Describe exactly the menu commands you have done in Lightroom.
in general, use one catalogue to manage everything. I don't see why you are asking the question.
Some people don't understand why others have multiple catalogs, but I have over 6 TB of files spanning 6 years. Not much compared to some people but it's giving me fits... So yeah, I may have started the process on a wrong foot a few years ago and that's part of what I am trying to correct now.
I have 7 different catalogs. I want to combine them to about three maybe four. I want to limit one Catalog to strictly Landscape photos only. These photos span back from 2012 to the present. The landscape photos are currently in four different catalogs that were partially segregated by year. Some of this work is scattered between the computer's hard drive and two external hard drives. Once I get all of the work situated in one catalog, I am going to install a new external hard drive and move all of the Landscape folders over to one drive. I am limited in USB ports, so I do not want to install the new hard drive until I have reconfigured all of the Catalogs.
OK ... that is the back story.... This is the process I took, which is from an Adobe help section here
Here are the steps I took.. After the steps, I'll explain what happened.
To combine or merge catalogs — or to move photos from one catalog to another — you import one catalog into the other.
- In the Import From Catalog dialog box, do the following:
- Under Catalog Contents, select the folders that contain the photos you want to import.THIS IS WHERE I STARTED HAVING PROBLEMS I get this little small box with the appearance of my Folder structure. I wanted to Check just the primary master Folder that was in one external hard drive. There was another hard drive listed below with NON-Landscape Photos After the transfer files/folders from both external hard drives were moved - not moved, but copied to the "recieving" drive. But the duplication was not complete... some Folders seemed to 'copy over' and many others did not. When I tried the process again, I attempted to check the boxes, but they would not 'check'... Now I am not sure what to do.. can I safely delete the "copied" folders and start again, or are both "locations" tied to each other and if I delete one, they both go? The problem is that the COMBINE / MOVE was not actually an incomplete copy.Sorry about the descriptive message, but it's the only way I know to illustrate what happened._____________________continuation of the Adobe instructions:
After the transfer files/folders from both external hard drives were moved - not moved, but copied to the "receiving" drive. CATALOG
The problem is that the COMBINE / MOVE was not actually A MOVE BUT AN INCOMPLETE COPY an incomplete copy.
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I think people do understand why others want separate catalogues. It's just that they rarely have good reasons (which do exist) for fragmenting control of their picture collection, which is what separate catalogues do.
The import/export catalogue processes are mainly intended for workflows like travel where you might take a subset of your images on the road, adjust them, add new images, and then want to bring all the work back into the main or master catalogue. You can use it to do what you are trying, but just because you can doesn't mean you should. But if you do, you would need to take care.
That means verifying that your backup is good enough that you can easily revert to the position before you started this reorganisation. If not, maybe stop now? Secondly, stuff like copy / combine / move carries risks, especially with large numbers of images. I don't just mean LR doing the wrong thing or choking, but things like images having the same name but not being duplicates and all the other inconsistencies that inevitably build up in large picture collections. Third, I would generally advise you to approach the task differently - copy your master catalogue as many times as you want, then go through each of the new catalogues removing the stuff you don't want to be recorded in that catalogue. Once you have all your mini catalogues as you want, then handle the physical issue of moving stuff around. In other words, do the job in two steps rather than as one.
Hey John ... Thanks for your continued response Much appreciated! Yeah, I must be one of those who has a good reason to 'fragment' my work My work is "fragmented" from Landscapes, to client work, to the family and for a lot of reasons, I want clean separation. I've made mistakes over the years and that has not happened.
I am seeing some issues.... My Folders are uniquely labeled. Date-Subject. But my image number within those unique folders may have the same number..... Everything repeats itself at 10,000 images. So I hear what you are saying about 'confusion'.
I was hoping there was a way to move 'one folder" at a time. but I can't seem to get that process to work. So I think what you are saying is that you can't just Move a partial Catalog into another, but you must move the Whole Catalog into another??
Your Second Approach sounds complicated. But I am sure it does because I have not done it before. So let's say, I have 4 predominate items of work within my largest Catalog. ... I think I understand you to say to "Duplicate the Catalog 4 times and remove everything but Landscape from one, remove everything but Family from another, Remove everything but Client work from the third and so on. The result being 4 distinctive smaller catalogs, each with uniquely similar files and all files intact. I would have to do this exercise for each Major Catalog (there are three) and then Merge all of the Landscapes into one.
Thank you for your help .... if I am totally off my thinking let me know but I will head this direction for now...... I am puzzled though, why Lightroom Instructions used the term "move" rather than copy .... I would have never done this had it been clear.