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import from memory card to several folders?

per_folkesson

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Any suggestions for the best workflow when you want to import and keyword images from one memory card to several different folders?

I can see why Lightroom is built around the idea that you import your photos to a folder structure based on date of capture, that is often convenient and what I do as well for some photography. But if I have been out shooting birds for example, I still want to use my folder structure based on subject, so that I have one folder for each species. (and sub folders for capture occasion). Seems like Lightroom is not really well adapted to importing a mixed set of photos to this folder structure? When I plug in my memory card full of maybe 30 different bird species, what workflow would take the least number of clicks to import them to their respective folders and assign the relevant keyword? The way I do it now, I have to do the import process as many times as folders to import to, and also actually disconnect and reconnect the memory card to get the card to show up in the import dialog between every import. I would love to se a possibility to point selected photos to different folders in the import dialog, so I could run the import once even when I want to import to different folders, but for a reason I dont understand, that option is not available?

Of course, I could import all the photos to one folder, and then move the photos afterward to the right folder structure, but that doesn't seem that much better. I could also use my computers file browser to copy/move the files to the right folder, and after that fire up Lightroom and sync the folders. But I want to use Lightroom.. :)

Any suggestion for best workflow here?
 
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Of course, I could import all the photos to one folder, and then move the photos afterward to the right folder structure, but that doesn't seem that much better.
This is true, probably because folders are not the best organization containers. You can't put the same image in a folder for family and a folder for vacations and a folder of the Grand Canyon Vacation. You can however, give that one image all of those keywords. Or put it into a Collection (container) for family, vacations and Grand Canyon Vacation. Or even better automatically let Lightroom populate Smart Collections based upon keywords. Lightroom does not career about folders. So, why should you? Folders were such a bad organization concept, that Adobe left that option completely out of the cloud/mobile app and only offers you Collections (called Albums) and keywords. You might want to rethink your workflow and design it around keywords and collection as this is what Lightroom intended. Why do you think Lightroom offers 12 or more automatic folder import creation schemes and only one option to manually name a folder on import?
 

per_folkesson

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Yes, I might just be a bit scarred to let go.. :) But as mentioned, I do see the point of adopting Lightrooms model, and that's what I use for family photos, travel photo and so on.

On the other hand, there was a life before Lightroom, and there might be one after, even though Lighroom is now such a dominating tool that it can be hard to imagine ? In short - there was a reason I had a folder structure before using Lightroom, and I can see several reasons why it would be nice to have one for some of my photos in the future, with or without Lightroom. Also, I use Lightroom at work as well, while my colleagues don't, so at work I have no choice but sticking to old fashioned folder structure.

So I need to develop a good workflow to import photos to folders by subject now and then. I'm not surprised that Lightroom pushes for a more "internal" catalouge structure - it IS more convenient inside Lightroom. Also, if Adobe had any interest in tying their customers closer, it would be a great strategy to have them build archives that is depending on their software, and preferably also hosted on their own servers, right? Just sayin.. :)
 
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Being a wildlife photographer myself, I would strongly advice against creating folders by subject. Sooner or later that just doesn’t work. Do you always shoot pictures of one single bird only? Have you never taken a picture of two different birds together? Use (smart) collections to see your pictures by subject.
 

per_folkesson

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..I would strongly advice against creating folders by subject. Sooner or later that just doesn’t work.
Well, you don't have to chose one or the other? I use keywords and collections all the time, that is not hindered in any way just because I need to save some of my files in subject based folders. In 99,5 % of my wildlfe shots one species will be alone or totally dominant, in the rest i easily keyword all relevant species - that is not depending on my file structure. Once the photos are imported to Lightroom it doesn't matter where they are saved, so there's no "cost" for that, except for that initial import that I need to put some extra energy into.

But thanks for your experienced input! I might end up letting go of my "by-species-folder-structure" because i fins that the extra effort during import outweighs my benefits. I will still need to find a workflow for my work though.
 
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But thanks for your experienced input! I might end up letting go of my "by-species-folder-structure" because i fins that the extra effort during import outweighs my benefits. I will still need to find a workflow for my work though.
I used to automatically use one of the date named folder schemes on import. As soon as the first image appeared, I would start culling, and keywording well before the import completed. Nothing could be faster. As I said earlier, a filesystem folder structure is an artificial constraint inposed by there filesystem, It has nothing to do with organization. In Lightroom, I keep the folder panel closed, It is not even needed.

Last year, I moved my import to the field (or at least my iPadPro running Lightroom (cloudy). Imports can ONLY be sync'd into LrC to a date named folder scheme (sound familiar?) or one immutable folder that is not easily changed. But it is automatic.
So now I import into my iPadPro and cull and keyword there. By the time I get home (or at least a few minutes after my iPadPro connects to that high speed internet) , my images are sync'd into my master LrC catalog. Can it be any more streamlined, automatic or faster?
 
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Well, you don't have to chose one or the other?
Yes, you do. You do have to choose between folders by subject or folders by date, even if you use collections as well. And folders by subject don’t work well, because images can have more than one subject. It’s your choice, however.
 

per_folkesson

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As I said earlier, a filesystem folder structure is an artificial constraint inposed by there filesystem, It has nothing to do with organization. In Lightroom, I keep the folder panel closed, It is not even needed.
I might not agree with you on that - one could argue that it is actually the Lightroom catalog that is artificial and non existent outside that particular application, while the file folder structure is more global, and an available organizational structure for numerous applications? And while you don't find the folder panel useful, I use it all the time. It separates very nicely those of my photos that are generally defined by capture time (family photos, travel and every day etc), from those that are generally defined by subject, and are usually not very interesting when I'm browsing the other category. Yes, I could set up different catalogues, but I like to keep all my photos available in the same catalogue. And yes, there are plenty of tools to filter and sort out relevant images, I use those to.

.. Can it be any more streamlined, automatic or faster?
Don't know, since it's not the workflow I'm trying to streamline. ;)
 

per_folkesson

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Yes, you do. You do have to choose between folders by subject or folders by date, even if you use collections as well. And folders by subject don’t work well, because images can have more than one subject. It’s your choice, however.
The fact that one in every hundred or thousand of my bird and wildlife portraits show more than one species in focus is not a problem for me when picking folder to put the file in, and I still apply relevant keywording to all photos no matter of file structure. I just get one extra organizational layer that i value for that specific type of images. I'm not saying it's the best set up for every one or for some one else, It's just the set up I'm happy with for now.

Yup, its my choice (and in the case of my work-related photos, not even my choice), so I was kind of hoping that someone who is using a workflow for import to several folders could share som thoughts?
 
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I might not agree with you on that - one could argue that it is actually the Lightroom catalog that is artificial and non existent outside that particular application, while the file folder structure is more global, and an available organizational structure for numerous applications? And while you don't find the folder panel useful, I use it all the time. It separates very nicely those of my photos that are generally defined by capture time (family photos, travel and every day etc), from those that are generally defined by subject, and are usually not very interesting when I'm browsing the other category. Yes, I could set up different catalogues, but I like to keep all my photos available in the same catalogue. And yes, there are plenty of tools to filter and sort out relevant images, I use those to.



Don't know, since it's not the workflow I'm trying to streamline. ;)
The file system writes blocks of data into non contiguous locations on the disk. It relies on some sort of file allocation table to string the blocks of data together into a single file. Long ago folders used to be called directories and the analogy to a physical filing system used in business offices was a contrived for an organization scheme. It remains in the file system that one file can be in one and only one folder path. This is pretty artificial and limited. Lightroom uses an artificial organization scheme too but it is more flexible in that the place a file “lives” is irrelevant to the organization. You may live on some street in some city in some country. If you move you have to inform every connection that you have to stay current. Collections are like memberships. You can belong to a camera club, a nature club, a church , etc. And all of these are irrelevant to where you live. The artificial organization scheme in Lightroom is more flexible and versatile than the rigid file system office paradigm.

Try this. All of the Collections and keywords do not rely upon folders. Close the folder panel. If Lightroom is your only DAM tool, you should not need to open and image file outside of the DAM tool. Therefore the folder name in irrelevant. If you are using Collections, Smart Collections and keywords, why are you slowing yourself down to create a specific named folder structure that Lightroom does not need or use?


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I have many thousands of images, Outside of lightroom I could not tell you what a particular file in the windows file mangler manager contains .

As I import the image files files from the camera/Card Lightroom automatically renames them to a reverse date format .

The lightroom codes for the renaming scheme In the import filter I use is ...

{Date(yyyy)>>}-{Date(MM)>>}-{Date(DD)>>}-{Hour>>}-{Minute>>}-Second>>}

which produces a unique filename in the form 2014-04-01.12-22-27.dng

Lightroom will also add a Shot Number -n for those images that are taken on burst mode so have more than one image per second.

My folders do have a structure which is also date based starting with the Year and the nested Month which I select at the time of import - Lightroom is setup to automatically use the internal metadata to file the images in the correct folders (creating Day of the month folders on the fly as required )

After the batch of images are imported into lightroom I add/update the Metadata Including the Keywording for the image content for each file which is an essential aid to finding what I want in the future.

If I need to find a particular image I have to open lightroom and use the search function or use the various automatic and manual collections that I have created, this is no different to using any other database management system

As lightroom ships with all the tools needed for this granular control I have made a specific effort to use and benefit from it ;) you have to put the work in at the start, as with any database system, but the result is a file retrieval system that cannot be matched by a flat file folder system
 
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