I think you might be better off if you start off with the original folder structure and do the consolidation moving inside LR, i.e. in LR select a folder , then select all images in the folder (Ctrl-A), then drag-n-drop the images to the new whole-year folder, and do that for all same-year folders. That way you get both the physical move in the folders plus LR knows where everything is now.
Hope this made sense.
D-J-G, Thanks for your input.
Not totally sure I follow how I can move the images while in LR into original folder structure. Unless I'm mistaken, I can't view images or folders in LR (so that I can Ctrl + A them) unless they've already been imported using Files > Import Photos from Disk/Device. Is there another way?
Sorry, I got the apparently wrong impression that you already had imported the images in the multiple folder structure into LR and were now considering re-structuring them into one folder. So if you haven't yet imported them, then you can import the top year folder under which (I'm assuming) you have moved the corresponding sub-folders. LR will maintain that sub-folder structure in its folder view.
I am attempting to consolidate folders and catalogs and just "physically" - vs. through LR - copied and pasted all same-year folders into one big folder with the name of that year. For example, 2010-06-07, 2010-09-08, 2010-02-22, etc., were all placed into a "physical" folder called 2010.
Now, I'd like to import them through LR Ver 2, and am trying to import them by folders, vs. creating same-named folders and then importing all files from the original directories.
Am hoping with all my heart that this is doable. Any suggestions?
Better idea ... don't do this at all. Instead, use Lightroom structures like keywords, metadata, collections to accomplish "organization" of your photos so that you can find them easily. Using Lightroom structures will give you a much more powerful and flexible ability to find things than anything you could do via date named folders. Please read http://www.lightroomforums.net/index.php?topic=9444.0
dj, Interesting alternative. I'm also not a pro photog, but serious nonetheless with 10's of thousands of pics to manage.
So, if what I've read is correct, all photo files are stored in one big directory (e.g., photo_universe), with each of those having multiple keywords (e.g., "1977", "Stephanie", etc.) for subsequent retrieval as appropriate?
Sounds totally intuitive and reasonable when used in conjunction with collections. Are you aware of any downside? Have you received comments from other forum users?
As I said in the linked article, you can store your photos in any folder structure you want. It could be a single directory, or multiple directories. You decide the folder structure based upon your storage needs, not based upon your need to find/locate a file.
You add keywords and metadata to describe the content of the photo, and keywords and metadata become your primary method of organizing and locating photos for display or additional action.
I have 15K photos in Lightroom (I am not a professional photographer either), and I can find photos quickly, using keywords and metadata, because all I have to remember is the content of the photo. I never look in folders to find the photos, because that would be less efficient, and would require me to remember a folder name.
In my usage, there is no disadvantage. I believe other who have tried to describe to me certain disadvantages of doing things this way have consistently failed to convince me that there is a real disadvantage. Some people are unable or unwilling to give up their personal preference for finding things in folders, which is a disadvantage to them, but not to me.
I second dj-paige's view.
The folder structure is only to store the physical file, and you can choose whatever structure.
The Lightroom catalog provides the logical structuring/organisation capabilities using metadata and keywords and collections (& smart collections).
There are no downsides that i know of.
The biggest challenge is the photog himself (or herself):
To make a clear distinction between physical file storage organisation and logical image organisation.
This while most people are so used to physically store stuff, and hardly used to logical organisation of stuff.
Like dj said, once catalogued, you search and retrieve images basically on their metadata or via collections.
The only times i use folders to locate images is:
when developing images, as i use stacks and virtual-copies a lot, and stacks only function in the folder view.
when importing, like synchronise folder, or import into folder etc.
when i reject images (flag for reject), i move these to a separate folder, mainly because:
a/ i basically do not physically delete images(unless absolutely worthless), but i can bring the whole rejects folder offline if needed.
b/ reduce the amount of images in the "working" folder just to make it easier for me.
Having said this, i believe you still have to think about the organisation of your physical storage.
To provide some food for thought, check my website www.fromklicktokick.com where i publish a paper on my workflow.
In LR 2.6, 2.7 and LR3B2 i can use stacks only in the liberary mode and within library mode only in "All photo's" view and "Folder" view. In the "Collection" views i cannot use stacks, the command is not available. I am using Windows, may it is different on Mac?
Jan R. Smit
You're both right. It really works only in folders, but Previous Import is folder-based, as is All Photographs.
All Photographs is not folder based, it shows you the entire catalog (as in many folders)
Previous Import is not folder based, you can import from many folders and subfolder in one operation.
OK, if these two views are not folder based, why is the word folder in each of your descriptions?
I think we're getting caught in semantics (as are so many arguments!) and are probably in violent agreement. By folder based I am alluding to the views being defined by folders included, not based on collections or other groupings. Previous Import refers to the imported contents of the last set of folders imported, All Photographs refers to all folder contents imported into the catalog.
Yet Another DJ