I'm having some confusion with folders vs collections as I prepare to switch over from Lightroom Classic CC to Lightroom CC and I'm afraid I'm going to need some help figuring out how to safely and wisely handle things.
I have my photo library, and my catalog on a LaCie external drive at this time that I plug into my MacBook Pro whenever I want to work with my photos.
I have cleaned up this library and now have it down to between 8,000 and 9,000 photos in this library, and the Catalog is optimized with no missing photos.
This library is organized into hundreds of Folders in the folders tab on Lightroom Classic CC.
So I could share some of these photos, I created some Collections under the collections tab, and about 1,200 of the photos from my Folders, are organized into Collections with sub-categories, just like in my Folders. All of these Collection sub-categories show up in Lightroom CC (although I can't see the main headings), where I can see these, roughly, 1,200 photos. For example, I have a Collection named "Birds" and under that heading in Categories, I have about 150 sub-categories named for a bird type (Cardinal, American Crow, etc...). I can see all of the individual bird type sub-category Collections in Lightroom CC, but not the heading "Birds," so they appear alphabetically, mixed in with all of the individual mushroom types I have in the sub-categories under the Collection "Mushrooms," with the Bird sub-categories and Mushroom sub-categories all mixed together, and not under their headings as they appear in my Folders or Collections in Lightroom Classic CC on my MacBook.
Of course, the rest of my 8-9,000 photos that are not in these collections, don't show up in Lightroom CC.
How to get all of my photos to show up in Lightroom CC, organized (ideally as they are in my Folders) is sadly not proving to be intuitive to me, nor am I finding a good forum, video, tutorial, etc... as to how to accomplish this. I have found the page that offers Migration instructions (Migrate photos and videos from Lightroom Classic CC to Lightroom CC), but I'm concerned about doing this until I better understand exactly what I'm doing.
In the end, I want to have all of my photos on the Adobe Cloud, organized, and a decent workflow from my iPhone X and my Nikon cameras, so I can do all of this web based through the new Lightroom CC, and have the ability to easily access and share all of my photos, and I'm afraid to make any moves until I have a better understanding of how to accomplish this, as it sounds like you can only do it once.
My understanding is that my photo Library is separate from my Catalog of edits and meta-data affecting these original photos. Will migrating my Catalog also migrate all of my photos to the cloud? The migrations instructions aren't clear to me whether I'll be migrating my photo library, my Catalog, or both. Should I do away with my Collections? Do they become obsolete once the Library is moved over? Will my Folders and subfolders from Lightroom Classic CC be visible in Lightroom CC after migrating? If not, do I have to re-organize all of this?
I'm a bit nervous about proceeding until I have a better grip on this stuff, and will have great respect and appreciation for anyone who can clearly lay out what I need to do to get up and running on Lightroom CC in an organized way.
Please forgive the long-winded post, and thanks in advance for any help you can provide,
First thing....yes you can (supposedly) only migrate a catalog once to LRCC, though I think it might be possible to do it again, though this would probably create a mess. So best to do it once, but to make sure you get everything set up the way you want it (which it sounds as though you are doing/have done).
Second: you should probably only think about using the catalog migration tool if you are certain that you no longer want to use LR Classic (because there are some potential post-migration issues if you intend to continue to Classic and LRCC in a hybrid workflow). The benefit of using the migration tool is that it gets across all the data that otherwise doesn't sync between Classic and LRCC, notably keywords and location data. However, there are ways to manage that without having to formally migrate.
Terminology: Folders (as in your OS file-system and referenced in Classic) are irrelevant as far as LRCC is concerned. You will not see them in LRCC post-migration. However, LRCC does use the term Folders, but there it means sets of Albums, which in turn are Collections in Classic. So Collection Sets in Classic are Folders in LRCC, and Collections in Classic are Albums in LRCC. The problem that you've run into is that Collection Sets do not sync, whereas Collections do. The thing is that in LRCC you can manually recreate your Collection Sets in LRCC, e.g. you could create a Folder called Birds, then drag all the Birds sub-folders into that Folder. So if you have any more organising to do, don't do it using Folders in Classic, do it using Collections in Classic, or Folders and Albums in LRCC.
Migration will migrate ALL images in the Classic catalog. It will migrate the collection sets and collections to create Folders and Albums (up to, I think, 5 hierarchical levels). Any images not in collections will appear in All Photos in LRCC and also in an album with the same name as the migrated catalog. There will be a Folder (Album Set) called "Migrated catalogname", under which will be the Album called "catalogname" and the rest of the existing collection sets and collections which appear as Folders and Albums. Because all this appears under that "Migrated catalogname" Folder, I would guess that the existing Albums in LRCC will be duplicated under the new Folder. Probably not a big deal, but something you need to be aware of.
During Migration, LRCC copies all your existing images from their current drive locations and stores the copy in the location specified in the LRCC preferences (Local Storage tab). If you have not specified a new location, it will use the default location, which is on your system drive. So whichever location you use, you will have to make sure that sufficient free space is available, equal to the amount of space currently occupied by your images. The original images, managed by Classic, are not affected by the migration, they are only read by the migration process. Once they are uploaded by LRCC, using that copy that it made during migration, what then happens to that copy depends on whether you have checked the option to "Store a copy of all originals locally"....if it's checked, then it's already got them and will carry on storing new originals in that location. If it's unchecked, over time that set of copied originals will gradually be removed by LRCC.
Hope that helps, any more questions then ask away.
You seemed to have synced collections from LR Classic to LR CC and lost the collection set. That is what happens. Unsync until LRCC is empty. Sync again only the "Birds". You can click the first and shift click the last synced "Bird" Album in move all into a freshly created folder "Birds". Repeat the same with "mushrooms".
Drag Folders and Subfolders into collections, organize and repeat steps from above.
That just Synced smart previous.
Now comes the part I am not sure: Upload the original photos from the folder into LRCC. It should find the existing associated smart previous and replace those with the original. Should.
For anyone running into the problem of wanting to go back from migrating, just create a new catalogue (in LR Classic) and simply import all folders from your current LR Classic catalogue.
Now you can go migrate the new catalogue in LR CC