Lightroom File Management
In this week’s episode I discus the in’s and out’s of Lightroom File Management, specifically how you handle importing back in from another catalog.
Alright, good morning, everybody. Welcome to The Live Dave Show and we were off last week because I was traveling, which was awesome. Just making sure everything’s going live here like we’re supposed to be. Let me check a couple things here and make sure we’re looking good. Yep, everything’s there. Awesome. Y’all know sometimes Facebook live doesn’t do what it’s supposed to here. Anyways, welcome to the show. Yeah, I was traveling last week. My nephew got married in Florida, so that was the first trip I’ve done in a while where I wasn’t at some kind of a conference or a photographic event which was pretty amazing. I highly recommend doing that if you travel a lot for photography like I have done the past few years.
Just watching all my chat windows here. Everything looks good. Yeah, so we were in Captiva Island in Florida which is just off of Fort Meyers at a resort called South Seas Resort. It was pretty amazing. If you’re following my personal timeline you saw some images I shot. We had manatees in the harbor right outside our room every day and it was pretty awesome. Again, highly recommended. I only took one camera. I took my Canon EOS-M5, little small mirror-less camera which is pretty fantastic little unit. Super light, super compact. I can put my full Canon glass on it but I only took a couple of the small M series lenses, which were more than adequate, although I probably could have used a polarizing or ND filter for a couple things I wanted to do, but we’ll definitely take a look at some of that stuff next time when I get everything downloaded and start going through some processing.
Anyways, today I’ve had a couple things come up this past week and I just want to talk a little bit about file management in Lightroom and a couple of things. Right now I’m gonna jump over and we’re gonna look at my screen . Going to … Sorry, we had some noise going by here. Want to grab the right screen here. There it is. Alright, so you should still be hearing me and you should be seeing my Lightroom screen.
What this was, was I had done an export to one of my external drives and what you could see is that when you do an export as catalog and this came up on one of my previous videos on moving in between computers and how you can do some of that. One of the things I think I neglected to show was if you do an export to catalog, kind of how does that merge back in? We’re gonna do a test here because one of the ways that you do that when you send stuff off in Lightroom to somebody else to work on is a smart previews. If you don’t do that with smart previews, you’ve got to send the original files, and that’s what we’ve done here is I’ve sent the original file, and so when Lightroom does that export and you tell it to include the, they call it negatives, include the negatives, it creates a duplicate folder structure for those files, so you can see it.
This is my folder structure on my main system, is DMG and then it creates a “your folder” and then it creates this dated folder, which I add naming to at the end. It’s actually moved these, so these are now like duplicates of what’s already on my original drive, so I guess the easiest way to do something here with these would be to maybe just turn them black and white or something, so let’s do something like that. Let’s do black and white. Where are … Oh, wait. Let’s just see what that does. Okay, so we’ve made these three images black and white, and these are images that are on this drive which is data 02, okay? So this is the drive, and we’re gonna go ahead and I’m gonna reopen my working catalog and you can see this is the test export. Why that moved over there, I do not know.
Let’s maximize this. Okay, so now we can see we’re back in my main catalog and data 01 is where my live data lives, so data 01, live data and this is the original folder, so now what we want to do is we’re going to import from another catalog, and let’s just see what happens. Remember I said it was on data 02? We’re gonna select that. We’re gonna select the catalog and it’s going to give us a dialogue. Catalog contains three photos. Now it’s telling us that there’s no new photos. I don’t know if it’s gonna let us … Okay, change existing three photos and we want to do meta and develop settings only. Now, here’s the cool thing when we’re doing this.
It’s not gonna actually do anything with those duplicate images. We could preserve the old settings which is this as a virtual copy. Preserve old settings as a virtual copy, so what that’s gonna do is whatever these settings were, it’s gonna make a virtual copy and then it should bring these settings in which was just a black and white preset. It’s recognizing it. It recognizes that the photos are already in here, so it’s not going to do anything new, so we’re gonna check all those and then we are going to … It’s saying “No new photos found” because they’re already here, and we’re going to import.
There it is, so it put us on … What did it do to us here? Here we go. I think it bumped me up to the previous import, which there’s a setting that you can turn that off, so we’re gonna go back to … Where’s my road trip folder? There it is. Now you can see it’s got six images. This is the original, which I’ve applied that black and white preset to, and then this is the virtual copy that left it the way it was, so if you’re unsure about that process, make sure you leave that check box, okay? That may have been confusing, but if you go back and watch my videos on … I’ll put a link to it in this post when I get done with this, but if you go back and watch that video on moving Lightroom to another computer, this is kind of the final step if you’ve actually moved your raw files along with that to work on that.
That was the one thing I wanted to show how that works. Now, there’s another thing that happens, and it’s a specific Mac problem and I’m gonna see if I can duplicate that on here somehow. I think we have to show the parent. May not be able to do that on this one. What happens is … I thought I would be able to duplicate that. Let’s see if this works. I don’t know if I have any images. I do, so I’m just gonna bring in something from my documents real quick.
Okay. Now it’s not going to … That’s so weird. Show in … Go to folder and library. Oh, why did it do that? Oh, is it my documents? Let’s remove that. Let’s add something else in here. This is just an experiment to try to figure out how to get this to … Somewhere in here I’ve gotta have … Yeah, okay. I can only select that … So, we’re gonna add … I’m adding this into my catalog in its existing location. I know what happened the last time. I actually moved it, so we don’t want to do that.
Okay, so now you can see we’ve got my Macintosh hard drive. We’re gonna show the parent. We’re gonna show the parent. We’re gonna keep moving up. Show the parent. Okay, so now what’s happened is we’ve gotten this root folder, and this is only the Macintosh issue, but we’ve got this root folder here and that’s as high up as you can go on a Mac, so what I’m going to do is I’m gonna quit that, I’m gonna skip that backup, and I’m going to relaunch Lightroom. Okay, this is what I wanted to show.
Now, remember, I used to have a data 1 under here? Well now that’s showing up here under volumes, and so all my drives have gone away, so this has happened to people with lots of external drives listed and all the sudden they’re gone and they’re all showing up under this volumes, so it hasn’t lost anything but the way to fix it is you have to do a couple things, and one of those things is to hide this parent and then you come back and then you hide this parent.
Now, it’s not immediately fixed, but if we close Lightroom … I’m gonna skip my backup, and then we go relaunch Lightroom. Now you can see my drives are back the way they were, so again, what I just showed, that was only a Macintosh specific issue because Windows does not work with a volumes folder because OSX is Linux based underneath, so it has that root folder and then it has that volume, so all drives get listed under a volumes folder. If you run into that and you’ve lost all your other drives and all you’re seeing is a volumes folder, that’s the way to get that back.
I’m going to go ahead and post a link to that support article from Adobe on how to do that fix again, but you can re-watch this and see how I did that. Let’s see, what else do we have? I’m gonna wing this one because my buddy Aaron asked about droplets, so I’m gonna see … I haven’t done this for a while because I don’t use them that often, but we’re gonna jump into Photoshop. Droplets are basically shortcuts to actions that sit outside of Photoshop, and so I’m just gonna create a new blank image here. If we look at … I’ve got a lot of actions here, and … Let’s see, what’s one I can grab? My actions, I must have something in there. Maybe not.
We’re just winging this one here today, guys, because I was on vacation, so I’m just gonna grab a few things. I wanted an action that just did something super simple. Let’s see what’s in the defaults. Let’s try … I don’t know, we’ll just do something with one I’ve already got. Let’s just choose … We’ll pick one of, like this Allison fashion action. How you do that is you come to automate and you say “create droplet.” We’re just going to save it to the desktop for kicks. We’ll call it “test” and we’re going to do this. Allison, and we’ll just do Allison portrait and we’ll just leave it at that. We’ll make this very simple. I’m not gonna worry about destination, and so we’re gonna create that, and so now we hide Photoshop, we hide Lightroom.
What you have here now is this droplet, and so what you can do is you can actually drag an image right onto this droplet and it’s gonna launch Photoshop and run that action. If we go look at … Let’s see, if I can just grab something real quick here. We’ll find something. Okay, so I’m gonna grab one of these. This is just a before image, but I’m gonna grab that, I’m gonna drag it onto that droplet and it’s gonna go through the raw. We say “open.” Continue. Okay, so it’s running through that action now, which has a bunch of steps and then it’s gonna ask me to save it out, and so there it is.
What it did, let’s just go back into Photoshop. We’ll open that up off the desktop and you’ll see … Come on, Photoshop. Open. It’s misbehaving. Surprising. Let’s close that. You can see it applied that action. Here’s all the layers down here that it created, and it did it automatically. The next thing that you can do with that … I’m gonna go ahead and close that out again. The next thing you can do is use this from Lightroom, and so the way that works is we go into Lightroom, go into preferences and what we want is we want to go to our presets folder and where that goes is export actions. You can see I’ve got some other ones in here including one already called “test,” but we’re gonna go ahead and let’s rename this something else. We’ll call it “Allison” because that was the name of the action.
Okay, so now we’re going to go to my desktop and we’re gonna drag that Allison over here, so now it’s in my export actions in Lightroom. We need to relaunch Lightroom and now that we’re relaunched, let’s go find another … What have we got here? Oh yeah, let’s go to that route 66. Let’s just do this one. Now we’re gonna export and we are going to … Let’s just do a full res. We won’t rename. It’s gonna ask us where we want to save it to and then down here in the post-processing are where all the droplets show up and there’s Allison.
What it’s gonna do is it’s gonna export it, it’s gonna ask me what folder. I’m creating a full res, fill size JPEG image and then it’s gonna run that and then I’m just gonna put it on the desktop again. Here we go. That’s gonna export. Now you can see it’s running the droplet which is gonna launch Photoshop. Now it’s gonna go through all the steps, and you can see this is exactly what we had before but when I drug an image onto the desktop, we didn’t actually see all this happening in the background, and so if you have an image that really doesn’t require interaction, or an action … Sorry, if you have an action that doesn’t require interaction …
Bring myself back on here, hang on. Okay, so if you have an action that does not require interaction or clicking things or whatever, that’s very automated action, that’s a really good time to build a droplet, bring it into Lightroom as an export action and then you can use it to process a bunch of images where you need to do some process in Photoshop that you can’t do in Lightroom, but you don’t have to interact with it. If you have to interact with it, you might as well just open it in Photoshop, run it and it’s back in Lightroom and you go on with your processing. I know that’s like definitely more of an advanced topic and I do have a link that kind of walks you through all that as well that I found.
That was everything I wanted to show you guys today. Again, we’re back on regular schedule now and I will show you guys … Let’s see, let me bring it up. I am progressing with … Let’s get a new window over here. We’ll maximize that. Okay, I’ve been making progress on the School of Tog, so if you go to SchoolOfTog.com right now you can click this button and that will just put you on a list and I will mail out information as we get closer to launch. Some people are already in because they have purchased my Lightroom bootcamp before, so they’re getting automatically updated.
I had a Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale on that and those are over, so currently there’s no other way to get access. You can ignore that. I just put that up there as a test and it’s not active yet so you can’t actually purchase the school yet, but the school site is coming along and we are progressing towards getting things done, so we’re gonna have photography, lighting, Lightroom, Photoshop and back office tech, and I’m working my way through those, so it is coming. Everything’s moving along very nicely, so again, if you’re interested and go to TheSchoolOfTog.com and click the “I need this” and that will put you on the update list to get notified when I have things ready to roll.
That is all I had for you guys today. Again, thank you for being here. Thanks for watching. If you’re catching the replay, if you’ve got comments, leave comments under the video and I will do my best to answer them and that’s all I got, so I will see you next week on The Live Dave Show.
Thanks for watching The Live Dave Show, your go-to resource for photography mastery. Have a question not covered in today’s show? Then send it over to questions@LiveDave.com. For more information and to connect with Dave, visit LiveDave.com. We’ll see you next time.
Fixing the MAC Volume error – https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/kb/volumes-drives-display-folders-lightoom.html
Droplets in Lightroom – http://blogs.adobe.com/jkost/2016/03/using-photoshop-actions-and-droplets-with-lightroom.html
Lightroom on Multiple Computers – https://davedoeppel.com/2016/11/using-lightroom-on-multiple-computers/