User Tag List

Thanks useful information Thanks useful information:  0
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Managing Big Lightroom Catalogues

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    08 May 2009
    Location
    Buninyong
    Posts
    1,235
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Managing Big Lightroom Catalogues

    Hi all, well I have been using Lightroom to catalogue my photos and I really do like it, but now I have a challenge on my hands.

    I have two huge catalogues and I need to decide how to manage them. The first is the one I have had going for a while and is around 21000 photos or 69GB, and the second is a new one on my laptop. I created it while on my recent trip overseas so I could download photos off my camera daily. It totals 9000 images or about 75GB. (bad thing about the Canon 7D, makes much bigger files!)

    If anyone could be so kind as to share any tips about managing big catalouges like this? Should I merge them, keep them separate? I kind of like everything being in one place, but how big is too big? Should I use the Lightroom import or export tools? If I want to import the trip photos, is it just a matter of copying them to my PC disc and them importing them, but I wonder if I will loose any edits and tags etc that were in the laptop LR catalogue.

    I just don't know!?!?!?

    I am currently doing step one....backing up both catalogues!
    Mic

    Photography is the art of telling stories with light.

    www.michaelgoulding.com

  2. #2
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Jun 2007
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    15,650
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I have used LR since version 1. I foresaw an issue as my catalogue grew, so started off with a plan. I create a new catalogue at the beginning of each year. They are called quite simply 2007..2008..2009..2010.

    This matches my file storage as well. I have a main folder called photos and under that is each year. In each year are both the raw files and the processed files for that year, under months of the year.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    26 Nov 2008
    Location
    Booval, Qld (near Ipswich)
    Posts
    2,018
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Like Rick, I too have a catalogue for each year, but they are on seperate hard-drives. My PC can hold 6 drives at any given time, so have the last two years of photos in the system at any given time and swap between the catalogues as required. The only thing I can recommend is tagging, makes searching and finding those images so much easier. On import add the major tags as if needed add additional ones when editting.

    When I import they go to that drive using the yyyy/mmm/dd format for the directories, and the catalog file itself is stored on the same drive. It doesn't matter to me if much of the drive is not filled as HD storage is much cheaper and more reliable than burning to CD/DVD, I have had a few failures after a few years (no photos yet though because I haven't been taking pictures for very long, into my third year now). I usually only burn my processed images if they haven't been uploaded to my website (store the full high res processed images).

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    12 Feb 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    7,831
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have one catalog with some 150000 photos, what's the problem again ?
    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
    Website : http://www.peakactionimages.com
    Please support Precious Hearts
    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    25 Dec 2007
    Location
    At home
    Posts
    190
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Similar in that I have a catalog for each year, but then for specific jobs I create catalogs dedicated for them. Simply import you travel catalog into main catalog leave it at that, also under pref you can specify option to select which catalog you open.
    "Knowledge is a single point, but the ignorant have multiplied it."

  6. #6
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    08 May 2009
    Location
    Buninyong
    Posts
    1,235
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks guys, I guess I know that I have some way to go and LR will still handle it.

    I knew someone would come back with a monster catalogue - thanks Kiwi you must have some decent hardware to support that! Maybe you could do a poll, "How big is your collection?"

    I'm thinking of leaving it as one, or maybe splitting it in two as half of my catalogue is Dog event stuff. mmm options.

    One question though, the edits to a photo (and history), they are stored in the catalogue yes? I know my raw files use a sidecar xmp file, but I still don't quite know what is in them, and how it handles Jpgs? This becomes important if I want to start moving them around between computers and catalogues.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    12 Feb 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    7,831
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    not really, very average laptop and an external 1TB HDD

  8. #8
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    08 May 2009
    Location
    Buninyong
    Posts
    1,235
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That was another thing, my PC's HDD are filling up and I wondered about using external drives for the photos. I have a 500GB one that I use for backup at the moment. I could get another one and run two in a duty standby arrangement.

  9. #9
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Jun 2007
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    15,650
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Yes, lightroom uses a sidecar file that stores all the edits to a photo. Lightroom doesn't in reality apply any adjustments at all direct to the photo. It stores a sidecar file with al the edits you have done and displays the photo with or without them, depending on how you want/use/tell Lightroom to function. It is only when you export it to say photoshop, that your edits are applied and then only to the version you are exporting.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    12 Feb 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    7,831
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a laptoip with internal HDD and three external HDD's - one of them is portable.

    My catalog is stored locally and backed up on the two larger HDD's every month (I dont care too much if I lose a month of LR edits), the internal HDD stores my "working folders" and these are backed up and incremented to two external HDD's eveety time I dock at home or at work. After every 2-3 months I move the folders off my local C drive onto my "working" portable HDD.

    hmm, sounds complicated. Works for me though.

    Performance seems OK to me.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    28 Dec 2009
    Location
    Yokine
    Posts
    986
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    I have one catalog with some 150000 photos, what's the problem again ?
    Gotta love a Kiwi's perspective!!

    Don't know how many images I have but currently all on my main hard drive backed up to two external drives one of which is a network case with 2 drives as RAID1. I have two catalogues in LR one for my previous 350d and now one for the new 7D. Within each the images are store by year then within each year by date.
    Whilst not a perfect solution it is working OK for me at the moment.

    I have just ordered a new 1.5TB external drive that I hope will be here next week then the 500GB will be returned to its original duties of being a portable.
    Peter.

    Some of my photo's are at www.peterking.id.au

  12. #12
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    08 May 2009
    Location
    Buninyong
    Posts
    1,235
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ok thanks for everyones comments. It's time for me to make a move. But...

    Can I just copy and paste my photos along with Lightroom catalogue from one place to another and have it open up no problem (with maybe a prompt, where are your photos gone now at start up?)

    Or should I use the Export Catalogue button, that in a few little tests I did takes a long time and seems to copy all the files anyway?

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    12 Feb 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    7,831
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    no, use the folder move in LR library module, keeps track then

  14. #14
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    08 May 2009
    Location
    Buninyong
    Posts
    1,235
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Do you mean, right click on the parent folder in Lightroom and use the export as catalogue?

    It looks to me that will create a copy of the entire thing, original files, all edits etc, is that right? (that's a good thing if it does).

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    12 Feb 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    7,831
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    oh, you want to copy or move ?

  16. #16
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    08 May 2009
    Location
    Buninyong
    Posts
    1,235
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    At this stage move to an External HDD, then import into my main catalogue. But copy is probably safer, cause once copied I can just delete the old once I'm happy it copied ok.

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    12 Feb 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    7,831
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    id backup the LR catalog first

    Personally I think Id export the catalog and then import it back into a fresh catalog on the external HDD

    Id also google it

  18. #18
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    08 May 2009
    Location
    Buninyong
    Posts
    1,235
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I googled it yesterday, before starting this thread! Found a lot of people that had similar questions and a few solutions that sounded ok but weren't convincing, hence I asked here. Also searched here and found very little on the subject so asking here might actually help others in the AP community in future.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    12 Feb 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    7,831
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Re: Managing Big Lightroom Catalogues

    Are you moving the catalog or jyst the photos is the issue

    If moving just the photos you can copy using windows explorer and just relink

    I think though that copying the entire catalog via export and then import prob better choice


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    08 May 2009
    Location
    Buninyong
    Posts
    1,235
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That was the point of my first question, I want to move everything, the photos, the LR catalogue complete with edits etc.

    I have two copies of the originals so I'll try the export function and see what it gives me as there is no real danger of loosing anything by doing that.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

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