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Import Options for migrating from Photos (NOT iPhoto) to LR Classic - clarification of work involved

BentShed

New Member
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
3
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic v9.2.1
Operating System
macOS 10.13 High Sierra
I know this must be an eyeroll-wearying query for the experienced people, but I have done many searches and I just want to clarify the work I need to do before I can take Photos out of my Dock and work exclusively with LR Classic.
  • I have 86,000-odd photos in Photos. About 2/3 are tagged with keywords, which is an incredibly important part of my photo management; I use them to create a lot of Smart Folders, which is how I manage my image needs.
  • I've exported about 11,000 of them in JPG format into various folders in my Pictures folder over the years.
    • Most have minor edits such as cropping; losing those edits isn't a problem for me.
    • I'm assuming those exports contain the keywords in their metadata - I do know that Facebook (for eg) finds and displays the terms when I create albums.
  • It's the Photos tagging management that's making me move over to LR. I need to be able to find the photos without any tags and update them, so I can easily find them again for my various purposes, and Photos doesn't have that ability.
As I understand it, because Apple has locked down Photos too much, I absolutely cannot import the Photos library in the same way I could import an iPhoto library, with keyword, folders, and edits intact. When using the import plugin, I get the error message "Your selection does not appear to be an iPhoto library (the importer plug-in expects version 9.5.1 or newer)".

Therefore, I have 2.5 options:
  1. Export all 86,000 photos into a new folder and import that.
    1. I don't think I have the disk space for that!
    2. I could probably do it bit-by-bit, using the existing folder setup in my Pictures folder, and then deleting the files after they've been imported. This will be insanely time-consuming, however.
    3. This retains folder organisation (except the smart folders), keywords, and edits.
  2. Find the Photos master library and drag'n'drop that into LR. This imports all my photos in one neat go (hopefully), but loses edits and folder structure (no problem) and keywords (huge time-consuming problem).
  3. (really 2a). Do 2 and then add in the already-exported photos. This hopefully gets me back some keywords to at least start with, sets up a useful folder structure, but creates duplicates.
Am I correct, or am I missing something? Currently option 3 is looking the most useful - assuming, however, I've got the disk space to run all those duplicate files ...

Either way, I'm clearly up for more than just a few happy hours playing my new LR library, aren't I? This is looking like a several-day monster (given I have other things to do aside from muck about in photo libraries ... ).

I'm using LR Classic because the Australian Internet service isn't good enough to deal with this volume of data for a web-based version. However, the package I've signed up for does include the Cloud version, and I'll be looking to sync some folders across to my iPad for portable access.

So if there's an answer that says "Cloud works better", I'm willing to investigate it.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
22,458
Location
Southampton, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
That is talking about the cloud-based Lightroom, so you would need decent internet for that to work well for you.

What format are the originals? Export as original format with Export IPTC as XMP checked is the best bet for raw files, but doesn't work so well for JPEGs.
 

BentShed

New Member
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
3
That is talking about the cloud-based Lightroom, so you would need decent internet for that to work well for you.
Yeah. The Internet itself is decent, but the included data is probably not adequate unless I stay up past midnight to get the off-peak data.

What format are the originals? Export as original format with Export IPTC as XMP checked is the best bet for raw files, but doesn't work so well for JPEGs.
A mix of raw, jpg, native iThing files, possibly even the odd PNG in there. I could probably sort by file type and do different batch exports if I needed.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
22,458
Location
Southampton, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
For the raws, that checkbox should grab most of your metadata (test one to see). For the others, exporting a set of edited JPEGs low res as well as the original would then allow you to use the Syncomatic plug-in to transfer the metadata from the exported JPEGs to the originals, and then delete the exported versions.
 
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