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.
The best bang for your buck is the Photography Plan bundle which includes.
COST: USD $10/month for a 1 year subscription.
Thank you for the advice.
That bundle offer Bridge, Lightroom Classic, and Lightroom (cloudy). Can all of these apps really be used at the same time on the same underlying photo directory? Won't they interact with the file structure differently?
>> Connected question: can Lightroom and bridge be used together to work with the same underlying directory of images?
Bridge is a File Browser. There is no database. It views what's on your drives and sees the operating system file structure.
Lightroom Classic has its own unique database (known as a catalog) where it stores pointers to your files on your drive. No images are stored in the Lightroom catalog.
I don't think the integrated database solution (Digital Asset Management system or DAM) - accessible by several different apps - you're seeking exists in the Adobe world. You'll have to see if you can live with the tools Adobe offers or whether you need to look elsewhere.
Thank you, John.
I want to stay in the Adobe universe. Their ecosystem is tested and accepted. I can adjust my workflows and adapt. I just need to settle on the best approach before I import 100k more images (after analog-to-digital conversion) and begin the time consuming process of grooming and cataloging my collection.
My collection is now in Lr (CC, or Cloudy, or whatever we want to call it). It sounds like my best approach is to migrate this to Lr Classic. That is really question #1 - Which application to use as my primary system of record. All signs are pointing to Lr Classic.
I am still foggy on question #2 - whether it will be destructive or create conflicts if I continue to use Lr (cc) and begin occasionally using Bridge as a file browser,...or if they all play nice together. If I adjust metadata in one app, will the changes reflect in the other?
Personally, I prefer LR Classic. I find that it has better control and more of them. I also have had annoyance is with the slowness of the cloud, and the fact that getting those files to the computer is an extra job. Just my two cents.