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Thread: How to import empty file folders

  1. #1

    How to import empty file folders

    I like to use a certain set of folders for each of the events that I shoot, e.g 1_Raw, 2_Jpegs Fullsize, 3)_ Jpegs Websize, etc. I have a folder on my desktop with these folders inside of it, ready for me to copy over to a new file; however, Lightroom won't recognize a file without a picture in it, so I can't import them. It seems silly that I should have to create this set of folders (there are about 12 of them) each time I bring files into LR.

    Perhaps I just don't get the real meaning of the LR library, but rather than go back and forth to Bridge, I like to have everything show in LR. Any thoughts on this? I realize I could put a dummy image in each folder, and then I'd be able to import them. Is this really what I have to do?

  2. #2
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    Try putting single small dummy jpeg files in each one. Then delete the dummies from LR only, so you can use them again next time without LR complaining they are duplicates!

    Don
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  3. #3
    I tried that and it did work, though I didn't think about the reason for deleting the jpegs. I know the Library function has many good features, but I'm not sure whether it has been a help or a hindrance to me as compared to Bridge. It was so easy to manage file folders in Bridge.

    Thanks!

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    Lightroom really wasn't designed as file manager (although you could use it that way if you wanted to). It was designed as a database, where you must let Lightroom know where the photos are. One way to let Lightroom know is by importing the photos. Another way is (after you import them) to update the file location whenever you move the files outside of Lightroom. My workflow never moves the files once they are imported, so I never have to worry about Lightroom finding them (how easy is that?)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meri Bond View Post
    I like to use a certain set of folders for each of the events that I shoot, e.g 1_Raw, 2_Jpegs Fullsize, 3)_ Jpegs Websize, etc. ...Perhaps I just don't get the real meaning of the LR library...
    You might consider using LR to simplify the obtuseness of your workflow. If you are shooting RAW thers is no need to store a derivative file in LR (although you can do that if you like). You only need to import the original file Whether ythat is a RAW or a JPEG, All the derivatives are generated virtually (i.e. they don't exist) in LR. When you need to deliver a finished image file, you use LR's Export facility to create a temporary one. If the destination is to the web, the web host retains the only copy and you can recreate a new derivative anytime another one is needed. Storing derivatives and tracking them on your computer is an unnecessary wasted effort when LR can manage all in its database and create derivatives on demand from the single master original.
    This may be a tough concept to adopt, but experience (mine) has shown that once you do, you will marvel that you ever tried to manage your image inventory any other way.

  6. #6

    re: keeping it simple

    Hard to get my head around the idea of not keeping the various derivatives. When I do an event I give the client full-size and web-size files, and I use another size for a slideshow I do plus yet another size for the posting gallery. You're suggesting that I generate the derivatives, burn them to dvd or whatever, for the client, and then delete them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meri Bond View Post
    ...You're suggesting that I generate the derivatives, burn them to dvd or whatever, for the client, and then delete them?
    Exactly!. Many of the Publish export plugins work this way. One that comes to mind is the Flickr Plug-in by Jeffrey Freidl. It publishes to Flicckr and deletes the temporary local JPEG on completion automatically. I'm not aware of a Publish to DVD plug-in so you might need to manage deleting the temporary image files outside of LR I might suggest modifying your workflow in the following manner:
    Import RAW (or JPEG) master files Do all (or almost all) Post-Processing in LR. Create a publish collection for Full Size. Create a second publish collection for 'Web Size'. When you need to generate a physical file for DVD or whatever, Publish (or republish) the appropriate collection. A caution though. Once you have created a final set, if you want to do further adjustments, you should create a virtual copy and do the new work on the virtual copy so that your original published collection retains the original adjustments.
    Last edited by clee01l; 17 Feb 2011 at 8:35 pm.

  8. #8
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    There are some types of photographers who do need to keep derivative files - eg for exact reprints or to recreate a slideshow DVD. So while I'd echo Clee's thoughts, there are ways to continue (roughly) as now.

    When you create the JPEGs, why not do so with Lightroom's export command? You can set it to create the JPEGs in the same folder as the original raws, but then separate them by ticking its "Put in Subfolder" check box. That's how you would create your "Jpegs Fullsize" and "Jpegs Websize" folders. And so you don't have to keep retyping these folder names, set up a couple of export presets and include all the other stuff you need to automate - sizes, quality, watermark etc.
    Last edited by johnbeardy; 18 Feb 2011 at 2:07 am.
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  9. #9
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    It seems to me that there are really two (related) issues here:

    1. Keep or delete derivatives? Here I'm not really talking about derivatives such as PSD/TIF files which are created in the process of doing additional work in an external editior, but rather the (typically) Jpeg files created during an Export or Publish process. Obviously, as is the case with many workflow issues, there is no right or wrong way and we all have to work out what suits us best. In my own case I do keep some exported jpeg files, though now less that I used to. Prior to LR3 I would export sets of jpegs for uploading to the web (Flickr and Picasa), and generally I would keep those derivatives....though to be honest in retrospect I now wonder why! Today I use the Flickr Publish service (Lightroom's own, not JF's), and as Cletus pointed out no 'intermediary' jpeg is created but rather uploaded directly from Lightroom. However, I also make quite a lot of use of the Publish to Hard Drive facility....for creating jpegs to be synced to my iPhone, copied to a CF card for transfer to a couple of Digital Frames, and some are exported directly to my NAS drive so that I can force my family to look at them whenever they've misbehaved! So all of these hard drive Publish derivatives are currently retained (some because they need to be, some because I haven't bothered deleting them).

    2. The second related issue concerns importing the jpegs back into Lightroom. Personally I don't see any value in doing that as all it would do is double the size of my catalog for no obvious benefit....I regard all such derivatives as truly disposable on the basis that I can easily recreate/republish them whenever and I'm never going to edit them...so I really don't need to have them in Lightroom. I keep originals and editable derivatives only in Lightroom.

    Back to the OP's issue....I think there are times when it is perfectly understandable to keep copies of exported jpegs, though perhaps you might want to ask yourself what value you would get from adding the exports back into your Lightroom catalog. Not saying you won't have a good reason for adding them back in, I'm just saying that for me I can't find one.
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