Import rename problem?

Bob_B

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I routinely import with a renaming that includes my initials, the date, and a file number. I've used this for years with an earlier version of LR, however, this scheme is giving me troubles now that I've upgraded to LR classic (latest update). The basic problem: the renaming is out of order, i.e., if I take a series of photos, they're renamed out of chronological order. Chronological files x, y, and z are renamed to 088, 013, and 014, within a total sequence of 102 files. As I mentioned, I am using a renaming scheme that's simple and has been successfully used for many years.

I'm not sure where to debug this, and hope somebody may be able to give me some advice on where to look in order to get things working as I wish.

Thank you,

Bob
 
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When you say you add a "file number", do you actually mean "sequence number"?

If you do mean that you add a sequence number, you need to be aware that LrClassic now typically uses multiple threads when importing. These may not necessarily run at the same speed, so that means that the images are often not added to the catalog in the same order as they appear in the list on the camera card. Usually that doesn't matter, as the "Previous Import" collection (which is where all the current imports are temporarily placed) defaults to "Capture Time" I believe. However, if you rename during import and include a sequence number in the renaming template, the result is often what you describe because the images are being added to the library "out of order" and so they'll be renamed "out of order".

If the sequence number is important to you, I suggest you delay the renaming until after the initial import.
 

Bob_B

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Jim: You nailed it, and accurately portrayed what I've experienced with the file renaming problem. Yes, I was referencing the sequence number = capture time. Am I current in saying that the work around is to rename after import, using the rename function in the library??
 
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If you want to retain the sequence number, then yes you should rename after import. Unless you cull before you import, however, I'd query the usefulness of the sequence number at that particular stage, i.e. if you rename before you cull, you'll inevitably end up with sequence number gaps.
 
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Interesting. I *always* append a sequence number when I rename on import, and I have *never* had any problem like this. I wonder if something else is going on?

As an aside, I don't mind culling after import, and I don't mind gaps in the sequence numbers. The sequence numbers after all don't have any real relevance. If anything, they provide some additional information, namely, "there is a gap here, I must have culled two photos".
 

PhilBurton

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I'd like to suggest a different approach. DO NOT rename your photos on import.

I used to have an elaborate approach to renaming photos based on date and time of each photos, plus a sequence number. All that did was make file names longer. People on this forum have argued in favor of not renaming photos in your library, since you can always rename them as needed on export. For use in a book, for example, the filename doesn't matter. For email sharing, I always ended up renaming the photos anyway, since my renaming scheme proved cumbersome for other people.

The time part of the filename was always a bit challenging whenever I travelled between timezones the same day.

Whenever I have had to retrieve some files from a backup, and the backup contains the original filenames, not my renamed filenames, that restore operation resulted in extra work.

I think that @Johan Elzenga was one of the more persuasive people in favor of not renaming photos. I have not noticed any difficulties in any phase of Lightroom since I adopted this approach and it simplifies and shortens the filnames in Windows. I'm not concerned about camera sequence number rollover. For my Nikon D3, rollover happens every 10,000 photos, and I'm unlikely to take that many photos in one year, or even two.

I am not going to change all my renamed photos back to their original filenames, because I'm not even sure that I can do that.

Phil
 
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I am another to recommend not renaming files on import. All renaming issues (some already discussed here) are eliminated. If you use a date named folder scheme, it is not possible to attempt to store two files with the same name in the same folder. And you really should not be trying to manage your images using folders for organization.

Lightroom does not care about file names and it is never used in the images organization scheme of things.

The place where renaming files becomes important is when you export the images outside of Lightroom where they are no longer managed by a DAM tool. Outside of Lightroom you. Mat want to include capture dates in the file name, topic or titles and a reference back to the original file name so that you can tie the exported file back to a DAM tool like Lightroom where the original is managed.


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Bob_B

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Not renaming upon import makes sense, especially given the problem I've encountered. Also, I have to agree with those who have argued that automatic renaming is not necessary; selective renaming may be important only in certain cases where you're exporting out.

Thanks all for your input. I've learned much, which is why I enjoy this forum.

All my best,

Bob
 

PhilBurton

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Not renaming upon import makes sense, especially given the problem I've encountered. Also, I have to agree with those who have argued that automatic renaming is not necessary; selective renaming may be important only in certain cases where you're exporting out.

Thanks all for your input. I've learned much, which is why I enjoy this forum.

All my best,

Bob
@Bob_B We all benefit from all the discussion on this forum.
 
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You SHOULD rename if there is a valid reason to do so. You SHOULD NOT if there is no valid reason. A blanket "always/never" argument without discussing reasons for doing/not doing renames is fruitless. So, in the case of this thread, ask yourself what value having a sequence number on the file name provides to you. If it provides value, then use it, otherwise not. If the "value" is 'keeping things in order shot when sorted by filename', that's fine but realize you can just sort by capture date/time and get the same result as was already pointed out.

I DO rename but I have a reason. As mentioned, LrC doesn't really care about file names, but Windows Folders do. You can't have two files in the same folder with the same name. Now, normally this is not a problem. But for me it is as I shoot with two Canon DSLR bodies. So, to avoid the potential of duplicate names in the same folder (one from each camera) on the same shoot, I rename. The pattern I use consists of 3 nodes representing a) which camera, b) how many times I've gone through the camera's 4 digit number range and c) the original file number from the camera. So, for example, an image from my Canon 5D Mark III that is on it's 3rd time through its 0001-9999 number range would be "5Dk3R03-#1234".

Now, a valid alternative would be for me to set my camera to supply my desired name on it's own (I'd have to manually reset it each time it went back to 0001 from 9999). But, doing a rename on import works just as well and results in the same thing.

Dan
 

Bob_B

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Valid points, Califdan. In my case, I was shooting bracketed photos and renaming made it a bit easier to find groups of three images. Also, and definitely trivial, many years ago when I first started using LR, I watched a video from a 'well-known' authority on LR who suggested renaming during import as a standard. I adopted a renaming protocol largely because it was simple and worked for me. As the current version of LRCC seems to mess up my protocol, I have rethought this renaming, and now plan to use renaming after import and only when necessary.

This has been a great discussion!
 
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But for me it is as I shoot with two Canon DSLR bodies. So, to avoid the potential of duplicate names in the same folder (one from each camera) on the same shoot, I rename.
This hit me hard a long time ago. I had bought the first full frame Canon the day they arrived in the store but kept my crop camera. It was handy to put a tele lens on the crop sensor to pick out landscape details, plus it had better autofocus. My first serious use was a trip to Italy. It took me a while to realise that when copying my images to my main PC at home I overwrote a large numbers of precious images (because they had the same name and were going into the same folder).

I now have several Sony cameras, so the same principle applies.

With some camera models you can change the initial letters of the filename. You can use this to differentiate images from different cameras (but I prefer to use this feature to insert my initials at the start of my image names.

I am not going to bore people with my workflow, but I ensure every image imported to my Lr catalog has a unique number.

There is no perfect solution, each person needs to work out what works best for their circumstances.
 
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I overwrote a large numbers of precious images (because they had the same name and were going into the same folder).
If you had used date named folders the likelyhood of this happening would be nil or nearly nil. The two camera also becomes a non issue the you make the prefix part of the file name unique to the camera. I have shot with 4 Nikons. Files are named in the camera:"D8X_nnnn", "D8E_nnnn", "810_nnnn", and "Z70_nnnn". I had a similar naming convention when I had multiple Pentax models.
 
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It was early days and only coming to terms with digital workflow.

I re-read the post from the start....

To Bob_B.... consider replacing the filenumber (NNNN) with File Number and Sequence No (eg NNNN_SSSSS). The advantage is that the original file number (NNNN) will guarantee the files remain in capture sequence and adding a unique sequence number (SSSSS) will guarantee every image is unique.

One can sort by capture date/time within Lr, but sometimes useful to see images in sequence when viewing in Finder/Explorer.

Ps ... care needed when selecting the correct code in Lr for the unique sequence number.

1617378720285.png


I found this quote with a quick search , but I would test before adopting.

"Image# increments on each imported photo, spanning different imports and LR sessions."
 

Bob_B

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Hey Grits: I don't follow you. Here's my rename scheme: BB_{Date (YYMMDD)>>}_{Sequence # (001)>>}. I had to copy that from LR by eye, as copy n paste didn't work. Anyway, I don't see a descriptor such as "File Number" anywhere: Sequence, Image, and Total are what is shown in the pulldown menu under "Sequence and Date". There's nothing like that under "Image Name" nor "Metadata". And, only two choices under each, not three as shown in your post. Also, no such topic as "Numbering". What's up?

I'm cool with leaving renaming until after import, just curious.

Bob
 
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Hi Bob_B.

I find the way Adobe have presented some of the Sequence Number Options is really confusing. In fact, even though I am reasonably familiar with it, I still get confused when I revisit this little corner.

Unbelievably, to get at the original file sequence number..... you have to avoid the obvious trap of looking at the 3 obvious sequence numbers available (ie Import, Image, Sequence).

Instead click on the Filename options (1) and select Filename number suffix (2) from the drop down list. This should solve your major query.

This is a real Gottcha (1 of 2).


1617529891530.png


However, a few other clarifications are required.

Which Sequence No to Use.
I wish Adobe would have a Help button for this screen and specifically explain the differences between the "Import #", "Image #" and "Sequence #" (and highlight the presence of the Filename suffix).

You should probably use Image# or Sequence# if you want unique sequence numbers. I need to double check myself the difference between these 2. I will try to find out and will repost here when I do. Both of these numbers can be reset to whatever number you want. I think one works across all batch imports and the other may only be applicable for the current batch import. (Again, this needs to be clarified).

Editing The Rename Scheme
Personally, the only text I type into the editing field is text I wish to appear in my filenames, that will be the same each time (such as my initals at the start of the filename, dashes, underlines, etc. I use the Insert buttons to apply/insert the parameter based tags.

Gottcha (2/2)
Many people think that the Import # Tag will provide an image import filename sequence number. This number increments by 1 for every import batch process, not by 1 for every file imported.

Please let me know if this answers your query.

If anyone can provide the full meaning of the Import# and Sequence# tags (or what makes them different), please post here.


You can send me a private message if you wish to discuss further (I do not want to hijack the thread).

Regards.
 

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You should probably use Image# or Sequence# if you want unique sequence numbers. I need to double check myself the difference between these 2. I will try to find out and will repost here when I do. Both of these numbers can be reset to whatever number you want. I think one works across all batch imports and the other may only be applicable for the current batch import. (Again, this needs to be clarified).
Page 33 of your Missing FAQ book explains it all, Gnits.
 
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Page 33 of your Missing FAQ book explains it all, Gnits.

I think you are referring to the right hand side of page 39 on the latest version of the Missing FAQ.

I am very pleased Victoria has this topic covered.

I did read this page several times, and while there is a short paragraph describing Image and Sequence, I still cannot grasp clearly what the difference is between both of these tags.

I have also spent time trawling various Google searches on this topic, finding several decent articles, but none of the articles I found explained specifically (at least in a way I could understand) the difference between these tags.

I do think it is worth getting precise definitions for these tags, as many people will use these as a fundamental plank for their workflows and making mistakes with file renaming can create long term issues. I suspect many with queries may find this discussion in the future and it would be great to have the query fully resolved. Also, the reference to Victoria's FAQ is good (from many points of view).
 
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