Liightroom Catalog a Mess

Community Beginner ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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IO have multiple Catalogs on multiple drives.  Some of the catalogs have more than 80% missing phoptos.  The root of the problem is that photos were moved outside of LR.   I can spend a lot of time using Adobe to clean it up.  OR I can rebuild it from scratch.  I would import all JPEG files and go from there.  Any Pros and Cons on doing a clean up vs building a new Catalog from scratch.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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How many files have you adjusted or added keywords and other metadata? In other words, how much work in your catalogues?

If not much, go ahead and build a new one . And learn from the experience - once you've recorded photos in your catalogue, stop moving photos outside LR.

But if you would potentially lose a lot of work, then spend time identifying which is the best catalogue with the most work, and fix its missing links. Are other catalogues important enough to do the same? Maybe. Then once fixed, bring the work into the best or main catalogue using the File > Import from Another Catalog command. Take plenty of backups, and again learn from the experience - it's hard enough to manage large numbers of files without having to figure out which catalogue records them.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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LEGEND ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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My preference is always to spend the time fixing the existing catalog(s), rather than spend the time creating new catalog. The problem with creating a new catalog is that you lose most or all of your work (edits, user-provided metadata, etc.). But only you can judge if its worth it to you to clean things up in such a way that you lose your work, compared to clean things up in such a way that you retain your work.

 

In addition, I would stress that you probably want one catalog in the future, not multiple catalogs (yes, there are exceptions, but you haven't said anything to me that would make me think your situation is an exception).

 

And I agree with John, develop a workflow that allows you organize and search that does not involve moving photos from one folder to another outside of LrC. I would go one step further and advise workflow where you don't even move photos from within LrC — put them in their final destination straight out of the camera, and never move them again (exception: if you need to move them to a new disk or new computer, then you move them)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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I also agree with the other answers. My suggestion would be to combine all the catalogs in to one by opening that Main catalog , and using the IMPORT asnither catalog feature. Then proceed using LR as your moving tool. In other words do nit use the finder or explorer to move items at all. However, before you decide either way, make sur you have at least one back up copy of each of your catalogs on another ext drive. That way. You can disconnect that drive when you are reworking or réimportions whatever you decide, anIF you decide differently as you are workin, you can always go back to that back up and start over.

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