catalog?

    Finally, if a smart collection identifies all images in a specific collection and then wants to know which images in that collection have a flag set – why does the smart collection with a ‘picked’ flag work and the smart collection with a ‘reject’ flag not work?

    My point is that the ‘reject’ flag setting in the collections does not operate the same as the ‘picked’ flag in a collection when used with Smart Collections and the Collection Set shows images with missing information from the collections below. I believe this is a bug.

    Does this make sense?


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