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Lightroom Organization: Where do you Keep Master Edit files?

Participant ,
Mar 27, 2020

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Regarding the finished files from which I've created prints (and will likely want to creat more prints in the future) - where do you find it makes the most sense to keep them?

 

I could keep them in their respective dated folders with the others shot in the same session. Or I could keep them in a folder marked for Master Edited files.

 

I'll be using Lightroom's keywords and collections but this question relates to the actual storage location.

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Lightroom Organization: Where do you Keep Master Edit files?

Participant ,
Mar 27, 2020

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Regarding the finished files from which I've created prints (and will likely want to creat more prints in the future) - where do you find it makes the most sense to keep them?

 

I could keep them in their respective dated folders with the others shot in the same session. Or I could keep them in a folder marked for Master Edited files.

 

I'll be using Lightroom's keywords and collections but this question relates to the actual storage location.

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Import and export

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 27, 2020

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What do you mean with 'finished files'? Did you create a copy of them because you went to Photoshop? Lightroom stores its edits in the catalog, and does not change the original images. That means there is nothing to store when you have finished editing an image. The edits are already stored in the catalog, and the original image wasn't touched so it does not need to be stored again.

-- Johan W. Elzenga, http://www.johanfoto.com

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Participant ,
Mar 27, 2020

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What I mean by 'finished files' is the PSD file. I open the DNG in Photoshop and create from it a PSD. I know the original DNG is not changed and the DNG will remain in its original location. But I have the PSD that I'm wondering whether I should keep it in the folder with its original DNG or in a different folder marked just for master edited (finished) files.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 28, 2020

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 27, 2020

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That is up to you. There is no 'correct' place to store an image like that. Store it where it makes the most sense to you, not to other people.

-- Johan W. Elzenga, http://www.johanfoto.com

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Participant ,
Mar 27, 2020

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Yes, I know there's no 'correct' place. I don't yet know what makes sense to me; I am just beginning to use Lightroom to organize my images. I am asking for suggestions based on the experience and observations of those who have done this kind of thing before. Understanding Lightroom and its associated concepts may be easy for you and others who are kind enough to volunteer their time helping people in this forum. But please understand that others like myself are technically challenged and much of this is like a foreign language.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 27, 2020

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My preference is to store finished files in their own folder structure, which happens to be on a separate drive. I can easily find both the original raw files and the finished files by sorting in LR, filtering on date, and the filenames contain common info (date+frame no).

 

Why? Well, I like to have multiple copies of my originals - effectively duplicating the original drives. If they also contained finished files, I'd be using much more space and I can always recreate those files if necessary. As well as making better use of space, I often re-edit finished files and back up that work separately from the originals.

 

It's probably more common that people file the finished versions with the originals, or at least in subfolders. Partly that's because people just struggle to get away from good old folders, but it might also make more sense if your photography is more based around "jobs" (loosely defined). So  you might shoot a performance or wedding and want all the related files kept together, especially if there is a high proportion of finished files (mine tend to be smaller in number but big in size). As my approach is more hard core DAM/metadata-oriented, I just enter the job field and can find all the related files just as quickly.

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Participant ,
Jul 30, 2020

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Thank you, john_beardsworth, I like the idea of storing finished files in their own folder structure and on a separate drive - that's what I've decided to try.

 

To add those files in Lightroom, do you go to Import and use the Add option?

 

And what is your workflow regarding getting those finished files in the catalog? I ask because it seems like one would have to have a reminder to add those files, either at regular intervals or after a session of editing images.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 30, 2020

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Some are imported automatically because I start the process by an Edit In Photoshop, and I then move them to my finished folder structure as soon as I return to LR.

 

On other occasions I just save the TIF to my finished folder structure and do a Folder > Synchronize in LR.

 

In any case it's no big deal. I just prefer to get the files recorded in LR before I forget.

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Participant ,
Jul 30, 2020

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I have a folder we'll call finished_files and those files are not yet in the LR catalog. Can I use Synchronize Folder to get all those files into the LR catalog? I appreciate all the help.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 28, 2020

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My file organization looks something like this:

Each shoot/event has a folder named for the date and maybe an event name.

Under that is a sub folder for the original image files, which may be further organized.

A sub folder called "exports" for the JPG files exported for printing or uploading.

20191025_product_release

   +- originals

   +- exports

Any PSD files created by LR to PS to LR get stored in the originals folder.

This format allows me to archive the job as a whole.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 30, 2020

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If I'm doing my own printing, which I often do, I will print using the master raw file if I haven't found it necessary to go to Photoshop. Sometimes I will create a soft proof and print from that virtual copy, but I don't see the need to create a "final" copy because I might decide to modify the master image again. Then I would have to create another file copy. Generally speaking, the only time I create a copy of an image is when I need a copy, such as a JPEG, to send to someone or to post on social media, etc.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 30, 2020

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I save finished PSD files in a separate location from my RAW images. I have folders for each shoot by client/model, and by location for my landscape and scenic work.

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