Help with Lr catalogs and storing photos on an external hard drive

Community Beginner ,
Nov 27, 2021 Nov 27, 2021

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Sorry after browsing the discussions and solution on these boards but I am a new user and not at all tecchie. I have a 256 SSD internal drive on a 2020 Macbook Air with all my Adobe apps on it.

 

I want to start as I mean to go on... how do I put my Lr catalog and Photos on my 4TB external drive before I start filling up my internal drive? I already have my iPhotos folder and catalog of iPhone snaps on the external HD. That was simple. It was a "phone a friend" task. 

 

I would like to import my photos to my external hard drive from memory cards and work on photos one at a time and in batches on my internal SSD drive, space-permitting. And then store these photos on my external HD included in the Lr catalog or should I have separate Lr catalog? Also is it sensible to have an extra folder on my external HD for the processed photos.  

 

Is this a good workflow that I am trying to figure out and achieve? I imagine that there are many answers and alternatives.

 

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Cross-app workflows , macOS

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Adobe Community Professional , Jan 19, 2022 Jan 19, 2022
how do I put my Lr catalog and Photos on my 4TB external drive before I start filling up my internal drive? It's recommended that you keep Lightroom on your internal drive and to save space store your photos on an external drive (with a back up of that drive). Lightroom will work more efficiently if it is on your internal drive. If you don't mind the read/write delay time you can move your Lightroom folder to your external hard drive. I would like to import my photos to my external hard drive...

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LEGEND , Jan 19, 2022 Jan 19, 2022
I think this was already answered, but just to emphasize ... you said:
I would like to import my photos to my external hard drive from memory cards and work on photos one at a time and in batches on my internal SSD drive, space-permitting.
NO! Don't do this. Photos do not need to be on the internal SSD for Lightroom Classic to use them. There is no benefit to putting photos on the Internal SSD but there is extra work, because you will have to move them from the internal SSD to the external when ...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 19, 2022 Jan 19, 2022

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how do I put my Lr catalog and Photos on my 4TB external drive before I start filling up my internal drive? It's recommended that you keep Lightroom on your internal drive and to save space store your photos on an external drive (with a back up of that drive). Lightroom will work more efficiently if it is on your internal drive. If you don't mind the read/write delay time you can move your Lightroom folder to your external hard drive.

 

I would like to import my photos to my external hard drive from memory cards and work on photos one at a time and in batches on my internal SSD drive, space-permitting. Yes - import your photos to your external drive - it's not necessarty to work on them first on your internal drive. 

 

And then store these photos on my external HD included in the Lr catalog or should I have separate Lr catalog? Your photos will already be on your external drive and No to have a separate catalog. There are some instances where additional catalogs make sense but not as a standard workflow.

 

Also is it sensible to have an extra folder on my external HD for the processed photos. Not necessary - all of your edited work will be in the same folder as the originals and Lightroom will keep track of where they are. A separate folder again may make sense in some scenarios but it's not best practice.

 

Check out Julianne Kosts video tutorial here to get started with learning Lightroom Classic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7yvmFrOixU&list=PLmXfFxjdp3CHCRpDULlvcaqWfK_zLPWF2

 

Hope this is helpful

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LEGEND ,
Jan 19, 2022 Jan 19, 2022

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I think this was already answered, but just to emphasize ... you said:

 

I would like to import my photos to my external hard drive from memory cards and work on photos one at a time and in batches on my internal SSD drive, space-permitting.

 

NO! Don't do this. Photos do not need to be on the internal SSD for Lightroom Classic to use them. There is no benefit to putting photos on the Internal SSD but there is extra work, because you will have to move them from the internal SSD to the external when space gets low.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 19, 2022 Jan 19, 2022

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Thanks to you both. I now understood enough to know how to achieve a workflow and all I now need is a backup of my external hardrive. One question: Is buying bigger, but relatively inexpensive cloud storage service as I have at present with Apple (the 1TB plan) a good way of backing up my photos as I am in the process of learning about cloud storage and its advantages/disadvantages.

 

Is burning to physical media like CD/DVDs/"key fob" flash drives a method that people use so that you can use a digital printing service to make the best quality prints to keep and for archiving?

 

Is a cloud service mainly for advertising your work or networking and hopefully collaborating with other digital artists? I have a year to find out about all of this before the price hike forces me to make a decision what plan to go for in the long run.

 

I was thinking about periodically taking a robust portable drive to my ex's in case of theft/flood/malfunctioning of my home computer and mechanical external drives. I was thinking that if my ex is a "family" member then he could access my most precious/important work from the iCloud rather than becoming an Adobe cloud user himself as he is an iPhone "vernacular" snapper with no interest in editing or processing his snaps (I dislike that term tbh) and has not as yet used my cloud storage with Apple. He only uses an iPad and iPhone to look at photos and sometimes streams them to his TV mainly when we are together.

 

I know that it is probably inappropriate to talk about Apple and its services but if anybody knows of an alternative cloud-based backup or another kind of service before I go crazy with my digital SLR then a pointer what is available and poplular with beginners who intend to really have a go at pastime/ hobby leading to maybe paid employment. I seem to remember the names DropBox and Fickr.... or are there alternatives that people are particularly keen on so that you can archive and also show your work on at a friend's digital device. Do people just use pocket flash "key fob" drives, now?  

 

Sorry for my ignorance. I'm asking here as I got such great answers from dj_paige and cmgap. Kind Regards.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 20, 2022 Jan 20, 2022

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Is burning to physical media like CD/DVDs/"key fob" flash drives a method that people use so that you can use a digital printing service to make the best quality prints to keep and for archiving? Your preference - it's not necessary. Most labs have online services that require uploading files for printing versus a walk in where you hand someone a cd or flash drive.

Is a cloud service mainly for advertising your work or networking and hopefully collaborating with other digital artists? I have a year to find out about all of this before the price hike forces me to make a decision what plan to go for in the long run. No cloud services are used as another form of off-site backup. If you're using Creative Cloud and Lightroom it might make sense to increase your storage on Creative Cloud through Adobe. Cloud storage requirements will grow depending on how much you need it to based on how much you need to store. Check to see what you are getting now with your Adobe plan. You'll have to decide which service will provide you with what you need. With regards to advertising, networking, collaborating with other artists that's what Behance.net or Portfolio is for as well as your own social media and website.

 

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LEGEND ,
Jan 20, 2022 Jan 20, 2022

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You cannot store Lightroom Classic photos in the Adobe cloud.

 

You could use the other software, which is confusingly named Lightroom, to store photos in the cloud if you want. But using Lightroom and Lightroom Classic together doesn't always work smoothly or intuitively. You can search the forum for details.

 

There are plenty of other cloud storage services available, but remember, Lightroom Classic works best when your original photos are stored locally (they can be backed up to the cloud, which may be what you are thinking). I use a cloud backup service named Carbonite.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 07, 2022 Mar 07, 2022

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Regarding cloud services. If you have Amazon Prime, then unlimited storage of full-res images and 5GB for videos is included in your subscription. Access this (for now) amazing benefit by installing the Amazon Photos app on your computer. As I'm typing this, 98K of my photos have uploaded to Amazon over the last 24 hours, with 18K photos analyzed for people's faces.

 

I'm a longtime Lightroom Classic user - my catalog has 100K entries totalling ~1.2TB. Annual cost for 3TB on the Creative Cloud Photography plan is $360 (that's just for storage, they don't offer 2TB, and charge way too much for storage). Compare to Google, where 2TB costs only $96/yr. Amazon Prime costs $139/yr. If you used it for nothing else (totally not realistic), then it is still a bargain compared to Adobe.

 

While the math speaks for itself, the reason I decided for Amazon had nothing to do with costs. I was simply looking for the easiest way for my family to see our photos on my two TVs and are each connected to a Fire TV Cube, and the built-in screensaver can be pointed at Amazon Photos.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 07, 2022 Mar 07, 2022

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Didn't see how to edit my post and forgot to add this...  There is no connection between Amazon Photos and my Lightroom workflow. I'm using Amazon Photos strictly as a backup mechanism for the third copy of all my pics. (1st copy local hard drive; 2nd copy external drives that are rotated each quarter and taken off site)

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