I have one external drive that contains all my photos and the one catalog containing all these photos lives on my system drive. What I now want to do is split both the catalog and the mass of files into two so that I end up with most of the pictures (say everything pre-2017) on the external drive with a catalog for those pictures also living on that drive, and the remaining (say everything since 2017) photos on the internal drive (data partition) with the respective catalog living on the system drive.
The reason I want to split is a) I want a smaller catalog for better LR performance and b) I want the more recent photos on my laptop to work on them when I am not home without having to bring the external drive all the time.
I know I can make a new catalog containing the 2017 pictures in a bunch of ways, e.g. by selecting them in the original catalog and exporting them as a new catalog, by duplicating the original catalog and removing all older photos, or by making a new empty catalog and then importing all 2017 photos from the original catalog. So far so good. But how do I get to point this new catalog to pictures I have copied onto the internal drive? As I understand, the new catalog will still point to photos on th external drive.
Thanks in advance,
It is a total myth that a smaller catalog leads to better LR performance. If you are having performance problems, it is best to describe the problems in detail, so that an appropriate solution can be found.
Thus, sppplitting your catalog is a bad idea. You gain nothing but extra work; and splitting catalogs has significant disadvantages. The recommendation I have is to leave all of the pohtos in a single catalog. You can certainly move some (or all) of the photos from one drive to another, while leaving all the photos in a single catalog. the instructions to do this are here (scroll down to the section entitled "Part 2 -- Updating Folder Location"): Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders