recommend a folder structure

Status
Not open for further replies.

Pindy

New Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
15
I migrated from Aperture to LR last month. I was using Aperture to manage all the photos (as opposed to using "referenced masters") so any kind of folder strcture was irrelevant. Now, I have to be smart about how my folders are laid out, since LR uses those folders as a direct way of accessing images.

Previously, I had all photos from a given year inside a single Aperture Project. I would make sub-folders to sort family photos from "photography" etc.

How do you like to organise your folders? I'm beginning to feel like a folder-per-year is a bit too broad, but I don't really dig importing photos into a folder-per-date either.

Any suggestions?
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
23,407
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Have you done much work on these files Pindy?

If you aren't worried about keeping virtual copies, history, snapshots or collections, you could select all, write the metadata to files, and then import them into a new catalog renaming as you go. But I'd do a backup first!
 

Pindy

New Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
15
Have you done much work on these files Pindy?

If you aren't worried about keeping virtual copies, history, snapshots or collections, you could select all, write the metadata to files, and then import them into a new catalog renaming as you go. But I'd do a backup first!

I don't have any important collection, snapshots, but massive keywording and IPTC. I think I'll try a backup and import into another catalogue in case the results frighten me. Thanks for the tip.

So LR will see the sidecars auto-magically?
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
23,407
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Keywording and IPTC should be written to the files when you do the Metadata > Write Metadata to Files (Ctrl-S / Cmd-S - what platform at you on?), so in theory it should work ok. Definitely backup the library and files before you try anything quite so major though - nothing worse than it crashing half way through!!!

LR will read any sidecars when you import.
 

joshua

Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
91
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Since lightroom automatically makes folders for each day, i've had it set up like that by default. Is there some way to have it so that lightroom puts them in a hierarchy that would be year/month/day?

Thanks!
 

Mark Sirota

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
4,055
Location
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
There is no way to customize the date hierarchies used on import. I wish there were, and I've filed a feature request. Personally, I want YYYY/YYYY-MM/YYYY-MM-DD.

In the meantime, it is possible to do this outside of Lightroom, but it's cumbersome because you need to do some manual reorganization after every import. At least, I haven't found any completely automated way. So for now I'm using the built-in YYYY/YYYY-MM-DD until, hopefully, this feature gets implemented in a future release.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
4,629
Location
Paradise
Lightroom Experience
Power User
ok, that's good to know. just thought i was missing something.

What I have done is create a folder structure for the year on my HD with year/year-month, then upon import select the year-month folder and LR imports with year-month-day and I have a three level structure. Is this what you are looking for?
 

joshua

Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
91
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Hmm... that should work!

What I have done is create a folder structure for the year on my HD with year/year-month, then upon import select the year-month folder and LR imports with year-month-day and I have a three level structure. Is this what you are looking for?
 
T

thg

Guest
Even if I work on a french system, I use a year/month/day folder structure as well. The advantage is that you can have 2 different folders with the same date but a different name, quite useful if you shoot different subjects during the same day.
 
J

johndeck

Guest
A subject hierarchy or simple date based folders? In other words, using your folder system to analyze your work is a dead end - that's what metadata is for.

I agree and I would add that archiving a folder structure which is based on a subject structure can be difficult. As my notebook hard drive fills in, I have to archive some older part of my pictures, not a full subject folder.

As metadata hierarchies are possible with LR, I understand I can have a subject hierarchy using metadata. But what about other software which don't have metadata hierarchies or which are not compatible with the way LR stores them in the metadata? How to avoid to lose the hierarchy?

How to differentiate "publishing" and "organizational" metadata? When I publish pictures, I may want to export "Tour Eiffel, tower,..." but not my "holiday > mini-trips > Paris 2''5" which I used for my subject organization.
 
J

johndeck

Guest
I try to "up" my last message from this thread...

If pictures are organized in date based folder as they should, I understand we can use metadata to describe the shoot (Holiday/Paris ''7, Family/Anniversary/...).

If we use the metadata hierarchy feature of LR to build a logical (subjects) organization of the pictures, I don't see how others softwares will understand LR hierarchical keyword vs their flat keyword list if we have to share or migrate.

IPTC keyword does not seem to define the usage of a hierarchy.

As an amateur, I look maybe at the wrong solution for the problem. So, does someone have an idea?
 
T

troyhark

Guest
If files are always organised by date then any programme and any OS can deal with and maintain your file structure. Essential for anyone who intends living at least another 5 years! New software will appear, old software will disappear. That is ineveitable, you just won't know what will survive.
So if you add keywords to images as well and keep them with the files and not just in LR's or Aperture's database, then any other decent software should be able to read the keyword metadata. Besides it's quite easy to export LR's Keywords as it's just a text file. Again any decent software should be able to import something that basic to maintain any keywording heirachies you've made.

The major and oft ignored problem with relying on keywords to find stuff is that it takes an awful lot of effort to meaningfully keyword one's images, whereas importing by date and labelling folders as well is very easy indeed. LR and Bridge can easily do that for you and that's the important bit, being easy as then you'll actually do it.
Keywording in LR is a big step up on before, but it's still a lot of effort and time consuming to do, so it won't always get done. Besides, if you repeatedly shoot the same subject, as most people do, words like landscape, tree or kids will simply bring up 1's of 1'''s of images which kind of defeats the purpose. Also if you tend to file by date, you tend to start remembering when things occurred better than before, so it gets easier with usage.

Date heirachy is content agnostic and expands logically. A content/descriptive heirachy is unwieldy and breaks down if you have items that can go in more than one folder. I used to use it and it's fine for small collections, but falls down too quickly.

Somethings can stay outside of date folders, Client jobs may be better served by a client heirachy and things like wedding shoots may be best done by couple's names as that's probably all you ever need to reference the work. Though any possible portfolio shots should be marked/labelled as you go along.
 
J

johndeck

Guest
Thank you, Troyhark.

I do agree with you for the sample you give. But looking for keyword logical organization, I was thinking about something more finer grained.

Let's suppose:

I organize pictures by date on the file system. I use keywords like they used to be and it allows me to find something useful by combining some of them (e.g. : tree, sunset,... + 4star).

I add to this another keyword node hierarchy. I will be used to organize pictures by subjects. I agree it is the wrong way to do on the file system level.

But it could be useful to retrieve a shoot looking for an event, a subject as we are not always able to retrieve things by date. I agree some training will help but not everybody have a time line in mind (my wife does, not me,...). So we have a virtual organization of subjects using the keywords:

Family
Weddings
John&Mary
...
Anniversary
John 3'
...
Home
Garden
DIY
...
Holiday
Paris ''6
...
Museum
Auto-show ''6
...
We may have shots that are describe in two events. "Holiday in Paris" + "Auto-show ''6", so we are not forced to choose between them as it occurs when subject are organized on the file system.

You see, if the hierarchy is lost during a migration, a recovery,... these keywords does not organize anything. That's why I want to evaluate the correctness of the solution and by what amount it is future proof.

Currently, Some softwares do not support keyword hierarchies (iView, Aperture just for display). I only know Bridge and LR with such behavior with their keyword hierarchies. Which I find great.

Thank you for reading :)
 
T

troyhark

Guest
If you file by date and then add keywords in a heirachical manner [that makes sense to you], then you have the best of both worlds.

Places/Location/Europe/France/Paris/Île de la Cité/ would be a good way of describing via keywords some images shot on a visit to Paris [in Folder structure 2''6/2''6-'7 July/2''6-'7-16 Paris walkabout]
As would
Places/Type/River/Seine
Places/Type/Island/
Places/Type/City
2''6/July
Season/Summer
 

Bernd

New Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
9
Location
Hamburg, Germany
first of all: I am not a pro, I am not taking pictures every day, just occasionally.


=== Files name ===
YYMMDD_MMSS_[description]_[camera type]_[counter from camera].dng

Doing so, all images are always sorted chronologically. And I can seen (even from outside of Lightroom) when I have shoot the images. When using 2 cameras, I use different presets, so I can choose during import lets say between d2''-preset and coolpix-preset. Very convenient for me.

=== Folder structure ===

/lightroom
-----/2''3
-----/2''4
-----/2''5
-----/2''6
------------/2''6_'7_roskilde_musicfestival
------------/2''6_12_xmas
-----/2''7
------------/2''7_'2_vacation_france
------------/2''7_'4_businesstrip_munic
------------/2''7_'7_roskilde_musicfestival

This way I can keep all pictures from one event (holiday, xmas,...) in one folder and the folder are sorted chronologically.
 

Pindy

New Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
15
Can you do this?:

1. Export your entire library as a catalog (no digital negative files)
2. Create a new catalog, which will become your master
3. Import From Catalog, selecting the import panel to copy the files into the new, desired hierarchy?
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
23,407
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Erm. That's a good question. Someone may be able to think of a workaround, but for now I'm going to say no. Copy in the Import from Catalog dialog reflects the existing structure.

Alternatives.... why not set up your new desired hierarchy in your existing catalog and drag/drop the files into it?
 

Pindy

New Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
15
Alternatives.... why not set up your new desired hierarchy in your existing catalog and drag/drop the files into it?

Simply because there are 7''' photos to sort through, leading to the creation of hundreds or possibly thousands of folders. No thanks! Can you imagine if iTunes made you look after the folder structure of your music library? I prefer to have an automaton do this for me.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
23,407
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Ok, do you have virtual copies, collections, or history that must follow the files? My other thought is to write all settings to xmp (select all > ctrl-S) and then start a new catalog and import normally (set to copy to a new location) rather than import from catalog. That will allow you to set a date based structure automatically, but it wouldn't transfer the virtual copies, collections or history with it. (Can anyone remember whether VC's are now written to xmp?)
 
R

Richard Earney

Guest
There is no way to customize the date hierarchies used on import. I wish there were, and I've filed a feature request. Personally, I want YYYY/YYYY-MM/YYYY-MM-DD.

I only import into LR once I have used ImageIngester to get stuff off the camera. I find it more flexible that the Lightroom Import.
 

Pindy

New Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
15
Ok, do you have virtual copies, collections, or history that must follow the files?

I do have VCs that need to follow, which would have made a catalogue import very handy.

I think the ImageIngester solution is the best so far. The only bummer is that it makes copies. I don't have room for copies to be made, I simply want something to move the files into folders FOR ME!
 

Brad Snyder

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
6,293
Location
Port Deposit, Maryland USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
(Can anyone remember whether VC's are now written to xmp?)

No, I don't think so. Our friend Lee Jay, the XMP fanatic, still refuses to use VCs simply because they aren't reflected in the XMPs.

VB, in much the way you return XMPs only to your retouch clients, LJ, prefers to use XMPs only for his catalog backup/transport strategy.
 

Pindy

New Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
15
Are there any ImageIngester fans who can talk me through a folder-reconfiguration?

I have II set up to make folders how I want them in the prefs. Do I simply have to choose the folders containing disorganised files in order to make II copy them in nice new folders to a new location? i don't want any metadata nonsense or any renaming, JUST folderization.

Thanks
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top