I have 500,000 photos. The more I import, the huger the Lightroom database gets and eats up my storage space. I paid for 2 terabytes of Lightroom space. Thought importing from my hard drive goes directly to the cloud storage. I keep running out of space on my internal hard drive because the working database on my internal drive that Lightroom sets up gets so big I run out of space. This is causing the platform to be unusable for my needs, despite the benefits that such well written software has, number one, facial recognition. What is the purpose of this database, surely not storing actual duplicates of my imported stuff?
The problem is the way that import works. Basically, because of the time it will take to upload images to the cloud and as a form of protection, Lightroom first copies the images from their existing location (be that camera memory card or existing hard drive) into Lightroom's designated local storage location. The default location is on the local system drive, but that be changed in Preferences to any other locally attached drive, including NAS.
Once imported, Lightroom starts to upload them to the cloud, and once the upload is complete the local images can become eligible for automatic deletion (of course nothing will be deleted if in Preferences you have checked the option to "Store a copy of all originals locally"). However, that automatic deletion is subject to some complex rules to determine when a local copy should be removed, and it's fair to say that those rules are not agressive enough. Consequently, the local copies can hang around longer than desired by the user. You can, however, safely delete the local copies manually should you need to free up some space.
aha. that makes sense. a lot of sense. this means i have to set that temporary storage to another drive, thats big, and dedicated just to temporary working space. my main folder is subbed to year folders, and then within each year, more folders related to event or date. so it's easier to upload a large folder, than to go through each folder one by one within the tree. i do wish there was a way that my folder tree can be replicated when uploading, as it appears to be simply dumping all the pictures into a giant pool, and not being able to show the path of a particular's original when i'm looking at it from the cloud, in order to find a specific photo on my own ssd when i need to share it elsewhere.
It probably wouldn't be practical, or even possible, for Lightroom to replicate your drive and folder structure in the cloud....it's really more about using albums and other metadata such as keywords to organise your images. Having said that, the local copies aren't simply stored into a giant pool, if you dive down into the Originals folder you will find that all the images are stored in a folder structure based on capture date.....so finding a local copy on the local drive should be easy. But maybe rethink the part about finding it locally to "share it elsewhere"....the local copy, like the originals in the cloud, are unedited and so would not show any edits that you may have made. Instead, start looking at the built-in sharing capabilities, which would of course always include the relevant edits.
capture dates are usually relevant for digital camera photos, but doesn't help with scanned stuff, nor even all the photos recovered from google images (takeout). metadata is all over the place. when we first started using digital cameras, i had so many that had the default date and time from the camera, before i started teaching people that they had to set the date and time in their cameras for that to be accurate. so, with my collection, it's mostly guesswork from memory when coming across something that didn't seem accurate in the metadata to begin with. being poor, the early digital cameras didn't even have date/time settings at all. i dream of the Guillotine in 'the final cut', that'd be such an awesome thing to have...
here's my workaround to the constant "not enough space" issue when using my internal drive as the working directory. i connected a second, empty large drive (2 tb), and changed the local storage directory to this new drive. now lightroom is using this drive for that temporary storage without issue. kind of a mickey mouse way to get around all the storage issues that default to using the same drive that the app is installed on, particularly when internal storage is usually not large enough for all the heavy duty stuff. too much trouble to install a super large boot drive, which financially is unfeasible. not to mention, the 'all your eggs in one basket' conundrum.