5 Replies Latest reply on May 16, 2017 10:16 AM by jtimmes

    Inheriting (literally) a LR catalog; merge, or just keep 2 catalogs?

    jtimmes

      I've seen posts about merging catalogs, or managing multiple catalogs, but I'm looking for some guidance on which method would be better in my particular situation.

       

      I've been using LR for years now.  My single catalog is ~75,000 photos.

       

      My father recently passed away, and was also a photographer.  He did a better job of culling his catalog down to just his "keepers", but also has a catalog of about 15,000 photos.  The one challenge I've got with his particular setup is his catalog is spread across a few different physical HDD's.

       

      My mom, as part of reducing her ongoing expenses, wants to stop subscribing to LR (she doesn't know how to use it anyway).  To preserve all his great shots, I want to make sure I have a full copy of his catalog before LR is deactivated on their computer.

       

      So my question is, would I be better off moving his photos/catalog around onto a single external HDD, and then restoring that catalog on my computer, but keeping it separate of my catalog?  Or would folks recommend I merge his catalog into mine, so I can search, do facial recognition, etc, across both our photos?

       

      I think I can manage doing either from a technical standpoint, but I'm struggling to answer for myself which approach is the better way.  I see pros and cons to both approaches...

       

      Thanks in advance for your help!

        • 1. Re: Inheriting (literally) a LR catalog; merge, or just keep 2 catalogs?
          dj_paige Level 9

          To preserve all his great shots, I want to make sure I have a full copy of his catalog before LR is deactivated on their computer.

          Doesn't matter if your father's LR CC subscription has expired or not, it doesn't stop you from performing any operation you want to merge into your catalog or move photos.

          So my question is, would I be better off moving his photos/catalog around onto a single external HDD, and then restoring that catalog on my computer, but keeping it separate of my catalog?

          It's hard to say without knowing the situation in a lot more detail. Moving photos to a single HDD makes the move to your computer easier, but there's work involved in moving photos to a single HDD, and I don't know which one would be more work.

           

          Separate catalog ... I guess again it depends on what you want to do with those photos. If you want to call up all photos of the family at a certain holiday (regardless of whether or not you took the photos or your father took the photos), then one catalog would be the way to go. In general, I believe strongly in one catalog, but there are exceptions.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Inheriting (literally) a LR catalog; merge, or just keep 2 catalogs?
            ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

            Initially, I would be inclined to keep my photos separate from dad's, so I would initially go with an separate catalog. This gives me the option of changing my mind later, should I want to do so.

             

            I would probably do it something like this:

             

            Get a large enough external drive to put all of dad's photos on it. (A second drive as a backup is recommended.)

             

            Each "from" drive gets a root folder on the new drive.

             

            Copy the whole picture folder tree to the new drive to maintain the folder structure.

             

             

            Create a folder called "dad_catalog" at the root of the new drive.

            Copy the catalog (*.LrCat) and all its subfolders to this new folder.

             

            At this point, all the photos and the catalog are all on the same drive for easy access. Later you will need to go into the Folder panel in the Library and do a "find missing folders" on all the top-level folders so that LR knows where they are now.

             

            You will want to backup this drive to another drive.

             

            --------

             

            The subscription is tied to the account, not the catalog, so there is no problem with you accessing the files.

             

            If your dad was using any of the LR-Mobile or LR-web services, you will want to see what files are there and get copies of them before the account is dropped causing the files to be deleted from Adobe's servers. 

            2 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Inheriting (literally) a LR catalog; merge, or just keep 2 catalogs?
              cmgap Adobe Community Professional

              Sorry to hear about your loss. Moving all of your Dad's images to one large drive and then backing that drive up is a good move in the long run. Especially if some of the drives have been in heavy use for an extended period of time.

               

              Or would folks recommend I merge his catalog into mine, so I can search, do facial recognition, etc, across both our photos?

              If you choose to go down this path, you can also include adding keywords so that you can take full advantage of the search functionality in the future. You can always export your Dad's images later as it's own catalog for archiving purposes.

               

              Who knows... perhaps if his photos are in your catalog (even temporarily) you might be more inclined to enjoy them, share them, sort them than if you always have to close out of your catalog and open his?

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Inheriting (literally) a LR catalog; merge, or just keep 2 catalogs?
                Brad Polt-Jones Adobe Community Professional

                Here are my 2 cents. Your dad's photos are an amazing legacy for your family. I would merge the catalogs.

                 

                I would first use your dad's computer to consolidate all your dad's images from the existing drives onto a new larger drive, then create a backup of that new drive. If necessary, build a simple unified folder structure from the top down, by moving the scattered folders from the original drives into a new logical order.

                 

                When you merge the catalogs, you can keep the new drive with your dad's images independent from your drive. You can then create and use Collections where both your images and his can co-exist. From here, you can build slideshows, books, or online galleries to share the images.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Inheriting (literally) a LR catalog; merge, or just keep 2 catalogs?
                  jtimmes Level 1

                  Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who replied on this one -- everyone's input has been thoughtful, helpful, and most appreciated.  I have ordered a new external drive to move all the images (and the existing catalog) to, and I am going to then merge this catalog into my own, but will leverage tags and a collection to make it easy to always reference just his images separate from my own.  While there is no one right or wrong answer on the best way to do this, I think this will give me the easiest use of his images going forward, while also always being able to view/search his pictures separately from my own.

                   

                  And just for anyone who's curious, or reads this in the future with a similar challenge, my plan is to use the external drive as the eventual backup (after moving the images from my Dad's setup to mine).  I'll keep that drive as-is, but will merge a copy of all of that onto my NAS (a Synology setup as a RAID-5).  Besides keeping the external drive as a backup, I also have a cold archive of all my photos up in Amazon Glacier (my offsite insurance policy against a fire, etc.).

                   

                  Thanks again for helping me think through this before I actually moved anything, it means a lot to me.