You only need ONE catalog to manage all of your files/folders. I would have that catalog on your internal hard drive. Since you have cleared everything from Lightroom, all that is necessary is to organize your images on the external hard drive in the folders the way you want them organized, and then import them using the Add option. That will add the folders from their present location. You don't need separate catalogs for different hard drives as a single catalog can manage folders on multiple hard drives. That's the way I do it, and I know that is the way others do it as well.
I understand I might need to create some other folders, i.e., RAW File Library, RAW - In Work, PS - In Work, Complete - Holding and Finished Portfolio Library.
I don't think any of this is necessary, it seems like extra work to me.
1. I would like to create a Lightroom Catalog on my laptop hard drive.
2. I would like to create a Lightroom Catalog on an external hard drive.
3. I would like to move or copy all my RAW picture files that presently exist on my laptop hard drive and external hard drive to the Lightroom Catalog on the external hard drive.
Your photos are NOT stored in the catalog. You can't move the photos TO a Lightroom Catalog. When you import photos, the photos still remain on your hard disk and not in the catalog. It is also unclear to me why you need two different catalogs, and without a good reason (there are several), I strongly advise you to use one catalog.
I know the folders need to be created through Lightroom itself.
While you certainly can create folders through Lightroom, there's no reason you can't create folders in your operating system and then import photos into those folders.
I know the folders need to be created through Lightroom itself. However, once they are created, can I create another Lightroom Catalog on the external hard drive (through Lightroom) named RAW Lightroom Photos.
The creating of folders, and the creating of catalogs, are not logically connected to each other. These are independent.
Once that extra folder is created, can I simply cut and paste or copy my existing RAW files into the RAW Lightroom folder on the external hard drive without going through Lightroom. And if I did that, once I try to access the RAW files from Lightroom, would they be in the Lightroom created folder?
Since you are starting from scratch, I recommend moving the photos to wherever you want them to be, using your operating system, and then Import them into your new LR catalog using the ADD option, which will keep the photos exactly where you put them.
The long and the short of this is that I want to have ALL of my RAW files in one location on one drive.
I hope this means one folder with many (as needed) subfolders. If you are thinking of putting ALL or your raw files in one folder with no subfolders, do not do this. As I said, put the photos where you want them to be before you do any LR work.
I just want the main Lightroom Catalog or whatever so I can use the laptop hard drive to process all of my work and then dump it off the laptop hard drive when I am done. Hope this is logical.
I think you have a misunderstanding. The hard drive does not process your work. Your photos can be on ANY drive, internal, external or network. What I would STRONGLY recommend is you put the photos where you want them to be, using your operating system, then import them into the Lightroom Catalog using the ADD option, and then you don't move the photos from here to there for ANY reason (with one exception, if you need to move the photos to a new/different hard drive because the current one doesn't have enough space or is getting old, then you move them).
In summary, I think you need to abandon all of your previous ideas about organizing and workflow, as they do not fit well into Lightroom. Lightroom does not work the way other software works, and using a workflow that is what you might have done with previous software can lead to grief (and maybe that's what you experienced before with LR). You need to design a very simple workflow, as I said, that doesn't involve moving photos around, and has one catalog only (unless you have a very good reason to have more). There is really little need and little benefit for a beginner to have a more complicated workflow.
Thank you. So, if I create a Lightroom Catalog on my laptop hard drive, that is what it is. I can create a folder on my external hard drive named RAW File Library. Then I can copy into that folder all of my existing RAW files, no matter where they are at the moment. Now, I know that if I plug my external hard drive into Lightroom, Lightroom will recognize it (provided the connection is tight). How can I get Lightroom to recognize / identify the RAW File Library if it is not named in Lightroom - or does that not matter? I have a second external hard drive that I would like to designate for photography only, so that is where I would create the RAW File Library. I do not have tons of photographs at the moment, probably a few thousand over all. When I took my photography course at a local community college a few years ago it seems to me that there were some other folders for photos I was "working on" where they could be saved until I accessed them later and then I recall something about settings, whether the final image was going to be a TIFF or a JPEG and the resolution, etc. associated with that. However, for the moment, I want Lightroom to be able to recognize the RAW File Library on the external hard drive when I attach it to the laptop. Using ADD will do that? And - using ADD - that will leave the original RAW images untouched even while I am working on them?
1 person found this helpful
Now, I know that if I plug my external hard drive into Lightroom, Lightroom will recognize it
You would plug the drive into your computer, not into LR.
How can I get Lightroom to recognize / identify the RAW File Library if it is not named in Lightroom - or does that not matter?
Lightroom will not recognize any photos in any folder until you do an Import. When you do this import, you tell Lightroom what folder(s) the photos are stored in, select the ADD option, and then Lightroom knows that your photos are the folders you specified. The folder name can be any legal folder name at all.
I have a second external hard drive that I would like to designate for photography only, so that is where I would create the RAW File Library.
This seems to be contradicted by your earlier statement that you are going to copy all the photos onto the first external HD.
But you can put your photos anywhere you want them to be.
When I took my photography course at a local community college a few years ago it seems to me that there were some other folders for photos I was "working on" where they could be saved until I accessed them later and then I recall something about settings, whether the final image was going to be a TIFF or a JPEG and the resolution, etc. associated with that.
As I said above, this strategy of a "working" folder might have made sense with other software, but it is a waste of time and extra work in Lightroom. Do not do this.
However, for the moment, I want Lightroom to be able to recognize the RAW File Library on the external hard drive when I attach it to the laptop. Using ADD will do that?
ADD tells Lightroom not to move your photos at the time of import. After that, any time the drive is plugged in, Lightroom will be able to access the photos that have been imported from that drive.
And - using ADD - that will leave the original RAW images untouched even while I am working on them?
ADD doesn't indicate whether the photos will be touched or untouched. ADD simply leaves the photos in their existing folders when you import them into LR. Lightroom never touches the image portion of your photo files anyway, this is simply how LR operates, and has nothing to do with ADD.
You are having lots of confusion here, I would like to suggest some beginner reading on Lightroom.
https://www.lightroomqueen.com/quickstart/ You want the Lightroom Classic CC Quick Start book
You might want to read up on organizing and workflow
You might also want to go take 50 meaningless photos (like a photo of that bottle of mayonnaise in your refrigerator, and the like) and begin working with them in Lightroom until you feel comfortable with the whole process. If anything gets screwed up, it doesn't matter because they are meaningless photos.
Thank you for all your patience. I have copied over all my RAW Files to my second External Hard Drive, so they are now all in one place. I have some projects I am working on at the moment, so I will take some photos and see how it goes. I have previously worked with a combination of Lightroom, Camera Raw, Bridge and Photoshop. So, I will be relearning a previous experience. At the time life was such that I wasn't too motivated due to untimely life circumstances, so, I am trying to "reboot". Thanks again.