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Import Question: Is it possible to add/append images to an existing catalog?

yankeejeep

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Question: Is it possible to add/append images to an existing catalog? If so, how?

I am using a Canon T6i and download my images via a Canon Utility to an external hard drive. I have set up folders on the external drive for each each (2018, 2019, 2020). When I download my images, I save them into the current year and have sub-folders for each month, date, year. I have been using LR6 (perpetual version) for almost 1 year and have become fairly proficient with the “develop module”. However, I just can't seem to fully comprehend the “import” function, at least not to what I'm sure is the most efficient.

What I do is open LR6, which immediately prompts me to either open an existing catalog or to create a new catalog. This is where I need help. If for example, I shoot 10 images on Monday at 9am on 08_01_2020 and download them onto my external drive, they are saved into folder 2020 and a sub-folder 08_01_2020. So far so good. However, when I open LR6 I am prompted with an option to OPEN an existing catalog or to CREATE a new catalog. If I attempt to OPEN an existing catalog and then IMPORT”newer” images (from say Monday at 2pm on 08_01_2020 into that catalog, the images “older” images that were previously shown in that catalog are no longer shown. My Canon download utility simply appends and new images into the same folder & sub-folder OK. So I have been CREATING new catalogs for each shooting session. That way any older images are available for “developing” in LR6, obviously in a separate catalog. This methodology can not be the most efficient and why I am asking the question “is it possible to add/append images into an existing catalog. Searching the internet or youtube has not provided me with any help. Lightroom 6 Classroom in a Book, too has not helped with my importing question. So now I have purchased Lighroom 6 – FAQ and after reading the chapter on IMPORTING still did not offer any solutions, yet. Maybe later in the book.

I am either not understanding something, or do not have something checker or unchecked, etc. My downloading images to my external drive by year & month-day-year keeps the images in some sensible order. But the LR6 “catalog” & “importing” process is not sinking into my head.

MY GOAL - I would like to be able to create “catalogs” for major topics, say vacations, trees, beach, etc. and then be able to “import” multiple images (not duplicates) shot on different dates, days or times into that major “catalog”. So far I can not figure out how to make this happen. I also have not been able to get a grasp on the relationships between “catalogs” and “collections”.

What am I doing wrong? What steps do I need to do to accomplish “my goal”? Thanks in advance for any help. I am just drawing a blank on what to do. Creating many many catalogs can not be how LR6 was designed to be used. This data management process in LR6 is driving me crazy and the develop module is a joy to use.

John - Georgetown. Maine
 
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Victoria has a free download. This is a good place to start. I’d give you the link but I am using Tapatalk to access the forum on my iPadPro and can’t quickly get to the link.

The import process is simple and can include the work that you are doing in the Canon utility. If you start with Lightroom v6, you can bypass the Canon utility. This would save a step.
The catalog is the single repository of all information about your images including the path top the master image files.

You need to import to get any image cataloged into Lightroom.
The Import panel has three parts. The Source part is on the left and shows you the location of the source image files. This can be on a camera card in your card reader or already at some location on your primary disk drive.
In the middle panel there are three options: Copy (to a destination of your choosing), Move (to a destination of your choosing) and ADD (use the local source location as the cataloged path location) Copy to DNG is a special case of Copy and for now beyond the scope of my description.
The right most panel is the Destination panel and describes process that can be included during import and also the place where you designate the Destination location in the case of Copy or Move.

The rest is covered in Victorias free download. I’ll amend this post with the link later or someone else may provide it.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

yankeejeep

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Victoria has a free download. This is a good place to start. I’d give you the link but I am using Tapatalk to access the forum on my iPadPro and can’t quickly get to the link.

The import process is simple and can include the work that you are doing in the Canon utility. If you start with Lightroom v6, you can bypass the Canon utility. This would save a step.
The catalog is the single repository of all information about your images including the path top the master image files.

You need to import to get any image cataloged into Lightroom.
The Import panel has three parts. The Source part is on the left and shows you the location of the source image files. This can be on a camera card in your card reader or already at some location on your primary disk drive.
In the middle panel there are three options: Copy (to a destination of your choosing), Move (to a destination of your choosing) and ADD (use the local source location as the cataloged path location) Copy to DNG is a special case of Copy and for now beyond the scope of my description.
The right most panel is the Destination panel and describes process that can be included during import and also the place where you designate the Destination location in the case of Copy or Move.

The rest is covered in Victorias free download. I’ll amend this post with the link later or someone else may provide it.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Thanks for your reply. I had previously downloaded that document but unfortunately it did not address if it is possible to append images into an existing catalog. I'll keep searching and experimenting.
 
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A few key points may help you
  • "Import" can be called "registering" or "recording" the existence of the photo in a catalogue. So importing more photos is appending in your terms.
  • Do not create different catalogues - it's like fragmenting control of your pictures. Instead, decide on which catalogue is to control your pictures, and change the Preference / General / Default Catalog to Load Most Recent Catalog.
  • Rather than creating catalogues to categorise your photos:
    • Describe and categorize your photos by adding keywords and other metadata
    • Think of folders purely in terms of containing your photos and other physical issues like backup, disc usage
    • Use collections to gather and group, or collect, photos for specific purposes - eg trees on a beach during the 2015-2016 vacation
Think of a supermarket. It will have (at least in theory!) a single inventory system to manage all their different products at all their different locations - shops, warehouses, shelves etc are folders where the goods are stored. Flour and dried pasta will be recorded in the same database as tomatoes and cheese, so someone could generate a report listing how the stock levels of pasta flour, dried pasta, Italian tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. These are like keywords in the catalogue, and they've written what we'd call a "smart collection" to gather them for a sales promotion or whatever.

Hope that helps

John
 

atj777

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I think from reading your first post is that you have misunderstood the Catalog and Folders tab on the left side of the Lightroom Screen when in the Library module (as opposed to Develop). Make sure you have the pane on the left hand side open.

When you do an import, all the images go into Previous Imports under Catalog on the left hand pane. No other previously imported images will show there. All your other previously imported images for that catalog will be under Folders.

If when you import you are choosing Add (rather than Copy or Move), the folders you see under Folders will be the ones you created with the Canon Utility. If you click on any of the folders, you will see the images that have been imported from those folders. Note that if you have images in those folders that you haven't yet imported, you won't see them there. If you import new images from a folder you have previously imported from, choose New Images and Lightroom won't reimport the existing ones.

This is the pane I'm talking about:
Screen Shot 2020-09-02 at 10.13.41 am.png
 
Last edited:

yankeejeep

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I think from reading your first post is that you have misunderstood the Catalog and Folders tab on the left side of the Lightroom Screen when in the Library module (as opposed to Develop). Make sure you have the pane on the left hand side open.

When you do an import, all the images go into Previous Imports under Catalog on the left hand pane. No other previously imported images will show there. All your other previously imported images for that catalog will be under Folders.

If when you import you are choosing Add (rather than Copy or Move), the folders you see under Folders will be the ones you created with the Canon Utility. If you click on any of the folders, you will see the images that have been imported from those folders. Note that if you have images in those folders that you haven't yet imported, you won't see them there. If you import new images from a folder you have previously imported from, choose New Images and Lightroom won't reimport the existing ones.

This is the pane I'm talking about:
View attachment 15204
THANKS..........your reply makes sense. I will give it a try and hope for the best. If I understand it, the CATALOG is just a starting point for organizing images and then the PREVIOUS IMPORT shows those imported images and then the FOLDERS show where the images are stored. In my case, using ADD on the external drive from the Canon Utility. Again Thanks.
 

yankeejeep

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Now it getting very frustrating. I can't IMPORT anything. The IMPORT button in the lower right corner is greyed out. I created a new CATALOG (John-Pix-2020) and then tried to import images into it. The screen shot (1) shows my starting point. My next step was to click on the FILE --> Import photos and video. Then screenshot (2) appears and I scrool down to the subfolder 09_02_2020, use option ADD and normally the IMPORT button in the lower right corner is shown and if I clicked on the IMPORT button the images are imported. NOW, the import button is greyed-out and I can not import anything . WHAT is going on. I don't believe I changed any settings. I was just trying to work through the above reply recommendation.
 

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Your second screenshot shows no images in the selected folder. If there are no images in that folder, then obviously Lightroom can’t import anything, Another thing is that you have not selected a destination folder yet. I never tried (and I am typing this on my iPad right now), but I believe I have seen reports that Lightroom won’t show any images (and obviously won’t activate the Import button) as long as you have selected COPY at the top, but have not assigned a destination folder for that copy process.
 
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Your second screenshot shows no images in the selected folder. If there are no images in that folder, then obviously Lightroom can’t import anything, Another thing is that you have not selected a destination folder yet. I never tried (and I am typing this on my iPad right now), but I believe I have seen reports that Lightroom won’t show any images (and obviously won’t activate the Import button) as long as you have selected COPY at the top, but have not assigned a destination folder for that copy process.
Yes this is correct. Import button is disabled until there is both a source and a destination selected. If Add is chosen there is both a source and a destination (the same folder) Move and Copy require a source and a destination to be selected.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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Yes this is correct. Import button is disabled until there is both a source and a destination selected. If Add is chosen there is both a source and a destination (the same folder) Move and Copy require a source and a destination to be selected.
It's obvious that you can't start a COPY process if you don't have a destination, but what I also meant is that in this case also the images aren't shown in the grid. That would be a unnecessary and confusing, because the grid only shows the source. I can't reproduce that on my Mac, however.
 
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