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How to stop Lightroom from creating new copies of my original image every time I import new photos?

New Here ,
Apr 17, 2017 Apr 17, 2017

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Good day, I tried to research a lot of times about this question and sadly I did not found any answer.Hopefully, you can help me solve this problem.

My PROBLEM is : Every time I import new images to my LIGHTroom from my HARDdrive, It tends to create a new copy similar to what is on the Harddrive.When I tried to delete the new copies of photos I imported, It caused some problem to theLightroom.It says PHOTO IS MISSING.By that, I need to restore the deleted photo or manually identify each photo source into the HARDRIVE. I want my HARDDRIVE to be the source of the image for my lightroom and not the new one created by LIGHTROOM when I imported the photos for me to save a space from my computer.Please help.

Thanks...

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Enthusiast , Apr 17, 2017 Apr 17, 2017

When you import into Lightroom, at the top of the Import page you can Copy or Move.  "Move" physically moves the copy from the source folder on your hard drive into the folder you choose in Lightroom; "Copy" copies it to the new location.  If you're moving it, it is already gone from the original location. So it sounds like you're either deleting the wrong copy if you copied, or the only copy if you moved!

"Move" sounds like what you want; only one copy for each image.  But be aware that you don'

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Enthusiast ,
Apr 17, 2017 Apr 17, 2017

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When you import into Lightroom, at the top of the Import page you can Copy or Move.  "Move" physically moves the copy from the source folder on your hard drive into the folder you choose in Lightroom; "Copy" copies it to the new location.  If you're moving it, it is already gone from the original location. So it sounds like you're either deleting the wrong copy if you copied, or the only copy if you moved!

"Move" sounds like what you want; only one copy for each image.  But be aware that you don't have a backup copy of the image. At the first opportunity, you should get an external hard drive. If you use this as the source, and then "Copy" you'll have a backup separate from your computer's hard drive and it will save your skin some day.  Also use it to back up your catalog.

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New Here ,
Mar 17, 2024 Mar 17, 2024

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My goodness, this is such a brute-force way to store files. I have separate photo folders for each client so this makes it impossible to use my own filing system.

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 17, 2024 Mar 17, 2024

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If you start with newly taken photos (written onto SD card, or whatever, by the camera) then those will need to be moved or copied into normal computer storage. You can copy those into computer storage first yourself (or move them - but people usually copy), manually creating the folders required, and then import them to LrC as a separate "ADD" operation - that import selection does nothing to the files.

 

Otherwise you can combine the separate Copy then Add into one operation. This means LrC uses a Copy import to bring the photo files directly from the camera card into their appropriate final locations, while also importing them there.

 

The destination of this copy can be largely automated, through the very simple groundwork of making an import preset for each different requirement. In my case I have just one requirement: an auto capture-date-based folder tree into which all photos go - so only need one preset. that enacts unvarying, constant import settings which take account of each different photo's date, create a folder as needed, put the file in there, and import it.

 

Expanding on this: if you want to differentiate between clients with a top level folder, you can make and (each time) reselect import presets specific to each client. Each sets the client-related destination, perhaps also file renaming, metadata template, batch keywording - so that each photo starts out within the Catalog already located and characterised suitably for its particular Client.

 

Then the "Organize by" option considers what kind of subfolder organisation you want LrC to help you manage inside that (say) client-related folder. Several options: one is to have LrC automatically implement a Date based hierarchy just for that client's photos. Then once imported, doing this from within the Catalog, perhaps rename the automatically-named "date" folder adding text for the particular shoot.

 

Also you can check an option "into Subfolder": then type in each time, whatever new foldername you want (inside the common starting destination) for this import. That is created on disk and the files go inside there according to whichever Organize By option you've got selected. Perhaps "into one folder", meaning they all copy straight into this new folder without any further subdivision. Or you may want to reflect the different folders they are in on the camera card.

 

Re-selecting an import preset gives you a consistent, tried and tested starting point. This fully clears however the prior import session was set - so, no surprises. And no 'micro-management' by you.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 17, 2017 Apr 17, 2017

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That is explained in the video at the link below.

Why Does the Photograph’s Preview Change in Lightroom and Bridge? - YouTube

Regards, Denis: iMac 27” mid-2015, macOS 11.7.10 Big Sur; 2TB SSD, 24 GB Ram, GPU 2 GB; LrC 12.5, Lr 6.5, PS 24.7,; ACR 15.5,; Camera OM-D E-M1

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