Is there a way to downsize/replace originals within the catalogue for "archiving" them?

New Here ,
Dec 30, 2020 Dec 30, 2020

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Hi,

 

I have a half-professional / half-leisure photo catalogue of multiple TB. As I stopped working as photographer there is no need to keep all the originals forever, however I like having the whole catalogue in one place, including all the catalogue metadata, star-ratings, collections and so on. 

I'm already deleting most of the 0 and 1-star images, just keeping higher rated selections but I don't want to be too strict and don't want to spend too much time double checking each and single shooting I ever did. 

 

Hence I'm looking for any way to reduce the file size of the images in my Archive. I would accept losing RAW format (e.g. for jpg), going from 16 to 8 bit, losing some pixels or anything else. I want to keep them mostly for personal reasons and will only use them for personal use, web or maximum of 30 x 20cm prints. 

 

Is there any way to do this which will achieve a significant reduction in file size for selected images?

 

If not, I could imagine that this could be an interesting feature for other photographers as well. Keeping old images with reduced filesizes would even have a positive effect on the environment, having less hard drives produced, less cloud storage being powered 24/7 for having 10 year old pictures in ultra-high-res quality…

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Feature request, Import and export, Mac, Performance

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Adobe Community Professional , Dec 30, 2020 Dec 30, 2020
How large is your photo collection currently in Gigabytes or Terabytes. A USB 3.1 4 TB External hardrive costs about $100. That would be my first suggestion. You can also export files to Lossy DNG file format. It is substantially smaller than the original raw file and retains the same capability as the raw file. Having said that image files that are heavily underexposed may have issues, but then they probably aren't your "keepers." The other issue is that some images that are cropped or have S...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 30, 2020 Dec 30, 2020

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If you really feel you want to do this then you can export JPEG copies of all of the desired raw images and add them to the catalog and then simply delete the raw images. Probably isn't a choice I would make because if I was a professional photographer I would consider the possibility of a client coming to me years later looking for a lost picture, and I would want to be able to provide the best possible quality. But the choice is yours. A subscription to Google Drive can provide you with virtually unlimited cloud storage, and I'm sure there are other similar services suitable for professional photographers.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 30, 2020 Dec 30, 2020

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There is really no direct way for you to downsize your original RAWs and still use them in the catalog.

 

A possibility is to create Smart Previews, and then either disconnect the drive where the RAWs are stored, and then the Smart Previews, which are lower quality and lower resolution versions of your image, will be used (although there are some things you can't do with Smart Previews).

 

You could export them all as JPGs, include the exported JPGs in the catalog, and then delete the RAWs.


Or, you could print them all to paper, delete the digital copies, and then your collection of digital photos will take up zero space.

 

But overall, your idea makes me squeamish, there are always advantages and disadvantages, one such disadvantage is the loss of quality in doing so. And there are many other disadvantages, and I haven't even tried to list them. So I would not recommend any of the above.

 

I don't even see why you need to do this, just get a larger drive for all your RAW images, and now you have kept them all in one place and in the catalog.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 30, 2020 Dec 30, 2020

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How large is your photo collection currently in Gigabytes or Terabytes. A USB 3.1 4 TB External hardrive costs about $100. That would be my first suggestion.

 

You can also export files to Lossy DNG file format. It is substantially smaller than the original raw file and retains the same capability as the raw file. Having said that image files that are heavily underexposed may have issues, but then they probably aren't your "keepers." The other issue is that some images that are cropped or have Spot Removal applied can appear as pink areas. In general you shouldn't have any issues, but it's best to check the exported lossy DNG files next to the originals inside LrC Library Grid view. Once satisfied you can use the filter bar to select and remove the raw files.

 

More info on lossy DNG file format from Adobe Engineer Eric Chan at the below link:

 

http://chromasoft.blogspot.com/2012/01/lightrooms-new-lossy-dng-compression.html

 

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New Here ,
Dec 30, 2020 Dec 30, 2020

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Hi,

 

@todd, the DNG conversion should work very well for now, it's reducing the filesize to roughly 20-25% which is good. 

 

Thanks all for the tips and also your objections. I know, storage is cheap and the easiest would be to just buy another cheap hard drive. However I still have several smaller external hard drives lying around and I actually am using some of the free cloud storage options to story a backup of my pictures. 

 

But as I mentioned above, there are other aspects than just the cost. Considering that Adobe, Amazon and other cloud providers also have multiple backups of all their data 5 TB of Photos easily become 25 or 50 TB (I have the originals and 1-2 backups on drives, plus adobe Cloud, Amazon Cloud with their backups).

 

All these drives have an impact when they are produced and the cloud storage is running 24/7, consuming energy and further resources. So reducing the impact and environmental footprint of my old photos makes much more sense (for me!) than just buying new stuff. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 30, 2020 Dec 30, 2020

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I've found a quick fix for lossy DNG files with the Spot Removal issue (pink squares). If you run across any of these during your check use Sync from the original file with 'Check All' selected. Obviously, you need to do this BEFORE you delete the original file. I've been using lossy DNG file exports to reduce the file size of large panorama DNG files. The file size is 1/10th or less (150MB>15MB) with no visible difference. You can also use 'Resize to Fit' in the Export module with lossy DNG file conversion to reduce the file size even more. The only problem I've encountered is the Spot Removal issue, which as mentioned can be corrected. Just some tips that may be helpful.

 

Spot Removal Sync.jpg

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LEGEND ,
Dec 30, 2020 Dec 30, 2020

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There is no reason to downsize or replace Originals if you want to move them off whatever drive they are now on to some other drive for the purpose of archivinig them.

 

Just Move them to that other drive from INSIDE of LrC.

they will thne still be in your LrC Catalog and OFF your internal drive.

 

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