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Thread: Need help with sharing Lightroom catalog

  1. #1
    Member lennyl's Avatar
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    Default Need help with sharing Lightroom catalog

    I need some suggestions and advice on how to do this.

    I process my photos in Lightroom on my desktop. I've gotten my workflow pretty well streamlined for my needs over the last few years. I process what I consider to be good photos and upload the selected 5% or so onto an online photo sharing website.

    However, my wife disagrees with my criteria for what is good, and rather than argue about technical and artistic merits of a photo, I'd just rather she does the picking.

    I would like her to do the picking on her computer. Is there a way to allow her to work on the catalog on her machine, and then reload it back to mine, without Lightroom getting confused? I don't want to copy all the image files to her machine. I can make them accessible across the network if it is necessary, but she should not need the full resolution images for the weeding process.

    Thanks in advance. I'm using Lightroom 2 if it matters.

  2. #2
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with sharing Lightroom catalog

    If you want to access the catalog both at the same time then I think it's gonna be tricky. I can see there is a .lock file written in the catalog directory, that will prevent parallel access by two instances.
    Of course you could do the export / import thing but that requires copying also the image files.
    For a shared approach where only one person is working at a time I can think of something. You need to have a network share (Windows Server with shared drive or Linux server with Samba share) where both computers have write access. Then, the mount point of this network share (drive, path) at both PC's must be equal (e.g. the share is mounted as P:/ and the folders inside are 'Pictures' and 'Catalog'). Place all files into these directories.
    You'll have all files and pictures available via network - but you'll notice the performance loss. I recommend to have at least Gigabit

  3. #3
    Member lennyl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with sharing Lightroom catalog

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    If you want to access the catalog both at the same time then I think it's gonna be tricky.
    Hi, Octarine. Thanks for the suggestions.

    No, simultaneous access is not required. But reading through your suggestions (her machine is a laptop on 802.11g so network file access is going to be painful) it seems that none of the solution would be ideal.

    Trying to attack the problem from another angle : if I have a bunch of tags and flags in another file (say, a CSV) is there any way of importing these into Lightroom?

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    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with sharing Lightroom catalog

    Quote Originally Posted by lennyl View Post
    Trying to attack the problem from another angle : if I have a bunch of tags and flags in another file (say, a CSV) is there any way of importing these into Lightroom?
    That's the standard way: import / export of catalog. The most recent settings are taken when catalogs are merged. But you'll need to have original files accessible. Based on what do you want to tag the pics then? So you'll need to export the catalog and DNG's for the tagging and then you only re-import the catalog.
    There is a video tutorial by Colin Smith that explains this work flow pretty nicely. But should also be explained in the online help system of LR.

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