Hello from a disorganised hoarder.

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Hi,

I'm not usually one for forums or social media. But it looks nice in here. :)

A little about me:
I first dipped my toe into photography in 2000 and got on the digital bandwagon in 2005. When I bought Lightroom 4, I (finally) moved all my photos into one place. I'm on the CC train now and (currently) attempting to use both Lightroom and Lightroom Classic. I've also doubled down and bought a 1TB plan and put my whole library in there. My organisation has been limited to just date order. My workflow is put them in lightroom, then feel overwhelmed by 40,000 images, pick a couple to mess about with, then run out of time. Time is always a problem for me. I always see Lightroom as my "safe place" because I (usually) have automated backups and backups of my backups. I work in IT, so I am somewhat paranoid.

A little about why I'm here:
Well, I'm focusing on making more time for my organisation, processing and sharing of my work. I'd really like to sort out a Lightroom system/workflow to help with that. Then I'd really like to up my game on editing images because right now I move lots of sliders until I think it looks better, but don't really understand many of them. And finally, maybe I can help out somewhere. I really don't know what advice I would have to offer, but I'll help where I can.

I hope you're all well in these somewhat difficult times.

Steve
 
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Well, I'm focusing on making more time for my organisation, processing and sharing of my work. I'd really like to sort out a Lightroom system/workflow to help with that.
I'm probably not the person t be giving this advice, but It is more of a :"Practice what I preach and not what I do." Kinda talk.

Digital photography allows toy to take quickly lots of photos of the same scene or subject. You only need one. Remember that when you firsts import and cull with abandon the you first review your photos. Simply reject those (with and "X") and later after the dust settles you can meet these .
Also on first review cull any OOF or poorly composed photos. You can delete these rejected photo later in the workflow,
Next after your review there are those photos with merit (Picked) that you want to improve through the edit process. (The edit skills improve over time). Edit them and as a result of your edits, some will be successful. Others not so. Reject these Not so successful photos for deletion later.
Eventual you will winnow the photo down to a select few that are suitable for publishing or printing. Instead of using the Export process, I like to set up a Hard Drive Publish service and place my image in that Service to be published to the Hard Drive. Images in a Publish Service get an entry in the Edit history when the image was exported or printed So even though Lightroom does not manage the exported file (unless you import it), it does keep a record of when you exported or when you printed a particular LrC image.
Now once your workflow has reached this "Publish" stage, you can review all of the Rejected photos, determine if there are any that might have gotten a hasty decision and then delete the remaining rejected photos.

You can stop here, but I go further. I keep all of my imported image on my primary volume. After I have finished processing and about 3 months have passed, I will move these folders older than three months to an external drive (EHD) using Lightroom's folder pane to drag and drop the folders to the EHD. That way the images stay in the Lightroom Catalog and yet don't take up disk space locally. Before I move, I review. I usually find that after the dust settles and my love for certain photos was only lust instead, I reject and delete more before I make that move.
 
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Thanks for the advice. I think that makes sense to me. I particularly liked the bit about waiting to see if you really love the image.

It would help me to have a workflow that I can pin on the wall, so I've made this. Have I understood you correctly?
Lightroom Workflow - Suggestion 1.png

Also, when you "delete", do you do a hard delete (as in gone forever)? This is the thing that I don't do (and should).
 
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Also, when you "delete", do you do a hard delete (as in gone forever)? This is the thing that I don't do (and should).
I consider the “Remove from catalog” to be a black hole where images get lost because they are not being managed by Lightroom
Delete for me means “Delete from Disk”. FWIW I have a dedicated 10 year old EHD that I send all of my “Make a second copy to...” images on import. It is not backed up and when the disk dies or fills up, I’m just going to to start fresh with a new(er) vintage disk.

Your flow chart is pretty much what I said as list items


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Another variation on Cletus' suggestions is to use a star rating system. The idea is to do a sequential passes to keep refining your images until you have a small group that is worthy of post processing. So, in your first pass, delete anything that is obviously a clunker and then give the rest a 1 star. Then go through the 1 start images and try to find those that merit 2 stars. Do this again and then stop with 3 stars. The latter two numbers should be used for really incredible images. But, as you now are spending your limited time, you are doing so with 3 start and above images. You do not need to delete the lower starred images, but you do not need to look at them unless you have a specific reason.

Good luck,

--Ken
 
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Thanks Ken.

I've never really got on with the stars very well, but I've not used them in an iterative way. I'm tempted to give that a go too (it makes more sense than how I've used them in the past).

I have a feeling that I'm going to end up wanting to try lots of suggestions from lots of people.

:D
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
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Thanks Ken.

I've never really got on with the stars very well, but I've not used them in an iterative way. I'm tempted to give that a go too (it makes more sense than how I've used them in the past).

I have a feeling that I'm going to end up wanting to try lots of suggestions from lots of people.

:D
Steve,

First, welcome to this forum. For me at least, it's my GOTO forum for Lightroom. [No pun intended on the Fortran GOTO statement ... :) ]

Second, you are not alone here. There are a number of IT professionals, very savvy folks, who are active contributors here. The only risk is going down some rabbit hole.

Third, I strongly suggest that you get a copy of Victoria's various book, notably her Lightroom FAQ book. Shop | The Lightroom Queen Also read some of her blog posts. Very informative.

Fourth, once you have worked out some sort of personal workflow, check out John Beardsworth's workflow based on smart collections. Workflow smart collections – John Beardsworth John is a member of this forum and does respond to posts and questions. Personally I use this workflow system because my Lightroom work tends to be start-stop-start again later.
 
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I'd really like to sort out a Lightroom system/workflow to help with that
"Hold my beer". I recently went through a reorg of my catalog but you should understand how you want to use the Library module in relation to your needs. How do you think you will want to find photos in the future? How do you see printing/publishing images? This will also help in identifying how you want to use options like keywords; flat or hierarchical.

In my case, I already had some metadata fields set but upped that by applying keywords to the pictures. Now, here's where it gets difficult. I didn't attempt to apply metadata/keywords to all my pictures. I first used the Pick flag to indicate this was a keeper and only made sure the metadata/keywords were set on those. As others have indicated, you can either cull by deleting them or flagging them as a reject to purge later. Once picked, you can decided on how to use the star rating.

As to development, LR does not care the order you make changes when you export or print. I'm finding that instead of understanding what the controls do, look at what you want to change in a photo then research which control can be used to make that change. Lots of tutorials and videos and of course, all of Victoria's books and blogs.
 
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