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Question re moving images to an external drive and folder/file naming

deekay2308

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Dec 31, 2018
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Canada
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Lightroom Version
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I've read the tutorial entitled: "How do I move only my photos to another hard drive, leaving the catalog where it is?"

My question is about creating the new hierarchy on the external drive.

At present this is what the folder hierarchy looks like on my internal drive:

Macintosh HD > users > myname > pictures > pictures > all of my LR image folders based on location

When I create the new structure on the external drive, can I copy all of my LR image folders based on location to a folder called "Lightroom" or do I have to copy them to a folder called "Pictures" and then if I do, does that have to go inside another folder called "Pictures" insider a folder called "myname" etc. In other words, how far do I have to go in keeping the structure the same?
 

mcasan

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Suggestion. Consider /Pictures/Year/Month (optional)/Day of capture. Personally I go from year directly to day and do not use a month level of folders. Then in Collections you can create Collections and Collection Sets that are about topics such as locations, events, people....etc. Any one image in the folders can appear in any one or more of the Collections.

The good news is you have choices in how you want to organize your folders and your collections.
 
Joined
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UK
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As an additional comment, the structure doesn't matter to Lightroom (you'll need to point it to the top level so it knows where to look of course) but for the sake of organization and finding things to put in Collections etc (as mentioned) it's a good idea to have some sort of hierarchy.

Blog post this week touched on this:

Where should you store your photos? | The Lightroom Queen

and this one deals with a dated folder structure:

How do I rearrange existing photos into a new dated folder structure? | The Lightroom Queen
 
Joined
May 9, 2015
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If you do your re-organization from the Folders Panel in LR, you can go to any structure on the new drive you wish, but the time it takes for LR to physically copy the images will be longer.

If you copy or move the images using Finder (outside of LR) then everything below the 2nd "Pictures" folder should remain the same but the name of that 2nd Pictures folder can change and anything above it is not relevant. So,,,,,

Macintosh HD > users > myname > pictures > pictures > all of my LR image folders based on location Can become
NewDrive > LR Images > all of my LR image folders based on location

If you use the Finder method and COPY the images, once the COPY is done, rename the 2nd 'Pictures" folder to something else (e.g. "Pictures-X"). . Using the "finder" method will require you to then "find missing folder" on the old 2nd Pictures folder and point it to the new "LR Images" folder. Once that is done you're good to go and you can follow that up with other re-organization work using the Folders Panel on the new drive.
 

deekay2308

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Messages
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Location
Canada
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Classic 8
If you do your re-organization from the Folders Panel in LR, you can go to any structure on the new drive you wish, but the time it takes for LR to physically copy the images will be longer.

If you copy or move the images using Finder (outside of LR) then everything below the 2nd "Pictures" folder should remain the same but the name of that 2nd Pictures folder can change and anything above it is not relevant. So,,,,,

Macintosh HD > users > myname > pictures > pictures > all of my LR image folders based on location Can become
NewDrive > LR Images > all of my LR image folders based on location

If you use the Finder method and COPY the images, once the COPY is done, rename the 2nd 'Pictures" folder to something else (e.g. "Pictures-X"). . Using the "finder" method will require you to then "find missing folder" on the old 2nd Pictures folder and point it to the new "LR Images" folder. Once that is done you're good to go and you can follow that up with other re-organization work using the Folders Panel on the new drive.
Thank you for this really clear explanation and answer to my question.

I'm tempted to do it within LR although the original tutorial alludes to it being "less reliable".
 

mcasan

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Suggestion: Think twice about put your folders of raw images on an internal drive. SSDs are not large enough and HHDs (even fusion ones) are too slow. Put all pictures, documents, movies, music.....etc. folders on large external drivers.
 
Joined
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Suggestion: Think twice about put your folders of raw images on an internal drive. SSDs are not large enough and HHDs (even fusion ones) are too slow. Put all pictures, documents, movies, music.....etc. folders on large external drivers.
Don't buy tiny SSDs. There is no difference in capacity between (my) 1TB SSD and my 1TB HDD. Your fastest access is a buss mounted drive of either type. USB2 or USB 3 should be discouraged Thunderbolt3 Externals will surpass any other external in terms of speed. After a period of initial LR processing, the original image file will rarely be accessed except for exports and printing. At that point any external storage (even ethernet NAS) is an acceptable location for non active master image files.
 
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For myself I never move large (more than 100 images) folders between two physical drives. The process is very slow and if interrupted by anything, say your cat walking across your keyboard (Yes this has been reported here) at best will leave some of your images on one drive and some on the other.

I generally will use a validating transfer tool to move big folders in my case ChronoSync which has a validate option. I use this when ever I come back from a trip and I am moving all the images off of my laptop to be imported in to my master catalog.

On the other hand if you are restructuring folders and all the images are staying on the same drive. Doing it inside Lightroom is quite safe and efficient. This is because even when you move images between folders on the same drive the image files themselves are not copied. Even large moves are completed in seconds. Most of the time is consumed by Lightroom updating the it's internal tables that record the new path for each image.

-louie
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Messages
7
This is not a suggested solution to the question posed by deekay2308 but a related question. I have performed several searches of the forums and not found anything related to my question. If the Staff Member knows of another forum with my issue, please direct me to it.

I have used a MacPro (2013 design) with lots of extra memory for the last 4 years and it is a very sad and over priced underperformer. So, I am building a custom PC for far less than the cost of the Mac, and my question concerns the 13,000+ images and LR CC catalogue I have kept on an external SSD. The SSD is formatted for Mac OS Extended, which will not be compatible with my upcoming PC, and I want to continue to use an external SSD for my LR images and catalogue. From my research, exFAT format for the new replacement external SSD seems the best way to go. The file hierarchy will be the same, my external HD is labeled "Js Ext LR Drive" and that is what I will name the new SSD to prevent any loss of my LR images or corruption of my catalogue.

My questions are
  • will an image transfer to the new SSD with exFAT format work, so that the same catalogue and images are reachable from my PC
  • if the transfer will accomplish what I am attempting, what is the best method to transfer all the images and catalogue from one SSD with the same name to another SSD with the same name
  • can I use my Mac, with LR open, to make the image transfer so the catalogue still knows where all the images and edits are
  • is there anything else I need to do to make this work
Thank you. John Hemphill
 
Joined
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Simply copy the images and the catalog folder from the old SSD to the new one. Use the Finder to do this, not Lightroom. As you asked more or less the same question in another thread, read my answer in that thread why Lightroom will lose the connection to the images anyway and how to easily solve that.
 
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