Help. Going a bit bananas. I am diving back into my old photography hobby more seriously and need help selecting the best Adobe program to use.
Last week, I used Lightroom CC to import >60,000 images into a consolidated directory. I chose to copy each original into a new location (networked drive) and, in so doing, de-duped many thousands of images. Images previsouly spread across iCloud, Google Photos, DropBox etc are now consolidated into this single Lightroom originals folder. This equates to ~400GB. There is another ~700GB of video to be imported, although this may contain significant duplication.
Next comes the digitization of 10 years worth of slides and negatives (which, of course, has zero meta-data). Before I embark on that endeavor, I want to have my photography collection management strategy dialed in.
Lightroom CC is steadily working to cloud sync. Process is very slow, but steady. Additionally, my network drive is backed-up to cloud (Backblaze), so I feel this collection is well backed up.
Performance of Lr CC is very slow. I suspect this is due to (a) storing images on a network drive and (b) using a business laptop that is not really optimized for graphic or media work. I am currently looking at a new Dell Precision laptop with 1TB SSD, 32GB RAM, 4GB VRAM, etc. So, I should be able to relocate most images to an internal SSD soon, which will surely help performance.
Still with me? (Thanks)
Is Lr CC the best app for me?
In my very brief experience with it so far, I'm surprised at the limited functionality for batch changing file names or meta-data at import. Personally, I am not wild about the originals being buried in some cryptic folder structure. I appreciate the ability to simply use my operating system's (Windows 10) file browser to explore folders of my original images. this is something that I could get over.
I used desktop Lr and Bridge long ago and seem to recall more functionality.
I do not need a lot of editing functionality. (If I really need to edit, I can use Photoshop.) My main concern is organization and management of my photos. I want the ability to find an image quickly. Searching by date, location, or other metadata. To really get there, I will need to edit (and add) a ton of metadata. I want to continuously "enrich" the metadata of my photos with comments, tags, locations, ratings, etc that make the entire collection more navigable. In a perfect world, I could use a program that would edit this meta-data at the image file level. (Not by creating some separate database/library file that can be corrupted or thrown out of sync if the original files are moved around.)
What is the best program to use? Lightroom cc? Lightroom desktop? Bridge? Bridge cc?
Connected question: can Lightroom and bridge be used together to work with the same underlying directory of images? Or, will changes from one program screw-up the library and database from the other?
I have read extensively about each of these programs and watched a number of online videos, including the wonderful ones by Terry White. Still, I do not feel that I have the answer.
Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Lightroom Classic is miles ahaead of LR CC in features. However, LR CC is designed for working across multiple mobile platforms. I suspect the LR Classic is your better choice. Bridge is a file browser; you must organize manually.
I agree with Lumigraphics that Classic is probably a better solution for right now than Lightroom-Cloudy.
To me, the one big advantage of Cloudy is that you can access all of your images at any time from anywhere (as long as you either have unlimited data or good wifi).
The one thing that peaked my interest was your desire to digitize all of your slides and negatives. Here's the deal there: when you scan images and/or slides and/or negatives, you will get the BEST quality by doing the bulk of your corrections at the time of the scan as opposed to afterwards in PS. This is no different than you will have the best photographs if you take great photos that need limited amount of PS.
However, scanners can take time especially if you want to re-size the images (it takes more time to scan at 400% size than 100% size). If you combine the the various adjustments that can be made (color adjustment, ICE, etc.) I found that it could easily take 5 minutes per scan. But the reality is that not every one of your slides warrants that level of care. We (hobbyists) take photos because we're traveling and wish to keep the memories, we take photos of friends and family, we take photos at events, etc. But not all of those photos are great but we can't get rid that photo of Aunt Zelda, it's the only one we have!
What I did was to photograph my slides, I have almost 10,000 slides and to scan them all would have taken me more years than I have left to live. I came up with a process that worked for me. I wrote this up and provided the process to Adobe. You can read about them here:
As far as your negatives go, you are probably left to scan them. Adobe does not have any easy mechanism to adjust a negative. What you CAN do is to take your Curves and flip them so they are reversed but then you have to do all of your adjustments backward. This is trickier than it seems and so far, Adobe has not provided any interest in making this easier.
Lastly, If you do not mind the cost, Silverfast Scanning software has fine-tuned their software to provide "hints" for various manufacturers of film so that if your negatives are from Kodak, Agfa, Fuji, etc. you can let the software know who's film you are using and it will make adjustments to give you better results. It works.
And lastly lastly, you will be much better served if you get a quality scanner. I have a friend who was disappointed with their results with a scanner/printer/copier machine. I encouraged them to get a dedicated scanner and I have a friend for life.
Oh, one more thought: storage of your images: I have a 4 TB external hard drive that I keep all of my images (and most of my documents on) I have a 2nd 4TB drive that I use to back up all of the contents of the first drive I do the back up about once a week or more often if I've just added a bunch of new items. (If drive A fails, I have everything on drive B). I also have a cloud backup system if the house were to burn down. Just some thoughts.
Good luck and let us know how it progresses.
Thank you Gary. Great stuff.
I am looking at several thousands of slides/negatives to digitize. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to do this myself. Photography is an important hobby to me, but it comes after my unrelated, full-time career, parenting, etc. It is almost a certainty that I will have to contract with a conversion service to digitize my analog media.
Do you know of any reviews of conversion services? I wish I could find one that was as dilegent as you clearly were with your own media.
Nope, not a one. Sorry.
One of my goals was to get the maximum image size of my slides without damaging the resolution. As I stated in my articles, you can get an OK to great image of the slide but if there is any grain in the image, you get grain in the photograph. Photoshop knows noise, not grain so there's nothing you can do with it there.
But if you scan a slide, you are limited to the resolution capabilities of the scanner. One of the things I do like about Silverfast is that they have a guide that shows you that you are within a good range for increasing the resolution optically or when you are starting to go into inventing pixels (digital zoom). Epsonscan, for example, doesn't and can't do that. If you go exploring conversion services, make sure they go to the limits of their equipment but no further. (For reference my scanner is the Epson V800.)
When I started doing this I also was working (I'm happily retired now), and knew that I had limited time to do this. That's one of the reasons I went the photographic route. Besides, as I stated, not every photo we take is necessary and/or doesn't need to be a wonderful photograph. After I was going through my slides/photos in Lightroom Classic, I would toss out photos that were neither good or necessary and if a photo was good, and warrented the extra time, I'd scan the slide to get the best quality. I'd be surprised if I did that to 5% of the slides. But I still have the images.
What I'm getting at here is that it very well may cost some amount of money to have them converted. They will all be converted, even the ones you eventually will toss out or do not need the quality. If you dedicate yourself to 1 to 3 hours a week to photographing slides, you'll be done in a reasonable time. Plus, this way you'll have an excuse to get yourself a great new macro lens that you can keep!
Oh, the other reason that I didn't want to use a service is that you have to send all of your slides to them to do the processing. I did not want to do that.
Hope any of this helps,
Very helpful. Thanks.
I could not access the articles you linked to. "Access Denied"?
I belive you have to logged into your Adobe account to view the blogs, sorry for the confusion.