5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 7, 2016 6:58 AM by dj_paige

    re-importing images already in Lr but onto another drive and ordered by date?

    Stefan Wolfrum

      Hello fellas,

       

      got myself a brand new full format digital camera (Sony alpha 7 II) and a new 2 TB external hard drive.

      My main Lr catalog contains photos that are spread onto several hard drives. Even worse: most of them are organized by the year/year-month-date folder structure but many photos are stored in subfolders of arbitrary names.

       

      Now I'm currently migrating all the photos from several locations to the one, new hard drive. I learned by studying this forum that it's wise to (a) make a new folder in the root of the new (target) drive and (b) let Lr move the folders from their source to their destination directory.

      This seems to work fine for all the 2007 / 2008 / 2009 / ... folders.

      But how can I achieve that those photos that are present inside a <some random folder name> folder (but already imported into Lr) be move to the new drive and into the same folder structure: year/year-month-date ?

       

      Thanks so much in advance and have a happy new year!

      Stefan.

        • 1. Re: re-importing images already in Lr but onto another drive and ordered by date?
          dj_paige Level 9

          Never re-import. Lightroom will think the photos are totally new photos and you will lose (by default) all of your edits and all of your user-supplied metadata.

           

          Even worse: most of them are organized by the year/year-month-date folder structure but many photos are stored in subfolders of arbitrary names.

          In my humble opinion, and in my humble philosophy, arbitrary folder names simply isn't an issue. You could begin using Lightroom's strengths in organizing, and apply keywords and other metadata to the photos to enable you to find them, instead of worrying about a much weaker system of organizing by folders by capture date.

          But how can I achieve that those photos that are present inside a <some random folder name> folder (but already imported into Lr) be move to the new drive and into the same folder structure: year/year-month-date ?

          Again, I say, don't bother. You can always search for photos by capture date inside of Lightroom, so you shouldn't have to make folders by capture date (this is a feature that is available in Lightroom without you having to create a structure to allow this search). And of course you can create a much stronger and more flexible organization by using keywords and other metadata. But if you MUST have folders by capture date, then you have to do this manually. And don't make any mistakes ...

           

          For newly imported photos, you can easily (with zero effort on your part) create capture date folders, so you probably ought to do so.

           

          May I ask why folders by capture date is so important, when other methods of organizing are available and more powerful and less work?

          • 2. Re: re-importing images already in Lr but onto another drive and ordered by date?
            Stefan Wolfrum Level 1

            Hi dj,

             

            that's because of two main reasons:

            1. I have friends that don't have Lightroom. And when I go over to them and bring my hard drive so that we can watch and discuss some of my photos I'd like to find my photos on a year-month-day basis.
            2. I really want to have ONE way of ordering my photos. Not two or three. I hate to have 70% of my photos organized the one way on my hard drive and the other 30% organized in another way. It's just not consistent and I like consistency. Look, I'm dealing with computers and hard drives (and before that with floppy disks) for some decades now and if there's one thing I've learned it's: don't trsut 100% completely just the machines. I'm using OS X and iOS now over Windows and I'm a fan of iCloud and that documents in my apps are just there and that I don't have to worry about *where* exactly they are. BUT in case of many thousands of photos over many years I really want to have those organized on my hard drive(s) in one meaningful way. If I decide tomorrow that I don't want to use Lightroom anymore but instead want to use some other, even cooler, software I'll be happy to have a clean and consistent structure on my photos disk.

             

            Cheers,

            Stefan.

            • 3. Re: re-importing images already in Lr but onto another drive and ordered by date?
              dj_paige Level 9

              I have friends that don't have Lightroom. And when I go over to them and bring my hard drive so that we can watch and discuss some of my photos I'd like to find my photos on a year-month-day basis.

              But without Lightroom, you can't view the edited photos. And you have to remember the capture date of the photos you want to see (which, as I will explain below, is not a very easy approach).

               

              Do you really want to call up your photos by capture date? Do you actually say to yourself, "let's look at the photos taken on October 14, 2013"? Or do you say to yourself I want to see the photos from my vacation to Brazil? Can you actually remember the capture date of your thousands (tens of thousands? hundreds of thousands?) of photos? Of course you can't.

               

              I really want to have ONE way of ordering my photos. Not two or three. I hate to have 70% of my photos organized the one way on my hard drive and the other 30% organized in another way. It's just not consistent and I like consistency. Look, I'm dealing with computers and hard drives (and before that with floppy disks) for some decades now and if there's one thing I've learned it's: don't trsut 100% completely just the machines. I'm using OS X and iOS now over Windows and I'm a fan of iCloud and that documents in my apps are just there and that I don't have to worry about *where* exactly they are. BUT in case of many thousands of photos over many years I really want to have those organized on my hard drive(s) in one meaningful way. If I decide tomorrow that I don't want to use Lightroom anymore but instead want to use some other, even cooler, software I'll be happy to have a clean and consistent structure on my photos disk.

              So you are planning to do a lot of manual and tedious and error-prone work to reproduce a capability (finding photos by capture date) that exists in Lightroom with no work at all? To my way of thinking, that doesn't make sense.

               

              If you use Lightroom properly, you don't ever have to worry about *where* exactly your photos are. I never do. I don't know what date my photos were taken, and I don't know what folder they are in, and I have different folder naming schemes. Lightroom does the hard work of remembering where my 28,000 photos are so I don't have to. Lightroom (and any database) is very very good at doing this; human memory is very very poor at doing this.

               

              Here's my philosophy. Organizing is the act of putting photos into some structure to make them easier to find. Date-based folders is indeed putting photos into some structure, but it does not make them easier to find. This is NOT organizing. Why? Because no one, not me, and not you, can remember the capture dates of thousands of photos. The way to make the photos easier to find is to organize according to the way you think about photos, that is by content, which is something that you CAN remember. I say to myself, I want to see the photos of my daughter, and then I find the photos that have the proper keyword or other metadata, regardless of the folder they are in. I do NOT try to find those photos by first saying to myself ... let's see, what dates did I take those photos, and then find the proper date folder, and the reason I don't do it this way is because I cannot remember the dates. And I doubt you can either.

               

              When I got my first digital camera, I put photos into folders named according to subject matter. Then I got software that automatically put the photos into capture date photos. Did I go back and change the other folders that were named by subject matter? No, I gave them keywords and other metadata. And now I have a consistent organizing methodology, as you say, "ONE way of ordering my photos", even though my folder names are not consistent. I find every photo by keyword and other metadata, I never use the capture date as a search tool, because as I said, I cannot possibly remember enough to make this work.

               

              In the end, you are certainly entitled to organize whatever way you want. I have explained the way I do it and the reasons why.

              • 4. Re: re-importing images already in Lr but onto another drive and ordered by date?
                Stefan Wolfrum Level 1

                Gosh I really don't want to see your hard drive file/folder structure EVER! What a mess this must be!

                 

                I, indeed, make a LOT of use of Lr's capabilities of finding my photos, tagging, making collections with names like "my vacation to brazil".

                But I, too, want all my photos *on my hard drive* organized by year/year-month-date.

                Period.

                 

                Thanks for your thoughts, though.

                • 5. Re: re-importing images already in Lr but onto another drive and ordered by date?
                  dj_paige Level 9

                  It's not a "mess" to me because that's not how I organize and so the appearance and consistency of folder names is irrelevant to me, and thus not a mess at all ... all my photos are in subfolders under D:\My Photos for easy backup, and the photos are extremely well organized (by keywords and other metadata) and I can find the ones I want easily, which is the important issue to me.

                   

                  It sounds like the "appearance" of the folder structure is the important issue to you. To me, the important issue is the ability to find my photos.