I have been using Photoshop all the way up to CS6 in conjunction with Adobe Bridge to organize my photos. I shoot exclusively in camera raw so I have a bunch of xmp sidecar files that Adobe Camera Raw creates. This process has been working well for me over the years. However, I’m thinking of getting the Photoshop CC subscription and starting to use Lightroom so I have a bunch of questions.
I have tried the trial version of Lightroom for a little bit so I know the basics. I have also seen some videos on the premise of Lightroom. I just need to know some details.
Before I ask questions, let me explain how I have my photos organized.
For a given image, I have named the files as such, “YYYYMMDD-NNNa- File Name.ext”. So the first photo of the day, which happens to be a pumpkin, will be named “20161031-001a - Pumpkin.cr2”. The second pumpkin photo will be named “20161031-002a - Pumpkin.cr2” and so on. I’ll have a folder that is named similarity as such, “20161031-001a - Pumpkins".
I also have in my folders at Raw directory, which contains the raw and xmp files. An Originals directory which contains jpeg versions of the raw files before I started any camera raw changes. And the modified jpeg versions of the files (with “a” changed to “b” in the file name) in the root of the directory. I know that this is extremely redundant but has worked well so far. I envision getting rid of all the jpeg files and just going with the raw files and the Lightroom database, which should free up some considerable disk space.
Now for the questions:
- When I import a folder, or series of folders into Lightroom, I noticed that the .xmp files get recognized by Lightroom. Am I right in seeing that the .xmp files are no longer used from this point on in Lightroom and that data is put into the database?
- Can I remove those .xmp files once the import has taken place?
- I suspect that after I import the files I’ll be moving directories around. For example, I might put all of the 2015 folders into a 2015 folder, all the 2016 folders into a 2016 folder, etc. Should I do this in the Windows File Explorer or is there a means to do that in Lightroom? If I do that via the File Explorer, will Lightroom find the files?
- Adobe Bridge has the ability to batch renames so that I can name my files as per my YYYYMMDD-NNNa scheme as described above. Does Lightroom have this same capability?
- Does Lightroom allow for Presets that I can create like Adobe Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw does? I typically like to do a +10 clarity, +10 vibrancy and +1 contrast on all of my photos as a starting point.
- I see that there is a Lightroom folder created in my pictures folder. Is this the full database that needs to be backed up? If so, is this all I need to use when I transfer my data to a new computer sometime in the future?
- Will it be OK to put the Lightroom folder on OneDrive (or Dropbox) so that I can have the same database between my laptop and desktop computers?
- When I upgrade my computer and transfer the database to the new computer, will the database still work if my user name changes? That is if my home folder is c:\users\Mike but on the new computer the home folder is c:\users\Fred.
- Does Lightroom give me the ability to do macros such tagging all the photos in a folder to be the same as the folder name minus the “YYYYMMDD-NNNa - "?
I really appreciate any help with this. If I switch over to Lightroom, I have a lot of work ahead of me as I have over 800 folders of photos to deal with.