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2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks

May 4, 2012 2:08 AM

Tags: #catalog #import #multiple_catalogs

I am hoping some of the people here who have lots of LR experience can give me some advice.  I have recently started using LR 4.1 RC2 and yesterday I upgraded my PSE Organizer 9 catalog that had all my photos along with keywords and star ratings.  My question conserns what I do now that I am using LR and how do I not lose anything.  Below you will read how things are set up and what I hope to accomplish.  It concerns catalogs and importing from a catalog.  By the way, I have read the LR documentation about that here, but I am not clear if it will do what I hope to do:

 

http://help.adobe.com/en_US/lightroom/using/WS9616DD60-0C3A-484b-8413- 053347F21456.html

 

I have about 50k original out-of-camera photos (mostly raw since 2006, mostly jpegs before that).  I also have several thousand high-resolution film scan TIFF files.  For all the files I have them organized with one folder per month going back to 2001 (the film scans are in separate folders) and all those monthly folders are inside another folder.

 

I have all of my photos stored on a USB external hd (ehd) with the LR catalog on my internal hd.  The LR catalog is the one made yesterday when I upgraded my Organizer catalog.  I keep duplicate copies of the most recent 12-24 months of photo folders on my internal hd (ihd) to make it easy and fast to work on them and because the ehd is not always connected to the computer.  There is not enough space to put all photos on my ihd.  All the photos on my ihd are in a different LR catalog of recent photos and this is where I do all my editing, adding keywords, star rating, etc.  My backup software copies new/changed files to the ehd so it always has a current copy of all photo files.

 

I am sorry that all of the above is so long, but I thought I would need to explain it so that now that I am ready to say what I want to accomplish you can understand the background.  From time to time, maybe at the end of each month, I would like to somehow merge the info LR has in my catalog that contains the recent subset of photos (editing settings, history, keywords, stars, etc.) with the same photos in the LR catalog that has all my photos.  Probably at the same time I would delete the oldest month photo folder from my ihd and remove it from the recent photos catalog.  In other words, for recent photos they are in two catalogs:  the recent photo catalog and the total photo catalog.  From time to time I must delete older photo folders from my ihd and, of course, remove them from my recent photo catalog, but the photos are still on the ehd and in the total photo catalog.

 

I want to see if this seems workable to you.  Any downsides I should be aware of?  Any gotchas?  Other ideas?  Thanks for your ideas and advice!

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2012 2:27 AM   in reply to bakubo

    That way I would do it is to use ONE catalog only. Import new photos into the IHD, using the same monthly folder structure, and work as required. The 'archived' images on the EHD would be in the same catalog (and in the same monthly folder structure), doesn't matter if it's not always connected. Every couple of months I'd 'archive' the oldest one or two month folders by dragging them within LR from the IHD to the appropriate parent folder on the EHD. Simple. I know a few people who work that way.

     

    Backups: obviously you'll need to backup both parent folders from the IHD and the EHD to wherever you're doing it now.

     
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    May 4, 2012 4:10 AM   in reply to Jim Wilde

    I have to agree with Jim. One catalog prevents most of your problems. Backups ... where are the backups?

     
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    May 4, 2012 5:07 AM   in reply to bakubo

    One copy of each photo in the catalog. If you have multiple copies on your hard disks, only one copy belongs in LR.

     

    There really is no reason to create new catalogs for different releases of LR. You are just making more work for yourself and destroying the ability to search for photos. As we said before, one catalog is the way to go. If you are concerned about "bad things" happening when you upgrade to a new release of Lightroom, you make a backup of your catalog just before you do the upgrade.

     

    Summary: One copy of each photo in the catalog, a total of one catalog ... how easy is that?

     

    You can merge catalogs by opening the master catalog, selecting File->Import from Catalog, and pointing LR to the catalog to be merged in.

     
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    May 4, 2012 5:59 AM   in reply to bakubo

    You are still making a lot of work for yourself.

     

    What is the problem with simply putting the photos on the EHD, and importing into LR from there? Seems like this saves you several steps each month.

     
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    May 4, 2012 6:56 AM   in reply to bakubo

    Even with USB 2.0, many people have all their photos on the EHD. It's really your choice to trade off the extra work of your existing plan, versus the simplicity but perhaps slightly slower response by having photos on an EHD. I am not really aware of people complaining that LR is too slow with photos on a USB 2.0 drive compared to photos on an internal dirve; obviously there are people complaining about LR being slow for unrelated reasons.

     

    The other advantage of putting all photos on the EHD instead of moving photos from internal to external once a month is that there are fewer opportunities for us humans to make a mistake or forget to do something.

     
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    May 4, 2012 6:29 AM   in reply to bakubo

    bakubo wrote:

     

    After more thinking about this I hope I understand better what jim01403 and dj_paige are trying to tell me.  I should have only one catalog that has photos from ehd folders 2001-01 to 2010-04 and ihd folders 2010-05 to 2012-05.

     

    1.  As I take new photos this month I put them in ihd folder 2012-05 and import them from there into LR (a backup folder named 2012-05 is on my ehd).

    2.  Also month I delete folder 2010-05 from my ihd and I tell LR that those photos are in ehd folder 2010-05.  I'm not sure how to do this, but I will check the LR manual.

    3.  As I take new photos next month I put them in ihd folder 2012-06 and import them from there into LR (a backup folder named 2012-06 is on my ehd).

    4.  Also next month I delete folder 2010-06 from my ihd and I tell LR that those photos are in ehd folder 2010-06.

    5.  And so on.

     

    I hope I understand it now.

     

    No, I'm afraid that really isn't what I was proposing, so let's start again:

     

    Forget for a moment the fact that you have duplicated part of your library across two drives, that is just a small complication that we'll have to deal with. Look at the longer term picture, because that's what you should be aiming for. For a start there will be NO duplication of folders and/or images across the two drives, they will just each contain a part of the total library....the newest year or two of images will be on the IHD, anything older than that will be on the EHD.

     

    Thus your workflow would be:

     

    1. Import new images into the IHD. You can use one of Lightroom's standard date-based templates to automatically import new images directly into the folder structure that you want. No need to manually create month folders, and no need to copy into those for subsequent import into Lightroom.

    2. Thus anything you import today would be placed directly into your 2012/05 folder (assuming the images were shot in May)....Lightroom imports into the date-based folder structure based on capture time, so if your card contains pictures taken in different months that is all handled automatically by Lightroom.

    3. Once a month (or whenever you remember) you can 'archive' older month folders simply by dragging and dropping into the appropriate place in the structure on the EHD and Lightroom will move the images and update itself accordingly.

    4. So going forward you might end up with a structure on your IHD which looks something like:

     

    >IHD Photos

         >2010

              >05

              >06

              >etc

              >12

         >2011

              >01

              >etc

              >12

         >2012

              >01

              >etc

              >05

     

    On the EHD the structure would be:

     

    >EHD Photos

         >2001

              Month Folders

         >2002

              Month Folders

     

         etc

     

         >2010

              >01

              >02

              >03

              >04

     

     

    So when it's 'archive' time, you would drag the 05 sub-folder from under the 2010 folder on the IHD, and drop it onto the 2010 folder on the EHD. And so on each month. With this method the only folder you ever have to create is the 'year' folders on the EHD (but you can do that in LR as well).

     

    Does that now make sense?

     

    I see the conversation has now moved on to just using the EHD, which is again a possibility. As Paige says, many people do it that way....but either way works with little effort once you have it setup properly. Your choice really.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 13, 2012 4:42 AM   in reply to bakubo

    I just wanted to update this thread to let you both know that I didn't forget about it or your help.  For the time being I have decided to do as dj_paige suggested and just have the catalog contain only the photos on my ehd.

    I just wanted to make sure everyone knows I never said this. My advice has been consistently, one catalog for ALL your photos (except in the special case where you have completely non-overlapping subject matter like personal and work photos, those can be separated into two catalogs). I have never advised to have a catalog for photos on a single hard drive when you have photos on another hard drive. So let me repeat ... ALL of your photos in one catalog. This is such a simple concept, I cannot understand why people think I said otherwise.

     

    Additional comment: your slowness is not coming from you USB 2.0 connection; nor is the slowness you are experience helped in any way by limiting the number of photos in your catalog. This is a problem in Lightroom that hopefully Adobe will address soon by making programming improvements; blaming your USB 2.0 connection and fiddling with the number of photos in your catalog is not a solution.

     
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    May 13, 2012 5:18 AM   in reply to bakubo

    It's not several threads that I didn't read carefully. I object to you stating that it was my advice to "just have the catalog contain only the photos on my ehd". This falsely implies that I suggested limiting the photos that you put in the catalog. Your use of the words "just" and "only" makes it seem like I am suggesting limiting the photos in your catalog somehow. I have never suggested such a thing.

     

    When you quote me as saying "What is the problem with simply putting the photos on the EHD, and importing into LR from there? Seems like this saves you several steps each month" I was talking about saving yourself steps and improving your workflow (in other words, that was said in a certain context); that is not the same as saying you should limit the photos in your catalog to "just have the catalog contain only the photos on my ehd".

     
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