Photoshop 201
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Finding, Saving, and Organizing Inspiration Online and Offline

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Mar 14

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Finding Inspiration

We all see amazing images online, and keeping track of where we saw the images as well as who made them can be overwhelming. After years of trying different methods of keeping inspiration organized, I have come up with a great system that you will probably like.

Gallery Grabber

Gallery Grabber is a great program for finding just the images you want on a website, and saving them to your computer. This is something I do only for inspiration, and I do not distribute them. It saves a ton of time over clicking SAVE AS on all the images.

It is limited to the same things we are when trying to save images offline, it will not work on a Flash based site, and sometimes has issues with PHP.

Making a New Lightroom Catalogue

I don’t like having all of my images mixed up with all the images I have gathered for inspiration, so instead I create a seperate catalogue in lightroom. When I want to add images to my inspiration catalogue, I simply go to that catalogue and import from my hard drive, making sure to just ADD the images to lightroom, and NOT COPY them anywhere.

Dropbox is Incredible

Probably my favorite part of the who process is Dropbox. It is free up to 3GB of storage, and stays synced across all of my devices, including your smart phone, iPad etc. This means that no matter where you are, you can access those images you found online very quickly and at full quality.


Make sure to become part of the Phlearn Family on Facebook, conversate with us on Twitter, and #hashtag your Phlearn inspirations on Instagram. We want to know what the Phlearn community social chatter is about, and who is sharing it. You all keep us motivated to do our best.

  • mikenewton

    Another great suggestion is Pinterest (which has lit the internet on fire from a usage standpoint).  This allows you to click a button and pull an image into a specific pinboard (glamour ideas, weddings, composites, etc), which creates a link back to the originating site.  

  • Helen Davies

    Yeah I use Pinterest, but there is a ton of ‘Why not to use Pinterest’ articles out there at the moment.  Lots of legal bods giving very good reasons why from a Copyright standpoint its a minefield which can land back at the users door.

    I’ve noticed not everyone gives credit to the original image either.  If you upload images yourself which are getting repinned be careful where you got them from.  I’ve noticed Photographers now watermarking on their images- Do not pin. 

  • Jon Yoder

    Aaron, a time saver to add photos from a folder that you already imported (ie: Photo Inspiration) is to right click the folder in the Lightroom Folders section and click Syncronize Folder -> Import New Photos. From there you can choose to show the import dialog or to just do it automatically.

    This is how I handle Dropbox to LR adding and I hope it comes in handy to some of you! :-)

  • Jon henbest

    check out virtually identical to dropbox but they offer 5gb free storage instead of the 2gb that dropbox offers.  (if you’re looking for the budget route) or you could always use both and have 7gb of transferable storage!

  • Alain Pilon

    If anyone wants to register to dropbox, please use this link: . Using this link will increase my free storage page (up to 8gig). I suggest to anyone who wants to use dropbox to repost their friend link here so we can create a subscription chain and all get more storage ;-)

  • Jon Yoder

    And here’s mine: :)

    Students with a .edu address can also get some extra storage and double the space-per-referral here:

  • Sagar Heerani

    I think is the best option for all this stuff but you need to have internet for that everywhere. But I like the way you mange separate catalog for photo inspiration. You are real myth buster for photoshop users. I am phlearning a lot. Thanks Aaron

  • janiecakes

     Be wary of Read the legal stuff before you upload or pin anything:

    See Member Content section especially.

  • janiecakes

    Thanks for the tips Aaron.  I have just been saving links to websites of photographers that i like and, of course, it’s only available on the computer where i saved it. You mentioned Gallery Grabber is only for Mac. Do you know if there is a similar app for PC?

  • janiecakes

     Nevermind!  I see in the link above that there is a version for PC.

  • Guest

    Thanks for the great idea! I will definitely be utilizing this! I use LR3 (4, now) but never thought of changing catalogs! Now I just have to figure out how to deliver the projects that I complete. For several years now I have used iDisk to send zipped finals to clients. It’s great because I can simply send a download link without having to share folders like with DropBox. I’m curious what you use to deliver finals to your clients, Aaron.

  • janiecakes

    I just discovered this website that looks pretty interesting:

    I stumbled across it when Googling “conceptual photographers” and this is the link that showed up:

    Does anyone know anything about it?

  • janiekakes

    Ummm, after I ordered the software I discovered that it is only for Mac :(

  • janiekakes

    Okay, might as well turn it into FUN!  First person to reply to this post will get my license for Gallery Grabber for OSX.

  • James Warwood

    um………… hi! :D

  • James Warwood
  • James Warwood
  • janiekakes

    Congrats James! I’m glad someone could use the license :)

  • Bryan Dockett

    Hey Janie there’s a older free xp verison of the app… I haven’t tried it yet but give it a try 

  • Amelia Fletcher

    this is great!

  • Daniel Thom

    I use Chrome on both my Mac and PC, so I found an extension that works for Chrome instead of using a separate program:

    Before using this, I would just download the specific images I wanted to keep around.  I’m not sure which is better, sometimes when bulk downloading I find that I end up with images I don’t really like mixed in with the ones I do…

  • Mail4lnd

    When I joined flickr in 2009, Aaron, your photos were the ones that were my favorites, so I need to grab your gallery.  

  • C. Allen

    True dat, Janie.

  • Tammymcgeephotos

    Jon I downloaded the sugarsync (first of all I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to computers, nothing ever seems to be easy for me. LOL)  Anyway…..  I am curious when I go to LR3 and try to import photos from sugarsync it only shows up in my program x86 and LR3 says no images found? Can you direct me to where I will find the images listed so I can import directly from sugarsync to my LR3 inspiration folder? Thank you for your help :)

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