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Lost originals

New Here ,
Jan 01, 2023 Jan 01, 2023

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I'm having a nervous breakdown trying to find lost photos. I have been using LR classic for many many years but I still have issues with how it organizes thing ans when I try to seperate subjects into seperate hd and do it inside the app as it suggested- it gets real confusing. I seem to have lost a lot of photos. I want to start from scratch and try and have as many pics in one place as I can. I hve all the cammera cards as I use that as a form of backup- I don't delete and reuse sim cards. I mean this is bringing me to tears in frustration and confusion.

 

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Explorer ,
Jan 01, 2023 Jan 01, 2023

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Lightroom Classic doesn't really organize any of your images. That is your responsibility. When you import images you choose what folder the images are imported into. Then, you can use keywords and collections to organize them however you want to organize them, but it isn't necessary to move the images anywhere from the folders to which they were imported originally. It really isn't necessary to separate images. If you try to move them by dragging/dropping them to different folders, even from within Lightroom, that is (in my opinion) one of the easiest ways to lose images because it's easy to drop images into the wrong folder. The images are there, but you don't know where you really dropped them.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 01, 2023 Jan 01, 2023

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I always recommend people import images by date and have lightroom create a dated folder structure for you automatically. If you need to offload to other HDs just drag entire months over to the other disk either inside Lightroom Classic or do it outside of Classic in Finder/Explorer and reconnect the folder in Classic. I highly recoomend AGAINST organizing the images' physical locations by subject as this always goes wrong as invariably you have lots of images that fall into two categories. Instead what you do is use keywords and collections (including smart collections) to organize by subject. This way an image can be under as many subject areas as you want and it does not matter whatsoever where the image is on your menagerie of hard disks, NAS disks, etc. For example, you have images from a family vacation that lasted 7 days. Just have Classic file these by date in the folder structure but create a new collection set that is called for example Hawaii fall 2022, then inside you make a smart collection that gathers all images from the dates that you were there and create subcollections for for example your visit to Hawaii volcanoes, or beach days, or whatever you want. The images do not move on your hard disk whatsoever but you can nicely find them in your collections. Bonus is that you get images from the kids texted to you. On your phone, add them to your Lightroom cloud library and set Lightroom sync up to file in the same dated hierarchy as you set up for normal imports and boom the images automatically also show up in your smart collection.

I think you get the picture. Use simple dated organization for your on-disk image storage. Organize by subject by using keywords and collections inside Classic.

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