• Welcome to the Lightroom Queen Forums! We're a friendly bunch, so please feel free to register and join in the conversation. If you're not familiar with forums, you'll find step by step instructions on how to post your first thread under Help at the bottom of the page. You're also welcome to download our free Lightroom Quick Start eBooks and explore our other FAQ resources.
  • Stop struggling with Lightroom! There's no need to spend hours hunting for the answers to your Lightroom Classic questions. All the information you need is in Adobe Lightroom Classic - The Missing FAQ!

    To help you get started, there's a series of easy tutorials to guide you through a simple workflow. As you grow in confidence, the book switches to a conversational FAQ format, so you can quickly find answers to advanced questions. And better still, the eBooks are updated for every release, so it's always up to date.
  • It's Lightroom update time again! New cameras (including the Canon R5/R6), lens profiles and bug fixes, and the ability to disable built-in lens corrections for specific new cameras. Here's the usual list

Moving just a few photos from one catalog to another.

Patricia Mitchell

New Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
12
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Lightroom Version
9.2.1
Operating System
macOS 10.15 Catalina
I set up my catalogs by year. (Perhaps a foolish thing to do? If someone wants to tell me I shouldn't do that please feel free. I DID have everything in one catalog but someone suggested that it was running slowly because of that.) I inadvertently put just a few photos into the wrong year and when I try to move them it's not working so I'm sure I'm doing something stupid. Can someone help please? (I'm still using 9.2.1 until Adobe fixes that bleeding issue with edges when using the spot remover tool ... sigh.)
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2012
Messages
2,439
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
Hi Patricia

Welcome!

Quite apart from the philosophical arguments against multiple catalogs I am not sure that I understand your statement "and when I try to move them it's not working ".... Without an explanation of what you are actually doing in the process it is impossible to say!

FWIW there is NO direct way to move images between catalogs however there are several indirect ways of achieving this....

As for the practical reasons for using multiple catalogs I sincerely doubt that your catalogs were ever too big to really slow Lightroom down. Many people run catalogs containing several million images without issue! I would very rarely advise people to use multiple catalogs although there are some reasonable edge cases where it can work well.

There are also several simple interventions that can be done to speed Lightroom up if it is sluggish which can be addressed later on.

In the meantime until we know exactly what you are doing (or not doing) in your attempts to "move" these images no real advice can be given... Looking forward to hearing from you!
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Messages
1,355
Location
Queensland
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
There are different levels in the result-
1) Simply Import (Add) the photos to the Catalog-B. No editing, no history, no keywords, etc.
2) In Catalog-A Save the metadata to the files [Ctrl+S] . Import (Add) to Catalog-B. Editing & keywords copy, no Dev history.
3) Select photos, [Export as a Catalog] from Catalog-A to a 'Transfer' catalog, then in Catalog-B [Import from another Catalog] merging the 'Transfer' catalog . Most info about photos 'copies' over.
4) Go back to one catalog- Merge all Catalogs by Import from another Catalog.
 

Patricia Mitchell

New Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
12
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
I'm so sorry I'm unclear. (I'm an oboe player, not a writer. Sigh.)

I am just attempting to take three photos out of one catalog and put them into another. They were in 2020 and belonged in a different year.

As to setting up all these catalogs (which I now can't even figure out how I did ... I'm THAT stupid!), a photographer had suggested that was my issue when things were running so very slowly. I'm sure, now, that I should have investigated further rather than taking his word for it.

In any case, thank you for commenting and sorry for the trouble!

pm

Hi Patricia

Welcome!

Quite apart from the philosophical arguments against multiple catalogs I am not sure that I understand your statement "and when I try to move them it's not working ".... Without an explanation of what you are actually doing in the process it is impossible to say!

FWIW there is NO direct way to move images between catalogs however there are several indirect ways of achieving this....

As for the practical reasons for using multiple catalogs I sincerely doubt that your catalogs were ever too big to really slow Lightroom down. Many people run catalogs containing several million images without issue! I would very rarely advise people to use multiple catalogs although there are some reasonable edge cases where it can work well.

There are also several simple interventions that can be done to speed Lightroom up if it is sluggish which can be addressed later on.

In the meantime until we know exactly what you are doing (or not doing) in your attempts to "move" these images no real advice can be given... Looking forward to hearing from you!
 

Patricia Mitchell

New Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
12
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Thanks so much for this information. I'll see if I can figure it all out. I can't believe how my brain can't wrap around things these days. I'm not sure I can blame Covid-19, but I probably will anyway: it's as good an excuse as any at the moment! :)

There are different levels in the result-
1) Simply Import (Add) the photos to the Catalog-B. No editing, no history, no keywords, etc.
2) In Catalog-A Save the metadata to the files [Ctrl+S] . Import (Add) to Catalog-B. Editing & keywords copy, no Dev history.
3) Select photos, [Export as a Catalog] from Catalog-A to a 'Transfer' catalog, then in Catalog-B [Import from another Catalog] merging the 'Transfer' catalog . Most info about photos 'copies' over.
4) Go back to one catalog- Merge all Catalogs by Import from another Catalog.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Messages
1,355
Location
Queensland
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Sometimes an analogy helps-
Imagine you have 26 address notebooks (A-Z) for people names.
Cheryl is in the 'C' notebook, then you notice her name is spelt 'Sheryl'
So remove 'Cheryl' from notebook 'C' and add 'Sheryl' to the 'S' notebook.
(or even have the names in BOTH Notebooks :))

Now you have Catalogs for each year-
Catalogs are the same- You can 'Remove' photos in the 2020 catalog, (NOT delete from Hard-drive!) and then 'Add' them to the 2017 Catalog. (NOT Copy or Move!). The caveat is that you lose all and any editing you have done to those files. My 1) suggestion.
My methods 2) and 3) suggest how you can 'copy' the editing and keywords for the files you swap to another catalog.

Of course ALL of this confusion would not exist if you had all your photos in one catalog where you can filter or search for photos by year, or any other way- easily. My catalog has photos back to 1997- all my photos readily available to search in the one catalog.
All the best.
 

Patricia Mitchell

New Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
12
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Thanks very much for the clear explanation!

Now I guess I have my work cut out for me, but should be able to figure it out at some point. I'm assuming you would recommend putting things back as I had them before someone told me I need to separate things out! Sigh. I should have checked in here before believe one photographer, I guess.

No need to reply. Just wanted to thank you.

Sometimes an analogy helps-
Imagine you have 26 address notebooks (A-Z) for people names.
Cheryl is in the 'C' notebook, then you notice her name is spelt 'Sheryl'
So remove 'Cheryl' from notebook 'C' and add 'Sheryl' to the 'S' notebook.
(or even have the names in BOTH Notebooks :))

Now you have Catalogs for each year-
Catalogs are the same- You can 'Remove' photos in the 2020 catalog, (NOT delete from Hard-drive!) and then 'Add' them to the 2017 Catalog. (NOT Copy or Move!). The caveat is that you lose all and any editing you have done to those files. My 1) suggestion.
My methods 2) and 3) suggest how you can 'copy' the editing and keywords for the files you swap to another catalog.

Of course ALL of this confusion would not exist if you had all your photos in one catalog where you can filter or search for photos by year, or any other way- easily. My catalog has photos back to 1997- all my photos readily available to search in the one catalog.
All the best.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
16,484
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Thanks very much for the clear explanation!

Now I guess I have my work cut out for me, but should be able to figure it out at some point. I'm assuming you would recommend putting things back as I had them before someone told me I need to separate things out! Sigh. I should have checked in here before believe one photographer, I guess.

No need to reply. Just wanted to thank you.
I think you missed a very important part of "I-See-the-Light"s message:

Of course ALL of this confusion would not exist if you had all your photos in one catalog where you can filter or search for photos by year, or any other way- easily.
. there is no need for multiple catalogs. You can not search across catalogs , Keywords from one catalog have to be manually added to other catalogs, etc.

A better approach would be to designate one catalog to be your master catalog and use the "Import from another Catalog" to import the other catalogs into it until you have one consolidated catalog. Problem then is solved permanently.
 

Patricia Mitchell

New Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
12
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
I think you missed a very important part of "I-See-the-Light"s message:

. there is no need for multiple catalogs. You can not search across catalogs , Keywords from one catalog have to be manually added to other catalogs, etc.

A better approach would be to designate one catalog to be your master catalog and use the "Import from another Catalog" to import the other catalogs into it until you have one consolidated catalog. Problem then is solved permanently.
... Oh I DID see that, and I plan to consolidate, for sure. Just have to take the time to do so and that was what I meant by it taking time. But thank you. I really am so annoyed with myself for believing one person when everything was running slowly. Silly me!
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
Premium Classic Member
Premium Cloud Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
2,246
Location
California, USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Sometimes an analogy helps-
Imagine you have 26 address notebooks (A-Z) for people names.
Cheryl is in the 'C' notebook, then you notice her name is spelt 'Sheryl'
So remove 'Cheryl' from notebook 'C' and add 'Sheryl' to the 'S' notebook.
(or even have the names in BOTH Notebooks :))

Now you have Catalogs for each year-


Of course ALL of this confusion would not exist if you had all your photos in one catalog where you can filter or search for photos by year, or any other way- easily. My catalog has photos back to 1997- all my photos readily available to search in the one catalog.
All the best.
What he said. Good advice for everyone.

I'm still dealing with all the subject or event specific catalogs I created when I first started using Lightroom. Of course, I still have backups dating back to 2014 when I first started using Lightroom, but without any books or guides or this forum. (Yes, I'm a bit OCD about backups) and I have the additional challenge that sometimes the contents of a specific catalog don't match the title. Did I split off a catalog back in 2015? Or did I just delete a whole range of photos? :oops: Did I take notes? Of course not. :(

Phil Burton
 
Top