A Moving Experience

By Mark

I hope everyone had a happy Easter.

Sometimes we take the basics for granted and need to take a step back in order to get our bearings.   Lightroom is intended to allow photographers to spend more time working with our pictures and less time trying to manage the computer storing them.   Often people who learned on other systems where they had to manage remembering where all the pictures are stored can be frustrated when they can’t find their images.  Here are a few reminders that LR has plenty of tools to help.  Let’s start with a few pointers.  It really doesn’t matter where your images are physically stored to LR. You can have images scattered across multiple external drives or CDs or other media.  LR is a database which tracks a pointer to the actual file, but what you see on your screen is a very small smart preview of your picture.  All of the editing details and the metadata are part of that database.  This is part of what makes it so fast; you aren’t actually doing anything to your image until you export it.  Everything else is pure math.   For convenience sake though we STRONGLY recommend that you keep all your images in a single folder. 

Let’s take a half step back first and look at some fundamentals of Navigation in LR.

The left side of the Library screen gives you your major organizational functions.

·       Navigator shows only the current selected image

·       Catalog shows the summary information for the current catalog as well as some of the most common tools such as Quick Collection and Previous Import

·       Folders display the physical locations for the images in your catalog

·       Collections represent your own choice for logical groupings of images in your catalog

Publish Services are predefined methods for sharing your images onto common Social Media platforms.

We are going to focus on the Folders Panel.    I keep my Pictures in a cleverly titled top level folder called Marks Lightroom Photographs.  

Below that level they are grouped by Decade, as I have a lot of old family photos and am the archivist for the entire extended family.  Within each decade I set up a new folder every year and then adjust my import preset to automatically add each download to a new folder.  For the record there is no requirement to do this.  LR tracks the data from the cameras and it knows when the images were shot.  This is just how I like to see them.

Occasionally folders will wind up temporarily in my C: drive.  It is a solid state drive and relatively small, so I try not to have any files or documents beyond the OS and program files stored there.  It slows down the drive.  Now if I were to go out to Windows and move them, then LR would lose track of them and I would have to re-link the files.  Fortunately that is not necessary.

All you need to do is drag those folders to the location you want inside LR.  It moves them and doesn’t lose them.

For this blog I moved two folders-03-31 and 04-05 onto my C: drive.  I just dragged them into my 2015 folder and problem solved.

Another common question is how to find where a picture is located when you are looking at it.  Pretty simple, just right click on the image itself and this menu will open up.  

You can choose to see the LR folder or have the location open up in Windows explorer.   That is pretty easy and pretty helpful.  

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