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Newbie question on managing catalog files & external drives

Mar 29, 2012 1:36 PM

Tags: #catalog #newbie #lr4 #external_drive

I'm new to Lightroom and just downloaded a trial version of LR4 earlier this week.  I'm an amatuer photographer (and I really mean amatuer ) ... and serve as a volunteer for a local summer baseball team (college players).  I've taken - on average - 5,000 photos per summer for each of the last 5 years. In addition to posting the photos of each game to my site (where players and families can download them), I create a keepsake DVD with video clips and a slideshow for the players and coaches at the end of the season.  If I decide to become a LR4 user, I would be organizing those photos from the well as on a game-by-game basis this coming summer and into the future.  In addition to backing up all of my photos to DVD and, I have a designaed external hard drive for these photos.  On the external drive, I have a different folder for each year and subfolders for each game.  In the past, I've kept the current year photos on my laptop and back them up to the other locations as the season progressess. 


As I map out my plans, I'm trying to figure out the best way to manage the past years photos, current year photos and the related catalog file(s).  I won't always have the large external hard drive with me....and I don't have enough room on my laptop for all years.  There are times I need to search for photos across multiple years; there are times only in the current year...although I have no problem restricting myself to using the large "master" external hard drive for those multiple year searches.  I do have a portable 160 GB hard drive at my disposal that I can use and take with my laptop at all times if needed.  


Would appreciate any advice on how best to set up the catalog files so that I can manage current year and past year my mobility requirements for the current well as the master external hard drive.


Thanks in advance for your help.  (Hopefully my explanation and question makes sense)



(PC / Windows 7)

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 29, 2012 2:31 PM   in reply to rpwoodjr13

    Advice #1: use one catalog -- don't even think about multiple catalogs; multiple catalogs will not help, this will only hinder you in your work. Inside of Lightroom, you can easily organize different years, different teams, different players, different sports, and anything else you want to organize.


    With regards to travel, you can export portions of your catalog to whatever HD you want to take with you.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 30, 2012 7:36 AM   in reply to rpwoodjr13

    Also, the photos not residing on your laptop will just show up as missing when the large external drive is not connected; even then you can view the last known info for the file and sometimes the preview.


    So I am guessing that you will back up the recent photos on the laptop to the portable 160g drive? What about backup for the large external drive?

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