Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: setting up folders

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    18
    Experience
    Beginner
    Primary OS
    Mac 10.6.x Snow Leopard
    LR Version
    3.6

    setting up folders

    I had just bought LR3 when they came out with LR4 so they gave me the upgrade. I am having trouble understanding how to set up my files. The develop module is easier for me to learn but I would a good system first.
    Here is what I THink I want. import raws in one folder on desktop work with them then export jpegs to a folder in pictures/lightroom pictures then have 2012. Then have subfolders named, house, landscape, dogs, horses etc. and have about 7 folders.
    Then move my raws to my external drive under same name files. If I make the folders in lightroom for the jpegs then is the 2012 folder on my hd not able to have folders.
    I can't get past this. I have read and studied. I think I am muddying up clear waters.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    33
    Experience
    Advanced
    Primary OS
    Windows 7 64-bit
    Memory
    16
    CPU Cores
    4
    Video Card
    nVidia
    LR Version
    5.4
    Camera
    Canon
    File Format
    Raw
    I suppose the best way to understand it is, remember that LR has no folders. It just references the folder structure you have on your Hard drive. However you set that up and point LR to it, that's how you will see it in LR. I would Import my photos into the appropriate folder on my HD in RAW and then they will be there in LR. Easy Peazy. No need to export jpegs anywhere unless needed for a reason...post to web...send in email....slideshow or whatever. Whatever structure you set up on your HD is what it will be in LR.

  3. #3
    Lightroom Guru
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    1,401
    Experience
    Advanced
    Primary OS
    Windows 7 64-bit
    Memory
    16 GB
    CPU Cores
    4
    Video Card
    nVidia
    LR Version
    5.3
    Camera
    Nikon D700, Sony Nex 5N, iPhone, Olympus compact
    File Format
    Raw+Jpeg
    Printer
    Offsite Photo Lab
    Most of us would recommend using a date-based folder structure. I use a structure where photos taken today are copied to:

    photos\2012\04\15\

    LR can do this automatically for you.

    And then you can use keywords to describe photos: house, landscape, dogs, horses etc

    Exported photos are stored where you tell LR to store them.

    Moving photos around isn't really necessary, unless you have a real need for it. I think it is better to let LR store them in the correct place directly at import, and then leave them there. You can keep track of you workflow by other means, for example keywords and smart collections.

    Edit: as Grizz point out, JPG are really only necessary to export when you actually have a need (web, print, mail) and those exports are temporary files that are only needed there and then. All your photos are in LR. If you need another JPG-copy 6 months later you just do another export.
    Last edited by erro; 15 Apr 2012 at 8:20 am.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Medina, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    293
    Experience
    Advanced
    Primary OS
    Windows 7 64-bit
    Memory
    8 GB
    CPU Cores
    4
    Video Card
    Radeon 7850M
    LR Version
    5.4
    Camera
    60D
    File Format
    Raw
    Printer
    HP
    Quote Originally Posted by erro View Post
    Most of us would recommend using a date-based folder structure. I use a structure where photos taken today are copied to:

    photos\2012\04\15\

    ......

    And then you can use keywords to describe photos: house, landscape, dogs, horses etc

    Exported photos are stored where you tell LR to store them.
    ....
    I have a similar system, but will use names generally instead of date only
    Then, I put a series of folders inside each folder of a main shoot for :
    processed, web post, and print

    So my structure looks like:

    Photos
    >2012
    >>subject 1
    >>> web
    >> subject 2 date
    >>>processed
    >>>web
    >>>print

    But as was pointed out, keywords are at the root of finding things.
    I use folder names and not dates, as I find I can't put enough keywords on photos to always find them when I want to.

    Jim

  5. #5
    Lightroom Guru
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bellaire, TX USA
    Posts
    7,384
    Experience
    Power User
    Primary OS
    Mac 10.9.x Mavericks
    Memory
    16gb
    CPU Cores
    4
    Video Card
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M
    LR Version
    5.5
    Camera
    Nikon D800
    File Format
    Raw
    Printer
    Canon
    And just to add to the fine words of wisdom from Robert and Grizz, If you choose one of the LR default 'date named' folder structures on import, your work flow will be speedier since you do not need to think up clever folder names at import time.
    Subfolders named, house, landscape, dogs, horses etc. aren't necessary in LR. These are descriptions of the images that you choose to store in these folders In reality these are keywords that should be applied to images. An image that shows a house, a dog and a horse can go into only one folder, but it can have keywords assigned for house, dog and a horse. You can create in LR special collections. These could be named "house", "dog" and "horse. One image can be a member of all three collections and still be physically located in a folder "../Pictures/2012/04-15/"

    Unless you specifically request it, exported JPEGS are not cataloged and do not need to be Usually these JPEGs are temproary and do not have or need a permanent home on your HD since you can recreate these derivative images anytime that you need to produce a copy of them from the original RAW image file and the adjustments stored in the LR catalog. There are publish Services in LR or available as a plugin for most images sharing services like Flickr SmugMug, 500px etc. These do not create a permanent JPEG on your local drive but instead send a JPEG directly to the website. Lightroom 4 now has an Email function included. This creates a JPEG attachment that you use with your email client to send emails. The slideshow module and the Print module generate out put that also does not require a permanent JPEG. All in all, there is very little need for derivative JPEGs to be created and therefore very little need for folders named "house", dog and "horse", etc.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    18
    Experience
    Beginner
    Primary OS
    Mac 10.6.x Snow Leopard
    LR Version
    3.6
    Thank you for your answers. So what I am getting from this is that from here on I really don't need to keep the jpegs. If I make one for printing, facebook or website don't hang on to the jpeg afterwards trash it and keep the raw and make virtual copies if I want one copy different from another such as b/w.
    I am on a MacBook so I will make the decision to keep some on HD and some on external drive. I was thinking two catalogs for that?
    I am new to raw images and have only been taking them about two months. I was using iphoto for importing. But I do have about 1000 jpegs in iphoto. I was thinking of exporting them as jpegs out of iphoto and LR handle them too. And then not use iphoto anymore. So separate catalog for that? Thanks again

  7. #7
    Lightroom Guru
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    1,401
    Experience
    Advanced
    Primary OS
    Windows 7 64-bit
    Memory
    16 GB
    CPU Cores
    4
    Video Card
    nVidia
    LR Version
    5.3
    Camera
    Nikon D700, Sony Nex 5N, iPhone, Olympus compact
    File Format
    Raw+Jpeg
    Printer
    Offsite Photo Lab
    You can have one catalog, and that can contain photos from many different disks (internal and external, even non-connectd external). LR keeps track of everything. One thing though: if you move photos between disks or folders, make sure you move them inside LR. That way LR can keep track of where they are. If you move them outside LR using Finder, then LR will not know where they are (and show a ?-sign on those images inside LR) and you wil have to tell LR their new location.

    As for keeping exported JPG's, that is not necessary if those JPG's are for temporary use. Such as exporting JPG's for mailing a photo to a friend, sending to a printing lab, publishing on a blog or Flickr or some other web site. Once you have used those JPG's you don't really need to keep them on disk. And if you would ever need a JPG of those photos again some time in the future you can just make a new export. In LR you have your photos and their adjustments. That's all you need to create a new JPG.

    However, if you have a permanent need for JPG's then you should of course keep them. Could be for computer desktop backgrounds. Or perhaps your really best photos that you always want to have readilly available in a folder for quick showing. Those favourites could on the other hand easily be shown using LR.

  8. #8
    Lightroom Guru
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bellaire, TX USA
    Posts
    7,384
    Experience
    Power User
    Primary OS
    Mac 10.9.x Mavericks
    Memory
    16gb
    CPU Cores
    4
    Video Card
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M
    LR Version
    5.5
    Camera
    Nikon D800
    File Format
    Raw
    Printer
    Canon
    Quote Originally Posted by Brendatn View Post
    Thank you for your answers. So what I am getting from this is that from here on I really don't need to keep the jpegs. If I make one for printing, facebook or website don't hang on to the jpeg afterwards trash it and keep the raw and make virtual copies if I want one copy different from another such as b/w.
    Yes! the very idea.
    I am on a MacBook so I will make the decision to keep some on HD and some on external drive. I was thinking two catalogs for that?
    You really need one and only one catalog. Images that are older than about 3 months, I keep on an EHD. The drive shows up in my folder panel and after I have finished working these images, I drag the folder from the local drive to the EHD in the Folder panel.
    I am new to raw images and have only been taking them about two months. I was using iphoto for importing. But I do have about 1000 jpegs in iphoto. I was thinking of exporting them as jpegs out of iphoto and LR handle them too. And then not use iphoto anymore. So separate catalog for that? Thanks again
    You want to export the "Originals" to a location where you can then import them using LR. You also need to decide if you want to keep any adjusted images that are now in iPhoto. If you do, you should Export these derivatives too. Once you have everything of value out of iPhoto and into LR you can trash the iPhoto library to free up HD space (iPhoto is a terrible waster of HD space.)

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    18
    Experience
    Beginner
    Primary OS
    Mac 10.6.x Snow Leopard
    LR Version
    3.6
    Thank again Cletus. You got to wonder sometimes if it is worth the time you put in answering these question. But believe I print them out and refer back to them. It is slowly coming together.

  10. #10
    Lightroom Guru
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bellaire, TX USA
    Posts
    7,384
    Experience
    Power User
    Primary OS
    Mac 10.9.x Mavericks
    Memory
    16gb
    CPU Cores
    4
    Video Card
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M
    LR Version
    5.5
    Camera
    Nikon D800
    File Format
    Raw
    Printer
    Canon
    it is worth the time to someone, if only the OP. I figure for every poster out there, there is at least one other lurker with the same question.
    Last edited by clee01l; 15 Apr 2012 at 9:10 pm.

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Four Corners
    Posts
    52
    Experience
    Beginner
    Primary OS
    Mac 10.9.x Mavericks
    Memory
    16
    CPU Cores
    4
    Video Card
    nVidia
    LR Version
    5.4
    Camera
    Sony
    File Format
    Raw

    Smart collections instead of folders

    Brendatn, I've just gone through the same process of figuring out how to manage my image files with a MacBook and an external hard drive. What what I've settled on is working well for me. It's based on John Beardsworth's smart-collections based work flow, with a few tweaks, some of which are based on Clee's label system. The rest of this message may seem a little cryptic if you aren't familiar with John's system.

    I import new images to a directory called "Lightroom_local" on my MacBook's hard drive and eventually move most of them (using Lightroom) to a directory called Lightroom_archive on my external hard drive. I don't use subdirectories in my two Lightroom directories, though I used to use them extensively. My reasons for abandoning subdirectories were twofold. 1.) They were inflexible and inconvenient. I used to have hundreds, maybe thousands, of separate directories in a date-structured organization. Keyword tagging images allows much more flexibility and power without any sacrifices beyond the time to enter keywords. 2.) They aren't necessary. I can easily find images by date (or other criteria) without subdirectories; that's the point of a database like Lightroom.

    Two features of how I'm using Lightroom apply directly to splitting my files between my internal drive and a larger external drive, so you may find them useful. I have a smart folder called "Not local" in the "Overview" part of my workflow; it shows images in my "Current work" collection that are not on my internal hard drive, where they probably should be. If needed I can select all in that collection and drag them to my Lightroom_local directory (which could be trickier if I were using subdirectories).

    The "Final Review" part of my workflow has two smart collections that I also find helpful.
    "Remove from current work" shows images that meet the criteria: image in "Current work" collection and keywords aren't empty, and at least one of the following: labeled green (ready to use), purple (print), or have 1 or 2 stars.
    A smart collection called "Move to archive" shows images in Lightroom_local that are NOT in current work and have 1-2 stars, and keywords aren't empty. This helps keep my local drive from filling up with images that I'm neither working on nor likely to want readily available.

    In all, I've found that querying images based on metadata and other attributes, and saving those queries as smart collections when desired, is working a lot better for me than trying to organize image files into a finely divided directory structure on my hard drives. This forum has been invaluable in helping me figure out how to do that, by the way. There are other tricks I've worked out, which don't seem to fit neatly into this thread, for dealing with a substantial backlog of organizational work (key-wording and the like); ask if you're interested and I'll post in a new work-flow related thread.

    Cheers,
    Gregory

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    18
    Experience
    Beginner
    Primary OS
    Mac 10.6.x Snow Leopard
    LR Version
    3.6
    Thanks Gregory, I have printed this out and working on it. I looked at the site on smart collections and trying to set this up. He lost me a little with his dumb and smart. If I am understanding you right you have all yours in one folder on hd and one on ehd and use keywords to find all.Thanks for helping me

  13. #13
    Lightroom Guru
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bellaire, TX USA
    Posts
    7,384
    Experience
    Power User
    Primary OS
    Mac 10.9.x Mavericks
    Memory
    16gb
    CPU Cores
    4
    Video Card
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M
    LR Version
    5.5
    Camera
    Nikon D800
    File Format
    Raw
    Printer
    Canon
    i'm with Gregory up to a point, LR offers several different date named folder schemes. Any of them are fine. While putting all of your images into one large folder is alright with LR. It does not care one way or the other. However with the files system you may encounter issues for efficiently recovering the files when requested. The information about the location of the image file resides on a file system database stored on the drive. If there are large numbers of image files in a single directory/folder, the filesystem might need to do a table scan to find the image file requested and this can slow things down a bit.

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Four Corners
    Posts
    52
    Experience
    Beginner
    Primary OS
    Mac 10.9.x Mavericks
    Memory
    16
    CPU Cores
    4
    Video Card
    nVidia
    LR Version
    5.4
    Camera
    Sony
    File Format
    Raw
    Brendatn, in case you're still confused about dumb vs. smart collections, the distinction is simple. A dumb collection has only the images that you manually put in it; it's contents are completely arbitrary. The contents of a smart collection are determined entirely by filters on the attributes and metadata for images. For example, a smart simple smart collection might show all pictures with three or more stars and the keyword "dogs". Because the collection's contents are determined by those criteria, the only way to remove an image from the collection is to change either the image's attributes or the collection's filter definitions so that they don't match each other. I often find myself moving between collections while working with the same set of images. For example, I have a smart collection called "Remove from current work", which generally shows images I'm done with for the time being. With that collection highlighted in the Library module, I view the images in grid mode, select all, and click my "Current work" dumb collection. Lightroom now shows the images in that collection and the ones I selected while I was in the "Remove from current" smart collection are still highlighted, so now I can just press delete to remove the selected images from "Current work". It takes some getting used to and the learning curve is a bit steep at the beginning, but I'm finally getting organized like I'd only dreamed about for the past 25 years. The actual process of getting that organized is really easy after the difficulty of setting up a workflow that made sense to me.

    afterthought: It took me quite a while to discover that I could create "nested" queries in smart collections by holding down the option key while clicking the plus icon for a new criterion. I mention it here in case any other newcomers to smart collections might be looking for that feature as I was. I won't go into detail here about how nested queries work, but feel free to message me or post to a new thread for more information.

    Cletus makes a good point about the potential for speed/efficiency issues with the presence or absence of a directory structure for images, though I haven't had any problems with my two folders (local and external) approach. In fact, it's not clear to me that the absence of finely divided directory structure would pose a burden for Lightroom even as the number of files in a Library grows very large. Without knowing the schema of the database, and particularly how it handles indexing, it's just hard to say. Given the hassels I've had with dealing with sets of files spread over a directory tree, I'd really have to notice a slow-down in file retrieval before I'd start using sub-directories again. Even then I'd probably try splitting into no more than a few and far fewer than a standard year-month (or worse, year-month-day) structure. This is one of many reasons why I wish programs like this would let users write SQL queries directly; it'd be a lot easier to investigate questions like this.
    Last edited by Pyrogerg; 17 Apr 2012 at 12:20 am. Reason: afterthought

  15. #15
    Lightroom Guru
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    1,401
    Experience
    Advanced
    Primary OS
    Windows 7 64-bit
    Memory
    16 GB
    CPU Cores
    4
    Video Card
    nVidia
    LR Version
    5.3
    Camera
    Nikon D700, Sony Nex 5N, iPhone, Olympus compact
    File Format
    Raw+Jpeg
    Printer
    Offsite Photo Lab
    Another possible problem with storing all your images in one single folder is that all files must have unique filenames. That might be a problem if you have a camera that starts numbering it's images from 1 every time you insert a new memorycard (or format it). Or when you have taken 9999 photos and the cameras internal numbering starts from 0001 again. Or if you shoot with multiple cameras that saves the images with the same filenames. And so on.

    Me personally I use LR's built in version that creates day-folders:
    YYYY\MM\DD

  16. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Four Corners
    Posts
    52
    Experience
    Beginner
    Primary OS
    Mac 10.9.x Mavericks
    Memory
    16
    CPU Cores
    4
    Video Card
    nVidia
    LR Version
    5.4
    Camera
    Sony
    File Format
    Raw
    I did think for a while about whether it would be burdensome to require unique filenames for all images. I decided that more good than harm would come of it, and it's easy to do. Renaming files on import with a name that includes capture time and the original file name from the camera almost guarantees unique filenames, even across multiple cameras and photographers. The resulting filenames are a bit long, but that hasn't been an inconvenience and it has the added benefit of preserving a recognizable character of the photo (capture time) in the filename. That comes in handy on the rare occasion that I want to look for an image without using Lightroom (more frequently the case after export). It also provides a sort of back-up for the metadata about capture time; though I haven't heard of metadata being lost from a collection of images en masse, I'd be upset if it happened.

    Gregory

  17. #17
    Lightroom Guru
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    1,401
    Experience
    Advanced
    Primary OS
    Windows 7 64-bit
    Memory
    16 GB
    CPU Cores
    4
    Video Card
    nVidia
    LR Version
    5.3
    Camera
    Nikon D700, Sony Nex 5N, iPhone, Olympus compact
    File Format
    Raw+Jpeg
    Printer
    Offsite Photo Lab
    I just wrote an answer in another thread, explaining my renaming strategy:

    http://www.lightroomforums.net/showt...l=1#post108004

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •