Looking for ideas to help me change my current workflow...

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Looking for a bit of feedback and maybe ideas I have not considered for changing my workflow. What I have today that works perfectly:

Two laptops on my network. Both have latest Lightroom 6. Images on a NAS. Catalog identical on both laptops and sync'd when images have been changed on either computer. No issues. But I never take the images away from the house and that is what I wish to change.

I wish to make one computer more mobile.

1. I have copied the images form the NAS to the local C:\Images of the portable laptop.
2. I have added a USB 3.0 drive to that laptop and will keep a copy of images on that drive for backup.
3. I can change the catalog to point to the local images rather than those on the NAS using update folder location.

But..

I want to be able to add images to the mobile laptop and edit them there. Then sync to the other laptop (catalog) AND the NAS and have the new and newly edited images available to both the mobile laptop (which they will be) AND the stationary laptop looking at the images on the NAS rather than on the mobile laptop.

Make any sense?

I can schedule tasks to sync images and XMP files to the different locations (local C:\, USB and NAS), BUT, how do I keep the catalogs current? Only two to worry about but they point different image stores. And if I edit on one laptop, I want the edits to appear on the other. Could I just import the new images and xmp files to the "other" lightroom and catalog? Something better I am not thinking of? W hat would you suggest for the easiest way to make this happen?

I hope this is clear. If not, please ask.

Thanks.
 

Victoria Bampton

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How are you doing that image sync rebop? You probably want to sync the catalog the same way. Just make sure you don't open it on the "opposite" computer until it's finished syncing. You'll end up doing an "update folder location" or "find missing folder" each time you switch because the photo location will be different on each computer, but other than that, it kind of works.

Alternatively, do you actually need the full resolution? Creating smart previews and then using your sync software to copy the catalog and smart previews to/from the travel laptop would work, and would save you messing with the location of the originals.
 
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Thanks Victoria. A few things to think further through. And yes, since the photo location is different, it complicates this a little. Had not thought about "update folder location" each time its opened on the "other" computer.

Sync is easy using synctoy - free old utility form Microsoft. And can be scheduled using Windows Task Scheduler. I use this a lot for numerous things.

If there was only one photo repository or if both had the same path to a drive letter and top level folder. This would be less difficult. I am thinking through those options as well.

~Bob
 
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OK, here is what I have come up with if I can get a sanity check before I execute:)

The fixed location computer writes images to a NAS that it sees as g:\digipix
The portable laptop writes to a portable drive that it sees as g:\digipix

So both paths are the same although they go to two very different places.

I am making the assumption then if the image repositories are synced first so that any changes to images and xmp files are copied, deleted, etc from the latest dated files, that then copying the latest catalog to the other computer keeps everything in sync. Yes? In other words, Lightroom would not know we are speaking of a different g:\ drive and images should be identical including identical .xmp files.

Any reason this would not work?

Thanks!
 

Jim Wilde

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Wouldn't it be a lot simpler, and less error-prone, to simply switch the portable drive between the two computers? Back them up to the NAS by all means, but just keep one "master" set of images.

But to answer your question, I can't think of a technical reason why that wouldn't work, but like any manual sync activity it's prone to human error.
 

Victoria Bampton

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I've worked something like that in the past, and yes it works. Just using the single set it definitely less error-prone though.
 
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Thanks all. I am going to try this.

And the reason I prefer not to ONLY use the portable drive is that I feel The NAS is more trustworthy, is RAID and also backs up nightly to another exterior drive for effectively three copies of the images. If the portable fails, then I have those repositories to restore from.

I KNOW that its easy keeping the catalogs in sync. Been doing that for many months. But now to see if I can properly synchronize the images with no loss or damage. I intend to synchronize, rather than echo, so any changes or deletions are written in both directions. So workflow will be capture, import, develop on either computer, backup catalog, sync images, sync catalogs.

While I am thinking about this, is there any way to tell Lightroom how many catalogs to keep? I now have to delete the oldest manually. And I am on 6...

Thanks.
 
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Well, good news, bad news...

I had everything prepared and everything in sync. Both file sets of images had the same drive letter and folder name. Catalogs synced. BUT...the name of the drives were different!! So When I told the portable the new path to the images folder all was well. But the catalog points to a different place on each computer even though they are g:\drive name\_DigiPix. So I can keep the images folders in sync, but not the catalogs.

What might be the best solution to this? Importing new raw files and xmps in both directions and keeping two separate catalogs? Something more clever?
 

Victoria Bampton

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BUT...the name of the drives were different!! So When I told the portable the new path to the images folder all was well. But the catalog points to a different place on each computer even though they are g:\drive name\_DigiPix.
Where are the names of the drives different? Any chance of a screenshot?
 

Hal P Anderson

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g:\drive name\_DigiPix.
What you're calling "drive name" is not a drive name. It's a top level folder name. So the paths are different on the two drives. You can easily create a folder of the correct name at the root level and drag _DigiPix into it.
 
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Not sure I understand Hal.

Both drives are G:\, but on different machines.
Both drives have DigiPix as a folder in the root directory.
One drive, connected to the stationary computer, is named for the NAS so shows a g:\NASXXXXX
The other on the portable machine is named for the WD drive so shows as G:\EasyStore

I created these names by renaming in File Explorer.
The Lightroom Catalog detects the difference

AHHH, I just found a difference. Let me try and post back tonight perhaps.

Thanks for triggering a thought.
~Bob
 
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My bad :) _DigiPix was a top level folder on one drive and below another folder on the other. Fixing that makes this all work really well!

Thanks all. And once again, thanks for keeping this forum alive Victoria!

~Bob
 
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