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Starting over

anasmusic

New Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
3
Lightroom Version
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic 9.4 release
Operating System
macOS 10.15 Catalina
Hi folks, new to the forum. I started using LR a few years ago and literally just dived in without giving much thought to what I was doing. I'm now looking at a 52K photo mess. I realize that I no longer want to keep all the raw files anywhere, so I want to delete them all. I've also converted any raws I did want into jpegs and exported them into files on my hard drive and cloud.
Now I know in order to edit new raw images, I need to import them into my Lightroom, but I only want keep the raws for a few months at most and then get rid of them again. I also want to eliminate all the old folders that I currently have in Lightroom since they were originally connected to all the raws I will no longer have.
Can I just delete all those old folders especially since they're no longer linked to the raws that have been deleted? And since I have about 52K jpegs stored on my hard drive is it worth me reimporting those into LR for me to have access to or just leave them be as they are now organized on my hard drive by year and name. All the raws were exported to jpegs and saved in my hard drive by year and name.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
2,135
Location
Puget Sound
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Welcome to the forum. You do know that deleting raw files is somewhat akin to throwing away negatives after making a print? Have you considered keeping the raw files and your LR catalog(s) and deleting the jpeg files? I would especially consider this if you were really contemplating re-importing them into a new catalog. This give you the least of many options as you no longer have the raw file and you no longer have the catalog with the original edits. All you would be left with are jpeg copies which do not take to reprocessing that well as many of the settings of a raw file aht can be easily changed in LR are now baked in the jpeg file.

I would suggest starting a new catalog if you are not happy with your current catalog and then later try cleaning it up.

Good luck,

--Ken
 

anasmusic

New Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
3
Welcome to the forum. You do know that deleting raw files is somewhat akin to throwing away negatives after making a print? Have you considered keeping the raw files and your LR catalog(s) and deleting the jpeg files? I would especially consider this if you were really contemplating re-importing them into a new catalog. This give you the least of many options as you no longer have the raw file and you no longer have the catalog with the original edits. All you would be left with are jpeg copies which do not take to reprocessing that well as many of the settings of a raw file aht can be easily changed in LR are now baked in the jpeg file.

I would suggest starting a new catalog if you are not happy with your current catalog and then later try cleaning it up.

Good luck,

--Ken
Hi Ken! I do realize that and I'm OK with it... I saved the really important stuff that maybe I would like to fiddle with later. Thanks for the tips!! Appreciate your feedback.
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
Premium Classic Member
Premium Cloud Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
2,265
Location
California, USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Hi Ken! I do realize that and I'm OK with it... I saved the really important stuff that maybe I would like to fiddle with later. Thanks for the tips!! Appreciate your feedback.
And remember that disk space is cheap these days. Even if you don't want to keep the RAW files cataloged in Lightroom, for the sake of your future self (or maybe even your children) back up all the RAW files somewhere. Obviously you should cull out the duds.

Phil
 

anasmusic

New Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
3
And remember that disk space is cheap these days. Even if you don't want to keep the RAW files cataloged in Lightroom, for the sake of your future self (or maybe even your children) back up all the RAW files somewhere. Obviously you should cull out the duds.

Phil
exactly the ones I've saved :)
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2015
Messages
443
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
I realize that I no longer want to keep all the raw files anywhere, so I want to delete them all. I've also converted any raws I did want into jpegs and exported them into files on my hard drive and cloud.
Personally, I keep the RAW. Have yo ever considered that someday, your skills and/or tools may improve and you may want to revisit old photos and reprocess them? I've done that.

You didn't mention if you have a 'culling' process to purge pictures that are just not keepers e.g. out of focus, lens cap was on, finger in the way etc. You may want to consider working from the 'bottom' up of keepers rather than from the 'top' down.
 
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