7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 15, 2018 9:19 AM by JimHess

    I'm OCD and I can't see how LR will work for me

    Rasr

      I would like to get on board with LR, and to me that means making it work with the system I have already made. I need my file directory to fit in a catalog.

       

      What's OCD about that, you ask? Well it's my multiple-hard-drive-editing and auto-sync process. I'll keep it simple and outline it in just 5 steps.

      Maybe it's not much different than some of your processes, I'll love to hear.

       

      1. I have organized my photos for the past 8 years in a file directory structure which, last I checked, was over 9TB of raw and jpg.

      2. I load and work on my current project, as well as up to a month of images directly off my desktop's 500GB SSD drive. 75% of my editing happens on this SSD and everything gets deleted roughly a month after it was taken.

      3. 20 seconds after anything is saved/updated in the designated folder structure on the SSD Goodsync automatically one-way syncs to my 5TB secondary and then also to my NAS by adding new or updating previous versions only.

      4. I keep 9-12 months of work on my 5TB SATA secondary drive. I might continue editing something on this drive after I removed it from my SSD. Then there is another Goodsync auto sync to update changes to the NAS. 20% of editing happens on a secondary internal drive.

      5. A complete copy of the photo directory (only RAW/xmp and jpgs) is on a raid-0 4-disk Synology network attached storage. Occasionally I will go back to previous years and re-edit some photos. Only about 5% of editing happens on my NAS.

       

      I have searched endlessly to no avail search queries similar to:

      Lightroom use multiple hard drives with the same photos/ same catalog or

      Lightroom temporary editing drives separate from main catalog or

      Lightroom large NAS catalog and multiple small drives and I see no hope.

      Q Is there no hope?

      Q Would I have to do a catalog for every month? What would even be the point of that.

      Q Is there any way to use LR without a catalog?

       

      Some people say SMART PREVIEWS. 'You can edit from a local drive and keep your catalog on an external drive.' Smart previews are a nice addition to LR but are not a solution to my workflow. It would mean loading new photos directly onto my NAS, not my SSD, importing those, then selecting the photos I wanted to build smart previews from the NAS copies before I am able to "disconnect" my NAS and work from local previews. Not to even mention I lose real-time auto sync if my other drives are disconnected. Someone might want to tell Adobe that not only people with disconnected catalog drives might want to work off of smart previews..?

       

       

      If there happens to be anyone still reading, I'm now going into my next confusion on migrating to Lightroom:

       

      Will I want to add all copies of past edited photos into my catalog, just the raw, or the raw and final edit jpg?

      Past photo projects/shoots usually have 3 stages of edits. This is it's own folder in the month it was taken with 3-4 subfolders. 1- Original camera files and xmps; 2- PS edits; 3- Delivered files (if there is another party involved); 4- specific output with sharpening.

       

      Q If cataloging a large file directory structure, is it possible to exempt sub-directories with a certain name (like "Delivered files")? Or would I just be individually selecting and importing only the subfolders I want in the catalog for all 8 years?

       

      Well thanks in advance for your kind reply,

      Ras

        • 1. Re: I'm OCD and I can't see how LR will work for me
          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Your questions jump all over the place, and don't really focus so that they are easy to answer. I'm going to start out by answering one question. You CANNOT use Lightroom without a catalog because the catalog is literally the only file Lightroom opens. The catalog is a database. Everything you do in Lightroom revolves around importing or adding records to that catalog. The import process is simply a process of showing Lightroom where the images are located on your system. Those images can be stored on multiple hard drives, in multiple folders, and can be raw files or JPEG files or TIF files or PSD files, it doesn't matter. This catalog must be on a hard drive that is local to your computer, it cannot be on a network hard drive. For ease of management, you would be well advised to limit yourself to the use of a single catalog.

           

          I think I will stop at this point and let you digest that much information and then let you ask your next question.

          • 2. Re: I'm OCD and I can't see how LR will work for me
            Rasr Level 1
            Your questions jump all over the place, and don't really focus so that they are easy to answer.

             

            So true! The questions aren't really the point of what I'm trying to get at, just some feeble attempts of mine to guess at conclusions/solutions. Your post helped me see my main question was missing the important part:

            Q Is there no hope for the harmonization of my 5 step/detail editing process (at the top) and a LR catalog?

             

             

            The import process is simply a process of showing Lightroom where the images are located on your system. Those images can be stored on multiple hard drives, in multiple folders...

             

             

            It was also difficult for me to find the right words to ask a specific question. I was trying to get there with "Temporary editing drives separate from main catalog" and "Lightroom large NAS catalog and multiple small drives".

            But I think a simple question could be- 

            Q "Can the source of some of the images within a catalog change?" Or further, can a small group of sub folders (ie. one month of projects) source destination temporary change to a different drive?

             

            I think that question would also answer a question of mine. Because I don't just want to store images on multiple drives or folders, I want a full database of image files on my NAS yet I want to work off other hard drives which can't hold the full size of the image database. I like working almost strictly off my 500GB SSD drive. But I want a catalog of over 9TB of images.

            • 3. Re: I'm OCD and I can't see how LR will work for me
              JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              In my opinion, the idea of starting the in one location and then moving them to another, and then yet another is a waste of time and energy. Import the images to where you want them, creating a backup at the same time, and then leave them there. Lightroom doesn't apply any changes directly to the image files, everything is stored in the catalog so the image files are always in their pristine state. As long as you've got a good backup of them, I don't see any need to be moving them around.

               

              I'm not quite sure how to answer that second question. The catalog can point to images on ANY hard drive. That means a single catalog can manage images stored on multiple hard drives connected to the computer. I have two internal hard drives connected to my computer as well as two permanently connected external hard drives. Additionally, I have other removable external hard drives that can be connected. And images can be stored and managed on any of those drives.

              • 4. Re: I'm OCD and I can't see how LR will work for me
                Rasr Level 1

                Jim thanks for your time to write your opinions and just be someone to try and bounce this all off of. It has been a while for me coming to terms with having to change my workflow in order to use LR. That's why I keep pushing the question and researching. Although I have a system which is quite efficient and all automated, I think I will probably try dropping it eventually since I lack a master catalog to search by keywords. I guess that's my main draw to LR.

                • 5. Re: I'm OCD and I can't see how LR will work for me
                  JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  I think I can understand where you're coming from. I tried Lightroom way back when it was first introduced, Lightroom 1 (I think). The catalog idea really frustrated me. I fought the whole idea of it. What I didn't realize at the time is that the catalog is a database. And the irony of that is that, at the time, I was a database manager and was making my living writing database management software. To use Lightroom effectively, you really have to submit yourself to the catalog, and realize that the catalog is literally the only file that Lightroom opens. You have to learn to think in those terms. Before you commit to Lightroom, you should go to YouTube And spend some time watching some tutorials. Now, you're going to have to be selective because there are two different flavors of Lightroom now. I think you are going to want Lightroom Classic CC. It is what USED to be called Lightroom CC. Now there is a NEW Lightroom CC that is all cloud-based, and it's pretty good but it doesn't have all the features yet that Lightroom Classic CC does. So be careful as you search through the tutorials. I'm going to give you one link to get you started. There are many, many more that you can find. Take some time and watch a few and get a feel for what the program does. Then decide if it's something that might work in your situation.

                  Getting Started with Lightroom Classic CC - YouTube

                  • 6. Re: I'm OCD and I can't see how LR will work for me
                    Rasr Level 1

                    Hi Jim I think you're the only one reading this

                    Thought I'd update since it's been almost a week of using LR CC Classic. I'm enjoying it but I thought I'd ask, Do you know if your LR is continually accessing your original image files?

                     

                    My catalog folder right now is 22gb. Even when the only task showing, face detection, is paused and I'm not even sitting at the computer, if LR is open it seems to be reading from my NAS drives constantly. The past 6 days and nights I have left my computer on and left LR open because I assumed it just needed some more time (some of that time I have had it detecting faces, but I know how to pause that and can see a difference in performance when it is running).

                    Is it possible it's still building the catalog even though it doesn't say that?

                    Will LR continue to read from my NAS disks nearly non-stop or will it eventually stop?

                    • 7. Re: I'm OCD and I can't see how LR will work for me
                      JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      I'm probably not the person to ask because I don't have anywhere near that large of the catalog, although that shouldn't make a difference. And, I don't use face detection. Perhaps someone else will be able to advise you.