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Returning to Lr Classic...Catalog Set Up Questions...

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Hello all,

After nearly a year away from LR, I'm looking at coming back and doing things a bit differently than I did before. I didn't pay proper attention to the catalog set up the first time around. This caused massive and unending frustration with Lightroom; hence my decision to dump it and go back to Camera RAW and Photoshop. And before anyone asks, yes - the old/original catalog is long deleted, and good riddance to it. And no, I lost nothing; my master files, which contain all of my un-flattened actions, are backed up. The output files are also backed up and in cloud storage. All is safe.

This time, I'd like to get things set up properly. The new catalog will begin with work shot in 2022 and onward; I will not bring any prior work into it. If I have to go back to images made in 2021 or earlier, they'll be handled outside of LR, with Camera Raw and Photoshop.

All that said, here are my questions:

1.) Should I set up my new LR catalog on one of two external 5TB hard drives? My RAW and working/output files are stored on these same drives, though obviously, the LR Catalog would reside in it's own folder on just one of the drives. Of course, these drives are regularly backed-up. Is this a good idea/plan, or a bad one?

2.) Should I install the LR catalog onto the MacBook Pro hard drive, and not an external hard drive? I'm not moving between my laptop and another machine or device for my LR Classic editing work; I use only the MacBook Pro. (I do use Lightroom Desktop with my phone and iPad, but those images are never imported into LR Classic.) My RAW and working/output files would still be stored on the two external hard drives described above. The MacBook pro is backed up weekly with Time Machine onto it's own hard drive. Is this the better idea/plan?

Or should I consider something different? Is there anything else I should be mindful of in getting started again?

Many thanks - and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all!
 
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1.) Should I set up my new LR catalog on one of two external 5TB hard drives? My RAW and working/output files are stored on these same drives, though obviously, the LR Catalog would reside in it's own folder on just one of the drives. Of course, these drives are regularly backed-up. Is this a good idea/plan, or a bad one?

2.) Should I install the LR catalog onto the MacBook Pro hard drive, and not an external hard drive? I'm not moving between my laptop and another machine or device for my LR Classic editing work; I use only the MacBook Pro. (I do use Lightroom Desktop with my phone and iPad, but those images are never imported into LR Classic.) My RAW and working/output files would still be stored on the two external hard drives described above. The MacBook pro is backed up weekly with Time Machine onto it's own hard drive. Is this the better idea/plan?

Or should I consider something different? Is there anything else I should be mindful of in getting started again?
I would go with #2. although you do not mention how the 2 5TB drives are connected. The Lightroom folder containing the Catalog and Previews will have the best performance on the internal drive (Especially if this is an SSD). If the EHDs are using TB3 and 40Gbs, then it does not matter where the catalog is stored. Better if the Externals are also SSDs. If McIntosh HD is at least 512Gb, then #2 is fine.

I have an M1 with 1TB SSD internal and a variety of HDDs mounted via TB3 & TB2. Option #2 is the setup that I use. For about a year now, I have been using my iPadPro running Lightroom as a front end to import into Lightroom Classic. I can get a lot of early development workflow done on the iPadPro and finish up with LrC.
 

Zenon

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I agree. That is the way I'm set up. Catalogue on the SSD (in my case) which is backed up every time I close it. Mac is backed up to an ED using Time Machine.

I have two other ED's. One is called Photos which I work off. The other is called Photos Backup and I use CCC to back up daily.

Yes organization is key. Going ago I got into a bit of mess as well but there wasn't a lot to correct. After that I took some classes and learned was to move folders around using LrC and done that since. Since then I have been pretty diligent.

I keep it simple. My folder structure is Photos (root) - by year and in each year by event name and date.
 
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It's a pros/cons balance. The big PRO for having catalog on EHD with images is that it greatly simplifies moving your entire LR world to another computer - for example to a laptop when you travel. But, at the expense of performance. On the other hand putting the Catalog on an internald drive (and even better on an SSD) you get noticably better performanc but you have to do some copying of folders if you want to take your catalog with you to use on a different computer (and then reverse when you return).

If you have no need to use the LR catalog on a different computer then it's a no brainer to have the catalog on the internal drive or an SSD. If you do need to travel with it then you need to weigh the pros/cons. If you decide to keep it on the internal device, then just before you leave, copy the catalog folder to the EHD for use on the other computer. Then copy it back when you return.

My comments are related to wanting your entire LrC world with you on the other (travel) computer. However, depending on particular needs and workflows there are other "on the road" stargegies such as a temp travel catalog, using LR/Cloud, making use of smart previews among others.
 
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Thanks everyone, for the replies.

I was leaning towards keeping the catalog on the laptop HD, which is SSD, for the performance reasons. I live full-time on my sailboat, and so the laptop and EHD's are always with me.I just wanted to be sure I considered the possibilities and pros/cons beforehand, or at least as much as is possible.

I'll get it set=up tonight...it'll give me something to do while I wait for Santa...

Best to all -
 
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Actually, some do...but not ours. I'll set a dark and stormy for him in the cockpit...:)
 
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Hi @johnrellis and @Bill Ballard;

Glad I found this topic. For years, I have floated back and forth between a powerful Desktop Computer and various laptops. As a result, I kept my Lightroom catalog and image files on an external USB HDD so I didn't have to be concerned with synchronizing a catalog between two computers and it worked fine for me. About 3-4 years ago I upgraded the HDD on the desktop to an SSD and got a new laptop with an internal SSD. I continued to keep my images and catalog on an external drive but changed the external to an SSD. A while back I started having issues with the desktop computer. I think the power supply was beginning to go bad. I sent it, the desktop, to my computer guy. This was at the beginning of Covid-19. He confirmed that it was the power supply but has been unable to obtain a new one (the desktop is pretty old). So, I have decided I will never buy another desktop again as I just don't need all that anymore. The desktop had a Blue Ray DVD burner and a standard DVD burner and a plethora of other bells and windows, but I just don't need all that anymore.

Now to my question for you two. I am thinking, even though my external SSD is pretty doggone fast and I have very few if any performance issues even when using LrC with PS and even though my images are on the external, I want to move my catalog (I only use one) to my laptop which as I said in previous paragraph has an SSD. I am pretty sure all I have to do is copy the Lightroom folder on the external SSD to my internal SSD. I use Tera Copy. But is there anything else you are aware of that I should do? Do you think it is a good idea to get my catalog back to my laptop? I have no issues with keeping my images on the external because I know it's fast enough to manage it. I don't do lots of heavy editing in PS. And I also don't mind carrying my external drive with me when I travel because it is one of those Samsung credit card sized drives and I do a pretty good job of backing it up often. In fact, I even backup the backup and I backup my catalog to cloud storage after every use in LrC. I do go to coffee shops and other places where I carry my laptop and would like to just work from smart previews instead of risking carrying my external drive all the time.

Please tell me if you think I'd be making a mistake.

Thanks
 
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Hi @johnrellis and @Bill Ballard;

Glad I found this topic. For years, I have floated back and forth between a powerful Desktop Computer and various laptops. As a result, I kept my Lightroom catalog and image files on an external USB HDD so I didn't have to be concerned with synchronizing a catalog between two computers and it worked fine for me. About 3-4 years ago I upgraded the HDD on the desktop to an SSD and got a new laptop with an internal SSD. I continued to keep my images and catalog on an external drive but changed the external to an SSD. A while back I started having issues with the desktop computer. I think the power supply was beginning to go bad. I sent it, the desktop, to my computer guy. This was at the beginning of Covid-19. He confirmed that it was the power supply but has been unable to obtain a new one (the desktop is pretty old). So, I have decided I will never buy another desktop again as I just don't need all that anymore. The desktop had a Blue Ray DVD burner and a standard DVD burner and a plethora of other bells and windows, but I just don't need all that anymore.

Now to my question for you two. I am thinking, even though my external SSD is pretty doggone fast and I have very few if any performance issues even when using LrC with PS and even though my images are on the external, I want to move my catalog (I only use one) to my laptop which as I said in previous paragraph has an SSD. I am pretty sure all I have to do is copy the Lightroom folder on the external SSD to my internal SSD. I use Tera Copy. But is there anything else you are aware of that I should do? Do you think it is a good idea to get my catalog back to my laptop? I have no issues with keeping my images on the external because I know it's fast enough to manage it. I don't do lots of heavy editing in PS. And I also don't mind carrying my external drive with me when I travel because it is one of those Samsung credit card sized drives and I do a pretty good job of backing it up often. In fact, I even backup the backup and I backup my catalog to cloud storage after every use in LrC. I do go to coffee shops and other places where I carry my laptop and would like to just work from smart previews instead of risking carrying my external drive all the time.

Please tell me if you think I'd be making a mistake.

Thanks
I'm not so technically driven, or gear driven. When all is said and done, I just want to make good photographs.

That said, I work solely from my MacBook Pro; I also go to coffee shops, etc., and if I'm doing photo work, then my MacBook and primary external drive goes with me. (I have a main external HD, which hoiuses my LR Catalog, and back up to two others, which is RAW , master, and finished files. I back up like a madman; everything locally and my finished work goes to the cloud.
 
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I'm not so technically driven, or gear driven. When all is said and done, I just want to make good photographs.

That said, I work solely from my MacBook Pro; I also go to coffee shops, etc., and if I'm doing photo work, then my MacBook and primary external drive goes with me. (I have a main external HD, which hoiuses my LR Catalog, and back up to two others, which is RAW , master, and finished files. I back up like a madman; everything locally and my finished work goes to the cloud.
To be sure, you keep your catalog and original images on an external hard drive, right? That is what I do now, except my external drive is a SSD. However since I don't have 2 computers anymore I am considering moving my catalog from the external to my laptop and keeping my images on the SSD.
Do I just move the lightroom folder or are there other folders I should move too?
 
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I'm not aware of anything else that you need to be aware of, and I'm pretty sure if there is anything else that Victoria and Paul would have included it in the blog post. But none of us would claim to know everything, so if you are doubtful then you may want to carry on waiting a while longer for some different feedback.
 
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I've been a member here for a while and used Lightroom for a while. I've read what you suggest many times. I know how to find, move and rename the catalog. I'm asking is there any thing besides those generic instructions I should be aware of to make sure I'm able to use the program as if it hasn't been moved.
For your benefit, I've just padded it with even more detail on specifically which "extra" files may be found alongside the catalog, although following the instructions as listed would have done you just fine.
 
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For your benefit, I've just padded it with even more detail on specifically which "extra" files may be found alongside the catalog, although following the instructions as listed would have done you just fine.
Thank you. It's appreciated. I know it may seem silly but with all the changes over past few years, plus that I'm not as engaged as I once was, it helps relieve my anxiety about moving the catalog.
 

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Lr is constantly writing and reading from the catalog files, not so much the original image files (only when needed).
So it's critical for performance to have the catalog files on the internal SSD. However, all the images can happily reside on an external HDD.
Screenshot shows the Lightroom files and folders that you should see on your internal drive (LrC 11.3.1).
 

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Thank you. It's appreciated. I know it may seem silly but with all the changes over past few years, plus that I'm not as engaged as I once was, it helps relieve my anxiety about moving the catalog.
Glad to help. All of the info is in the book, but sometimes it's handy to have it in context isn't it.
 
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So it's critical for performance to have the catalog files on the internal SSD.
Hi @Michael;
I really appreciate the screenshots. I do have to disagree that it's critical to performance to have the catalog on an IHD. I've had my catalog on an EHD for years, HDD and SSD, and not noticed any degradation in performance. The only reasons I have for wanting to put it back on my IHD now is so I can use smartpreviews occasionally instead of always having to have my EHD with me or have it (EHD) connected even when I'm home. Just for informational (akaTMI) purposes, I sometimes set on my patio to import and process images and I sometimes drop things, so I'd rather not have to use my SSD which is credit card sized and attaches to pc port via type-c to type-c USB cable. I've discovered type-c is not as secure as the old type-a to type-b connection.
 
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