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Author Topic: Organising files in Lightroom on new PC  (Read 2890 times)

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Phadrea

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« on: April 14, 2013, 11:32 »
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I have a new PC and Lightroom 4 about to arrive. On my current PC I have all my images (raw and jpeg) in folders with different titles like grunge, architecture, plants, animals, people etc etc. I still am not happy with how they are organised. Now I will be using lightroom for the first time do I just drag all my images into one folder and sort them in Lightroom or are they still better in folders? I know lightroom uses keywords but it will mean a lot of work key wording thousands of images.

If anyone has any tips on how I should do this to get the best way of working I will be grateful. I want to do it right.


« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2013, 23:18 »
0
Your question is so broad it's difficult to answer in a forum like this.

There are many different ways of using Lightroom catalogs. A catalog is simply a data base that contains photos. Some people use multiple small catalogs, some like me use a single large catalog. What you choose to do will depend on the nature of your photography and your shooting style.

Before you do anything, I recommend you get a book on Lightroom 4 (for example, the one by Scott Kelby is good) and learn about the different ways of organizing your photos in catalogs and folders. You could keep your existing folder structure but I think it will not be very useable if you have a large catalog of photos. Similarly, putting everything in a single folder is unmanageable. I use a structure that has a single folder which has subfolders for different years and each year has sub-subfolders for different 'shoots'. The shoots are kept in chronological order. A shoot may contain the raw image files for one picture or hundreds of pictures but typically 30 to 50 photos.

You get your photos into the Lightroom catalog by 'importing' them. WARNING: Once your photo is in the Lightroom catalog, do NOT move it to another location except by using Lightroom to move it. Similarly, don't rename it.

I suggest reading the first 2 chapters of the Kelby book before you do anything.

If your photos are already keyworded in the metadata, Lightroom will recognize and use your existing keywords. Going forward, use Lightroom to keyword your images before you export them in order to upload to your stock agency(s).

In addition to the book, there are several online video training courses available for Lightroom. I particularly like Matt Kloskowski's teaching style on kelbytraining.com  - here's the relevant course http://kelbytraining.com/course/mkloskowski_lr4indepth01/. I also like Julianne Kost and Laura Shoe's videos.

Good luck.

« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 03:21 »
0
It depends on everyone style, I have totally different. I had also folders organized by names, but it got messy with bigger ammount of images. If you have pictures organized in folders already, just import these folders to LR as they are. And see how it will work for you.

I will put here my way for inspiration.

I keep all files, even bad ones on NAS (external storage) sorted by years and dates ("2013/2013_01_01"). Then I copy to LR the new ones from the last shoot e.g., and delete bad ones. (I got instantly 2 copies, good as backup)

LR is just a database, so I try to keep it smaller, so it operates faster, and I put LR (both program and catalog) always on SSD disk.
In LR I have the same folders by date, and if I need, I create collections upon these folders.

Maybe not ideal, but I like that :)

My workflow after the shooting:
1. run Canon EOS automatic import to NAS
2. Open LR, import the selected folder
3. Go through the shoot, and delete bad ones from catalog and local disk
4. If needed I create collection upon these folders

Hope it helps.

there is also free education on Adobe : http://tv.adobe.com/watch/getting-started-with-adobe-photoshop-lightroom-4/lightroom-4-importing-and-organizing-your-images/

Phadrea

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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 03:54 »
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Thanks. Seems like a lot of work but I will import images in the folders they are in for now. I don't have an SSD disk, just a 1TB storage and a 500 GB system disk. Would you install LR on the System disk ?

« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 04:50 »
0
Thanks. Seems like a lot of work but I will import images in the folders they are in for now. I don't have an SSD disk, just a 1TB storage and a 500 GB system disk. Would you install LR on the System disk ?

If the system disk is the same as your swap (as usual), I would rather install it on second drive.

Some things in LR are still quite time consuming, if you have enough RAM, like 8gb or 16gb, it should be almost the same. But check which one of them is faster (RPM).

Phadrea

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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 07:25 »
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I have 8 gb ram 1116

« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013, 08:34 »
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I have 8 gb ram 1116

Anyway I suggest you install it on the second drive. It is more probable that the system one can crash, so it is more safe. But test it for yourself. Create catalog on main and on the other, import photos and see if there is any difference. :)

« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2013, 12:26 »
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One big change to my DAM process that I'm setting up right now is *not* to regard folders on your storage as a means of ordering your images at the micro-level. Let your DAM software do that for you, using keywords and smart collections. I used to use YYYY>MM but I'm finding it much more intuitive to just let Lightroom worry about finding my images.

So I've set up my storage as annual folders and then just put all camera originals in separate 20GB "bins". Why 20GB? So that I can fit a single bin on a Blu-ray disk as well as my external HDDs.

My files are renamed YYYYMM-myinitials-sequential# and converted to DNG on import after culling the dreck. Then every file I make from the originals carries that same filename with the suffix '-M' for 'Master' or '-#-D' for any number of derivatives which may or may not be virtual copies.

You do need to be disciplined with keywording from the start but if you start as you mean to go on and have a plan, it's actually pretty easy. Another tip is to just use a few broad keywords for your originals which are passed on to the Masters and Derivatives. This is just so you can find the image you're looking for. Then keyword in more depth when you're about to upload.

BTW, mass keywording is easy in LR because of the sync metadata functions and the process of ticking the keywords you want to apply to any number of images. I find non-exporting keywords useful for sorting too but this is frowned upon in some quarters. Works for me though. For instance, I can use keywords like "stock" or "5-shot panorama" that allow me to find images in Lightroom but aren't exported when I export an image.

I've borrowed my system heavily from the ASMP workflow site and also Peter Krogh's DAM book.

Phadrea

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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2013, 12:38 »
0
Thanks for that.

I was looking at a video on YouTube and they guy stressed that you must install the LR program on the main C drive, not a backup drive.

Phadrea

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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2013, 12:06 »
0
I have installed it on the C drive and will upload my images onto the backup drive. Sounds a complex affair naming files etc.

« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2013, 00:11 »
0
Most people organize their image files in some sort of chronological system. Most of the Lightroom books I've looked at recommend various schemes that do exactly that. My system also works chronologically but I adapted it from the way I used to (and still do) organize my film shoots.

My image files and LR catalog are backed up on an external hard drive using the same file structure.

The key is to use a LR preset to rename your files as they are imported. Adobe actually proves several presets you can choose from. My particular preset is custom designed based on the filenumber assigned by my camera. My camera is set to start numbering from zero on each memory card and I always reformat the memory card before reusing it.

The system imagenomad outlined is also very good but it relies on you keywording every image as you import it. Personally I don't usually have time to do that. You can define a special collection to tell you which images are not yet keyworded but for me that would quickly become an unmanageably large collection - I'd never catch up.

Also, I simply import the raw files without converting to DNG. I let LR do the conversion when I export. Since most of what I shoot will never be used, that saves me time and extra work. I do however create maximum sized previews because I will look at every image full size.

Once again, the method you use should be based on how you like to work. Visit you local library and read over what some of the Lightroom books have to say. The actual import dialog is a bit different in LR 2 & 3 but all versions use the same kinds of folder structuring.

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2013, 02:47 »
0
Your question is so broad it's difficult to answer in a forum like this.

There are many different ways of using Lightroom catalogs. A catalog is simply a data base that contains photos. Some people use multiple small catalogs, some like me use a single large catalog. What you choose to do will depend on the nature of your photography and your shooting style.

Before you do anything, I recommend you get a book on Lightroom 4 (for example, the one by Scott Kelby is good) and learn about the different ways of organizing your photos in catalogs and folders. You could keep your existing folder structure but I think it will not be very useable if you have a large catalog of photos. Similarly, putting everything in a single folder is unmanageable. I use a structure that has a single folder which has subfolders for different years and each year has sub-subfolders for different 'shoots'. The shoots are kept in chronological order. A shoot may contain the raw image files for one picture or hundreds of pictures but typically 30 to 50 photos.

You get your photos into the Lightroom catalog by 'importing' them. WARNING: Once your photo is in the Lightroom catalog, do NOT move it to another location except by using Lightroom to move it. Similarly, don't rename it.

I suggest reading the first 2 chapters of the Kelby book before you do anything.

If your photos are already keyworded in the metadata, Lightroom will recognize and use your existing keywords. Going forward, use Lightroom to keyword your images before you export them in order to upload to your stock agency(s).

In addition to the book, there are several online video training courses available for Lightroom. I particularly like Matt Kloskowski's teaching style on kelbytraining.com  - here's the relevant course http://kelbytraining.com/course/mkloskowski_lr4indepth01/. I also like Julianne Kost and Laura Shoe's videos.

Good luck.


I think I will opt or the free online videos rather than pay a subscription to view. Thanks anyway  :)


 

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