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Need help with catalog and smart previews

Gisele

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2013
Messages
35
Lightroom Experience
Beginner
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Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic Subscription
Operating System
macOS 10.15 Catalina
I am looking for a good solution to this scenario.

I currently have a MacBookPro with 512GB SSD storage, which I have maxed out. I use an external 5TB hard drive with my photos (100,000+) - they currently consume about 4TB of that EHD. My catalog sits on the SSD inside of my laptop, while the files remain on EHD.

I’ve just ordered a new laptop. This one will have 2TB of SSD inside. Not enough for all of my photos and the catalog.

I currently make smart previews for all of my photos upon import, but in reality rarely use them.

I’d like to figure out a workflow where I can keep the things I really want/need on my new laptop, without carrying the EHD around.

I don’t think I need to make smart previews for everything, since as is I already don’t use them for the majority of the time.

Is there a script/workflow where I can make smart previews for only the files I want upon import? I’m thinking of something like smart previews for photos rated 3 stars or higher. Is that possible?

I suppose another option is to split my catalog, but am not really sure how best to do that - by date or some other mechanism. I am also looking for something that’s easy to maintain without a lot of backing up/syncing, etc. I’m NOT willing to pay Adobe more for cloud storage.

Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
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16,047
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Houston, TX USA
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Lightroom Version
Classic
You probably could use the Lightroom (cloudy) app to access proxy Smart DNGs.
Use Lightroom Classic to run with your EHD attached. Sync all of the images that you want in the cloud. (Theoretically, this could be all 100K).
When you don't want to haul around your EHD, instead of Lightroom Classic, open Lightroom (cloudy) You have access to all of the sync'd proxy Smart DNGs which do not count against the plan limits. If you are really away from the EHD, you can even import new full size images to cloudy and these will sync back to Classic the next time you run Classic. Importing full sized images to cloudy is subject to the storage limits of yourAdobe plan (20GB/1TB).

It can take a while to sync a large number of Classic images to the Adobe cloud, so you will need to be patient.
 

Gisele

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2013
Messages
35
Lightroom Experience
Beginner
Lightroom Version
Thanks very much! I think this could work. I have the basic 20gb plan
 

Gisele

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2013
Messages
35
Lightroom Experience
Beginner
Lightroom Version
Hi again -

New laptop is here and it's a HUGE improvement. I got Classic back the way I wanted, but now have some questions about your suggested approach.

When you say Smart DNG, you mean "smart previews", correct? Just want to make sure we are using the same termonology.

If I sync all smart previews to Cloudy, will the Keywords go too? My LR is has every single item key worded. I'm not sure if this structure would come over to Cloudy if I try this.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
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West Sussex, UK
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Advanced
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If I sync all smart previews to Cloudy, will the Keywords go too? My LR is has every single item key worded. I'm not sure if this structure would come over to Cloudy if I try this.
It depends....

Keywords do not sync between Classic and the cloud, i.e. adding or changing keywords in either Classic or any cloud app will not sync from one to the other. However, there's a small loophole which can allow for any existing keywords that have been added in Classic to transfer to the cloud on first sync of image files from Classic (though any existing keywood hierarchy would be flattened as the cloud only supports a flat keyword structure). But note, that's a one-way, one-time thing.

In order to take advantage of the loophole, there are two pre-requisites that must be done before syncing any images from Classic:

1. There must NOT be an existing smart preview in the Classic catalog associated with the images that you are trying to sync. If you have previously built Smart Previews in Classic, you would need to discard them (select the images you plan to sync, then Library>Previews>Discard Smart Previews).
2. After the existing smart previews have been discarded, then you must save metadata for the images you plan to sync (select all of the images in Grid view, then do Cmd/Ctrl+S to write the metadata to the files.

When you sync from Classic, it will make use of any existing smart preview which is then copied up to the cloud. If none exists, a new smart preview is generated (which is what you're trying to achieve), and that smart preview will contain the metadata that you just saved to the image files.....thus passing the existing keywords to the cloud. Location data is something else that doesn't sync, but the same one-way transfer process would work if you've previously added location data in Classic.
 
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