21 Replies Latest reply on Jan 31, 2016 4:53 PM by Jim Lotstein

    How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos

    Jim Lotstein

      In the beginning, I wanted to try LR out and did not want to fully commit until I was sure that LR was for me.  All of my images for the past 10 years are on external hard drives.  Since I did not want to import 10 years of images into LR until I was confident this would be good for me, I created a new “Lightroom" folder on my external hard drive and started putting images into that folder in various subfolders.  I have about 300 images there, drawn from throughout my photography folder, some of which I used to make a book in the LR book module.  Over the past year or so,I have now committed to using LR fully and am importing all of the images that I take, from the photography folders on my external hard drive.  I would now like to start importing the rest of my 10 years of folders, but I have these 300 images that LR thinks are in the Lightroom folder. 

       

      I think that I have devised a plan to accomplish this and would appreciate your thought on whether what I propose to do will work.  I plan to move the existing Lightroom folder, with all of its images, into a new archive folder on my external hard drive for safe keeping.  Moving the images will cause them to be lost to LR.  I then plan to import the images from my regular photography folders and link the missing images to those folders, as I do it.  I thought that I would start with a test, moving an image to the new archive folder and then importing the folder from my external hard drive with the full set of images in which that image appears, into LR.

       

      Does this make sense and will it work?  If not, is there a better way to do this.

       

      Thank you very much for considering my question.

        • 1. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
          dj_paige Level 9

          I think that I have devised a plan to accomplish this and would appreciate your thought on whether what I propose to do will work.  I plan to move the existing Lightroom folder, with all of its images, into a new archive folder on my external hard drive for safe keeping.  Moving the images will cause them to be lost to LR. I then plan to import the images from my regular photography folders and link the missing images to those folders ...

          Don't do this. Since you are a beginner, let me advise you of a very important concept. NEVER (that's NEVER, as in not in a million years and beyond) import photos a second time, this never fixes problems and usually makes things worse. Even though, as you say, the photo is "lost to LR" (technically, it is called "missing" and this can be fixed), it is still imported into Lightroom and in the Lightroom database, and so you would be importing the photo a 2nd time, and that's not good.

           

          If you want to make use of the photos, but have them in your "regular photography folders", you can move them entirely in Lightroom, drag and drop the photos to their desired folders.

           

          Or, as an alternative that I recommend, don't move the photos at all, instead use keywords and other metadata instead of folders as your organizing and search tool. Why? Because Lightroom gives you much more power and much more flexibility for organizing and searching than anything you could produce using folders.

          • 2. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
            Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

            You have one of the greatest misconceptions about LR. LR does not move or copy your images into any of it own folder structure. It can move or copy images if you chose to do so on importing them or afterwords by dragging and dropping images in the Grid View to a folder already listed in the Folder area of the library module or by selecting a group of images and creating a New folder and moving the images you have selected into that new folder.

             

            LR by default leaves all your images exactly where you placed them on one of the hard drives connected to your computer. LR is a Database program and on import creates a Record, a References, to those images in the LR Database, IE the LR Catalog file.

             

            There was NO need for you to create new folders and move selected images into those newly created folders to try out LR. I have been using LR since version 1. If today I decided not to LR anymore all I have to do is Uninstall it. All my images are exactly where I placed them on my E:\ drive and that is exactly where they would stay.

             

            LR is not like Apple's iPhoto or Aperture. It does not want to Take Control of your images and make the originals hard to find. It also does not copy images without you making that decision.

             

            LR also does not change the original image in any way even if you do one or multiple edits on it. Those Edits are stored in the LR catalog file or if you have the option selected to Auto Write changes to a XMP sidecar file it will create a XMP file containing the edits and or auto write those edits to the file itself in a special section that does not change the original image

             

            Simplest thing for you to do is move all those images back into their original folders using the File Manager for your OS version. Start LR and select File>New Catalog. Give that new catalog a name and place it exactly where YOU would like it to be, it can be on any drive connected to your computer internal or external. Then click the import button and point the import dialog window to your external drive that holds your images. Select Include Subfolder and the Add option at the top. Click Import and wait for LR to import all of those images.

             

            The only downside to creating a new catalog is you will lose the edits you have already done. The other option is to use LR itself to first mark all the images you have already imported, like put a Flag on them or mark them with a color. Then Import all your other images. Then using LR you Move all the Marked images back into their original folders. That will preserve the edits you have already done.

            • 3. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
              jk1955 Level 1

              Just drag and drop inside of Lightroom.  Lightroom will automatically update the location in the database. This is by far the best method.

              • 4. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                Jim Lotstein Level 1

                Thank you for your quick response.  If I drag the photos back to their

                original location, won¹t I have two copies of the photo there?  Do I need to

                delete the existing one?  What happens when I want to import all of my

                photos from that folder using the add function in import?  Will they all

                come over OK, including the one I put back?

                 

                Thanks, again.

                • 5. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                  Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                  Did you originally Copy or Move those Test images into there new folders?

                   

                  If you use the File Manager program for your OS to Move those test images back into there original folder you will get a warning about a file with the same name, Skip, Overwrite or something to create 2 files (change the name by adding a number value with probably a - or a _ before the number).

                   

                  Do not Copy them back into the original folders, Move them and then use LR to Find Missing Files. If you copy them and then try to import all your images those Copied images will be overlooked, IE not imported.

                  • 6. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                    Jim Lotstein Level 1

                    I copied the obits in during import to the stand alone LR folder. Would it work if I add the existing folder to LR?  I think I will get a pop up saying there is a duplicate. I decline to add the duplicate. I then move the photo in LR into that folder from my stand alone LR folder. What do you think?

                    • 7. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                      Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                      I think you are making this more complicated than it has to be. Move those Copied images back into there original folders. When you get a warning select Overwrite the originals. Open LR and you will see the images with an ! mark and the original folder have a ? mark. Right click on the folder and select Update folder location. Browse to where they now are and select it then OK.

                       

                      Once that is done click the Import button and import all your other images.

                      • 8. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                        dj_paige Level 9

                        I copied the obits in during import to the stand alone LR folder. Would it work if I add the existing folder to LR?  I think I will get a pop up saying there is a duplicate. I decline to add the duplicate. I then move the photo in LR into that folder from my stand alone LR folder. What do you think?

                        I'm having trouble understanding this. You copied something (what?) during import to a standalone folder and then you ask if it would work if I add the existing folder (what existing folder) to LR?

                         

                        Maybe we need to hear clear answers from you on what exists in Lightroom and what exists in your operating system in order to determine what to do next.

                         

                        So, please provide clear answers to these questions:

                         

                        1. In your operating system, please check to see if the photos exist in two locations, the new Lightroom folder and the original folders. State clearly if the photos exist in your operating system in both places.
                        2. In Lightroom, are the photos correctly identified as being in the "Lightroom" folder?
                        • 9. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                          Jim Lotstein Level 1

                          Thank you for your patience.  Two of you have been willing to work with me

                          on this, so I am going to try to answer both of your questions with more

                          clarity.  I apologize for the hasty answer as I was leaving to go out last

                          night that caused more confusion and my lack of clarity on a subject that I

                          don¹t understand but that is important to me to fully utilize LR.

                           

                          To answer the other person¹s question first.

                          1.  My full set of images are in my traditional photography file hierarchy

                          saved by year and subject.  They ares still there, including the ones copies

                          to the new Lightroom folder.

                          2.  The select images that I copied into a new ³Lightroom² folder for

                          purposes of testing whether I wanted to use LR are still there.

                          3.  The select images show in LR in the Lightroom folder as parent.

                          4.  I work in Mac with the latest operating system.

                          5.  I current import my photos into LR using the ³add² function and plan to

                          do that going forward.

                          6.  My desire to is get harmony with my basic approach to using LR with all

                          of the present and prior photos imported into it.

                           

                          Early on, you had referenced having to create a new catalogue.  It has not

                          come up since, in your subsequent emails, so I assume it is no relevant.  I

                          work with one catalogue and want to keep it that way.

                           

                          Here is what I plan to do based on your various emails to me.

                           

                          1.  Back up the photos in my LR folder to a new backup folder prior to

                          moving them.

                          2.  Move the previously copied photos in Mac OS using Finder from the

                          Lightroom folder to the original Photography folders where they and the

                          other photos I have taken reside.

                          3.  Overwrite and replace the photo in the Photography folder.

                          4.  Re-link the photo to LR following your instructions.

                          5.  Import the other photos from that day¹s shoot using the Add import

                          function, excluding the newly moved photo which is already in LR with the

                          correct parent folder.

                           

                          The result should be that the new photos will appear with the proper parent

                          and the photo moved from the Lightroom folder to the applicable photography

                          folder should already be Lightroom and slide into position.

                           

                          Does my summary above capture your instructions accurately?

                           

                          Thank you again for your patience with me.  This will be a big help to me.

                          • 10. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                            Jim Lotstein Level 1

                            Thank you for your follow up.  Since there are two of you who have been

                            willing to work with me on this, I have answered your questions in my reply

                            to his email to me that contained his advice. I hope that is satisfactory

                            and pulls both of the parts of the thread together.  Thank you again for

                            your patience and advice.  If you can not see my answer to him, let me know

                            and I will paste it into a reply to you.

                            • 11. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                              Jim Lotstein Level 1

                              The only downside to creating a new catalog is you will lose the edits you

                              have already done. The other option is to use LR itself to first mark all

                              the images you have already imported, like put a Flag on them or mark them

                              with a color. Then Import all your other images. Then using LR you Move all

                              the Marked images back into their original folders. That will preserve the

                              edits you have already done.

                               

                              PS.  I went back and read your first email.  If this best preserves my

                              current catalogue, this seems to be the simplest was to solve my problem,

                              since I will not have imported the flagged photos that are already in LR and

                              can move them to the proper folder after I import the other photos from that

                              day¹s shoot. I like this approach and can implement it faster than the

                              other.  Do you still recommend it?  I assume that it still requires

                              overwriting the images in the original folder that are being returned there

                              from the Lightroom folder.  I do not want to lose any of my edits.  Thanks

                              again.

                              • 12. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                                Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                Yes to all of that. Your plan, AFAIS, is solid and will work out for the best.

                                 

                                In the end you will have one catalog file with all your images imported into that one catalog and the images you originally copied for a test will be back in their original folders along with having all the LR adjustment you might of made to them.

                                 

                                Best of luck.

                                • 13. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                                  dj_paige Level 9

                                  You could create a new catalog and import all photos into the new catalog, using "Add", and this will be the simplest approach for you, however there is a drawback ... any edits and keywords that you applied to these photos in the original catalog are lost. They will not be in the new catalog. So, that seems like a serious drawback to me, and I can understand if you don't want to do that.

                                   

                                  After giving this a lot of thought, I don't see a really easy way to return the 300 images from the Lightroom folder back to their original folders, other than one-by-one. That seems like an awful lot of work to move 300 photos one by one, along with the possibility of error.

                                   

                                  So I suggest another method ... do create a new catalog, import all of the photos in your regular photo folders using the "Add" command, and then (this is the new idea) use the Lightroom command File->Import From Another Catalog, and point to the catalog of the 300 images, and in the dialog box select "Replace metadata and Develop settings only". Full details are here: How to import photos from Photoshop Elements, other Lightroom catalogs, or apps such as iPhoto

                                  • 14. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                                    Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                    Follow up.

                                     

                                    I originally suggested a new catalog just to make it as simple as possible. I also said that making a new catalog would remove any of the edits you had already done on the images you had copied over for your test. Not knowing the extent of the edits you had done on those copied files left this option in doubt.

                                     

                                    I also suggest you use the online tutorials for LR to get familiar with the program and maybe even buy a book on LR. Doing one or the other or both will save you tons of time and a lot of headaches.

                                    • 15. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                                      Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                      Why is my last post being Moderated. Ridiculous.

                                       

                                      And this post being Moderated.

                                      • 16. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                                        dj_paige Level 9

                                        Shootistbond007 wrote:

                                         

                                        Why is my last post being Moderated. Ridiculous.

                                         

                                        And this post being Moderated.

                                        Does it specifically say YOUR post is being moderated, or does it say the thread is being moderated (which would most likely be because I posted a link earlier)?

                                        • 17. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                                          Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                          dj_paige wrote:

                                           

                                          Shootistbond007 wrote:

                                           

                                          Why is my last post being Moderated. Ridiculous.

                                           

                                          And this post being Moderated.

                                          Does it specifically say YOUR post is being moderated, or does it say the thread is being moderated (which would most likely be because I posted a link earlier)?

                                          Yes it did. Then I got a notification that both had been approved. Maybe it was that I made the second post within second of the first, 15-30 second. Maybe that is one of the things the Spam filters are looking for, Post after Post in a short time.

                                          Don't know for sure. But it is slightly frustrating to have a post with just TEXT in it be sent for Moderation. Filters are working overtime along with the moderators that have to view and approve.

                                           

                                          Thanks Mods.

                                          • 18. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                                            Jim Lotstein Level 1

                                            I have started to get organized to move a few images and it occurred to me

                                            that using a variation on a suggestion that you made yesterday, I could

                                            expedite this process and make it go much faster.  I tried renaming flagging

                                            a photo to be moved in LR by adding a couple of characters- LR.  I then

                                            copied the renamed flagged photo into my original file structure by dragging

                                            it there in my Mac OS from the Lightroom folder.  Because of the renaming,

                                            there was no duplicates and the renamed photo is in the correct folder.   I

                                            then resynch the photo with LR.   I then imported the remaining photos by

                                            ³adding" the folder except for the flagged image.    If I wish, I could

                                            later synch the photos and get rid of the duplicate.   This seemed to work,

                                            and would be particularly helpful if there are a number of photos to be

                                            returned to the same file, but I thought I would ask you if you see a flaw

                                            in my procedure? 

                                             

                                            Thanks so much for your ongoing patience and willingness to help.

                                            • 19. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                                              Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                              Yes there is a flaw in your procedure. First off you now have duplicates of those images. Second if you get rid of the originals that you renamed you lose the edits you have done.

                                               

                                              If you had simply copied them over and overwritten the originals then Linked them back up with LR you wouldn't have the duplicate images and you wouldn't lose the edits you did. If you delete the other duplicates, the ones you haven't renamed, then you have a bunch of images that don't have the original name and or you have to rename them again.

                                               

                                              You had to link them back up to LR anyway so all you did was create more work for yourself. But if that's the way you want to do it Have At It.

                                              Best of luck to you.

                                              • 20. Re: How to advance from using one LR folder with selective imports to using LR for all photos
                                                Jim Lotstein Level 1

                                                Thanks for your helpful follow up advice. My approach did end up overwriting the original and did retain the LR edits. But the remaining photo does have the new name, which clearly needs to be changed back to the original name now.  So your approach is more straight forward, as you note. I can see that this is going to be tedious work if I fully implement it.

                                                 

                                                Thanks, again for your patience and advice.