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Catalog management - do you have a separate 'Finals' catalog

bvhtaz

New Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2024
Messages
3
Lightroom Version Number
Lightroom Classic
Operating System
  1. macOS 14 Sonoma
My workflow involves copying raw files into 'WORKING'\YYYYMMDD, editing in LR Classic, and moving final work to a 'FINALS'\YYYYMMDD folder.
At that point, I typically delete the WORKING copy, leaving me with the originals, unedited in 'ORIGINALS'\YYYYMMDD and 'FINALS'\YYYYMMDD. Wondering if I should create a separate finals catalog. Thoughts?
 
Welcome to the forum. To directly answer your question, no, I do not keep a separate catalog of my finals. My workflow is to create virtual copies of the original, imported final and work that until it is final (as I do not use external editing application in my workflow). This allows me to both have my original and the final next to each other, and more importantly, allows me to have my history of actions leading to my final mage. I am not sure if your "final" is an exported image, but if it is, then you no longer have that information. And, with two catalogs, you are now splitting you images so they cannot all be managed and searched with a single search. There are a lot of ways that folks manage their images and I have only shared the one that I use. So, I guess I would ask what having a separate catalog provides to your workflow, and can this be accomplished in an alternate manner that you might find just as, if not more, useful?

--Ken
 
If I understand, you have an ORIGINALS folder, a WORKING folder and a FINALS folder where images are removed fromt he WORKING folder when they are placed in the FINALS folder. Is that correct or are you talking about collecitons or catalogs?

Assuming you are talking about images in Folders, how do you make these copies? Export/import images? export/import catalog? something else?

You are asking if you should create a "FINALS" CATALOG. Well, that is certainly a personal decision but I would suggest not creating a catalog for the FINALS. in fact, if you are indeed moving/copying images from folder to folder (or even catalog to catalog) to keep track of your workflow state, I would suggest that your don't do that either. I would suggest using keywords and/or collections for that purpose which will save a lot of time, disk space and effort.
 
I have and need one and only one catalog. Folders are too limiting to be considered as an image management organization tool. I manage my workflow using keywords, smart Collections and the Publish Services (also publish service smart collections). When I am finished working on an image it is either automatically assigned to a collection of all my finished images OR a Smart Collection of all of my Published finished images.

I use a color label set to visually see what state my images are in when viewing as a grid. Using keywords or named Collections, I can easily find any image that I have ever imported. You can not find image except in the one catalog that is open. For this reason you do not want to spread your inventory across multiple catalogs.
Screenshot 2024-02-08 at 3.43.45 PM.png
 
My workflow involves copying raw files into 'WORKING'\YYYYMMDD, editing in LR Classic, and moving final work to a 'FINALS'\YYYYMMDD folder.
At that point, I typically delete the WORKING copy, leaving me with the originals, unedited in 'ORIGINALS'\YYYYMMDD and 'FINALS'\YYYYMMDD. Wondering if I should create a separate finals catalog. Thoughts?
I’m not sure I understand your workflow, but I think you make things unnecessarily complicated for yourself. Lightroom is a non-destructive editor. It does not change the pixels of the original image, but saves the edits in its catalog as a kind of ‘to do list’. If and when you need an edited image, you export a copy which has the edits applied to the (tiff, jpg) image. So what’s the point of copying originals from an ‘Unedited’ folder, via a ‘Working’ folder to a ‘Finals’ folder? These will be identical images being copied (and deleted again) for no reason at all. If you want to organise your images in folders (like others say, there are much better ways), then move them (drag & drop in Lightroom, not in the Finder) from ‘originals’ to ‘working’ and then ‘finals’.
 
My workflow involves copying raw files into 'WORKING'\YYYYMMDD, editing in LR Classic, and moving final work to a 'FINALS'\YYYYMMDD folder.
At that point, I typically delete the WORKING copy, leaving me with the originals, unedited in 'ORIGINALS'\YYYYMMDD and 'FINALS'\YYYYMMDD. Wondering if I should create a separate finals catalog. Thoughts?
You workflow reminds me when I was using Nikon Capture NX which would was a 'destructive' editor where all changes were permanent. I'd have an ORIGINAL and WORKING folder in case I had to revert back to the original NEF. When I moved to LrC, which is 'non-destructive', I just kept the original and dropped the folder constructs.

Another thing I discovered, as my skills improved and the features of Adobe products improved, I would revisit older photos and change the editing on them to product a better picture. In other words, I never have a FINAL. You may but I shoot only for my own pleasure.
 
Another thing I discovered, as my skills improved and the features of Adobe products improved, I would revisit older photos and change the editing on them to product a better picture. In other words, I never have a FINAL.
Because of the New Noise reduction and Masking, I am revisiting Photos that I took in 2004 to the present. I have even gone back to Second Copy photos that were deleted the first time I imported them and importing them again and processing. "The road goes on forever and the story never ends..."
 
Yes I would not delete the working files either. As stated you can go back to whenever you like. I have files from weddings and I never kept the Jpegs. If a client asked for them I would just esport them again because all the editing has been done.

The catalogue has nothing to do with you files. It's just a database that keeps a record of your adjustments - forever. Because it is a database it takes up very little space. Just do your editing and leave it.

I suppose you could import your final work. This might be the only time I'd create separate catalogue. I thought about it for a while and if I needed to catalogue my final exported files I think I'd look for 3rd party catalogue software. I like to keep working and final work separate.

For the Jpegs I do keep which is from my hobby shooting I have folder on my desktop. The folder has subfolders by year. In each year I create a folders that name the place, name of event and date.
 
Greatly appreciate the constructive feedback and suggestions. Sounds like I could rethink a few things. I keep the originals/working/finals as a function of coming off years of working in a destructive way. Since I'm no longer doing that, it sounds like I may be able to reconsider if it's worth the disk space, worrying about copying to backups. I know very little about catalogs in LR or Photoshop. I didn't realize LR's catalog is a database. So the RAW files aren't actually being modified, then are they?

I've been using keywords as a way to help me understand what I've captured, what projects I'm working on, and themes over time. I'm unsure how to really use keywords, smart Collections and the Publish Services as clee01l suggests. I do see how the color scheme could be used based on the image shared. That means every image I don't delete from the hard drive would have to have a color assigned to it.

This is making me wonder what a reasonable, effective, efficien t workflow is after copying the raw files off the card. Open to thoughts.
 
Greatly appreciate the constructive feedback and suggestions. Sounds like I could rethink a few things. I keep the originals/working/finals as a function of coming off years of working in a destructive way. Since I'm no longer doing that, it sounds like I may be able to reconsider if it's worth the disk space, worrying about copying to backups. I know very little about catalogs in LR or Photoshop. I didn't realize LR's catalog is a database. So the RAW files aren't actually being modified, then are they?

I've been using keywords as a way to help me understand what I've captured, what projects I'm working on, and themes over time. I'm unsure how to really use keywords, smart Collections and the Publish Services as clee01l suggests. I do see how the color scheme could be used based on the image shared. That means every image I don't delete from the hard drive would have to have a color assigned to it.

This is making me wonder what a reasonable, effective, efficien t workflow is after copying the raw files off the card. Open to thoughts.
Correct that the raw files are not modified in LRC. The catalog keeps a record of all the adjustments you make in the program and applies them to both the view of the image in the catalog, and more importantly, to any exported copy of the image. So, as long as LRC has the file that you imported into the catalog and all of its adjustments, it can create as many copies as you need. And you can create a virtual copy of your image if you wanted to process in two different ways.

I would recommend learning more about LRC and what it offers as it will help you get a better idea of how you want to set up your new workflow. In the meantime, you could start with basic collections since they are easy to set up and use. Create the collection and just drop your images into it. Its like giving the image a keyword or tag. The images is not going anywhere on the disc as collections are virtual (and only work in the catalog).

Good luck,

--Ken
 
Since I'm no longer doing that, it sounds like I may be able to reconsider if it's worth the disk space, worrying about copying to backups.
Disk is cheap. I have a nightly backup of my photo's to an external disk.
I know very little about catalogs in LR or Photoshop
Only LrC has a catalogue which requires the IMPORT step to bring photos in even if they leave them where they are. PS plays the file where is it. The closest analogue is the PS PSD file.
I would recommend learning more about LRC and what it offers as it will help you get a better idea of how you want to set up your new workflow
I agree with @Replytoken. A good starting point is Victoria's Free Ebook downloads.
 
This is making me wonder what a reasonable, effective, efficien t workflow is after copying the raw files off the card. Open to thoughts.
Workflow is an interesting topic. You can find lots of videos and advice on the topic, but it eventually becomes personable.

Lightroom Classic is quite good as it gives you lots of tools to set up your workflow in a way that often mirrors how you think.
You can use your operating system's folders with custom naming, flags, collections, smart collections, keywords, color labels, rating stars, and custom metadata filters ( I have probably missed something).
Most of us use combinations of these in our daily workflow. We develop these generally in the way we take photos, and how we think and problem solve.
And LRC gives you the flexibility to develop your own workflow and style.
That said, read and watch a couple of videos.
Then modify it to fit you.
And most of all, enjoy the journey and have fun.
 
Really want to thank everyone for welcoming my first post, providing constructive input, suggesting that it's a journey. I've had a camera since 1978 and am relatively new (8-ish years) to the digital world. It's a bit daunting. Really appreciate the feedback and suggestions. Going to hunt for threads somewhere on workflow and see what's in Youtube after I read more of LR documentation.
 
Going to hunt for threads somewhere on workflow and see what's in Youtube after I read more of LR documentation.
When I first appeared here around 2007, Several people asked me what was my "workflow"? I didn't know what a "workflow"was, much less that I needed one. Something that I found helpful and useful is John Beardsworth's Workflow Smart Collections . It permits you to manage your images from import to publish/export. I have modified it to include Publish Service Smart Collections I encourage you to look into it and consider making it a part of your workflow.
 
When I first appeared here around 2007, Several people asked me what was my "workflow"? I didn't know what a "workflow"was, much less that I needed one. Something that I found helpful and useful is John Beardsworth's Workflow Smart Collections . It permits you to manage your images from import to publish/export. I have modified it to include Publish Service Smart Collections I encourage you to look into it and consider making it a part of your workflow.
+1 to John Beardsworth's Workflow Smart Collections It has been a game changer for the way I do my work in LrC. Be prepared to modify it to your own workflow, with "process" keywords and smart collections.
 
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