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Lightroom workflow

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 kevin stephens 19 Jun 2019

Has anyone else got in a total mess with Lightroom?

I've habitually downloaded every full card to the SSD on my laptop, labelled by date then used Lightroom to process and export processed pictures to random locations.  I generally save photos on my camera as RAW and jpeg.  Now my SSD is nearly full and I can't find particular pictures.

So my plan is to copy all my photos to an external hard drive, copy the photos to a back up hard drive, then delete from the SSD.  Them replace my Lightroom catalogue with a fresh empty catalogue and start again.  I propose to set up the new catalogue referenced to the external hard drive I'll keep a folder on my SSD for the processed photos I want to keep as high res jpegs

In future I'll download new photos to the SSD, do some basic sorting before transferring the none duds to the external drive, attempting to add key words as appropriate.  Then I'll continue to do my processing from the external drive.  I will regularly back up copes to the second external drive.

Is this a sensible approach?  Any pitfalls? Any tips?

Many thanks in advance

Post edited at 13:54
 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKH Supporter 19 Jun 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

I use a separate Lightroom catalogue for each trip, usually shooting fine JPEGs (RAW for cragshots). My current catalogue (France Spring 2019) has 1300 images in it - with about four weeks still to go.

I do all the adjustments/exports in Lightroom, on my laptop, then when I am done with that trip I off load the images and the complete Lightroom catalogue (with all the adjustments) onto a 2T portable hard-drive to free up disc space in case I need them again.

Hope this helps?

Chris

 kevin stephens 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Thanks, do you just use file manager to transfer the files and catalogue to the external drive? If so does Lightroom know that you’ve moved them? Or do you need to do it another way? Or do you just upload the catalogue and files to your laptop if you need to do other work?

Post edited at 14:38
In reply to kevin stephens:

Your plan sounds sensible.  Will you always have external HDD with you? i.e. do you need to import to SSD first.

My setup is similar, laptop has SSD with Lightroom and Catalog on it.  Magnetic HDD is internal and has picture files on.

Folder structure on HDD (and in Lightroom) is Pictures->Year->Subject e.g. Pictures->2019->Devon holiday.

Import photos more or less on the day they were taken, direct to HDD.  Quick scan through to delete dross, then add keywords for people and subject(s) e.g. climbing, flower, church, beach.  Tag all locations in map module.  Add stars to best photos, try and keep 4&5 star for the real stunners.

That deals with cataloguing, a bit of work on import, but pays back many times over when trying to retrieve pictures.  Lots of backup strategies available, I find Syncback a good, free, program for keeping 2 drives synchronised.

 ChrisJD 19 Jun 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

You shouldn't have to lose your existing LR catlog and start again.

Though don't quite understand what you have done, or think you have done.

LR should tell you the file path where they are stored on the laptop. You can also right click mouse on image in LR and open actual folder location.

Unless you are on an Apple, in which case just burn the machine, there is no hope working out where it has stored anything..

I'be always just used one main LR-Cat without any issues (currently 95,000+ images).  But everything is back up locally Multiple times) and backed up in the cloud.  

And why would you export everything as hi-res jpgs, there is little point with LR & RAW.

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKH Supporter 19 Jun 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

> Thanks, do you just use file manager to transfer the files and catalogue to the external drive? If so does Lightroom know that you’ve moved them? Or do you need to do it another way? Or do you just upload the catalogue and files to your laptop if you need to do other work?

I just drag and drop the folder which contains all the images AND the Lightroom files - think this is the key - they always stay together. If you need to work on them again, connect the hard-drive, click on the Lightroom catalog and you are good to go,

Chris

 Macleod 19 Jun 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

This may have been covered above, but if you use Lightroom to move the files ( in the folders panel in library) then you don't need to tell Lightroom where they are ( it keeps track) 

If you move them independently of Lightroom, it is still possible to tell Lightroom where they are, but it can be a bit of a chore if you've got loads to do.

In reply to kevin stephens:

> So my plan is to copy all my photos to an external hard drive, copy the photos to a back up hard drive, then delete from the SSD.  Them replace my Lightroom catalogue with a fresh empty catalogue and start again.  I propose to set up the new catalogue referenced to the external hard drive I'll keep a folder on my SSD for the processed photos I want to keep as high res jpegs

Hi, 

I agree with Chris, I'd have one catalogue on your SSD and link this to photos on your external hard drive. 

> In future I'll download new photos to the SSD, do some basic sorting before transferring the none duds to the external drive, attempting to add key words as appropriate.  Then I'll continue to do my processing from the external drive.  I will regularly back up copes to the second external drive.

I'd download the photos direct to your external drive where all your other photos are and cull from there in Lightroom. Also you should make sure you back up your catalogue regularly this is just as important as your photos. Last point is the standard for back ups is to have at least 3 copies with one in  a different location to the others, can be tricky but some use a cloud back up for this. 

> Is this a sensible approach?  Any pitfalls? Any tips?

> Many thanks in advance

 kevin stephens 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Mike_d78:

Thanks that sounds good

In reply to kevin stephens:

On recent wildlife trips abroad (South africa, and Costa Rica) I've been limited on power, and as a result accumulate large amounts of images without having the time or power to cull the dross etc,

I use an external 500G ssd  about hlf the size of a smart phone stuck to the back of my laptop screen with Velcro when touring, doing a bit of sorting as I go, but do most when I get back. It's only £50 worth of storage!

I do need to get better at going through my downloads in file manager to get rid of the dross, as my current method is to Load all 8000 into a tour catalogue and my machine struggles a bit, but as most of my shooting is moving subjects I shoot on rapid fire and tend to have 10+ good shoots (and 20+ bad/missed) of each subject that I then have to agonize over which ones to keep which takes me forever.

Post edited at 23:46
In reply to balmybaldwin:

I'm quite a ruthless culler of photos. First I get rid of the clearly crap ones. Then I start whittling away at the average ones, I try to only have a few photos (the best ones) from each scene or situation, it seems a waste of disc space and my time looking at them to have loads of the same or similar photos. 


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