15 Replies Latest reply on Sep 24, 2014 1:44 PM by john beardsworth

    How to best downsize my portfolio catalog?

    lukesnyderstudio Level 1

      I've got 130,000 RAW images in my personal and professional portfolio, now spreading onto more than one 3TB drive and becoming a hassle to work with and back up. 

      As I continue to make new and further purge my old collection, I wonder if I can export all of them to create a smart preview portfolio with the intention of realigning it with my original one later.   Are there other suggestions you may have that would allow me immediate access to my portfolio when I feel like spending a few minutes downsizing and improving it?

       

      While I'll take workflow suggestions, I'm not ready to discard my RAW images, as about 50,000 images are keepers, but not color/exposure corrected to my new standard of quality. 

       

      Many thanks!

       

      -Luke

        • 1. Re: How to best downsize my portfolio catalog?
          dj_paige Level 9

          Exactly what is the "hassle to work with and back up"? Many people in this forum and others have no real issues working with catalogs this large or larger.

          • 2. Re: How to best downsize my portfolio catalog?
            lukesnyderstudio Level 1

            Thanks DJ.  To elaborate, I'd rather have my catalog point to just one drive, as it is easier to back up that single drive instead of two.  

            • 3. Re: How to best downsize my portfolio catalog?
              dj_paige Level 9

              Hmmm ... the backup software I use (and every backup software I know of) allows backups of multiple drives. I can't see downsizing your catalog for this reason, especially since you said "I'm not ready to discard my RAW images", but of course its your choice.

               

              And if you did downsize your catalog by removing some photos from Lightroom, you still have to make backups of multiple drives, don't you? You wouldn't want to set up a situation where drive 1 was regularly backed up and drive 2 was not regularly backed up.

               

              Let's not confuse backing up with Lightroom. These are really independent issues. Since you said "as it is easier to back up that single drive instead of two", it seems like you are wanting to go in a direction where one drive is backed up regularly, and the other drive is not backed up regularly. I think this is a horrible idea,

              • 4. Re: How to best downsize my portfolio catalog?
                lukesnyderstudio Level 1

                Thanks DJ.

                To further help this setup, I'm a wedding and event photographer.  

                I've got 4 bays in my Mac Pro. 

                256gb Drive One is my SSD, which operates programs and hosts my LR catalog and previews, with backups in the cloud.

                3tb Drive Two is my Working Drive, hosting large amounts of images that are in the works. 

                3tb Drive Three is my Upon Import Backups (and archived when full, not erased)

                3tb Drive Four is my Portfolio, swapped out every month or so to keep updated and off site triplicate.

                Once delivered, I upload the delivered to the cloud in case the client loses them, and delete the images I won't use again, and move images to my portfolio drive.  

                It isn't perfect, but it works for me. 

                I'm currently topping of space in my Portfolio drive, unable to keep the keepers all on one.   

                I don't want to span two drives as my portfolio, as I want to keep my desk clean.   I figure it is only a few more years until the 10TB drives will be ready to slide into my Mac, or the cloud storage will be easier. 

                I hope that helps.   Can you imagine a better backup system with the 4 internal bays and no externals aside from the offsite drive?

                • 5. Re: How to best downsize my portfolio catalog?
                  dj_paige Level 9

                  I don't want to span two drives as my portfolio, as I want to keep my desk clean

                   

                  Again, I don't understand why you are limiting yourself by this statement, as Lightroom doesn't care if your photos are on multiple drives; and I don't understand what "I want to keep my desk clean" means. Could you explain?

                   

                  But we seem to have gone from a Lightroom catalog issue to a disk drive/disk space/backup issue, again this has nothing to do with Lightroom.

                   

                  As I am not a wedding and event photographer, I doubt I could come up with advice for a better workflow.

                  • 6. Re: How to best downsize my portfolio catalog?
                    lukesnyderstudio Level 1

                    Physically, I don't want to have multiple (external) drives cluttering my desk.   If I go this route, and kept on expanding, I'd quickly have a pile of externals and wires connected to my already large system.  It's an aesthetic eyesore.  

                    Connecting it to a lightroom issue, I want to learn the smartest way to use Smart Previews as a working replacement to declutter my portfolio. I'd export EVERYTHING as smart previews, as they're awesome for culling, exposure correcting, and hopefully sorting.   In the future, I'd like to realign the Smart Previews to my original catalog, which hopefully will reduce the size of it and make it more manageable.   

                     

                    If you wanted to work with just one catalog, have too many images, and continue to gobble up RAW images at a speeds that make it difficult to juggle.   Instead of splitting catalogs and wanting to have access them all at one time, what would you do?

                    • 7. Re: How to best downsize my portfolio catalog?
                      dj_paige Level 9

                      Again, I state definitively that this is not a Lightroom issue, you would have the same disk space/hardware issues if you used another piece of software, or just managed your photos using your operating system.

                       

                      Furthermore, I reject the premise of your statement "If you wanted to work with just one catalog, have too many images," because as far as I know, there is no such thing as "too many images" for a Lightroom catalog.

                       

                      I think you need to hear from some wedding/event photographers, and not me. Perhaps someone with that background will jump in here and provide advice. I am having trouble relating to your issue.

                      • 8. Re: How to best downsize my portfolio catalog?
                        lukesnyderstudio Level 1

                        Thanks for your attempts.

                        Anyone else difference between massive "normal" catalogs vs. the same images in smart preview catalogs?

                        • 9. Re: How to best downsize my portfolio catalog?
                          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          I have played around with smart previews some. The reason I don't like to use them is because when I am using the smart previews I can't use any external editor such as Photoshop or the Nik plug-ins. You are limited to what can be done exclusively within Lightroom. If you need Photoshop or some other external editor, it would be necessary for you to connect to the hard drive containing the images in order to complete that work.

                           

                          If you feel that you must utilize multiple catalogs, I would suggest doing something very broad such as by the year. Otherwise, you'll find yourself switching catalogs far too often, and that can become confusing. That's especially true if you are a professional photographer who is shooting many events.

                           

                          Perhaps you should consider a RAID system to use for your backups. If you have as many projects and jobs as you say you do, it would certainly be a good investment.

                          • 10. Re: How to best downsize my portfolio catalog?
                            dj_paige Level 9

                            Anyone else difference between massive "normal" catalogs vs. the same images in smart preview catalogs?

                            Doesn't smart previews make your disk space and hardware situations worse?

                             

                            I keep trying to point out, there is no issue with a massive "normal" catalog in Lightroom, although you keep implying that there is an issue, and I can't see your point of view.

                             

                            With regards to JimHess's statement "If you feel that you must utilize multiple catalogs, I would suggest doing something very broad such as by the year", I don't see which problem in this thread is improved by using catalogs by year. Certainly the disk space and backup problems are not improved by multiple catalogs.

                             

                            In my experience of 192.6 years of reading Lightroom forums, sometimes people just really want smaller catalogs for some reason that I don't understand, and they attempt to justify the smaller catalogs using some technical reason (that I and others think is invalid) such as large catalogs are slow; or disk space/backup issues, or whatever. So let me be very clear ... if you really want a smaller catalog, then go ahead and create smaller catalogs, instead of trying to find technical reasons to do so. I think smaller catalogs and multiple catalogs is the wrong direction to go in for a variety of reasons, but it is your choice, these are your photos and your business, and you don't have to justify using smaller catalogs to me or anyone else. If it makes you happy ... then be happy.

                            • 11. Re: How to best downsize my portfolio catalog?
                              JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              Using multiple catalogs doesn't improve anything in regards to this situation. But some people, for some reason, seem to feel better organized if they have more catalogs. That's why I suggested a relatively broad scope when creating extra catalogs. It really isn't the "smart" thing to do. A single catalog can span multiple hard drives. The real issue here seems that the OP hasn't taken the time to organize the work efficiently.

                              • 12. Re: How to best downsize my portfolio catalog?
                                lukesnyderstudio Level 1

                                Thanks Jim.

                                I'm 99% lightroom, and 1% photoshop. 

                                Annual catalogs are not helpful for me.  To ease my congestion,  I am considering splitting my disk space up onto two drives, personal and professional, but will trust that Adobe will continue to correct the "lack of zippy" once catalogs get over 125,000 in future for us lone catalog types.  

                                 

                                DJ, I'd temporarily abandon my portfolio catalog and drive to make a smart preview catalog and paired drive to make working images faster.   Once my collection is reduced to a more managable size, I'd like to realign them.  

                                 

                                Another software is not being considered and I'm not attacking LR.   Though I don't have the years experience in reading Lightroom forums you do, I have 6 years of working daily within the software, and know definitively it slows when more images are in the catalog.    Smart Previews are a relatively new thing, removing more of the drive speed and space from my equation, and thus intriguing me to working with my portfolio culling and color correction. 

                                • 13. Re: How to best downsize my portfolio catalog?
                                  john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  Make sure you optimize the catalog routinely (monthly) and look at the info at http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/400/kb400808.html . For your info, I often work on a catalogue that's over half a million images and wouldn't think of fragmenting control of the picture collection in the way you suggest. You're going to be working less efficiently and have less control of your pictures, but that's your choice.

                                   

                                  Smart previews are of value if you're travelling and want some ability to edit your images without having access to the originals, not for what you suggest.

                                  • 14. Re: How to best downsize my portfolio catalog?
                                    lukesnyderstudio Level 1

                                    Hi John,

                                    Many thanks for your response.  A quick look at your credentials makes my ears perk.  You've got great work.   Are your 500,000 images still RAW?   How many drives are they stored on?  Do you rid RAW and only keep JPEGS?

                                    • 15. Re: How to best downsize my portfolio catalog?
                                      john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      THis catalogue isn't mine but a client's who shoots performing arts, and it's pretty well all raw files and some TIFs. JPEGs go to clients or the web site but aren't kept - we can regenerate them from the raws or TIFs. As for how many drives, I can't recall exactly but we're talking 4-5 Drobos, but the key is that one catalogue controls everything. We never ask which catalogue records the shoot we're looking for, or controls images on Drobo #1 - it's all in the catalogue.