About to Try LR Again; Need Advice

sm4him

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(NOTE: If you'd like to skip my rambling back story, just go to the part that says "MY POINT." :D )
Back before LR4 came out, I downloaded the trial version of LR3 and gave it a try. I gotta admit, I never really figured it out and gave up on it. To be fair, it was at a time when during the 30-day trial, I probably didn't have enough time to dedicate to really learning the software. But I just found it frustrating and I gave up (remember, I'm an old fogey, and sometimes it's HARD to learn new tricks).

After that, I pretty much went back to my regular method of photo organization, in which I move them from the sd card onto an external drive, then onto a backup external drive, then erase them from the card. Then I view them and WRITE DOWN the file names of the ones I want to process. Yes, I know--that is *ridiculously* old school. :D

In the past six months, I've gotten REALLY brave and starting at least using Bridge. I still do the same thing initially, as far as putting the photos onto external drives first, but then I view them in Bridge and "star" the ones I think may be worth processing--4 stars for the best, 3 stars for ones I'll likely at least process, 2 stars for "keep this but don't bother processing." It's worked, better than the piles of paper everywhere with file names on them. :lol:

But, I was using a trial version of PS (my Mac died in December, taking all my Adobe software with it. Long story, but the upshot is I got a new desktop (NOT Mac) recently).

MY POINT:

I now have a desktop for most of my photo editing, but also have a laptop (neither are Macs). I just ordered CS6--might eventually move to the Cloud, but I wanted an actual copy of the software to fall back on, just in case I need it. B&H had a "bundle" deal where I could get LR for a decent discount IF I bought it at the same time.
So, I did.

So, I'm about to have both LR and PS again. This time, it won't be the 30-day trial, so I'll have whatever time I need to learn how to use it, but here's one of my initial questions and the source of some of my frustration the first time:

What I *want* is to be able to use LR on both the desktop AND the laptop. 90% of the editing/organizing would be done on the desktop, but the other 10% would be on the laptop. For instance, when I go on vacation--I want to be able to go ahead and get my photos put on my external drives and backed up, and maybe edit a few of them before I get home. If I do that, and then when I get home, I connect the external drive to my desktop, will LR still be able to "find" the pictures? I just don't understand how to get it set up and organized.

ANY advice about what works best for you would be appreciated!
 

12sndsgood

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well legally per adobe you can load your lightroom on both your pc and laptop and your still legal. good new huh, lol.

as for your issue I will say im still learning the whole organizing process with lightroom and it does take some learning to get figured out. i'd suggest picking up a book on it. I have a really well written one at home that I can get you the name of, but it is definatly helping. I also know I will be reading over the whole organizing process as well. But the more you use it the more you will get the swing of things. when you upload them to your laptop. you should just be able to edit them. export them however you want to your ext. plug that into your desktop, then import them there.
 

cptkid

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The only thing I think you could do is have all your files and your library file stored on an external drive.

That mean that you can plug it in to your desktop and load up the LR library file, and then do the same on your laptop.

I currently use the same library on 3 seperate macs. I use this method.

However, if your drive fails, you loose it all, so back it up on the regular.
 
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sm4him

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well legally per adobe you can load your lightroom on both your pc and laptop and your still legal. good new huh, lol.

as for your issue I will say im still learning the whole organizing process with lightroom and it does take some learning to get figured out. i'd suggest picking up a book on it. I have a really well written one at home that I can get you the name of, but it is definatly helping. I also know I will be reading over the whole organizing process as well. But the more you use it the more you will get the swing of things. when you upload them to your laptop. you should just be able to edit them. export them however you want to your ext. plug that into your desktop, then import them there.

Thanks for the response. Yeah, I was already pretty clear on being able to use it on both my computers... :D
My order also comes with some kind of tutorial video, so I'll wait and see whether that's helpful before I buy any books. I may also look for some online video tutorials. I won't be able to get on to lynda.com this month, but hopefully next month, I can access it again (my lynda.com account is through my employer and they only hand out a certain number of them each month, so I have to request it every time I want one and then wait until it's available. Bummer, but it's also free...)

The only thing I think you could do is have all your files and your library file stored on an external drive.

That mean that you can plug it in to your desktop and load up the LR library file, and then do the same on your laptop.

I currently use the same library on 3 seperate macs. I use this method.

However, if your drive fails, you loose it all, so back it up on the regular.

Thanks! That's what I was wondering, is if I put the library file on the external drive from the start will it then work no matter which computer the external drive is connected to?

Since I already have a two-drive backup system, I'd just add a backup of the LR library to that second external drive as well. I actually also have a third drive I backup to as well, but I only backup to the third drive about once a month; the regular backup I do every time I add or edit photos.
 

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one thing is working off of an external drive could possibly slow things down a lot. This is why i was thinking just importing it in and exporting it back out.
 

cptkid

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Thanks! That's what I was wondering, is if I put the library file on the external drive from the start will it then work no matter which computer the external drive is connected to?

Since I already have a two-drive backup system, I'd just add a backup of the LR library to that second external drive as well. I actually also have a third drive I backup to as well, but I only backup to the third drive about once a month; the regular backup I do every time I add or edit photos.

Yeah just create the library on your external drive, and you will just have to open that library on each seperate computer.

one thing is working off of an external drive could possibly slow things down a lot. This is why i was thinking just importing it in and exporting it back out.

I've been wokring off my drive which is USB2 with no problems. Sometimes with tiffs as big as 1.5gig.

Having a firewire drive would be best if you're worried about this.
 

Big Mike

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Thanks! That's what I was wondering, is if I put the library file on the external drive from the start will it then work no matter which computer the external drive is connected to?
Shouldn't be a problem, as long as the drive always shows up on both computers with the same letter designation...drive M, for example. If you plug it into the computer and it shows up as drive G, when LR is looking for drive M, you will have a problem.

Keep in mind that the LR 'catalog' doesn't contain the image files. So when you back things up, you need to back up the image files themselves...and you need to backup the LR catalog file.
 

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sm4him

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Thanks! That's what I was wondering, is if I put the library file on the external drive from the start will it then work no matter which computer the external drive is connected to?
Shouldn't be a problem, as long as the drive always shows up on both computers with the same letter designation...drive M, for example. If you plug it into the computer and it shows up as drive G, when LR is looking for drive M, you will have a problem.

Keep in mind that the LR 'catalog' doesn't contain the image files. So when you back things up, you need to back up the image files themselves...and you need to backup the LR catalog file.

Ah, that's something I hadn't considered, the drive's letter designation. I'm not sure it does show up as the same thing. I can change that, though, can't I? What I mean to say is--when my son comes home for a visit, HE can change that, can't he? :lmao:

If you want guidance on managing your digital image assets get :

The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers
Lightroom and some other database management applications are covered.

I also highly recommend - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers

Martin Evening is a member of Pixel Genius, LLC, a group that writes some of the software used in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Thanks, Keith! I *knew* I'd seen a couple of books you'd recommended, but couldn't think what they were--that first one is something I'll definitely pick up!
 

Big Mike

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Ah, that's something I hadn't considered, the drive's letter designation. I'm not sure it does show up as the same thing. I can change that, though, can't I? What I mean to say is--when my son comes home for a visit, HE can change that, can't he?
I think that if you set it up that way the first time (name the drive a certain letter), then it should appear as that same letter when you plug it in again. But don't overwrite that with another drive...say, if you unplug your harddrive D, then plug in a USB thumb drive and it shows up as D...then you might have an issue.

The issue you may have, is that it may be best to have the catalog file local to the program (probably not necessary, but probably faster). So what I've heard/seen some people do, is to copy just the catalog file over, when switching from one computer to the other.

Also, note that with the way Lightroom works, you don't need the image files to be connected to the computer/catalog file. Once you 'import' the photos, Lightroom just keeps tabs on where the files are...and all the work you do, is stored in the catalog/side car files. LR also generates previews, so that you can zoom in and actually see the images while working on them...but once that's done, you don't actually need to have the drive with the files, attached to the computer you're working on. LR will run normally, but it will show a little icon by the file, showing that the files aren't attached. Any changes or edits you do, are saved...and can then be 'applied/exported' at a later time, when you do have the files attached.

So in other words, you don't need to tote around a harddrive with your image files on it, in order to 'work on them' in LR. But you will need to be attached to the files when you want to export them.
 
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sm4him

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sm4him, is the video by Matt Kloskowski? I really like his video tutorials on his site and on here


Ron, yes, I think it is. The DVD is called "Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Crash Course"--it didn't say who did it, but when I look that title up on Amazon, it looks like it is by Kloskowski, so that's good to hear that you've enjoyed his tutorials! Maybe that DVD will actually be useful!
 

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