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Downloading photos to LR on external drive?

mblake

New Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
3
Lightroom Version
LR Classic 7.3.1 subscription
Operating System
macOS 10.13 High Sierra
Hi! I'm getting ready to install LR on my MacBook Pro, but I want to have it all on a WD portable drive instead of storing the original photos on my laptop.
I am a little confused about how to add photos.
Do I have to download the original photos ( from SD cards or folders) into folders on my external drive first and then import them to the catalogue ?
Or do I import them directly to the catalogue using the MOVE or COPY commands and this will ensure they are referenced from my HD?
I hope that my question makes sense and someone can help me with this!
 

Califdan

Active Member
Joined
May 9, 2015
Messages
198
Lightroom Experience
Power User
ASSUMPTION: You are new to LR Classic and don't have these images already in a LR Catalog in this or some other computer. If that is correct, keep reading.

Either way is fine. You can either
a) Move/copy the images to the WD external hard drive as part of the Import process using the "Move" or "Copy" import method in LR, or
b) Copy/Move the images to the WD drive using Finder first, then use the "Add" import method in LR.

If you choose to use option "a", please read up on how to fill in the Destination panel in the Import Dialog first as some of the settings are not labeled as well as they should be and confuse many first timers.

If you choose to use option "b", in Finder place the images in the desired folder structure on the WD drive first, then the Add operation in LR will maintain that structure.
 

mblake

New Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
3
Thanks so much!
I am starting fresh on a new laptop . I must not have been paying attention importing on my other laptop because some photos ended up on my external HD, and apparently some ended up being referenced on my laptop, so my catalogue was a mess. Also I was very new to keywording and kind of messed that up too. Much easier to start fresh on my new computer than try to sort out the mess on the other one.
 

Hal P Anderson

Senior Member
Staff member
Moderator
Lightroom Guru
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
2,925
Location
Canada
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic 8
Click on the Home link at the top of the forum page and then download the Free Lightroom eBook for Lightroom Classic. That will help you orient yourself.
 

Califdan

Active Member
Joined
May 9, 2015
Messages
198
Lightroom Experience
Power User
I am starting fresh on a new laptop .
That is fine if you don't mind losing work you've already done in LR. However, having images in LR spread over 2 or more drives is not all that difficult to fix (just drag and drop folders from one drive to the other in the Folders Panel in LR). Also, many times people who "made a mess of keyword" really don't hav such a bad mess and even though you may wish to delete some KW's, add others, and re-arrange the rest into a more logical hierarchical structure, in most cases images already keyworded tend to have more or less correct keywords and fixing those up is less time consuming than starting over. However in either case, devise a keyword structure that is logical and maintainable.
 

mblake

New Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
3
That is fine if you don't mind losing work you've already done in LR. However, having images in LR spread over 2 or more drives is not all that difficult to fix (just drag and drop folders from one drive to the other in the Folders Panel in LR). Also, many times people who "made a mess of keyword" really don't hav such a bad mess and even though you may wish to delete some KW's, add others, and re-arrange the rest into a more logical hierarchical structure, in most cases images already keyworded tend to have more or less correct keywords and fixing those up is less time consuming than starting over. However in either case, devise a keyword structure that is logical and maintainable.
Thank you! I
 
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