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Returning to the fold

Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
45
Location
Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Lightroom Version
LR Classic 9.0
Operating System
Windows 10
Hey folks, I've been away from lightroom for a year or more. I was a long term desktop user since LR1, but a change of computer (surface pro!) meant unable to use a second monitor (microsoft have a small list of known issue monitors, sod's law mine was on that list!). It also seemed to struggle with LR software (despite being more powerful than my previous computer (mac mini). All in all, what with the monthly subscription for software I wasn't using, I unsubscribed for a bit and took a break.

Well .... I'm back!

A new PC (custom built core i5-9400) with whizzbang graphics card and loads of RAM, and 256GB ssd means I'm good to go! I've installed LR classic, and imported my photos and have a few questions:

1. I haven't pointed LR at my previous catalogues - does that mean it has created a fresh one? I'm happy to start from scratch.
2. Is there an easy way to apply some very basic develop settings to all the images - e.g. use "auto" on one image then copy settings to all other images?
3. The images have come from various cameras over 13 years via every version of LR - the names are a mess! Would you recommend I batch rename them with YYMMDD etc?
4. I have Lightroom 6 missing FAQ book - is it worth getting the newer version? I also have Lightroom CC edit like a pro.

Anything else I should know/do?

Thanks all.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
9,166
Location
Netherlands
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
1: If the catalog is empty, then Lightroom created a new one.
2: Select all images, go to the Develop module and toggle the little switch in front of the 'Synchronize' button. It should now read 'Auto Sync'. Press 'Auto' and all your images will be automatically improved, each with their own improvement. Toggle the switch again so you do not apply further changes to all images by mistake.
3: That is up to you.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
14,935
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Welcome back!
Lightroom always wants to start with a new empty catalog if it can't find a settings profile that points to an existing catalog.

I would recommend that you open your old master catalog with the current LR Classic 9 and it will convert the contents to the new LR9 database structure and create a new copy of that catalog. If you have other catalogs, I would also suggest that you use the "Import From another Catalog" function to merge these into your new master catalog. You should only have one and only one master catalog. I would not bother renaming files, that is a waste of time that could be better spent organizing the images that you already have . Lightroom does not care about file names, why should you? Instead spend your time organizing your image inventory using keywords and collections Don't worry about folders and folder locations (yet) Lightroom does not care about where your master images are stored. Remember Lightroom is your Data Asset Management (DAM) tool. So you should use the DAM tool to do all of your organizing .
Once you have organized your image inventory with keywords and Collections, you can then work with the Folder panel to consolidate your master image files in one or two locations .
 
Joined
Feb 12, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Toronto Ontario (Ajax)
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
As the previous responder said, I would point at your old catalogs.
If you have things you want in the current "new" catalog, then you have a few options ...
1. use File | Export to catalog for all the photos in you new catalog, open your old catalog and import the exported catalog.
Now stay with the converted old catalog.
2. you could invert that, but if your old catalog is large, then exporting ALL the photos to a catalog is going to take time and space
3. stay with two catalogs, the old and the new, use each is needed

Personally I would go with #1.

Beware just importing the photos from their original locations (those associated with the old catalog) unless you have sidecar files for
all of them, otherwise you will lose any editing you did.
 
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