Light Room File organization/work flow

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by RyanLilly, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I Decided to try lightroom 2 a few weeks ago, and so far I think I am an convert. The layout is intuitive, its faster than Aperture, and I can use droplets to run NoiseWare and other photoshop actions without actually having to manually put everything through photoshop.
    Now my question to all of the light room user out there is about where you keep your files. How do you organize Raw files, then jpg files scaled for web use, and also full size jpgs for printing. I like to keep the file numbers just as they are from the camera, but how do you organize everthing so when I go to find a specific shot a year from now, I can find the Raw and both jpegs easily?

    Also, I have external storage for my photos, is there any good way to keep a project on my laptop as well as my external drive, so I am not locked to one location?
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2009
  2. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm not an EXPERT on LR, far from it but this is my thing:
    Once my shooting is done, files are copied onto computer in to the folder with this format: yyyy-mm-dd. Then I important that folder.
    Once I get to the images, 1) adjust WB (if needs be) 2)exposure, brightness/contrast 3) use Nik Software for filters 4) PS if needs but but more often isn't needed. 5) export to the same folder under yyyy-mm-dd-###. The folder (with both original names and new names are backed up in two different external hard drives.
     
  3. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What works for me on file organization:

    My typical folder structure:

    Drive K contains folder: "All Buck's Photos"

    "All Buck's Photos" contains sub-folders by year:
    2000
    2001
    2002
    2003
    2004
    2005
    2006
    2007
    2008
    2009

    Each year folder contains sub-folders labeled with specific dates and descriptions, like:
    01-18-09 - Jessica Lovett
    01-20-09 - Cheboygan Lighthouse
    01-26-09 - Jake Johnson
    01-29-09 - Linda Talbot

    Each date/description folder contains the RAW files, and sub-folders with additional types of files in them (as needed):
    TIF
    JPG
    PSD
    HDR
    MURAL-SIZED

    Also, use the tags feature of Lightroom to easily locate files later by keywords.

    Drive K is kept synchronized and backed up with an exact duplicate on another drive. They (and 8 other external drives) are connected via E-SATA, so they're just as fast as if they were in my machine, rather than sitting next to it.
     
  4. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    CF cards are downloaded through LightRoom. I create a Folder ie "MonaChavezHermosaBeach" LR creates the folder 2009-10-6 containing all images. After many flags and colors I create a folder "MonaChavezPost" I export the raw images for the client to see. After we decide on the keepers I edit the images and export to a folder called "MonaChavezFin". Usually a jpg folder is required called "MonaChavezFinJPG". Additional folders may be required, but I think you get the point.

    After years of working in LR this is what works for me. Probably not the most logical, but I can say from experience that it is working. You will have to develop your own style and fast. LR is a monster. Without the connivence of the "save as" function in PS I found I had to pay paticular close attention to my workflo.

    Love & Bass
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I keep my RAW files only until I am finished with them. Then I export the entire folder out of Lightroom into JPEG format.

    I see no sense in keeping scaled down copies since I can make these in about 30 seconds from the larger copies whenever I want. I see no sense in keeping RAW files, TIFF files, or anything else beyond top quality JPEG files since I don't have the time nor will to re-edit old pictures.

    Removing a folder from the Lightroom DB doesn't delete it so I remove it and then physically go into the local drive where I store the RAWs and delete the folder out of there.

    Final JPEGs get sorted into a folder \Event if relevant - Shooting location [Month year]\
     
  6. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    I stick with dates, for everything, and just make good use of keywords (or so I tell myself) for organization.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I keep my files in a folder structure by type of shoot; wedding, portraits (& misc) and personal. Then by year and date of shoot.

    After the work is done in LR, I only output other files as needed. If I need Jpeg files for uploading for web viewing, I use my preset for that and put them into a sub folder 'web'. If I need Jpeg files for printing, same procedure.

    I could delete the Jpegs after using them, because I still have the RAW files & adjustments in LR. I try not to do anything to them past LR, so that the images in LR are the 'finished' ones. For images that need Photoshop work, I take them directly from LR, via the 'Edit in....' command, which brings them back into LR when done in PS.

    To make things easier while in LR, I first go through and mark the obvious duds for deletion (x key) and the obvious keepers get a flag (p key). I might take a longer look at the 'maybe' images but eventually I'll have all the keepers marked or selected. I then take those files and create a collection in LR. This makes them easy to find/work on.
    I also add key words to most images, which makes them easy to find later.
     
  8. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    My version of LR-2 (2.5 for the Mac) gives a popup with the option of merely deleting from the DB or trashing the files completely.
     
  9. boomer

    boomer No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm really close to using Bucksters organization methods. Seems to work well for me.
     
  10. Turnerea

    Turnerea TPF Noob!

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    If you are asking what the difference is here, then the "remove" button simply removes the photos from the catalog, so they are not in the LR interface anymore. "delete" actually deletes the files from their location on your drive.

    I usually import from camera to my labtop through LR. Due any work in LR and PS. Then export to an external harddrive, and delete all the files from LR (which deletes them on my labtop). If I go back and look again, I need to import from the external, but when I'm done make sure to REMOVE not DELETE, as these are the only files I have at that point. If I were shooting weddings, or anything else professional-esque, a backup of my external would be necessary.
     
  11. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    That's what I thought that I had said!
     
  12. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yep but how do you delete the folder?

    When I click on the folder, right click, then the only option is "remove" after which I get a confirmation that the files will remain on disk.

    If I do this on the file in the grid view then I get the same result as you, but that only works for files in the folder and won't remove the folder.

    Lightroom 2.4 on Windows, not sure if the update has changed something there.
     

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