15 Replies Latest reply: May 13, 2012 5:18 AM by dj_paige RSS

    2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks

    bakubo Community Member

      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!

        • 1. Re: 2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks
          Jim Wilde Community Member

          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.

          • 2. Re: 2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks
            dj_paige Community Member

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

            • 3. Re: 2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks
              bakubo Community Member

              Jim, thanks for the advice.  Yes, that might be the better way to go.  But, I am a little unclear on the details.  Let me run through this to make sure I understand.

               

              I have a folder on my ehd that contains the following folders:

               

              2012-05

              2012-04

              ...

              2001-01

               

              I have a folder on my ihd that contains the following folders:

               

              2012-05

              2012-04

              ...

              2010-05

               

              You say I should have only one catalog that has photos from ehd folders 2001-01 to 2012-05 and also ihd folders 2010-05 to 2012-05?  Since photos 2010-05 to 2012-05 would be in the catalog twice I am a bit confused about how LR will handle this.  Or, did you mean I have only one catalog that has photos from ehd folders 2001-01 to 2010-04 and ihd folders 2010-05 to 2012-05?  I hope I am not sounding dense.  It was so much work to get all those photos in along with keywords and star ratings that I don't want to do anything wrong that would mess things up.

               

              In the last few weeks for the April photos I was using LR 4.1 RC1 and RC2 in a separate catalog.  The big catalog has all those photos too with keywords and star ratings, but the editing and history are only in the new catalog.  I hope there is a way to merge those 2 and not lose anything.  Going forward I want to do it right rather than what was probably wrong for the last few weeks.  I need to get to work on photos from May, but I am almost afraid to start on them until I figure out how to get things set up properly so that I don't take a chance I will lose any important information.  Thanks again for your help.

              • 4. Re: 2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks
                bakubo Community Member

                dj_paige wrote:

                 

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

                Yes, I have backups.  I actually have 3 ehds that have the same thing on them (all the photos and the LR catalog).  I plan to buy another one in the next few weeks and then store it in a separate location (rotating from time to time with one of the other ehds).

                • 5. Re: 2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks
                  dj_paige Community Member

                  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.

                  • 6. Re: 2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks
                    bakubo Community Member

                    dj_paige wrote:

                     

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

                     

                    Thank you for trying to help.  Please refer back to my earlier posts in this thread where I tried to explain how my photos are organized and where they are located.  To recap quickly, I have all my photos on the ehd and I have the most recent 24 months of photos also on my ihd.  I figured that I should only have one copy of my photos in the LR catalog, but Jim isn't clear (or it is not clear to me) what he means when he says to use just one catalog and how to handle things as the months go by.

                     

                    dj_paige wrote:

                     

                    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.

                     

                    I have never used LR before so I am not using different releases of LR.  To recap, I started using LR 4.1 RC1 and then RC2 in the last few weeks.  Yesterday I upgraded my Organizer catalog to a LR catalog.  I did not use LR before and I do not have any catalogs from earlier versions of LR.

                     

                    Yes, I get that one catalog is the way to go.  Therefore I asked Jim some more questions to clarify how to use one catalog.

                     

                    I never said anything about upgrading to a new release of LR so I am not sure where this is coming from.

                     

                    dj_paige wrote:

                     

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

                    That sounds good and is probably easy except it doesn't clarify the questions I asked Jim above when he suggested one catalog.

                     

                    dj_paige wrote:

                     

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

                    Yes, I provided a link in my OP to the manual page about that.

                    • 7. Re: 2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks
                      bakubo Community Member

                      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.

                      • 8. Re: 2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks
                        dj_paige Community Member

                        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.

                        • 9. Re: 2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks
                          bakubo Community Member

                          dj_paige wrote:

                           

                          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.

                          I had thought of that, but my reasoning (maybe faulty reasoning) is that it will slow LR down a lot to be actually editing photos that are on a USB 2.0 ehd.  Actually, I find LR 4.1 RC2 to already be pretty sluggish even editing photos on my ihd.  Maybe it is only the importing, creating previews, and initial load of the photo into the develop module that will be slower though if I keep everything on the ehd.  After the photo is in the develop module maybe there would be no difference.   Maybe I am, as you say, making this way too hard for myself.  The next time I upgrade computers I will have USB 3.0 ports and that should help a lot with the ehd speed.  It will be awhile before I can do that though.

                          • 10. Re: 2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks
                            dj_paige Community Member

                            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.

                            • 11. Re: 2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks
                              Jim Wilde Community Member

                              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.

                              • 12. Re: 2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks
                                bakubo Community Member

                                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 may change this in the future, but right now I have several things going on so simple is best for now.  LR 4.1 RC2 was not exactly a speed demon before, but fortunately I have not had any of the big slowdown problems some people are reporting even though my computer is certainly not a high-spec machine.  Working on new photos in the catalog that were imported from the USB 2.0 ehd means that loading them into the develop module has gotten even slower than it was before though.  I am sure USB 3.0 would be much better, but it will be awhile probably before I get a new computer.  Thanks again.

                                 

                                I guess I don't really need to keep 2 years of photos on my ihd now.  It is 500gb with about 129gb free, but since I am not using those photos and not importing them into LR from the ihd there is no point in even having them on the ihd.  Maybe my next computer will have a much larger ihd so that I will have space to load all my photos onto it and then the LR catalog can be using them and access them faster.

                                • 13. Re: 2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks
                                  dj_paige Community Member

                                  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.

                                  • 14. Re: 2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks
                                    bakubo Community Member

                                    dj_paige wrote:

                                     

                                    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 suer 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.

                                     

                                    In an earlier message you wrote:

                                     

                                    "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."

                                     

                                    This is exactly what I decided to do and what I have had for the last several days.  I have one catalog and all the photos in it are imported from my ehd.

                                     

                                     

                                    dj_paige wrote:

                                     

                                    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.

                                     

                                    Well, I never said anything about limiting the number of photos in my catalog and, in fact, I just said I have all of them in one catalog.  I get the distinct impression you are reading several threads at the same time and get confused about who wrote what.

                                    • 15. Re: 2 catalogs, photos on 2 disks
                                      dj_paige Community Member

                                      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".