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Thread: Photo Organisation - Elements or Lightroom

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    Photo Organisation - Elements or Lightroom

    Hi everyone,

    Ive finally decided that its time to move on from iphoto as i have lost to many important photos over the years. Im sure it has always been my own fault from not knowing properly how the Mac system works entirely but, i dont want it to happen any more so am looking at alternatives :-)

    Im currently using Photoshop Elements 10 as my editing software for work and personal stuff and thought how convenieint it would be to use it as my Main photo organisation for my personal stuff.

    But, which one is better, Elemtns or Lightroom? Currently using iphoto, i make a new album for each "outing" and it goes under a folder category such as: Family, or Steve and I, Friends, Moto related or Randoms etc and a title of what/where it was (Xmas 2013 eg). I dont use keywords or tags (i will start doing this though once i decide on a new program i think), so most of my organising is simply done straight away and into a suitable folder.

    Thanks in advance :-)

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    Member bneum's Avatar
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    Does elements even do cataloging? I use lightroom, it is fantastic for managing files. And so it should be, thats its primary purpose.p

    sent from my galaxy hunk o junk. Typo's are frequent with fingers as fat as mine.
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I think the most important consideration for not losing any data of any kind(not just photos!) is a dedicated file structure for your data.
    Don't just let the computer(in this case Apple I see) do what it wants too do with the files you deem important.

    Create your own folder/file structure.

    There are many ideas and recommendations for folder structures. There was a thread not too long ago about how to place images in a commons sense manner on your computer.

    As for software ... here or there really.
    I wouldn't leave it too long tho before you start to catalog the image files.

    I know that LR is handy for cataloging images, but in saying that, I've also had troubles with using other cataloging software to read that info back too.
    Depending on what camera model you have, look into what keywording ability your cameras native software can do. it seems to me to be (on the whole) more reliable if you don't want to be at the mercy of your software.

    Something to note on the topic of placing files into a well thought out folder structure too.
    Unless you rename your files during import/download, they will obviously retain the names generated by the camera(obviously!)
    But, if at some point in the future, you acquire another camera(say an updated model from your preferred manufacturer), you run the risk of overwriting files from the old camera with the files from the newer camera!
    This happened to me, luckily on files I didn't actually want to keep tho, and also luckily I had backed up anyhow.

    So my folder structure also includes the camera model. If I had two cameras of the same model(unlikely tho), I use a differentiator of some kind(say serial No) to stop this happening again.

    FWIW: I use a folder structure that looks like this:

    Photos/Camera/year/location/event/etc, etc.

    So a photo shoot at my friend Steve's on Xmas in 2015 would look like Photos/D900E/2015/Steves/Xmas15/<all D900E files in here>

    I also use descriptors between year/ and location too, so, if I was working and ended up in the country somewhere, I'd have Photos/2015/D900E/Work/Kakadu_20150401/<files>
    Because I used to find myself in the same place on a regular basis, I started using specific dates with the location too.

    So in your case, you may be at Steves on Sunday and then again the following Saturday, it's handy to differentiate between the two dates. Makes it easier to find images that would otherwise become lost in the myriad of images you may eventually capture.


    I use a dedicated software(Nikon Transfer 2 in my case) where every file transferred from the card, is also renamed onto the PC with a camera model prefix.

    So a D800 image named DSC0001 is named D800E_DSC0001. And a D300 file similarly named on the camera, is D300_DSC0001. This way I'll never come across that dreaded situation of inadvertently overwriting the wrong file.
    When I approach the dreaded DSC_9999 problem(which then reverts back to DSC0001 again, I set the file name in camera to DSDxxxx, and then DSExxxx and so on.
    Again, just to ensure that I'm not inadvertently overwriting files.
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    Ausphotography Regular J.davis's Avatar
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    I use elements for cataloging only.
    Simple drag and drop organizing, and more than one category per pic.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    I use Lightroom and I would recommend Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby. Get it for the right version of LR though (don't buy it for V3 if you have V5 of Lightroom).

    Start at the beginning of the book and work through it. You will learn a lot, not just about how LR works but how to catalogue in general and even specific workflows depending on your chosen Genre. Yes it will take some time to learn LR, but this book is worth it.

    Also if you have thousands of photos now, do not bother trying to transfer them. Keep them as they are, remember your filing system, but setup LR for all your future photos, start from scratch now. Trying to catalogue thousands of older photos is boring as... And will just get you sick of photography etc. So start when you get your new software with a new system and more forward.

    Then if you get really bored one day in the future, when you understand how LR works and have a good grasp on it, then maybe, if you want to, go back and re-catalogue your old photos into your LR catalogue. Grab some coffee/wine, put on your fave music and try and enjoy doing it.
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    It's all about the Light!
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    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    I don't know elements at all, but I couldn't live without my Lightroom 5. If you have only used iPhoto , you'll be beside yourself with Lightroom. Bet you never use iPhoto again once you use lightroom.
    Having said that , I couldn't live without photoshop either ::sigh:: or bridge - ::double sigh:: I'm sooooo brand loyal ::sob::

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    I use the Mac's folder system and store all my images on external HDDs. Then you just bring up that drive in whatever editing program you are using and it will how the nested folders. I use Photoshop to edit and Bridge as a browser.
    Odille

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    Thanks everyone, Will suss out Lightroom i think and have a crack at that. Appreciate your input :-)

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    I've just started using lightroom and I agree. It is great. I don't know how I managed to live without such a handy tool

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    Photo Organisation - Elements or Lightroom

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I think the most important consideration for not losing any data of any kind(not just photos!) is a dedicated file structure for your data.
    Don't just let the computer(in this case Apple I see) do what it wants too do with the files you deem important.
    I don't understand this mentality at all. As long as you never go inside and play around with the iPhoto folder structure directly, this shouldn't be a problem at all, all editing and sorting should be safely done within iPhoto. You can use the albums feature to sort photos however you want (photos can be in multiple albums, so you can have several albums for camera type, location, event date/month etc) and OS X has this handy feature that whenever the Open dialogue pops up (let's say your uploading photos to a photo printing service) it'll allow you to browse those albums directly, and will alleviate the need to go digging for the original photo file.

    I get what you're saying, and understand how much control we like to have, but if you're using iPhoto (or Aperture) the way it was intended this shouldn't be an issue at all.

    Unless you rename your files during import/download, they will obviously retain the names generated by the camera(obviously!)
    But, if at some point in the future, you acquire another camera(say an updated model from your preferred manufacturer), you run the risk of overwriting files from the old camera with the files from the newer camera!
    Again, iPhoto structures it's internal photo library so this shouldn't happen. If the circumstances alluded that iPhoto overwrote files when it wasn't supposed to I'd buy a lotto ticket.

    FYI. This is what's inside iPhoto, bottom line is, don't touch the internals of the iPhoto Library folder and it'll be sweet. ( edit -- commercial link removed )
    Last edited by I @ M; 22-04-2014 at 8:17am.
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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    Since getting into "serious" photography about 4 months ago I have used lightroom and can not imagine life without it ! File management tools are excellent as is the development tool .
    The name is Brad ......

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    Ausphotography Regular landyvlad's Avatar
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    LR isn't intuitive in some ways, Using import and export etc as opposed to "Open and save as" which is more convential AND how other Adobe products work! Figure that out. Anyway it is goosd for making photo colour / tone / etc adjustments so many parameters available at your fingertips. And I've not even attempted looking at the cataloging capabilities yet. Waiting patiently for my Scott Kelby book to arrive....
    Panasonic Lumix FZ200 / Samsung Galaxy Note 5 / LR 5 & PSE 12

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    There ought to be a recall on all photo editing software to remove the vignette function.

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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    I think it is intuitive if you think of the LR Catalog as a filing cabinet . You either import photos into the catalog or export them out of it in what ever format you like. While in the catalog there is no need for open or save. All photos are always open , and any changes you make are automatically saved so you do not need open and save. Probably the most important part of a Light room book is the first section that explains how it works. ( It's the section many skip over as they want to get to the good stuff - developing , exposure, making everything vivid etc...).

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I've used a number of packages to date. I started on iPhoto, switched to Aperture because it allowed you to have an external drive for your photos, and then finally switched to Lightroom. The move from Aperture to Lightroom was frustrating. Aperture allows you to customise your folder structure, Lightroom is far more restrictive, but Lightroom was more powerful than aperture from an image editing perspective.

    More recently, I've started experimenting with Phase One's Capture One package and so far I am very impressed. Some of the tools are not as intuitive but I think it's a far better editing tool than lightroom. The only frustration with Capture One is the lack of automatic import when you edit a file externally with an application like photoshop.

    At this point, the offer for $9.99 for Lightroom and Photoshop is probably a good starting point for anyone coming from iPhoto though and I think this is likely to be the best path.
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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by landyvlad View Post
    Waiting patiently for my Scott Kelby book to arrive....
    I borrowed from my Library "The Adobe Photshop Lightroom 4 Book " by Martin Evening and it is great. So many tips , tricks and shortcuts to learn you need a tip on how to remember the shortcuts!

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    New Member AngusG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by landyvlad View Post
    LR isn't intuitive in some ways, Using import and export etc as opposed to "Open and save as" which is more convential AND how other Adobe products work! Figure that out. Anyway it is goosd for making photo colour / tone / etc adjustments so many parameters available at your fingertips. And I've not even attempted looking at the cataloging capabilities yet. Waiting patiently for my Scott Kelby book to arrive....
    That's because in LR you're not opening and saving files, you're importing and exporting the photos to/from your library. It's a completely different action from opening and saving.

    From what I understand Lightroom works the same way as iPhoto and Aperture. The original files of the photos you've imported into your library don't get touched, the edits/modifications you make don't touch the original files. If you were to dig in into the LR library, you'd find the files untouched in the original form exactly as they were saved off your camera.

    The other reason I like iPhoto (and as I get more advanced will probably go with Aperture) is it integrates well with OS X and iOS.

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    Member antony's Avatar
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    (Sorry, late to this thread.)

    I must be old fashioned, I still use Adobe Bridge for organising/cataloging my photo. I tried Lightroom for a while, but never liked it.
    As for iPhoto, I use iPhoto for organising albums on iPad. Only for selected photos I would like to carry on my iPad. And I haven't discovered another software that allows me to create and organise albums on iPad.
    cameras: Sony A7 II, A7r, NEX-7, A350, HX50V; Canon EOS 70D | Flickr | a very happy Mac user

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