Starting with lightroom. Tiding up hard disk photos first

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alaios

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Hi,
I am not very new with lightroom, it is that I am starting today.
I have seen this video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSwkDC3q7uk

which I found to be a very very good introduction. According to this tutorial it would be nice to have some organization in the structure of my folders in the hard disk before creating my collection the first time.

For that though I need more ideas on how to structure my folders. So far I was using the software that came with my camera to do the import and thus all my images are sorted inside date subfolders. I understand that I have to start looking on a folder by folder basis but I am not sure then how I should change them rename them.

If there are some ideas on file structure of photos it would be great to hear yours ideas

Regards
A
 
Hi, welcome to the forum.

To be honest, you're likely to get some different responses to that question, as how we organise our images is often a very personal thing. One school of thought is that, provided you don't have countless duplicates all over the place, simply import everything first (despite what that presenter said), then use Lightroom's tools to organise your images.

To be honest, if you've already got your images organised by date, then I'd just import.....because I think many, if not most, users end up with a date-based folder structure. That's how I've got mine setup....but I didn't start off that way so it's been a gradual evolution over the years. But if you're already there, then I'd say import first.

You could try buying this: Peter Krogh's latest book, which should offer some help if you are undecided.
 
Hi thanks for the answer. One think still bothers me is how I will do the tagging of the photos consistently.

my daughter is called for example Katerina,
how can I remember if I have decided to write her name either as Katerina or katerina or KATERINA?

How can one remember and be consistent?

Regards
Alex
 
Hi thanks for the answer. One think still bothers me is how I will do the tagging of the photos consistently.

my daughter is called for example Katerina,
how can I remember if I have decided to write her name either as Katerina or katerina or KATERINA?

How can one remember and be consistent?

Regards
Alex
Lightroom will remember your tags. At least when you use the same catalog (the LR database) for all your photos, which most of us would really recommend you to do.

So the next time you want to use a tag, you will just have to put a check mark it in the list of existing tags.
 
Good tip from Jim; Peter Krogh's DAM books!
You can already take a look at http://www.dpbestflow.org/ for free. A lot of the content is written by Peter...
I'm at the same school as Jim; don's reorganize immediately. First import the present structure into Lightroom. The folder reorganization can be done later and it will be mainly for safekeeping purposes. The real organization is done with the DAM (Lightroom).

About the folder organization Peter Krogh had a webinar the day before yesterday at Phothoshelter, maybe they are putting it online one of these days.

As Jim said, Lighroom is helping you with consistent tagging. When this is not enough, there are more resources available (Keyword sets, controlled vocabulary, etc).
 
Lightroom will remember your tags.....
Also if you enter something in the Keyword field in the import dialog, the Keywording Panel and the {Paint: Keywords} on the toolbar. Entering "K" ot "k" will show you a list of all keywords that begin with "k". Continue typing "kat" and the list narrows down to all of the "kat..." keywords. if you type enough you eventually get to one keyword choice: "Katerina" or you can just click on the correct keyword from the narrowed list.
 
regarding the file structure I found the following text
from

http://www.dpbestflow.org/node/292

Code:
While there are different schools of thought on the best way to create a  workable folder hierarchy, the most important aspects to consider are  to build a system that meets your needs and one that you will follow.  Folder hierarchy needs to match [B]how your brain works[/B]. This is critical  to ensure you follow your rules and maintain an effective folder  structure and system for organizing your work.

I have not the slightest idea how my brain works and how to put into fiolders family moments. Today I am taking my daughter shopping, tomorrow to the church, on Monday evening to the park. So far each day goes on a different subfolder..... which is a mess but dunno how to put everyday activity photos into folders...
God save me
 
I think it's important to remember: Folder structure is for safekeeping your files. Keep it simple. Date bases is most used. Backup, file integrity etc is done on this level.

The real organisation (so you can find you images for example) is done in Lightroom or another DAM. The same image can reside in multiple categories. A photo of someone can resice in a 'virtual folder' called family and mariage and whatever.
When you would do this in a real folder structure you had to make copies of the image and place them in different folders. Organizationwise not very handy.

The most easy way to do this is to put al relevant keywords in the photo's.
The grouping (for example a birthday or another happening) you do when you need it. You find all relevant photo's to search for one of more keywords and put the best one in a new group. No need for making this groups before you need them.

The webinar i mentioned is online know: http://vimeo.com/99367121?mkt_tok=3...rPUfGjI4DSMJiI+SLDwEYGJlv6SgFT7nFMbBj2LgPXxA=
 
Hi thanks for that.
I guess I can even start tagging today and even apply folder structure later on. I also guess/ask that lightroom is smart enough once I change folder structure to be able to locate the new photos location (I will keep changes happening inside a folder)

Regards
Alex
 
...I have not the slightest idea how my brain works and how to put into fiolders family moments. Today I am taking my daughter shopping, tomorrow to the church, on Monday evening to the park. So far each day goes on a different subfolder..... which is a mess but dunno how to put everyday activity photos into folders...
God save me
Here's where I differ from "dpbestflow". Folders are not important to Lightroom. Lightroom has several date named folders schemes that you can use to automatically on import. Pick one a stick to it. Just be consistent. You are not going to need to use your folder panel to organize LR images. Your filesystem requires that image files be stored in a folder, LR does not.
Import can be as simple as inserting the camera card and Pressing the {Import} button Images get assigned to a folder automatically according to the date shot (creation date).
Once you have images in LR, you assign them important keywords: Daughters name, Church, Shopping Mall, Park, etc.
In the Collections panel you can create static or smart collections All of the photos of your daughter can go in one collection, no matter where the photos was taken and no matter when the photos was taken. You can manually pick all of the photos that have your daughter in them and drag them to the "Daughter" collection/ or you can create a smart collection (Give me all of the images that have "daughter's name" as a keyword) This works now and for the future. They can be even more complex: Give me all of the photos that have "daughter's name" as a keyword, taken in [my city], but not with the keyword "park" and not in the last 30 days. This way you let LR do the work for you and don't spend time scanning up and down folder lists looking for the right image(s). Any time you find yourself opening folders in the folder panel looking for a certain image, you are not using LR efficiently.
 
Cool thanks for your feedback. So you imply that you have almost none folder structure? In that case how your folder structure looks like?
If I understand right I can start by organizing things to some folder structure from now on (during lightrooms import) and do not spend months organizin all my previous images that are imported on date subfolders.
Is not that right?

Regards
Alex
 
Cool thanks for your feedback. So you imply that you have almost none folder structure? In that case how your folder structure looks like?
If I understand right I can start by organizing things to some folder structure from now on (during lightrooms import) and do not spend months organizin all my previous images that are imported on date subfolders.
Is not that right?

Regards
Alex
It's not that I don't have a folder structure. The OS requires a folder structure. LR will automatically create a "date-named" folder structure and offers about 13 different choices. The one that I use is YYYY/MM-DD. So if you open my folder panel, this is what you see. Most of the time I keep my Folder Panel closed or hidden. I don't use it in LR.
When I started using LR in 2009, I have existing folders that had a combination of dates with some Keyword tag. I imported these in place and new imports used the YYYY/MM-DD folders that LR creates. When time permitted the "anal" part of me went back to the old folder structure and renamed and relocated folders in the LR folder panel to conform to the "standard" LR date-named folder convention. I did not need to do this, but could not help myself.

So, yes, you can import all prior images in place and not concern your self with existing folder names or structure. New imports will go quickly with LR creating a simple "date0named" folder structure. You can then at your leisure clean up the older image inventory culling and deleting substandard images. And if you can't resist, you can rename old folders to conform to the current scheme.
 
Hi one more question.
I have ordered two hard disk that would be synced directly in the docking station.
I want to import all the current folders of photos I have inside one directory on the first external hard disk.
I just wander one I make a catalogue with all these photos in the hard disk if I would be able to keep improving a bit the hard disk structure (always inside the same one folder at the same hard disk).

The reason for asking this is that I do not want to spend three months arranging my photos before making my first catalogue in lightroom and I want to find a balance between some organization before I import and some work I can improve later on.

Regards
A
 
Why not import now, and complete any reorganisation using the Folders Panel in Lightroom.....you can drag and drop images or folders into other folders, and using Lightroom to do it prevents any problems with "missing files", which would happen if you did the reorganisation outside Lightroom after importing.

When you use Lightroom to do it, it will reorganise the files/folders physically on the drive as well as in the catalog.
 
Thanks. I did not know that lightroom can do that too.
Thanks again
A
 
The reason for asking this is that I do not want to spend three months arranging my photos before making my first catalogue in lightroom and I want to find a balance between some organization before I import and some work I can improve later on.
The most important part is in my opinion to decide on a folder structure before you import. The reason:

If you decide to discard any existing folder structure and instead use a date based folder structure, you can actually let Lightroom auto-arrange everything in date named folders when you import. (Use the Move option in the top of the import dialog, combined with Organize: "By date" in the right pane.)

And if you instead decide to keep your existing folder structure, you can tell Lightroom to keep your folder structure while importing. (Use the Add option to import without moving the files, or the Move option combined with Organize: "By original folders".)

In both cases you can rename and move as much as you want afterwards. But you can't (easily, within Lightroom) auto-arrange photos in date named folders afterwards, and that is the reason for making this decision first.
 
sure I think I should have one folder called Pictures and something like that a structure

-Pictures
--Digital
-----NexF3
-----Sx220
-----NikonJ1
--Film
-----Color
-----BlackAndWhite

and the all the shots sorted by location - and year month
for example
"Zurich 2013, 06"
if location is not there perhaps family moments it should be truncated to
" 2013, 06"

What I do not know though is that if location is not there into some of the subfolders that would cause very poor sorting outs. Also I am not sure if I should be using commas and spaces for different "fields" . A question that I have not just for folder structure but also for the tags I would be using in lightroom.

Feedback is much appreciated.
 
OK. It is your choice. But I would never make such a complicated folder structure.

Do you really want all your photos from the same trip to Zurich scattered around in different places, just because they were taken with different cameras?

And if you sort the folders outside Lightroom, would you want them sorted chronologically or by place? This would decide if you should have place or date first in the folder name.
 
if location is not there into some of the subfolders that would cause very poor sorting outs
In Lightroom you have all kind of sorting options! When you are going to use Keyword, you have all the sorting options you ever need.

The filesystem is for safekeeping only. Your computer need it and you use it to back-up. Most important here is to keep it simple to keep track what you have done or what you have to do.
Use 1 top level folder with the rest under it. Date bases is most used. No need to put more information in the folder name than the (unique) date based name. (same goes for the filenames, but that's another topic:) )
 
Hi thanks for the answer. One think still bothers me is how I will do the tagging of the photos consistently.

my daughter is called for example Katerina,
how can I remember if I have decided to write her name either as Katerina or katerina or KATERINA?

How can one remember and be consistent?

Regards
Alex

When you have done all your keywords (we don't call them Tags in LR) you can go into the Keyword panel where all your keywords are listed. You can then pick up those where you have wrong spellings etc. You can correct everything from within that panel.
 
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Thanks I will tide up photos first tomorrow and then copy all the files to two hard disk :) Happy!
Next week I leave for a business trip and I was thinking to take my catalogue file with me (laptop) to work.
What kind of work can I do with my lightroom when on a business trip?
-I can finalize the keywords.
-I can work with some of the photos in the previews it generates (I need more info on this)
-can I also sort photos in folders and when I connect the external hard disk sync the changes on the file system?

Regards
A
 
If you take the catalog and regular previews, yes you can do 1.
If you take smart previews as well, you can also do 2.
You cannot do 3 (assuming you mean re-organise your images into different folders).
 
Ok I will need some help to do 1 and 2
I guess 3 would be a nice feature to be added in the future :)
 
OK. It is your choice. But I would never make such a complicated folder structure.

Do you really want all your photos from the same trip to Zurich scattered around in different places, just because they were taken with different cameras?

And if you sort the folders outside Lightroom, would you want them sorted chronologically or by place? This would decide if you should have place or date first in the folder name.
very good point and never thought about it.... Thanks. Can you suggest me then another scheme to use? I just need your ideas that are based on your experience on what worked out and what did not.
A
 
Can you suggest me then another scheme to use?
I just use a simple date based scheme: ..\YYYY\YYYY.MM.DD_eventdescription\

The date part can be automated in Lightroom. The description of event you can add manually after import.

All the other descriptive stuff can be organized with keywords within Lightroom which makes it easier to search across folders. And the names of the digital cameras are already included in the metadata and are searchable, so you don't have to do anything to add this information.
 
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