View Full Version : Workflow question re Lightroom/CS

13-01-2009, 8:59am
Just got Lightroom 2.2, and now am wondering the best way to set up my workflow.

Currently I download all my images via bridge and CS3, and store them in a folder called Digital Negatives, in their own named folder. Once processed I then save them in their edited folder, leaving the original file as is. I back up to an external hard drive.

Now, with lightroom in the mix, just wondering how people organise and store images, in catalogues in LR, or just work on them there and save elsewhere? As I have an ever growing number of images, my system definitely needs to be fine tuned. :rolleyes:

Also, does anyone have any good online tut links for LR, I have been working through the adobe ones, but wouldn't mind an alternative. Cheers. :)

Have to say from what I have worked out already, I am pretty happy with it. :th3:

13-01-2009, 9:26am
These may help...

Adopting A Photoshop Lightroom Workflow - Lightroom Tutorial

I have 500Gb allocated to image storage and have just catalogued it all in LR. I use LR to do my memory card dumps (Library/Import) and then do basic adjustments in LR (White balance, tone etc) and detailed work in PS.

13-01-2009, 9:29am
Prior to LR coming along, I used to do something similar to you.

I had a set of folders:


Everything went into the imports and after reviewing, I copied selects into their own folder. After working each up in Photoshop, I saved the TIFF or PSD into the masters, which gave me the set that I could go to for final preparation depending on the output.

Prints and web were my two final output directories, with the final sizing, sharpening and if necessary, soft-proofing tailored for each output type.

I started using LR in the Beta testing, but didn't really think about the DAM aspect until it went to 1.0

At that point I had a big headache, because I tried to work with it in my existing management system. It didn't work very well.

Eventually I just gave up the old system and went with the LR system of downloading everything into it's own folder by shoot.

Then for the selects, I create collections and then just work within the collections so that I don't see the rejected or untagged images.

If I have to go to Photoshop, I just export the TIFF directly and stack it in the same folder. Otherwise, everything (I rarely have separate master files now) stays in the one directory and I backup the folders and the LR catalog together.

The only time now that I save the files into a different folder is for final export. I still use the Prints and Web folders for the jpegs.

It's a much faster system and with virtual copies, I can create multiple versions of the one image without taking up extra disk space. I'm totally sold.

So the best advice I can give you, is try the management approach built into LR and I'm sure you'll eventually like it.



PS. When I make my selects, the easiest way I've found is to put the caps-lock key on and then start at the first image in a folder. If I like it I hit 'P', if I don't like it I hit 'X' and if I have no opinion either way, I hit 'U'. With the capslock on, the folder will automatically cycle through the images and I can quickly sort through a couple of hundred images within a couple of minutes.

13-01-2009, 9:58am

Spend the best $50 you ever did and buy Scott Kelby's book on LR2.

It answers all the questions you have

I thought I was reasonably good at LR and it still opened my eyes to basic principles.

13-01-2009, 10:14am
Are there any other lightroom books besides Scot Kelby? His books are too corney and cheesy for my likes. I bought a dslr book of his and needed a barf bag while trying to read it.

13-01-2009, 11:24am
I use Lightroom and CS3 and don't use Bridge at all.

I do all my importing, cataloguing, keyword tagging in LR.
Then I do a few edits such as cropping, straightening, WB settings, exposure adjustments etc in LR.
Then off to CS3 for sharpening at least if not other effects to finalise how I want it to look.

Basically I have, at the moment, a couple of catalogues for different subjects. But I am throwing that in the bin and using one catalogue for everything from now on.

Directory structure I use is to have a Structure like:

Lightroom (parent of structure)
--> Catalogs (here I keep all the catalogs, catalog backups etc)
-----> Originals (here the RAW files are imported to)
---------> 2009 (each year has it's own tree)
------------> 01 (each month of that year has it's own directory)
---------------> 13 (each day has it's own directory)
------------------> City_Shoot (each shoot has it's own directory)
---------------> 14
------------------> Birthday_Party
---> Edits (final edits)
------> Footy_Shots
------> Trip_To_Melbourne

But that's just my #### way of structuring it.

But in answer to your question I import in Lightroom, do some tweaks and then off to CS3 for more advanced stuff if needed.

edit: hmmm it didn't tab my structure out very much, fixed.

14-01-2009, 3:04pm

Spend the best $50 you ever did and buy Scott Kelby's book on LR2.

It answers all the questions you have

I thought I was reasonably good at LR and it still opened my eyes to basic principles.

Ok, just ordered one! :D

Thanks Kym for the link, I have already spent a bit of time there, just find it doesn't always present info the way my brain works. :rolleyes:
Thanks for your reply Peter, very helpful, hopefully the Kelby book will help me to fully utilise the LR system, and Michael, the directories approach is good, just have to spend a bit of time to work out the best way to set them up.

14-01-2009, 3:28pm
Michael, the directories approach is good, just have to spend a bit of time to work out the best way to set them up.

The one thing to remember is that, as I just said in another thread, you rarely need to dig through the directory structure. It's basically just there to keep the RAWs organised underneath.

Lightroom will handle where everything is for you so you never have to worry about where the file physically is once it's imported.

I guess what I am trying to say is that the directory structure is important but if you're just going to use LR to search through your files etc then ultimately it doesn't really matter how much of a dog's breakfast it is because you won't ever see it.

Having said that I still think it's very important to do so you can, like Rick does, easily find, backup and archive off particular directories.

14-01-2009, 4:57pm
In summary Kelby recommends you

1/ Create a new directory under mypictures called my lightroom pics or similar
2/ When importing rename files so that they have meaning and date and file # - I think physically stored still by import date under main folder - i'll have to recheck that
3/ Use catalogues for sorting and searching