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I need to keep 2 collections of images entirely separate - is this possible, please ?

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I am a relatively new user of Lightoom 4. and I am happy with it. I have all my digital images in a catalogue, with a bunch of keywords. Additionally, I have a huge archive of scanned negatives, "reference" photos of Exhibition prints, and other images that are not yet in Lightroom - I want to laod those into Lightroom, but I want to be able to treat these totally separate, with a completely separate set of keywords... So when I open Lightroom, I would be able to decide if I want to load my "digital" set of images or my "scanned" set.

Is this possible ? Thank you very much for any help.
 
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Are you sure you really need to have just one division? A lot of people could also divide their pictures into digital and scanned negatives, for example, but equally they might be divided in other ways - family vs art, b&w versus colour, landscapes versus portraits. Hw you would categorise your pictures might change over time or when you have different reasons for looking at them. Also individual pictures themselves often defy one-or-the-other categorisation, not fitting in any category or being of use in multiple ones.

So I'd recommend not seeking such a binary division. It's hard enough to make one keyword classification system work, so why try two or more? For example, would a keyword like "snow" only ever be used in your reference pictures? Obviously not. Will you never produce a reference or exhibition print from a digital image? Again, no.

If you want an easy way to classify your pictures by that scanned/digital, I would recommend applying a coloured label. Because I want to instantly recognise the Photoshopped final image from the original raw file, I add a purple label to the worked pictures (TIFs, PSDs etc). You might also add a top level keyword - "Classification" and "Reference" and "Digital" as children.

John
 
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John - thank you very much for your reply.

The "scanned" images, to which I refer, are not taken by me - they are the archive of my grandfather's images taken between 1930 and 1960. I want to be able to work on them completely separately, and I don't ever want to see any of them when I am working on my own images. Is it possible ? If not, maybe I will have to try some way of filtering those images out when I open Lightroom... is that possible, as an alternative approach. Thanks very much.
 
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Well, let's assume they are already physically separated from your pictures, and you are that certain they will never mix with your own images (the dangers occur when things get blurred or vary). In that case you might consider starting a separate catalogue dedicated to your grandfather's photos. If they are really a distinct archive, that's the way I would proceed and for instance in my own case I keep our family pictures in the same folder system as all my own photos and control them as part of my master catalogue, but I also manage the Sealed Knot's picture collection and keep a separate catalogue for it.

John
 
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Thank you very much John - it sounds like you are doing something a little bit similar.... These photos are a completely distinct archive - at this point they are not quite all sorted out to my satisfaction, and they do not even reside in the same directory as my own pictures, which all reside under "My Pictures". If I decide to go the route of creating a new catalog, would you recommend that I create a new directory at the same level as "My Pictures" called "Grandfathers Pictures" ?

Then, I guess I just create the new catalog and import all the pictures ?
 
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As I say, the dangers happen when things become blurred, so physical separation into "Grandfathers Pictures" would be ideal (my SK photo archive is on a different drive). You'd always know that only his pics are in that folder and would always expect to find them in "his" catalogue, and wouldn't find yourself spot cleaning a picture, for example, that you'd forgotten you'd worked on in the other catalogue.

However, I'd still be tempted to keep them all in a single catalogue because you would always be able to click its "Grandfathers Pictures" top level folder and find just his work. If you ever wanted, you could then pull together a combined set of family pictures without messing around with different catalogues. In the end it's a matter of judgement. With my SK archive, I'm getting thousands of photos a year from 10-15 photographers and only ever need to see them when I've got my SK hat on - plus I don't want my own catalogue's keywords polluted with whatever terms others may use. So that drove me to separate the files both physically and by catalogue, but with our family pictures I don't see the same need.

John
 
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OK John - you have given me some food for thought and I very much appreciate the effort you have taken to reply - thanks very much indeed.
 
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