I've been using LR since it came out and I now have LR Classic 9.3 on a 10 year old iMac running High Sierra 10.13.6. LR is on the iMac's HD and my images are on an extrenal hard drive.
I now have some time to review my older images and have realized my cataloging has been, well, suboptimal.
When I got started in this new world of digital photography (10 or 15 years ago) I would import imags into a folder named for the camera I was using (i.e., Canon 5D, Leica M8). I later started to put images into appropriately named subfolders (i.e., Dog Shows 2007) but still under the folder named after the camera I was using.
I now realize this was dumb and import new photos into more appropriately named folders (i.e., Fireworks Stands 2020).
I understand that any reorganizing needs to be done within LR, but I can't quite grasp how to move the subfolder Dog Shows 2007 out from under/within the folder Leica M8 and into a location where it is a folder and not a subfolder.
The answer is out there I am sure but I can't find it. Any help will be most appreciated.
The good news is that is actually pretty easy. The bad news is that I also am orgnaizing things that hsould have been organized years ago.
What you need to do is in the Library mode, drag the folders where you want them to be. If you want, let's say in your Lieca you went to NY two times, once in 1998, and then in 2002. What I've done is to create a folder called New York, and in the Lieca folder I see all of the image I want to move into a 1998 folder. I select all of those images, then in the NY folder I right-click and select Create new folder in NY, I call that folder 1998 and check the box that asks if I want to move all of the selected images. Click yes and then let it happen.
I STRONGLY suggest that as long as you have this on an external hard drive, do you back up your drive? It all boils down to the adage: "There are two kinds of hard drive users. Those who've had a hard drive crash and those who've not had a hard drive crash YET."
Over the years I've had several hard drives crash and yes I've lost stuff. Here's what I now do:
I have a 4 TB drive that holds all of my images and many documents. I have a 2nd 4TB drive that I use to back up my first drive. I manually do this at least once a week or more often if I've done a lot of work.
I have a 3rd 4TB drive I use for Apple's Time Machine.
I also use a cloud service incase the house burns down. Am I paranoid? No, just a realist. In a worst case scenario, I would not lose much, at worse some time.Â
[Note: the 4TB is entirely based on what I need. Your needs may demand more or less hard drive space. Whatever you think you need, double it.]
Thanks, Gary. I'm going to work on this over the coming weekend.
One quick question: When you say 'create a folder called New York' do you do that within LR or on the external HD itself?
I am with you on the need to back up. As the saying goes, Backup early and Backup Often.
With the greatest respect for Jim, you should only work within Lightroom. Anything you create in the Finder is unknown to Lightroom. If you create in the Finder, you won't be able to find that folder in Lightroom to move images into that folder.
How do you create a folder from within Lightroom on a Mac?
If you right click on any folder in the folder that contains your images (let's call it "my images"), one of the top options is "Create a folder in My Images..."
at that point you can give that new folder a name. Unless you have the images already selected to move into that folder, be sure you uncheck the box on the bottom saying to move the selected images into the new folder.
Once you do this a couple of times it will be very natural.
let me know how it goes.
So far so good. I think I'll be finished by 2025.
I appreciate all the help!
Glad to help. I found a certain amount of zen to this.
Plus, in places I've gone to and failed to write down some of the names of the places I was at, it was a lot of fun to look for ANY markers or signs to give me a clue. Then I could use the date and time from the metadata to see if I was at any location for more than a day or half a day. It is SSSOOOOO much fun to see some street signs, try to find that in googlemaps and then go to street view to see what it looks like now. Just hte other day I had taken a photo of a residence who had made his lawn to look like a pirate ship. It is now all grown over, all gone.
Yeah, that sucks up even more time but it is soooo worthwhile.
It doesn't matter whether you create that new folder using Finder or whether you create the folder from within Lightroom. The result will be the same. It will be a new folder created on that hard drive. There are no folders "in" Lightroom. After you have created the folder, an easy way to move images into that folder is to highlight the images that you want to move by selecting them individually or in a group. After you have a group selected that you want to move, locate the folder that you have created in the left-hand column in the library module and right-click (or Ctrl-click as the case may be) and choose the option to move the images to that folder. That will start the process of moving those images from where they are now located to that new folder. I prefer using this option because it seems to help eliminate the error of dropping the images in a folder that was unintended, and therefore losing track of where they are located. Just a suggestion, not something that you must do.
I will provide a different opinion than the above.
Leave your folders alone. Do not rename them, do not move them, do not re-organize them, do not spend any more effort on somehow making folders more useful or meaningful. If you are going to put effort into organizing, use tools that were designed to help you organize photos. These tools are Lightroom tools such as keywords and other metadata. These tools provide much more power and flexibility and will result in a far superior organization than anything you can do with folders. And then, when you need to search for the photos, it doesn't matter what folder they are in, Lightroom will find them if you provide the proper keyword or other metadata. If you want to search for photos that were taken at a beach, you tell Lightroom you want photos with the "Beach" keyword. If furthermore, you want to limit this to photos taken 2015 to 2020, this is simple with the Lightroom filter bar. And so on and so forth. And this works extremely well, even if your folders are disorganized; your ability to find the desired photos in Lightroom is now independent of how the folders are organized or disorganized.
Take advantage of the power of Lightroom organizing, and avoid the limitations of folder organizing.
I don't disagree with your comments at all. There's no doubt that keywords are far more powerful than folders. I use both becuase that's the way my mind works. I need both the structure and the power.
Suffice it to say that there are different ways to do things and different ways to get at the task. After creating the folders that he has, perhaps he'll try to do it just the keyword way and find the way that works best for him. Thanks for bringing up an alternate appraoch.
The only problem I have with your approach is that if he has 10(?) years of photos, it's almost impossible to start at one end and know where the other end is. It's one thing if you have 100 images but thousands? I suppose you could have him break it down by years and put them in folders, that would simplify things to some degree. But then if he has all of 1999 in one folder, how does he know which images have keywords and which do not. I suppose he could have 1999 and folder 1999K (the "K" for images that have keywords).
Anyhow, this is now his task, he'll find one that works best for him.
"But then if he has all of 1999 in one folder, how does he know which images have keywords and which do not."
At no point did I ever state that you put everything in one large folder, or a folder of all 2010 photos. I specifically said: "Leave your folders alone. Do not rename them, do not move them, do not re-organize them, do not spend any more effort on somehow making folders more useful or meaningful."
In any event, if you sort the photos by capture date and time (a unique sorting) in Lightroom's "All Photographs" view, and you start adding keywords and other metadata at one end (either the beginning of the time period or the end of the time period), and you then progress towards the other end, you will know clearly which photos have keywords and which don't because the ones that have keywords will have a badge indicating a keyword(s) has been assigned.
The process I am trying to describe does not depend on folders, whatever organization or disorganization exists of your folders has no effect on the above. My process ignores folders entirely, whereas you still seem to be implying that folders have a meaningful role on whatever is done.
At this point in time I have about 62,000 in my catalog.
I do not know about you but if I am looking at 62,000 images and none of them have keywords and none of them are organized in any way, I'd have a hell of a time to know where to start or how far I've gone or what to do. If there wasn't a way to organize it down to quantum bits, I'd give up and find new softare. Working with that many images that are all starting from scratch to me is overwhelming. Maybe you can do it, I cannot.
When I suggested he break it down by year that was simply ONE way to break it down to quantum bits to work with. Even if he did it by camera, it would be better than trying to keyword 62,000 images.
If you have any other ways to tell me that I do not know what I'm talking about, please PM off list.
Thanks for these thoughts.
It was another rookie mistake: I did not add keywords when I should have. I am doing it now but as I go back through my archives re-evaluating shots from 15 years ago or earlier (not to mention folders that contain scans from negatives predating my digital experience; I've got negatives going back to the late 50s early 60s) it will be easier for me to look at my folder directory and see "Dallas Family Reunion 2007" than "Canon 5D 2007". I've got a total of over 50,000 images in my LR catalog so far.
As I guess you can tell I've been taking photos for a relatively long time and my memory is now so cluttered I want a system that helps pierce the fog.
I'm still in learning mode and I want to go back and see if I have any undiscovered gems....or learn from my mistakes. I think what I am doing now will help me, I just don't want to make another rookie mistake. I'm too old for that now.
Yes, I need the same jog of "groups of images" to remind me what took place. I do find that placing a block of images together is important for ME to help know what keywords to apply. As BJ says, the keywords are far more important than the folders but without the folders, I can't properly or logically assign the keywords. He obviously has a better memory than I have. ;>)
Do what you need to do to get what you want. When you get there, it will be a great system.
"It was another rookie mistake: I did not add keywords when I should have. I am doing it now but as I go back through my archives re-evaluating shots from 15 years ago or earlier (not to mention folders that contain scans from negatives predating my digital experience; I've got negatives going back to the late 50s early 60s) it will be easier for me to look at my folder directory and see "Dallas Family Reunion 2007" than "Canon 5D 2007". I've got a total of over 50,000 images in my LR catalog so far."
So as I said, you do not change or modify your folder organization. The photos in the Dallas Family Reunion 2007 folder should get the "Dallas Family Reunion" keyword. You have already done the work to give the folder name some useful information, no one says you have to lose that or not use that.
Yes, with this many images, adding keywords is going to take some effort. There's no way around it. It takes time and patience and perseverance and a "process" to keep track of where you are. I understand why this is a daunting task, and thus I have recommended a process. The process I recommended is to go through All Photographs, in sequence, from earliest to latest (or latest to earliest, it doesn't matter), adding keywords and other metadata, and if necessary looking at the folder name to obtain information that should go into keyword. The method of using All Photographs rather than selecting specific folders is so you can be sure you have keyworded all photos and not forgotten any (unless you specifically decide a photo doesn't get a keyword).