What is the Lightroom Catalog?

While reading about Lightroom, you will hear one term a lot:- catalog.

Lightroom is cataloging software.

Exactly what does that mean? Within fact, this is just what We covered within the earlier section:- Lightroom does not actually touch your photos.

Every single edit that you make to a photo; each five-star rating you give; every time you add a photo to a collection all of those changes are stored somewhere other than the actual photo on your computer. Where? The Lightroom catalog file.

The Lightroom catalog is one file that includes each change and adjustment you make to every single one of your current photos. In addition, it does not take up too much space on your current computer; my Lightroom catalog file is usually only about 300 megabytes in size, yet it includes all the edits to each of my thousands of photos. So good!


Typically the Lightroom catalog gets more and more complicated when you find out about it in-depth. If you need to use multiple catalogs, send catalog of photos to someone else, or use typically the same catalog on multiple computers, things can be extremely tricky.

Fortunately, you probably do not have to do any of that yet. In case you just would like to add pictures to a single Lightroom catalog, you know enough to begin.

By default, the photos on your computer (or memory card) won’t be a part of your Lightroom catalog so, you need to add them yourself. How do you do this? To add a photo to your Lightroom catalog, you need to start at the Import Dialogue. Click to the next below, and we’ll cover that process.