4 Replies Latest reply on Oct 9, 2015 3:04 PM by Home_slice

    help me clean up this mess I've made!

    Home_slice

      Hi,I have been using lightroom to organize my images for a number of years and over time I've have made a real mess of things. I currently have two catalogs (one for wedding and one for personal work) with lots of overlapped and duplicate versions of files, thousands of missing images that I see previews for and nothing with keywords or anything like that. I have raws, tiffs, big and small jpegs all mixed together and the actual files are spread across four hard drives ..it's all very confusing. I'm thinking of starting from scratch and making a new catalog (organized well).  I'd like to upload files and work off of two 2t rugged drive in the field (split one for weddings and one for personal) but back it up to a 4t drive I keep in my studio. Does anyone know of a good way to set this up or have any suggestions? I'm feeling overwhelmed with the mess I've made:/

        • 1. Re: help me clean up this mess I've made!
          dj_paige Level 9
          I'm thinking of starting from scratch and making a new catalog (organized well). 

          There's no reason you can't use the organizational tools in Lightroom on the catalogs you have, and wind up in a good place. If you start from scratch, you will lose certain information such as collections, virtual copies, pick flags, edit history, books, slideshows and a few other things (and if you do it wrong, you will lose your keywords and all edits). If I were you, I'd first figure out what a well organized catalog means to you, and then it should be clear how to get there. My advice is to organize using keywords and other metadata, rather than moving photos or folders from here to there (EXCEPTION: you sound like you have a good reason to move the photos to an external drive, that move would be a good thing to do, but still use keywords and other metadata as your primary organizing tool).

           

          I'd like to upload files and work off of two 2t rugged drive in the field (split one for weddings and one for personal) but back it up to a 4t drive I keep in my studio. Does anyone know of a good way to set this up or have any suggestions? I'm feeling overwhelmed with the mess I've made:/

          You could always transfer your existing photos to the 2TB drives, and then new photos will also go onto these drives; and do the backup when you get back to your studio. To transfer the photos to the drives, see these instructions (scroll down to the section entitled Updating Folder Location): Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders

           

          Lastly, don't confuse the task of moving photos to a different drive with "organization", these are two different things, one can be accomplished independently of the other.

          • 2. Re: help me clean up this mess I've made!
            deepakg1988 Adobe Employee

            Hi,

             

            I would recommend you to create a new catalog and start from scratch. Re-import the image again and organize them again.

            But starting from scratch will result in loosing the edits and collections , keywords and other information in the catalog that you have worked onn

             

            Thanks

            • 3. Re: help me clean up this mess I've made!
              dj_paige Level 9

              deepakgahlot wrote:

               

              Hi,

               

              I would recommend you to create a new catalog and start from scratch. Re-import the image again and organize them again.

               

              Thanks

              I disagree, as explained above.

              • 4. Re: help me clean up this mess I've made!
                Home_slice Level 1

                Thank you @deepakghlot this is a good suggestion but it's just hard because I just have so many missing and trash files that I don't want.  Around 60,000 all in all and most of them are never going to get looked at again (0 stars old wedding C-roll...) Not trying to loose my edits but I am loosing my mind skimming through all these missing files!

                 

                If I was to start a new catalog is there any way to transfer the lightroom sidecar files and ratings? What I was planning was to export all my one star and above images to the 4t drive. I'd probably export them as DNGs right? Then once all the good stuff is in one place on that 4t drive I would start a new catalog and import it all.  ~Tabula Rasa   ...what do you think? 

                 

                One thing I don't know is how everything would live on the 4t drive and also the two rugged drives. Would I copy the files and move them to the portable drives before finding them in lightroom? Can the same files be located in two places and synced when I make changes? I feel like I'm heading down the same messy road.