17 Replies Latest reply on Sep 7, 2016 5:29 AM by Abambo

    How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?

    Bill Riccobono

      The photos are in different folders and even in 2 different drives.

      I want to consolidate everything into one......

      What is an efficient way to proceed?  Will greatly appreciate any suggestions.

      Thanks.

      Bill

       

      PS Is it best to put all the photos in one folder???

      Should the Lr catalog be in the same drive location (eg like in an external drive with a backup

      or two not traveling about.  There are way too many photos for the laptop!

      Can Bridge be of help somewhere along the line?

       

      [Moved from the general forum lounge to a product-specific support forum - moderator]

        • 1. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
          Geoff the kiwi Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Hi Bill,

          How about telling us your OS and Lightroom version

          How many Catalogs and where they are located

          Where are the image files

          How many drives you have for use (not back up) and how much spare space.

           

          You will want to work out what you will do, write it down and then work slowly and methodically. Doing this means you can achieve what you are after (don't use Bridge) but a poor system and methodology could lead to data loss.

          So start with the above questions

          • 2. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
            Bill Riccobono Level 1

            Thanks for this missing clarifications:

             

            How about telling us your OS and Lightroom version

             

            Mac Air with iOS Yosemite (10.10?)

             

            How many Catalogs and where they are located

             

            5 catalogs in 2 external HD and on the laptop.

            Where are the image files

             

            In all three places.  Some were sent to stand alone files, all are cataloged in various Lr catalogs (2015, trips, etc)

            How many drives you have for use (not back up) and how much spare space.

             

            Remaining space in laptop 22GB, storage in  one drive 1 GB; storage in the back up drive 1.5 GB.

            10 years worth of seroius photos taking.  I hope this covers it.  If not, let me know what is missing.

            Thanks for taking this one—— I know it’s involved!!!

             

            • 3. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
              Geoff the kiwi Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              So all the drives are almost filled?

              Which Lightroom version?

              How much total space do the image files take up - say how much on the internal and external and the drive total capacity. Having such a small amount of spare space as you state above is not a good thing. Empty space should be about 25% of the total space.

               

              I am thinking you may need at leat one new larger external drive.

               

              The idea is that you will end up moving them as you merge catalogs to a new bigger drive which can take all the files.

              • 4. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
                Bill Riccobono Level 1

                Thanks for this missing clarifications:

                 

                How about telling us your OS and Lightroom version

                 

                Mac Air with iOS Yosemite (10.10?)

                 

                How many Catalogs and where they are located

                5 catalogs in 2 external HD and on the laptop.

                 

                Where are the image files

                In all three places.  Some were sent to stand alone files, all are

                cataloged in various Lr catalogs (2015, trips, etc)

                 

                How many drives you have for use (not back up) and how much spare space.

                Remaining space in laptop 22GB, storage in  one drive 1 GB; storage in the

                back up drive 1.5 GB.

                10 years worth of seroius photos taking.  I hope this covers it.  If not, l

                 

                 

                On Aug 25, 2016, at 9:26 PM, Geoff the kiwi <forums_noreply@adobe.com>

                • 5. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
                  dj_paige Level 9

                  First, I would recommend getting more hard drive space, as you are almost out of disk space.

                   

                  Second, I would recommend making backups of all of your photos and Lightroom catalogs, so that the backups are on a different drive than the originals. <-- Do not skip this step. Do not proceed to the next step if you don't have backups!

                   

                  Third, I would recommend combining your catalogs into a single catalog, with all of your photos (that's every single one, no exceptions). You do not want all of your photos in a single folder. They could go in any folder arrangement you want, I use folders by capture date. But regardless, the way I recommend you handle the fact that photos are all over the place is to assign keywords and other metadata as needed to all of your photos, so you can find the photos of interest using keywords and other metadata.

                  • 6. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
                    JoeKostoss Adobe Community Professional

                    Regarding all your existing photos, Follow the advice given by others above, especially about making a backup copy of your photos and catalog, and creating a single catalog for all photos.

                     

                    For all your new photos from now into the future, they should also go into the same single catalog.  Lightroom is perfectly happy working with several EHDs, so I would not waste my time transferring the old photos on the old EHDs to a new one, but I would suggest transferring photos on the internal computer drive to an EHD to free up all that computer space.

                     

                    Get a new EHD for all new photos.  Create a single top level folder on that new EHD, naming it something like "My Photos" or "Bill's Photos" or something that makes sense to you.  Put your new photos into that top level folder, either directly into that folder or into a sub folder arrangement of your choosing; however, do not make the folder structure to confusing or too deep.  I suggest 3 levels as a maximum.

                     

                    I use a top level folder named "Joe's Photos" with sub folders named by year "2014", "2015", "2016", etc.  I usually put all images into the yearly folder, but occasionally make a 3rd level sub folder such as "Jen & Jim Wedding" or "Niagara Vacation".

                    • 7. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
                      Bill Riccobono Level 1

                      Thanks for this.

                      Helpful

                       

                      Keep the Lr catalog with backup and on the storage drive.   Laptop to have

                      a workspace Lr catalog with all phots exported to main and back up drives.

                      Makes sense?

                       

                      Thanks for your help.

                      Bill

                      • 8. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
                        Bill Riccobono Level 1

                        Thank you also.

                        These tips help

                        me getting untangled!

                        Bill

                         

                        On Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 8:04 AM, JoeKostoss <forums_noreply@adobe.com>

                        • 9. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
                          dj_paige Level 9

                          Bill Riccobono wrote:

                           

                          Keep the Lr catalog with backup and on the storage drive.

                          The backup of the catalog must be on a different physical disk than the original. Same for photos. This isn't optional, note the word "must".

                           

                          Laptop to have a workspace Lr catalog with all phots exported to main and back up drives.

                          I don't see a benefit here in maintaining exports in two locations, this just takes up extra disk space and requires you to manage the exported photos so you know where they are. Better, you should only export when you need the photos outside of Lightroom, consider the exports temporary, and delete the exported photos when the non-Lightroom use of the photos is completed.

                          • 10. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
                            Abambo Adobe Community Professional

                            This seams to be a very active forum thread. I will give you my opinion on how best organizing the data:

                             

                            • First I would get an (external) hard disk with enough free space (consider future shootings). If you can afford SSD go ahead.
                            • Create a new catalog on this HD.
                            • Import your catalogs to this one. Photo Filles will be copied to the HD (you need to indicate the starting point).
                            • If there are catalogs that were badly organized, you may now decide to reorganize the structure according your organisational preferences. I have several base directories, depending on my "customer" (private, job, not for profit organizations I work sometimes for) and then I organize per year and day of shooting.

                            This would allow you to let your current catalogs untouched until the point where you can decide to delete them (don't forget the back-up of your newly acquired external disk ;-)).

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
                              Geoff the kiwi Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              Bill,

                               

                              Here is my suggestion from your answers and also what I have:

                              Set up:

                              Catalog and previews (all files have Smart Previews) on one External Drive

                              Files on other seperate external drive/s

                              Back up drives of the above.

                               

                              Why? this allows one catalog and set of files which can be plugged into any computer with Lightroom. It even allows with the smart previews generated to not even need the image files drive /s to be connected all of the time.

                               

                              It is wise to get the system you want written down and set up before starting.

                              Then the merging of catalogs and placement of files can take place.

                              I will ask what you folder structure for the image files is as well before you start as well as how many catalogs there are.

                               

                              Slow and steady is the best way to avoid a mess and potential data loss.

                              2 people found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
                                Bill Riccobono Level 1

                                Geoff,  Thanks for hanging with me on this one!!  To say the least, this is a tangled mess and I am writing down each step I take.

                                Now 2 days and 10 hours later, I better realize that this is essential!!

                                 

                                 

                                Update:  I bought a new Seagate 5T Backup drive and it won't let me place a Lr catalog in it ("Lightroom Catalogs can not be opened on network volumes, removable storage, or read only volumes.").  News to me!  I thought a ExHD is an ExHD!!.....

                                 

                                 

                                What I read from you is to

                                1. on one Ex HD, place the .lrcat (which has the smart preview folder as well as the previews folder)... I suppose this will require little memory by comparison.
                                2. and on the other ExHD, establish folders of the images (by year, event, or what have you).  Any suggestions you have would be appreciated.  I'm looking at keeping the file name from the camera and 2016_09_Vacation XXXX for the folders.

                                 

                                We're talking almost 20,000 images and I wish to do this once!

                                 

                                Thanks again,

                                Bill

                                 

                                PS Backup all 3 drives (Laptop, Ex1, Ex2 onto my new 5T!!!

                                I hope it becomes this easy.

                                • 13. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
                                  Geoff the kiwi Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  Bill,

                                  There should be no issue with the catalog on that Seagate Drive (although I hear bad reports of Seagate but that is another story).

                                  How is the drive formatted and how is it connected to you Macbook??

                                   

                                  Filing system is best done by date as you are suggesting as it sorts easiest universally whether in the catalog or at OS level.

                                  I use year>year-month>year-month-day-identitysuffix like this:

                                  Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.15.40 PM.png

                                  I also rename my files as using multiple capture devices it ensures each does have a unique name and number.....

                                  Yes, doing it once is hopefully possible.... but go slowly and methodically - you will be right.

                                  Adding suffixes to dated folders is easily done in Lightroom as is renaming files.... as always do everything that can be done within Lightroom in Lightroom.....


                                  Keep asking if not sure... it is better than having to clean up a mess

                                  1 person found this helpful
                                  • 14. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
                                    Abambo Adobe Community Professional

                                    20k images is no big number. LR can handle that.

                                    • 15. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
                                      Abambo Adobe Community Professional

                                      My files get all renamed to the following scheme: shoot-YYYYMMDD-CameraNumber.

                                       

                                      Camera is an ID for the camera I used, Number is the original number as attributed by the camera.

                                       

                                      I also add some Keywords rigorously to the files during import, helps identifying the shoots at a later time.

                                      • 16. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
                                        Bill Riccobono Level 1

                                        Keywords are a needed addition (although a pain!).

                                        Thanks for the reminder.

                                         

                                        Meticulously I've transferred my 13 catalogs which were located everywhere!! into one catalog on a separate EHD.  Another EHD holds the folders and images with revised titles, etc. 

                                         

                                        My last issue is how do I back up ALL with my new 5T EHD:  computer, .Lrcat EHD and folder/images EHD?  All are connected to a USB hub and that doesn't do it.......!  Any help greatly appreciated.  You Tube doesn't go far enough.

                                        Thanks.

                                        Bill

                                        • 17. Re: How do I deal with Multiple Lr Catalogs and Photos Everywhere?
                                          Abambo Adobe Community Professional

                                          Either you use a backup program to manage different versions and incremental backup or you copy the files manually. There are not a lot solutions open. You have however the advantage now knowing where your files are located.