I have a total of 40K photos all managed on my mac with Photos (in different libraries). Currently I backup my photos using arqbackup and their cloud option.
I am not comfortable anymore with Apple Photos (too slow, need to split my photos in different libraries other Photos app is not usable, lack of photo editing functions...).
So I am now looking for another set of tools to manage my photos and Adobe LightRoom Classic seems to be a good pick but I still have (many) questions:
- How do you organize all your photos ? Only as files organized in folders' hierarchies? Do you use Adobe Bridge? Any other tool?
- Where do you store your photos (apart from an external drive)?
- Do you use Adobe Creative Cloud file storage ? Is it safe to consider that my photos, once stored there, are backed up? (therefore I should not need any other backup solution for my photos)
I known, many questions 😉 but I really would love to hear from the community about these typical use cases around the adobe set of tools 🙂
1) Organize Photos?
That all depends on what you have done in the Apple Mac Photos App. By Default that program, and similar Apple image programs before it, iPhotos, Moved/Copied the images you imported into it into its Own Folder structure and basically hinding the original images from the user. It placed them into a Package Folder that looks like just a File to the user unless you right Click on it and select Show Package Contents. IIRC the file name of that package folder is something like PhotosLibrary.library.
It then Expanded into multiple folder with one called Masters. In that Masters folder you will find other folders that have Dates as the folder names. In those date name folders you will find your actual images.
Those are the Original images with NO Edits or organization as in Libraries (or whatever they are called in that program) made to them.
To continue on this topic you need to state If the Photos App has placed all your original images in that Package folder.
1A) How do you store the images files?
In LrC the Catalog file is just a Database file that Records, References, are made into it as to where your images are stored, on your hard drives whether internal or External, and what edits you have made to them.
I place most of my image file into Date named folders by the Shot Date and LrC does that on import if I am copying them from my cameras memory card. I do place some in Named folder for location I shot them in, Like New Orleans or Key West and the like, and then Dated folder names under those top level folders.
But you can place them anywhere except in the Clouds only.
I don't use Bridge for this I use LrC. Any other tools? NO.
2)Where do you store your images?
I store 99% of my images on my E:\ drive, I'm a Windows User, which is an Internal drive of my desktop computer. Some on my D:\ drive, also internal but not many.
And Backups of all my images on my T and U drives which are external drives.
3) Do you use the C Cloud storage? NO. And no other online storage system.
4) Therefore I should not need any other backup solution.
Correct IF YOU ARE A FOOL (Sorry but thinking any online system is the only backup system you need to protect all your important Data is EXTREMELY FOOLISH).
What happens if you forget or can't pay the bill for the oinline storage? They DELETE your files.
Than Classic it is.
Currently I have about 60,000 images in my catalog and I know of people having twice that with no issues. So that should not be a concern.
There are two frames of thought on storage of the images (besides being on a 2nd drive). Some people prefer to keep all of their images in as few folders as possible letting keywords do all of the work, while others (such as myself) prefer to keep the images organized by events and/or localities. So, I have one folder called Families where all old family photos are located and I also have sub-folders of main divisions of the family where the photos came from (some parts of the family did a better job than others of storing photos).
Then, because I do a lot of traveling, I have folders for countries and/or states and sub-folders for specific trips.
You can see where I'm going with this, it doesn't make a difference how your folder structure is developed, if you maintain one.
Keywording is excellent and I also rely upon that. Speaking of families, if you have a family event and Aunt Zelda is in a few photos of that plus there were the time you visited her on one of your trips, do you have a folder for just her? Of course not. you have the face recognition keep tabs on her so that if you want to see all of the Aunt Zelda photos, just locate her in the keywords and bam, there they are.
Or you can have a smart folder so that any time Aunt Zelda is keyworded in the photo, there will be a Smart Collection of her photos.
Or you can have a Collection of the selected images on a trip. These can be Synced to the Cloud so if you're at a party and things are not exciting enough, you can pull out your phone and show off your trip's images.
Now, One more important thing to work with in the beginning: where to put things: Yes, you do want to have all of your images on a 2nd drive. But there is also a Catalog that has all of the information about your images. There are two places you can put this: The default location that Adobe will place this Catalog is in your Photos folder in your users folder. LR-C doesn't care where ANYTHING is located. You can have your photos on your computer, on a 2nd drive, on a flash drive, it doesn't care. But I do care. I want all of my images in the same location. So I place all of my images in one folder on a 2nd drive. I also place my catalog in the same folder on a 2nd drive. Yes, this will cause things to run a tad slower, especially when you first start up your Catalog but I find it negligable. I'm talking a 2-3 seconds slower. I will accept that so that I can also (if needed) move that drive to any other computer and LR-C has everything it needs.
And lastly lastly, there are two kinds of computer users: those who've had a hard drive crash and those who've not had a hard drive crash YET. So, I have one 4 TB drive that holds my images and all of my important documents. I have a 2nd 4 TB drive that backs up the contents of the first drive. I also have a third 4 TB drive that I use for Apple's Time Machine. Lastly, I have my computer and my first drive backed up to a cloud service. Paranoid? No. I just like getting restful sleep.
And lastly lastly, check out The Lightroom Queen (https://www.lightroomqueen.com), she has a bunch of great information and a free ebook to help you get started. But feel free to ask more questions in here.
Thank you for your help and for the link (LRQueen) which seems to have all information I ever need on LRC 🙂
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1. How do you organize all your photos ?
In folders by date. Any other organizations can be accomplished by using Collections (virtual lists), keywords, etc. in Lightroom Classic.
By the way, Lightroom Classic, Lightroom, and Apple Photos all follow the modern philosophy of storing images in folders by date, and letting you create any number of virtual organizations with lists (like Albums and Projects in Apple Photos). This solves a lot of organizational problems. The problem with organizing by subject is that you cannot resolve photos with content that has multiple meanings. If a photo has Aunt May and Dad on a family vacation in Utah, and your folders are organized by family member, place, etc. the photo can be stored only in one of those folders, not all three. Instead you organize photos by date and attach metadata to the photos (Aunt Mary, Dad, Utah) so that, at any time, that photo can be recombined in any way with any photos from any other date folders. This also lets you easily store multiple organizations for the same set of photos. And the photos will be easy to find, because a metadata search doesn't depend on the way someone decided to name folders and files.
2. Where do you store your photos (apart from an external drive)?
Everywhere. Lightroom Classic can catalog photos on any volume that can be mounted locally. While the majority of my photos are in an external enclosure with multiple drives (because there are too many to fit in my Mac), I also use Lightroom Classic to catalog some photos I keep on the same MacBook Pro where I keep my Lightroom Classic catalog database file, and also on various removable media. Each volume is listed separately in Lightroom Classic. It will remember the paths to folders for volumes that are not mounted. If I want to work with a photo on a volume that’s not plugged in, I can still use Lightroom Classic to tell me which drive it’s on and show me its preview and metadata; if I actually want to edit it I have to plug in the drive.
The difference between that and Apple Photos is that Photos works with a single catalog that prefers all photos to be on the computer inside the Photos Library package, and if that gets too big for the storage in your Mac, that’s a problem.
Do you use Adobe Bridge?
Sure, when it’s a good idea to. Adobe Bridge and the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in in can do many of the same things as the Library and Develop modules in Lightroom Classic. The nice thing about Lightroon Classic is that because you can catalog photos from any local folder, you can point Bridge to the same folder, so it (and Adobe Camera Raw) can edit the same files. Lightroom Classic and Bridge also use the same metadata file format, so although it takes a couple extra manual steps you can share edit information and metadata between Lightroom Classic and Bridge.
3. Do you use Adobe Creative Cloud file storage?
The short answer is “not much” but you have to be very careful as to what question you are asking. Technically, almost nobody uses Lightroom Classic with what is called “Adobe Creative Cloud Files.” That is Adobe cloud storage that works like Dropbox — some folders on your computer that are synced to copies of those folders on Adobe servers. Like Dropbox, Adobe Creative Cloud Files are for anything: Adobe Illustrator files, Photoshop files, even Word documents.
The primary cloud storage used by Lightroom Classic is actually Lightroom Photos. This cloud storage area is photo-focused and separate from Adobe Creative Cloud Files. Lightroom Photos stores synced photos baseed on sets of photos in Lightroom Classic (Mac and Windows) and also Lightroom (for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and web browser). This I do use, only for a few hundred photos I like to get to from other devices.
The organizational and cloud sync philosophy of Lightroom (not Classic) is basically the same as Apple Photos: User does not have to think about anything, just throw in your images and you can get to them from Lightroom on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and web browser.
In contrast, Lightroom Classic only syncs collections of photos that you have specifically marked to store in the cloud That’s because:
I am sorry this answer is getting long, but it’s important to know that there isn’t just “the Adobe cloud.” When you talk about files on Adobe cloud servers, you must always be specific as to which Adobe cloud storage service you are talking about:
and probably one or two more I forget about…
Regarding whether your photos are safe in the cloud: In theory they are safer than the way many people store them. Many people don’t keep regulary updated backups, but most reputable cloud services have requirements and practices to maintain data in multiple places, so that users never notice any failures they have with hardware or networks. However, it’s obviously a good idea to have your own local backup. Do you want access to your own photos if a problem prevents you from reaching Adobe servers?
Thank you for the detailed answer 🙂
All this now definitely makes sense to me now and the path ahead seems clear so far. LRC in addition with local storage (ext drive probably) for storing my images and the catalog files.
I am still a bit unclear about whether I should use Bridge or LRC but in anycase, going with LRC seems to be the best choice.
Thanks again for your help
I have just invested in Lightroom, etc with Adobe.
I have stored appr 21k photos on my Mac.
I want to migrate these photos, organise and edit.
I am having difficulty in migating - keeps telling that there are errors and stops migration.
I don't know how to migrate.
New to all these.