8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 28, 2017 8:34 AM by robgendreau

    Import RAW to Subfolder


      I'm currently using Lightroom 6.5.1 desktop on Windows 10. I'm comfortable with the import dialog and have it set up to import to sub-directories of Pictures based on the capture date in EXIF data. For example, if a take a photo today, it will land in Pictures/2017/01 and will also get renamed 20170126-<original file number>-<camera model>.<ext> (20170126-1941-G3 X.jpg). I'm trying to find a way to add an additional directory layer for a RAW file so that it end up, with this same name, in Pictures/2017/01/RAW. My thought is this would create a directory of digital negatives I can work with, which I can then process into finished JPG files in the higher level directory. Do you remember the envelope from the photo processor or drug store with the separate compartment in the back for the negatives?


      So far, the closest I have found is to check the box in the import dialog to put RAW images into a separate directory, but this doesn't do what I'm looking for. Instead of putting this picture in Pictures/2017/01/RAW, this puts it into Pictures/RAW/2017/01. Is there a way to get Lightroom to route RAW images into a sub-directory of my designated import file path, and possibly even to split JPG into the higher level (2017/01) and RAW into the sub-directory? If Lightroom can't do this, is there another product that will handle the import process the way I'm describing, so I can then synchronize in Lightroom? Heck, I'd even be happy if RAW landed in Pictures/2017/01/RAW and any JPG landed in Pictures/2017/01/JPG (i.e., route all files into a folder based on the extension).


      Thanks in advance for any suggestions,


        • 1. Re: Import RAW to Subfolder
          WobertC Adobe Community Professional

          I assume you are taking and importing RAW+JPG files.


          Might I suggest- just shoot RAW- then your question is moot.

          I only shoot RAW and in the infrequent occasions I want to preserve a JPG, then it goes in a sub-folder under the RAWs. Otherwise I consider JPGs expendable after use and are not preserved.



          If you want to separate your RAW+JPG- consider putting the JPGs in the sub-folder, but it is a manual process .  RM-click the folder of photos to create the JPG sub-folder, sort by file-type, drag JPGs to sub-folder.

          The only other option is to sort by file-type in the Import dialog and do two selective imports to chosen folders.


          Not familiar with other software, so ignorant there!  (Photo Mechanic pops up frequently in forums)

          • 2. Re: Import RAW to Subfolder
            requa64 Level 1

            Thanks for your suggestion. Actually, I'm more likely to shoot RAW or JPG, as opposed to RAW+JPG. I'm still trying to convince myself to stick with RAW, but the reality is I know a lot of what I shoot is basic snapshot stuff for family memories. Even if I shoot everything in RAW, with or without the JPG, it makes sense to me to have the RAW files separated out, run some basic processing on the ones I know I'll want to save for family archive reasons but will never want to spend a great deal of time and effort on, and save the "good" ones for possible additional processing.


            I'll take a look at Photo Mechanic as I've never run across it before. I have used DIM (Digital Image Mover) which I always liked because that was all it did -- move and rename image files with no manipulation -- but it did not have the option I was hoping for.



            • 3. Re: Import RAW to Subfolder
              richardplondon Level 4

              I wonder if you wouldn't be better off doing it the other way around?


              Don't regard the camera originals as a subsidiary of the output; regard the output as a subsidiary of the camera originals: Import according to capture date as you have been doing; then in your Export settings (using a standard saved Export preset) you can select to have the JPGs made inside the same folders as their respective originals - but using the option immediately below that, to have a subfolder made for these to go into.


              For example, you could have one Export preset set up to always save one particular specification of JPG, into a subfolder of the originals' folder, named "screensize". The name of this subfolder would always be consistent, and so would be the properties of the contents.





              A different Export preset might always save a different specification of JPG, into a differently named subfolder.


              BUT. I personally regard export JPGs from Lightroom as a) disposable, and b) of a radically different nature and purpose than the LR-managed (imported) camera Raw and JPG and external-edit files from which they derive. So on both counts, their storage / access / backup requirements are not the same and it makes sense to me to reflect that physically


              So I maintain two separate areas on disk  - exports are "casual" and mix in with my general Pictures folder. I could always re-export anything I needed to.


              LR managed files by contrast, I regard as under LR's sole supervision and execution, and otherwise none of my business. I can avoid all risky temptations to meddle in them, by staying entirely clear of that whole "black box" set of folders. I am 'paying' Lightroom to fully cover that job, and would only impair its efficiency by interfering myself.


              Oh, one elegant way to "mirror" the folder organisation of the originals, as exports, only into another area of storage, is a plugin called "Folder Publisher". There's another one called "Collection Publisher", by the same author, which does the same thing with your Collection organisation.



              • 4. Re: Import RAW to Subfolder
                ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

                If you want your raw and JPG originals to end up in separate folders, you will probably need to do two imports, one for each type.


                The way I do my organization is to use the dated folder "yyyymmdd" as the parent folder. Then I put a subfolder called "originals" and a subfolder called "exports" for the respective files. I do not distinguish between the file types in the "originals" folder; raw or JPG, all originals go in the "originals" folder. I normally shoot raw only, but sometimes drop into JPG mode; never raw+jpg.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Import RAW to Subfolder
                  dj_paige Level 10

                  There's no real substantive reason to have RAW and JPG in different folders when using Lightroom. Lightroom has enough tools to separate them for you any time you want! For example, the filter bar can separate RAWs from JPGs with a lot less effort than it would take to create a RAW folder and move the RAWs into that folder. Create separate folders makes your workflow more complex and results in few benefits, if any. Just leave JPGs and RAW together in the same folder, separate them using the Filter Bar if necessary, and you will save yourself a large amount of effort trying to separate them.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Import RAW to Subfolder
                    robgendreau Level 3

                    It's kind of hard to tell what you are ultimately trying to accomplish but I'd agree with dj_paige: keep 'em together and use filters. One reason is that once they get separated it's easy to lose track of which one you're working on. Geez, did I crop the JPEG or the RAW? when they are side-by-side it's obvious.


                    If you need JPEGs out in a file folder for easy sharing, consider using a publishing workflow. If you publish to a folder of say "family jpegs" then those jpegs retain a connection with the RAWs, and if you need to it's easy to say do another crop or add metadata and then republish, thus keeping that gallery of jpegs up to date.

                    • 7. Re: Import RAW to Subfolder
                      requa64 Level 1

                      Thanks to all of you for the helpful tips. I guess I should clarify a bit of my original thought process. As I mentioned, I consider a large portion of my photos to be family snapshots that will be of little value beyond the personal memories they capture. There's nothing wrong with that, but I'm not likely to want to spend a lot of time processing them. Then there are the occasional attempts to create something better that I do want to work with. My plan was to store any RAW files separately so I wouldn't confuse myself, and delete any RAW files of the snapshot variety once I'd exported suitable snapshot JPEGs, saving some space. It doesn't sound like there's a simple solution to do what I was hoping for, but I think this discussion thread has steered me onto a better path. I'll try shooting RAW most of the time and importing them into my existing filing system, then exporting reduced JPEGs when I have the need. I'm not really sure why I've resisted this approach, especially with storage being relatively cheap these days, but so be it.


                      • 8. Re: Import RAW to Subfolder
                        robgendreau Level 3

                        I'd suggest you spend some more time exploring other ways in Lr to organize your stuff. Using folders to manage your images, as you describe in your post, is the least efficient way of doing it. You can flag, label, keyword and use collections to organize, whether they are JPEGs, RAW or whatever. Most of us use one of those methods to designate keepers, what's been exported, etc. With those tools it doesn't matter a whole lot what the file types are.