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Thread: Need some Lightroom help with file management

  1. #1
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    Question Need some Lightroom help with file management

    Alright, so here's my issue, I have two computers, a desktop and a laptop, both running Lightroom and both computers are seriously running out of storage space.

    I planned to put LR and the catalogs into that hard disk and make a backup of it from time to time. I understand that some people primarily edit on their computers with the fast SSDs and transfer the files over to the hard disk when they are done editing. I hope to do that too.

    I've managed to shift everything from my desktop to the hard disk, but LR on my laptop doesn't detect it and I'm not too sure how to shift the catalog and files from the laptop to the hard disk. I've tried searching online, but so far unable to figure out how to do so or why.

    Any help with this would be appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need some Lightroom help with file management

    the hard disk you are referring as in external hard disk?

    you can work and store a catalogue with your working projects on external hard disk, but if any of your computers can't detect the external every time you plug in, that is end of story. and it is not a lightroom issue.


    anyway, when you want to move your files out of your computer to store as archive or make it portable, you export a catalogue (export as catalogue...) of those file and store into the same drive, so it can work independently, and you can merge this catalogue into another catalogue by "import from another catalogue..."

    btw, you move files around should be done within lightroom, you move files around behind lightroom back, it won't know where you move the files too, and fyi, you can add a connected drive in the folder panel, and start move files around.
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  3. #3
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need some Lightroom help with file management

    I re-read your post, and make these suggestions;

    make your desktop as primary workspace for your lightroom, store your main catalogue and photos here.

    if you need to archive done projects into external hard drive, use one hard drive for that purpose only, of course you need to back it up somewhere else.

    if you need do editing of photos using lightroom between desktop and laptop, from your desktop, export a catalogue of the folders contain current project into a thumbdrive. (using "export as catalogue")
    and if you need to finish the whole project including exporting of photos on laptop, than use "export as catalogue" plus "export negative files" option, store into a thumbdrive
    but if you mainly export final output from desktop, than just a catalogue folder/files store into a thumbdrive is sufficient, that won't take up a lot of space.

    after whatever you've done with your projects on laptop, or you need to work from desktop again, plug the thumbdrive into desktop, import the catalogue from the thumbdrive into your main catalogue, that will merge whatever you have done with the current projects into the main caterlogue,
    than delete whatever store in the thumbdrive, so you won't have multiple copies of catalogues and unsure which one is the most updated.

    so far it is not recommended to store working lightroom catalogue on cloud, as it won't work well, but it is fine to store a backup catalogue on cloud.

    hope this help.
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    Default Re: Need some Lightroom help with file management

    Hi catchlights,

    I would like to borrow iRaphael space here to put in my question of your comments.

    I did what you recommended but Export as Catalogue only. May I know what is the different to export in "export as catalogue" alone and with "export with negative files"?

    Does "export as catalogue" export the files I was working on and will import the same image back to LR when I need it again?

    I am using the External SSD for the backup and the speed is fast but the price for the 256 or 500GB are not that cheap at this moment. After I bought the Sony 256 at $250 I find Sumsung 256GB cheapest is below $200 on the net. I am hoping when I plug in the SSD to the laptop or desktop will treat it as a drive on the machine and not like working on a backup archive drive on a network which is dead slow.
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  5. #5
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need some Lightroom help with file management

    Quote Originally Posted by pchengws View Post
    Hi catchlights,

    I would like to borrow iRaphael space here to put in my question of your comments.

    I did what you recommended but Export as Catalogue only. May I know what is the different to export in "export as catalogue" alone and with "export with negative files"?

    Does "export as catalogue" export the files I was working on and will import the same image back to LR when I need it again?

    I am using the External SSD for the backup and the speed is fast but the price for the 256 or 500GB are not that cheap at this moment. After I bought the Sony 256 at $250 I find Sumsung 256GB cheapest is below $200 on the net. I am hoping when I plug in the SSD to the laptop or desktop will treat it as a drive on the machine and not like working on a backup archive drive on a network which is dead slow.

    Noting explains better than videos.

    LR - How to: Move & Archive Images, and Export a Catalogue
    http://tv.adobe.com/watch/adobe-evan...to-management/


    LR3 - Merging Individual Lightroom Catalogs into a “Master” Catalog
    http://tv.adobe.com/watch/adobe-evan...ster-catalog-/


    btw, check out the rest of the videos on lightroom by Julieanne Kost, it help you understand how to use lightroom better.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Need some Lightroom help with file management

    Quote Originally Posted by pchengws View Post
    I did what you recommended but Export as Catalogue only. May I know what is the different to export in "export as catalogue" alone and with "export with negative files"?

    Does "export as catalogue" export the files I was working on and will import the same image back to LR when I need it again?
    FYI, this is how LR catalogs work:

    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a catalog-based post-processing and image management software. For someone new to such photo managing approach it may sound complicated at first. Simply put, a Catalog is a Lightroom-specific database file. Employing a database system means Lightroom does not work with the original files directly. Instead, it stores information about them – along with rendered previews – in a set of files that make up a Catalog. The list of such information includes metadata, filters, rating and adjustments you may have applied to a specific photograph inside Lightroom. The actual image file is not stored within the Catalog, only information about the adjustments and an image preview. Image files themselves remain wherever you decided to put them in the first place before importing into Lightroom. As a result, whenever Lightroom prompts you to back up your Catalog, it does not back up the actual images. Only the relative information stored in that Catalog is copied.

    https://photographylife.com/lightroo...logs-explained
    So, if you export the catalog, means you are exporting a copy of the database (all the adjustments you have made, metadata, flags, etc). The raw/jpg files (aka negatives) will remain where they are.

    If you "export with negative files" means that you are also asking LR to export copies of all the raw/jpg files, which will result in a much larger sized export. This is useful if you also want to backup the raw/jpg files, or if you are passing the entire catalog to someone else to work on and they don't have the photos on their system.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Need some Lightroom help with file management

    Thank you catchlights and Kandinsky. It helps a lot with your material and advise. I think I need to export with negatives after I completed the edit so I can back it up and save my local hard disk space.

    Thank you TS also for your topic.
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    Default Re: Need some Lightroom help with file management

    Thanks everyone for all your help! Will look through the videos and clarify stuff again if I encounter any issues. Thanks again!
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