question about photo management and Lightroom

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jojoba, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #1
    I'm relatively new to Lightroom so not on top of it yet. Here's what I want to achieve:

    My Air has 256 GB of storage, so I need to regularly move my photos to a hard drive. So far I've just exported the photos into folders and subsequently deleted them from the disk on my Air. However, I'd like to retain the organisational and editing capacities of Lightroom without having to reimport the images into Lightroom, and also be able to save them in their original RAW-format. However, I don't want to move my entire Lightroom library to my external drive, because I frequently edit and post on the go. So, basically, old photos that I no longer work with but want to keep go to the external drive, and my 'current' plus a few old ones I want to have easy access to stay on my Air.

    I'm a bit confused about the relationship between libraries and catalogues. Are catalogues the way forward for me, setting up catalogues and then moving the catalogue file to the external drive? Or is it possible to just set up different Lightroom libraries? What is the best way forward? :confused:

    Thanks.
     
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #2
    The Lr catalog is a set of files that contain the database of the photos you have imported, info on the non-destructive edits on native raw files, jpeg previews, and a few other things. Note, the catalog does not directly contain the images themselves. You decide where the images go when you import them into LR. If the images area already in your Mac file system you are telling Lr to reference their location. If the photos are on a memory card you are telling Lr to copy them from the card to a specified folder and subfolder on your Mac and keep track of their referenced location. Again, Lr only does a referenced library of photos, it does not do the internal storage of photos within its database like Aperture, iPhoto, Capture One and other can do.

    I import my photos to my rMBP @ /Pictures/2014/ and let Lr create a day subfolder for each day with photos. As I cull and edit my photos I use Lr to move the completed day subfolder to my external library hard drive to /Pictures/2012/(days with photos). I DO NOT use Finder to move folders of photos as then Lr will have no idea where the photos are located. I have also have my other library on the external drive with folders for music (around 500 CDs), movies, documents...etc. Naturally that library drive and my internal SSD are both backed up by Time Machine.

    After a photo shoot I move all the photos to the library drive so that my SSD space is ready for the next field trip/shoot. If want to create a collection to share, I make a collection in LR and export to my /iPad Collections folder on the library drive. Then I tell iTunes to add that folder to my iPad photos to be synched. It is much easier to pass around an iPad of photos than an rMBP.

    http://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/help/lightroom-catalog-basics.html


    Did any of that help?
     
  3. jojoba, Jul 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014

    jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #3
    That was awesome :D Thanks so much. Just moving subfolders to the external hard drive sounds like a perfect solution.

    When you say "I use Lr to move the completed day subfolder to my external library hard", which of the available options do you use in LR? I can see "Update folder location" and "Export this folder as catalogue". Because if I do a regular export, I lose the raw-format, right?
     
  4. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #4
    I only shoot raw format. I can use LR to create a jpg, tif...etc. from the unedited or edited raw file at any time.

    I use the Library module in LR to move (drag and drop) a subfolder like "2014-08-16" from the /Pictures/2014 folder on my SSD to the external drives's /Pictures/2014/ folder. Always let LR do this so it know where the heck the images are located.

    Exporting a photo has nothing to do with moving an image folder from the internal SSD to the external drive. Exporting means you are telling Lr to make a copy of the image(s), maybe in a different format (i.e. jpg, tif), and put it is a specific location. I only export when I a doing something like getting a collection ready for iTunes to put the collection on my iPad.


    Get the Scott Kelby book on LR 5. http://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-Lightroom-Digital-Photographers-Voices/dp/0321934318
     
  5. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
  6. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #6
    Thanks so much, both!

    I now have it all set up the way I want to, with current photos on my mac and the rest on my hard drives, all organised and tagged in LR. I'm very pleased :)
     
  7. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #7
    Congrats! Don't forget to include the external library drive(s) in your Time Machine backups.
     
  8. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #8
    I did! :) Very pleased with this setup.
     

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