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separating RAW and JPG, two computers, keeping ratings

MarkGredler

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Feb 18, 2017
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I am new to lightroom. I set up folders for trips, ie Spain 2016, then folder for each SD card, imported like that into lightroom, evaluated photos and ranked 1-5 stars. That was on PC, and I want to use lightroom on Mac Book laptop as well, but only with the JPG's. I don't mind changing the folder structure, as long as I don't lose the rankings - ie place the RAW and JPG in separate folders. But I want to be able to use the same catalog file (?) on both computers, to be able to sync the ratings from one to the other. And to have RAW and JPG on PC, but only JPG on laptop. Is this possible? Thanks in advance from a brand new user. I have lightroom 6.6.
 
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Welcome to the forum. Your biggest problem is Windows use of Drive letters in the absolutePath field stored in the catalog There is a relativePath field too, but this is not always resolvable in Windows if the catalog is on one volume (drive letter) and the images are stored in another volume. If you store the image files in a sub folder of the folder that contains the catalog file, then the relativePath field is resolvable in Windows and can be used by the catalog to local your images when using OS X/MacOS

If you create this folder structure, the folder containing the catalog and the image folders becomes a package that can be ported to the Mac with no difficulties. If you use an external disk drive to hold the package, you need to format the disk drive as exFAT which is a filesystem that can be read and written to by both Windows and Macs.
 

rob211

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What's the hardware setup? do the Mac and PC use the same storage device for the photos (are they say on one hard drive you connect to both machines? NAS?).

And you're sorta conflating files and catalog. If you use the SAME catalog on both then that one catalog is going to reference ALL your images, be they RAW, JPEG, TIFF, etc.

You could store RAW images on the PC, and JPEGs on the Mac, and have one catalog that referenced both. It's just that when on the Mac you would see the RAWs as missing in the catalog, and vice versa.

What are you intending to accomplish? Having RAW and JPEG pairs gets confusing since you've already got duplicates of the same thing, especially if you start exporting or publishing, which means other JPEGs generated from that RAW. And if the point is to have smaller copies of the RAWs on the Mac, then what about smart previews instead?

Finally, using one catalog on two devices means having it on something, like a hard drive, that can be moved between the two (note that's different than identical COPIES of the same catalog). Having the catalog with its previews, etc on an external can be slower than having it say on a faster internal SSD. So again, what's the hardware situation?
 

MarkGredler

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Feb 18, 2017
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This is something i may need to change as well. The photos are on the PC local hard drive, and the catalog. There is a backup of photos only on NAS. The Mac laptop photos are on a 2 TB external drive. The external is an SSD so it is fast, and is in exFAT format to be read by both, with the ability for my very large video files to be stored as well. I wanted to have the RAWs and JPEGs on the PC and just the JPEGS on the external SSD, but be able to use one catalog with both. Would I need the catalog on the external drive? Would the JPEGs on the Mac laptop have to be in identically named folders and structure as the PC? Or is the only way to do this to have all the photos on the external drive? If I have all the photos, JPEGs on the external drive, with the catalog there?, can the catalog still keep up with the RAWs on the PC internal drive?

The bottom line is that I want all the JPEGs accessible and able to give star ratings on the laptop, but do any processing on the PC. I thought about just storing all the JPEGs on the external drive in addition to the PC internal drive, and use something else to evaluate and browse on the laptop, like photo mechanic, but it costs as much as lightroom.

I was all ready to buy a second copy of lightroom for the laptop, but am not sure what makes the most sense to be able to view, evaluate, sort, and rate JPEGs on the laptop, yet be able to transfer the ratings to the catalog on the PC - I guess that is the best description of what I think I am trying to do.

I just got lightroom on the PC, and have uploaded photos from a month in Spain in one folder, with four subfolders for each SD card, and a similar structure for a month in Peru. I just want to figure out the best way to do all this before I invest too much time in the current structure and process. Thanks.
 

rob211

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You could put the catalog on an external and alternate which computer it is connected to, noting Cletus' comments about the filesystems.

And no, the folders don't have to be the same. The JPEGs are different photos from the RAWs, even if they show the same thing. And yes, they could all be on one drive.

But that's all a lot of work to just transfer ratings and such. I'd suggest you look into some of the tutorials on using Lr on two machines. For example, I copy RAW from SD to laptop on the road. I rate, add metadata, do some adjusting, etc. When home, I put all those travel photos in a collection and select it. Then export it as a catalog plus originals (I think Lr calls them "negatives") to my desktop via my LAN. Then bingo, there are all the images, and all the work I've done, on the desktop. If I want some JPEGs to put on the laptop (where space is limited) I use a publish service to do that back in the other direction.

If you're just doing ratings and say captions and keywords you don't even have to export the catalog; just write those changes to the RAW files themselves, then when you copy those images to the PC (or attach the external that contains them), and import into the desktop Lr catalog, Lr will import all those ratings, captions, and other metadata too. No catalog transfer necessary.
 
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