Jump to content

Lightroom gurus, I need advice


Recommended Posts

I use a desktop iMac for editing, and use only one catalog.  For work reasons, I’m about to transition to a MacBook Pro for several years of overseas residence and regular long-term travel.  I’ll get back to my desktop perhaps twice a year. Both computers will be backed up to external drives daily.  What’s the best strategy to take my catalog, photos, and editing workflow on the road, but ensure it can all be re-integrated on the desktop at the end of this adventure?  
 

I’m aware there are many resources out there for LR strategies, but this group deals with travel all the time and I feel at home here.  Plus, my travels will take me to many great dive destinations so my main photographic venue will remain beneath the waves 😎. TIA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Robert

 

I’ve had the same dilemma a couple of times. 
 

I had a catalogue on my travel machine with a different name to that on my home machine. When I wanted to integrate Travel on to Home I did a Catalog Export on to an external hard disk followed by an import of that catalogue  into the Home catalogue. Seemed to work fine. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I work only with an MacBook Pro and use Lightroom since many years. In the last year i have switched to one catalog only.

 

In this catalog are all pictures since 2000, during work or holiday i import new pictures direct to the SSD from my MacBook. (external SSD's are also possible) As soon i'm back at home, and i have done some work with the newest pictures, i move the original RAW files to my NAS-System. 

On longer trips i have an extra SSD with me for backup. At home make some backups of my NAS every week.

 

With this workflow i can see every pictures from my catalog any time. With a lot of different collections i have also the possibility to access a lot of pictures with reduced resolution from any place.

 

Hope this helps to find a good way for you!

Greetings from Switzerland,
Tino

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One your Laptop, create a new Folder in the LR catalog for every Trip or Event. Import your photos to that folder on the laptop every day after shooting. I will often triage and tag photos while on the trip, or even do some postprocessing on favorite or remarkable shots. You want to preserve those edits and metadata.

 

When you get home, export the Trip/Event folder from the Laptop's LR catalog as a new catalog. Copy that over to the desktop computer, as well as the folder full of photos. Import the exported catalog to the Desktop's main Lightroom Catalog. If necessary, you might have to point LR to the new location of the files on your desktop.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In your case, I would possibly save the catalog on an external SSD and use this SSD for both computers. This means you always only have one catalog, which in my opinion makes things a lot easier.

 

I used to use the variant with an extra catalog for the holidays and subsequent import into the main catalog. However, I couldn't use the synchronization of collections etc. because this only works with a catalog.

 

Tino

 

Edited by Tino Dietsche
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For shorter trips, my workflow with just a single catalog even allows me to use just the iPad.

I can then import, sort, develop, etc. images directly onto the iPad. If I have an internet connection, the original RAW files are loaded onto the Adobe server and I also have a backup straight away. When I get home and start my LR Classic, the original RAW files are loaded onto my computer and I just have to move them to the NAS within my file structure.

 

Tino

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Following on from @Tino Dietsche’s suggestion, I’ve just this week moved to switching my whole catalog and library to an SSD. It goes back to the late 70s and has over 60k images totalling 1.4TB. 

 

As Tino suggests, now easily transportable and able to be switched between computers running the catalog off an SSD - which is passworded! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot for the advice guys, much appreciated!

 

I think Dave’s workflow makes sense for my case.  I worry about relying on only an external SSD for my catalog(s) as being internationally mobile increases the risk of loss.  Though the same is true of the MacBook.  I’ll need a fail safe hardware backup somewhere as internet access is crap in many of my destinations.
 

21 hours ago, TimG said:

 

I had a catalogue on my travel machine with a different name to that on my home machine.

 

Does that mean you did not have access to your home catalog while traveling?

 

21 hours ago, Tino Dietsche said:

As soon i'm back at home, and i have done some work with the newest pictures, i move the original RAW files to my NAS-System. 


What happens to edits you did while traveling?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Troporobo said:


What happens to edits you did while traveling?

 

This is why you export a catalog from your laptop and import the trip catalog to your desktop. The catalog contains all the edits and metadata. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, that’s how I understand it too.  Gino only mentioned moving the RAW files after a shorter trip, hence the question.  
 

I like the idea of a new catalog on the travel machine.  Is it easy enough to switch between new and old catalog while traveling?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Troporobo said:

Thanks a lot for the advice guys, much appreciated!

 

I think Dave’s workflow makes sense for my case.  I worry about relying on only an external SSD for my catalog(s) as being internationally mobile increases the risk of loss.  Though the same is true of the MacBook.  I’ll need a fail safe hardware backup somewhere as internet access is crap in many of my destinations.
 

 

Does that mean you did not have access to your home catalog while traveling?

 


What happens to edits you did while traveling?


Correct: no access to home catalog while traveling. 
 

The edits exported with the travel catalog exported into the home catalog

 

Switching between catalogs is straightforward. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Troporobo said:

What happens to edits you did while traveling?

 

If I only use my iPad and import, edit, etc., all developments are also written to the cloud. Of course only if I have internet. But you can also do it on the go without any internet.

 

Once I have the Internet (which can also be at home), the original files are loaded into the Adobe Cloud, including developments, etc. If I then start my Lightroom Classic, it in turn loads the original files from the cloud locally onto the computer and the developments etc. also come with it. I can then store these images in my file structure within LR.

 

------------

 

Of course it's possible to create a new catalog for the holidays; that's what I've always done in the past. I then imported this into my main catalog after the holidays.

 

However, I have said goodbye to this strategy and now really only work with one main catalog, which is the only way I can use the full range of functions including synchronization options etc. and, for example, as mentioned, only be able to travel with the iPad.
I incorporated some very valuable input on the topic into my workflow from this YouTube video, for example.

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi all,

 

I know I'm late to the party, but I have experimented with various catalog systems over the years and thought I'd jump in.  

 

I travel extensively which makes a NAS a challenging solution.  At one point I did have a separate catalog for each event or session on various external drives.  This would work well if hired to do a certain job or had a specific reason to segregate it away from the normal catalog, but became overly challenging for normal daily use.

 

What I have found to work best for me is:

 - Use an external SSD drive 

      Catalog and files are stored there

      This allows extreme portability and flexibility 

      I can literally connect my drive to any computer with LR and use it

 - I use a new SSD drive for each calendar year

      Currently I am using 2TB SSDs

      Allows a manageable total size

 - I use a 2nd SSD drive as a manual backup

      Simply copy/replace all and get some lunch

      Very old school, but it works for me

 

I also am traveling more and more with just my iPad Pro (m1).  The external SSD solution also allows all files from the card to be downloaded to the drive via iPadOS and an external hub/card reader.  I also import those I particularly like directly to LR Mobile while on the road to share, review, etc.  When I return to my machine, I simply do a normal important for all files I have saved on the drive as normal in LR using my standard naming structure.  

 

When traveling I do not erase the original memory cards until I am back home.  This keeps the files on both the cards and the external SSD as backups.

 

There are a number of different ways to do the same thing.  This happens to be the one that works best for me.

Edited by ChipBPhoto
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/24/2024 at 3:50 PM, ChipBPhoto said:

What I have found to work best for me is:

 - Use an external SSD drive 

      Catalog and files are stored there

      This allows extreme portability and flexibility 

      I can literally connect my drive to any computer with LR and use it

 

Hey Chip

 

You don't find having the Catalog (as opposed to the actual images) on an external SSD slows things down a bit?  I tried this system - which seems ok - but after watching Scott Kelby's video I figured having the Catalog on my Mac Studio's internal SSD was a better way to go. It does seem slightly faster. But your point of being able to pick up the external SSD and work completely away from a main desktop, is good.

 

Do you know the overall speed of your external SSD drive? I did find upgrading the USB-C cable to a 20GB/s capable one made quite a difference when plugged into USB3.2 port. It's now my SSD enclosure which seems to be the speed limiting factor and I'm looking to upgrade it.

 

Naively I thought you just slapped a SSD into a housing, plugged in the right fitting cable and away you go!  Advice from makar0n and Rich opened may eyes to whole new world of extra speed, complexity - and cost. Who knew? Well, clearly not me. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, TimG said:

You don't find having the Catalog (as opposed to the actual images) on an external SSD slows things down a bit?


Hey Tim,

 

Good question.  For me, not enough to be consequential, especially now with USB 3.2 SSD drives and USB 3 ports.  The key difference is I personally prefer to have annual catalogs rather than one large one for all.  I normally use Samsung T7 or SanDisk Extreme drives.  The read/write speed of these is around 1000 MB/s, but obviously the cable, port, and bus system play into the equation.  The slowest point is the bottle neck.  
 

I am familiar with Kelby’s system.  It works great and is clearly maximized for speed, especially when there is a single catalog with a main drive system always attached such as a NAS or large single drive for the images.  There could theoretically even be multiple catalogs on this system as well.

 

Having individual catalogs on individual drives is the strategy that just happens to fit my personal overall needs best.  Fortunately, newer fast technology has made this a viable option. 

Edited by ChipBPhoto
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Thanks For Your Support

    backscatter_block.gif Fotosubshop_Logo_Longnew.png
    isotta_logo.png INONlogo_Waterpixel.jpg
    marelux.gif nauticam_WPX.jpg
    RPV Banner.png Retra2.png
    SeaandSeaLogo.png turtlelogo.png
    image001.png image.png

    image.png
    XRAY Magazine

     

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.