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Nervous about making the leap

leighrichly

New Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
8
Lightroom Version
3.1
Operating System
  1. macOS 10.14 Mojave
I'm a Photoshop user of many years and professional video editor (FinalCutPro) but using a few days off to try & bring my family photo library up to speed.
With my newly subscribed-to CC account, i discovered i have Lightroom as part of the package and am impressed by everything i read. However, one thing scares me about making the leap fully into it and that is this: LR doesn't like me moving files independently.
My PLAN is to do this:
- keep my Mac folder structure in tact of Year > month or topic (i have more than 15yrs of photos to add to LR and limited time to be cataloguing & keywording etc)
- keep locally (on my computer) only the current few years worth, and
- move the older folders OFF my local storage onto external storage at the end of each calendar year on a FIFO basis.
It does NOT seem like LR would like me doing this, as experts say "don't touch files external to LR or it gets confused" kind of thing.
So i'm curious to understand how others use LR to solve this ever-expanding-library problem. At least LR does not appear to store the files within its 'package' (I'm on a Mac) unlike iPhoto which makes a copy.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
2,400
Location
Puget Sound
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Welcome to the forum! What LR does not like is moving files outside of LR after they have been imported. LR does not mind you using several disks to store images, and it does not mind you moving files from one location to another within the program. So, as long as you do not rename your disks and/or keep their assigned drive letters (so LR knows which disk is which depending on OS), you should not have any issues using multiple drives for storage. The files on the drives that are not online will appear as location unknown as the disc is not hooked up, but when plugged in and recognized by the OS and LR, they will appear as normal.

Good luck,

--Ken
 

leighrichly

New Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
8
Welcome to the forum! What LR does not like is moving files outside of LR after they have been imported. LR does not mind you using several disks to store images, and it does not mind you moving files from one location to another within the program. So, as long as you do not rename your disks and/or keep their assigned drive letters (so LR knows which disk is which depending on OS), you should not have any issues using multiple drives for storage. The files on the drives that are not online will appear as location unknown as the disc is not hooked up, but when plugged in and recognized by the OS and LR, they will appear as normal.

Good luck,

--Ken
Thanks Ken, that's very helpful.
I guess i could test to see how this will perform on a Mac when the file goes 'offline' as you say.
I actually did a short test before by adding a file and completely deleting it, and was a bit mystified i have to say. Despite the file no longer existing anywhere LR could access it, it still played (it was a Quicktime mov file). I keep reading that the 'files are not stored within LR', and yet the system reports the "Lightroom Library.lrlibrary" file as growing, and yet it's not taking up the equivalent space off my local hard disk, so i'm slightly baffled.
Comforted on the one hand that my local disk space is not diminishing, yet unsettled that the system is reporting this library 'package' file as getting larger.
Can you explain that one? Just the techie-nerd in me wanting to cross these niggles off before i'm happy with what's actually going on!
 

leighrichly

New Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
8
LR does not mind you using several disks to store images, and it does not mind you moving files from one location to another within the program.
So just on this point, i can't work out how to move files around within the program. Can you explain?
Also, i just tried adding a large file (4.26Gb) into the LR library that was sitting on an external drive.
Sorry for the ongoing questions but now i'm really confused! My total diskspace reduced by exactly that 4.26Gb (so obviously it's making a local copy of the file) but the LR package file did not increase in size. I know there can be delays, and Macs can do funny things with hiding files away, but i'd like to get this issue of where the files are going before i commit to many hours/days of work and many hundreds of Gb's of photos (and some video files).
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2017
Messages
1,371
Location
UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic

leighrichly

New Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
8
Ken is spot on with his advice. You may find this blog useful in terms of the steps (obviously you can do for a folder set on the drive, not move the entire drive contents):

Thanks Paul & Ken,
I think i just figured out, through a comment on the Adobe forum, that i should not be using LR Cloud, but LR Classic -- agh, rookie mistake.
then this...
I thought 'Classic' was no longer available now that CC was the thing that we're all supposed to use. A bit confusing. OK, i'm going to install LR Classic and go back to basics here. I am worried (yeah more worries haha!) that 'classic' also = 'to be discontinued', so again, when building an archive i hope to last into the future, i'd hope i'd get more than 5 - 10yrs out of my efforts here... but then again... nothing's certain in life i guess, haha!
 

leighrichly

New Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
8
Adobe have continued to enhance and put new features into Classic, so while nothing is certain in many years time we believe we're good for the foreseeable!
Thanks Paul. And i think if/when things change, I won't be alone in what needs to change or migrate (another reason for going with LR, because the size of the userbase). OK, feeling a little more solid.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
2,400
Location
Puget Sound
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
I would not worry (too much) about the life of Classic. There are a lot of Classic users and if Adobe were to do something, I suspect they would not move folks to a lesser option, for they could have already done that with the "Cloudy" version as it is often referred to here. Set things up in Classic and see how everything goes. You can "build out" from there in the future, but do run a test or two first so you can get out any kinks before entering everything. And as always, folks are here to help and offer advice. Victoria and Paul run a friendly place here, and there are lots of talented members!

--Ken
 

leighrichly

New Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
8
Hi again Ken, Paul:
How big is your LightRoom library?
I’m reading a lot about LR cache (previews esp.) taking up oodles of space, in the 100Gb+ range. I dont need your full assessment or explanation (plenty of discussion online) - just a simple answer to this question as keen LR users - how big is your LR catalog, and is it an issue for you?
Thanks!
Richard
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
2,400
Location
Puget Sound
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Hi again Ken, Paul:
How big is your LightRoom library?
I’m reading a lot about LR cache (previews esp.) taking up oodles of space, in the 100Gb+ range. I dont need your full assessment or explanation (plenty of discussion online) - just a simple answer to this question as keen LR users - how big is your LR catalog, and is it an issue for you?
Thanks!
Richard
Hi Richard,

My main catalog has about 40k images. I do not keyword, so things are pretty simple. The actual catalog file is about 400MB and the previews folder is about 20GB. I normally create 1:1 previews on import, as I do not mind importing and taking a coffee break while the previews are created. Of course, YMMV.

--Ken
 

leighrichly

New Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
8
Hi Richard,

My main catalog has about 40k images. I do not keyword, so things are pretty simple. The actual catalog file is about 400MB and the previews folder is about 20GB. I normally create 1:1 previews on import, as I do not mind importing and taking a coffee break while the previews are created. Of course, YMMV.

--Ken
ok thanks Ken. That sounds manageable. A helpful benchmark, thanks.
 
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