Lightroom Organizing Disaster...Need Suggestions

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by nerwin, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. Dave442

    Dave442 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    OK, watched the video. I agree with his use of Smart Collections. That is similar to what I do. But in the first part where he talks about the initial Folder setup, I had tried that. In the end I found that when I tried to import and later move things to an actual physical Folder location on the disc, I was just to lazy as it was too much extra time on the workflow. I think it also adds more risk as you can drop things in the wrong spot, I just want to import one time and never move those files again. Also, what does he do if he has both the models in one photo, which Folder does he put that shot in. I ran into things like that and it slowed me down, also just trying to come up with a Folder name is extra time when I want to process photos. Keywords can be changed around very quickly and your not waiting for files to be moved around to different physical folder locations.

    So basically I am just not in agreement with trying to make the Folder section work like a File Cabinet, for me that area is just the Safe and I then want to use the LR database tools to get to my photos. I could just put every photo in one Directory, but as LR has the option to show photos in all subdirectories then I have it make the daily subdirectories upon import and then search for a photo either from the year folder or the parent RAW folder (that includes all years). The daily subdirectories just make it easy to take a look in each one and not have to scroll very far for any one photo. I often have three or more very different events in one day and many events that start in the evening go over to the next day and a different folder, this is no problem as the specific events are together in a Collection or it may just need a specific keyword to pull them together with some filtering.

    I just use Keywords for things like Self Portraits, Mom and Mom Birthday and use Collections for things like Car Shows (of course Car Show is also a Keyword and the name of the particular car show would go under that Keyword).

    As all my photos have the date added, I can go to the Collection and find a photo based on an event name and just by looking at a photo name I know the date and that can lead me directly to the Folder where all the shots are from the same day as the one I am looking at in the Collection. Having the date added to the file name is twofold, first is to never duplicate a file name and second is to make it easy to locate a photo that was moved outside of LR (fixing the dreaded ! message).

    Also, when I Export photos, my default directory is Developed/Year and then subdirectory for each client or event. I have LR make that directory or use it if it already exists. This gives me a directory structure outside of LR that is similar to your current Folder setup and in some cases I will look for a photo there and as the file name includes the date I know right where to look for the original photos in LR.


     
  2. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    My head hurts. This is the part of photography they never mentioned, hahaha. I have no idea what I'm going to do..there is just so many ways.
     
  3. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Do you browse by keywords or do you use it just strictly for searching and or collections?
     
  4. Dillard

    Dillard No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I began creating a new catalog for each shoot, and a few random (dog, family, etc). When I start lightroom, it prompts me to select a catalog to open, instead of just uploading the last used. Is it the best method? Probably not. But it works for me, and I enjoy I can always find what I'm looking for
     
  5. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    For the life of me, I cannot figure out how I should organize all the random shots I've taken around the house. Ugh.
     
  6. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    @Dave442 Are you talking about a keyword system kind of like this?

    keywording.PNG
     
  7. Dave442

    Dave442 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I browse by keywords and, like I mentioned earlier, not all my photos have complete keyword listings. As the rated photos or photos that were Exported have the most keywords my search will bring those up and then I know there are some alternates in the Folder and if I find something close with the search I may jump to the Folder that is by date to see if there is an alternative that better meets what I need right now.

    An example could be that I need the subject on the right of the frame and my current photo with a one star rating and fully processed has the subject on the left. I find that photo, go to the Folder that has all the session shots and see if there is one that better meets the current need.

    When I had first started using LR I quickly had a dozen Catalogs. Later I found that was like having a business that had multiple databases for their product line. My first step was to Import all the catalogs into just one, but then I found some duplicate file names so that led me to adding the date in front of the filename. That file naming also resolved the issue of having a photo and being able to quickly identify both its Folder and its physical location just by looking at the name.
     
  8. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I created a smart collection for car shows and I must say, I kind of like this setup. I can easily find a particular car show.

    filter.PNG

    The other problem though, what do I do with random car shows that don't really have name, should I just dump them under the parent keyword?
     
  9. Dave442

    Dave442 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes, like that. But say at the car show there is an Impala I like and take 10 shots, however my Keywords on the import are only Car Show and the name of that car show. When I select my favorite shot of the Impala I would add that name to the Keywords. Later I may need the shot of an Impala and may come up with three from different shows, but then I can go to each of the Folders that are by date and see more shots.

    Basically my Keywords are like part numbers and I am trying to balance the quantity of part numbers in my system so that it is manageable and at the same time is expandable to meet new business opportunities.

    I use the product part number analogy as that is where I have had experience. The best thing is to spend time initially deciding on the best way to lay things out so it will be easy to use and will hold up to time and size. My current setup had to go through a couple iterations and combines in any number of tips and pointers from other LR users. There is certainly room for improvement.

    Right now I know things are easy enough that a first time LR user could open my LR and do an Import and could find photos using Keywords with about five minutes of instruction. That's also important to me so that if I don't use the program for some time I can quickly get up and running again.

    As a final note, as we near 2016 it's time for me to update the copyright metadata that I apply during Import. And make a 2016 Folder with its one photo so that LR will automatically place 2016 photos inside that directory.
     
  10. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I am so overwhelmed at the moment...

    So what would you do with stuff like 4th of July parade photos? Dump them all under one "4th of July" keyword or would you separate them by date or location?
     
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  11. Dave442

    Dave442 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    For random car shows I would probably still have in the Caption box something like date/location. That way you can at least make a filter based on something like Joes Parking Lot from inside the Car Shows Collection. Of course you can always have Joes Parking Lot as a Keyword and filter with that from within the Library Filter so you don't need to make too many Collections under your Car Shows Collection Set.

    Most of my Collections are sets of photos that are part of a job and are all photos that have been fully processed. You could say the name of the car show is the Project name or customer name and all the photos in the Collection are what I expect to send to the customer. I color code the shots sent to the customer (as new shots will be added to the collection over time).
     
  12. Dave442

    Dave442 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When I look f
    When I look for 4th of July photos I search for that Keyword from my root directory that includes all years. So now I have five years of these shots together. Usually I have already rated the best ones so will filter to one star rating and look at those. If there is one I particularly like from a certain location I will either filter to that location or will go to the Folder that is by date to see the full set from that day as this can have shots that were not Keyworded. I also take time when doing this to lower a rating of a shot. I may have given 10 shots a 1 star rating five years ago and now with the new shots I can drop a star on a few of those as there are probably newer shots that are better.

    Usually just in my dreams I go back to old shots and find something amazing that I had previously overlooked. Most the time I go back and find shots that are overrated compared to a current shot I put next to them.
     

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