Monday, July 22, 2013
Archiving With Lightroom
The popular RAW processing program is also an exceptional organizational tool
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
When I began using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom as my primary digital image management tool, I wondered how I would feel about the catalogs I was creating after a few years had passed. Well, a few years have passed and I couldn't be happier with Lightroom's organizational capabilities. One of my favorite features is the way the program allows me to relocate image files to external and offline drives while maintaining a useful index. Here's how I archive my image files with Lightroom.
But, you'll notice while the folder is missing, the previews remain. Those preview files, you see, live within the Lightroom catalog. So, even if you never reconnected your Lightroom catalog to those missing folders, you could still see the previews of those files. This is part of the genius of Lightroom's catalog structure; it keeps track of your photos even if you try to hide them from the program.
What Lightroom does not do is automatically find that missing folder of original image files. For that it needs your help. But it's easy enough to accomplish; simply right-click on the folder of missing photos within Lightroom and tell it to "Find Missing Photos." Then you simply navigate to where those photos now live. Point to the new folder, and Lightroom will then say, essentially, "Okay. That's on this other drive so I'm going to now keep track of your photos on that other drive."
As for lag time involved with this approach, it's not much of a factor. Because remember that the stuff I'm still working on remains in the master catalog on the main hard drive. Everything else is archived—old and put away—and when I click on that archived external drive to tell Lightroom to go and find the right folder of photos it does take a second to spin up the drive, but it's never much of a delay. And, it's way faster than the constant lagging I'd be facing if I kept my primary hard drive and Lightroom Catalog full of all of these image files. The system would simply get too cumbersome and slow me down on a constant basis. But since that tiny spin up delay is for the archive of old stuff, I'm not going in there on a regular basis. And, when I do need to find a photo from the archive, it's easy thanks to Lightroom.