Lightroom File question

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by andrew_hull, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. So I use the following organization for my files.
    Topic (e.g. Tokyo)
    1. Raw Files (these are scans and/ or digital captures)
    2. Clean Files (these are files that have been cleaned from scanned)
    3. Print Files
    4. Web Files
    I'm getting confused about using Lightroom in that I'm not certain what happens to the files as I work on them. I understand that if I have a capture from my Canon, that I can "import" it from the file it is in, say the 1. Raw Files folder, and have it convert to a .dng file. But what happens once I work on it? Does it stay in the same place? What about files for printing? Does Lightroom segregate them? What if I want a file for 8x10 print and a file for 11x14 print? How are those two files presented in Lightroom?
    Confused.
    Andrew
     
  2. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Lightroom doesn't move your files or do anything to them when you work on them. They stay in their original location in their original format, unless you do something explicit to move them. For print and web files, you export the image from LR, which creates a print/web copy wherever you tell it to create it. The original stays where it is.

    This is because LR uses non-destructive editing - your work on the file is always saved as a text file that LR "reads" when you work on that image.
    When you print, you don't have to do anything special. Crop for your specific size and print from LR. If you want print files (for sending out, typically), export it in the sizing and with the sharpening for print to a folder somewhere.
    If I were looking to optimize your organization, I would take in the scans to a separate folder and then combine them with the digital captures for use in LR. The reason is that what you want to work on are the digital captures (original format is fine) and the clean scans. Having them organized the way you are doing it makes it more complicated, although it still can be used.
     
  3. It's worth noting, whenever you export an image from LR, that you will be unable to view or edit the exported version in LR unless you choose the option in the Export dialog to "Add to This Catalog," or until you manually import the edited version into LR. The original file, of course, with edits, remains in the catalog.
    I hope that was understandable. I'm not the world's most articulate person.
     
  4. So it sounds like my best organization would be to keep a raw file. Then put the dng files from digital camera capture and the negatives where I have cleaned them into a file that Lightroom sits on. Then, the print files I create would go in that "Print files" file above. Does that make sense? And web files, do they also sit aside from the original like a print file? or is there simply a sidecar-ish file that shows a jpg that I can point to when I want something on the web?
     
  5. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    The web files will be wherever you tell LR to put them.
     
  6. So I could just put them in my current structure it soundslike.
     
  7. Then put the dng files...
    You don't need to convert or use dng in this particular case. I would just ignore dng all together and un-check the convert box
     
  8. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Then put the dng files from digital camera capture and the negatives where I have cleaned them into a file that Lightroom sits on​
    There’s plenty of good to be had converting to DNG:
    http://www.ppmag.com/reviews/200709_adobedng.pdf
    But once you understand the pro’s and con’s of any workflow move, make up your own mind.
     
  9. But once you understand the pro’s and con’s of any workflow move, make up your own mind.
    How about an unbiased article on the matter to begin with, instead of pointing to a clearly biased one? As less and less people are converting to dng, a balanced article or two should be easy to find?
     
  10. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    What bias? What in the piece isn’t technically correct?
     
  11. Your DNG bias. And it is technically correct. I don't understand your point or why being correct has anything to do with being biased. It's easy to be correct and biased. It's called propaganda. Regardless, it's a pretty poor article though. Anyone half skilled in digital photography would get a chuckle and see right through it as almost everything in your article that you attempt to show as a strength for DNG, also applies to NEF or CR2 files. For whatever reason you mention "metadata editing" like it only applies to DNG and not other native types of raw. And I have no idea why your "strength of dng" article would even mention Lightroom vs. Photoshop?
    If you re-write it, maybe put in there that DNG contains a jpg and sometimes this is know to be helpful. That's pretty important to some dng'rs that isn't available to the native-raw-xmp-sidecar crowd.
     
  12. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    And it is technically correct.​
    Case closed.
     
  13. Case closed.
    Always is with propaganda.
     
  14. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Always is with propaganda.
    And it is technically correct​
    The writings of someone who apparently has no idea what the definition of propaganda means, and/or what technically correct means. Either way, the writings of a confused poster.
     
  15. But once you understand the pro’s and con’s of any workflow move...
    Can you walk the talk? Lets hear a few of your reasons for not converting to dng then?
    ...the writings of a confused poster.
    (not sure what i can say about someone that spends so much time in discussion with a "confused poster"?)
     
  16. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Lets hear a few of your reasons for not converting to dng then?
    (not sure what i can say about someone that spends so much time in discussion with a "confused poster"?)​

    Wow, those two sentences taken one after the other, in context sure suggest a dual personality Mr.K and a good reason not to engage a response to your question(s).
    Ask Dr. Jekyll if he really wants an answer when he returns will ya? And ask him to do so in a new post that doesn’t drag this one even further down the Mr.K, I mean Mr. Hyde’s rabbit hole.
     
  17. Are you drinking and watching hockey? Your advice is
    But once you understand the pro’s and con’s of any workflow move...
    So lets hear some of the cons to dng conversion?
     
  18. Good grief! The OP asks a question and the two of you get into a testosterone contest!
     
  19. We've been encouraged and told that we make the forum colourful, Graham.
     
  20. If you're using Adobe products there's no good reason to not use Adobe's file formats.
    If you were doing your raw processing with canon or Nike software, then you might want to avoid DNGs.
     
  21. If you're using Adobe products there's no good reason to not use Adobe's file formats.
    That's what I thought way back, David. I didn't care for NX1 and was all for dng in 2004. It makes total sense and I still support the idea. But only in theory. But it's been 7 years and dng hasn't blossomed like I hoped. In the meantime, my dng's wouldn't open in the new and improved NX2 or some of the new software like Dx0 that was coming out. It then occurred to me that I might be making a huge mistake. When I started thinking about how much extra effort I was putting into backing up both my nefs and dngs while my nefs were working just fine in Adobe other software (that my dngs wouldn't), I stopped the dng silliness. I don't think anyone has the insight to know what software they are going to use in 10 or 20 years from now and what does Adobe throw out for it's dng conversion? It throws out info that you might find pretty useful one day. And heck, if all the manufactures get on board one day and goes with dng as an iso standard like we hope, then I'll convert to dng at that time. Until then, I'm not in a hurry.
     
  22. Good grief! The OP asks a question and the two of you get into a testosterone contest!​
    Ah, the joys of spring!
    How are those two files presented in Lightroom?​
    Lightroom will mash everything up and show you less than what you really have. It has to be strictly told not to count jpegs as alter egos of raw files, and has to be told repeatedly to check for new files. I'm seriously getting tired of the latter, and if it were not for the fact that there's nothing else that does it any better, I'd switch in a heartbeat. I posted a question on this in this forum a few hours back. Apparently there's a bunch of software out there but none of them do exactly what I need.... or I can't afford the ones that do.
     
  23. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Lightroom will mash everything up and show you less than what you really have. It has to be strictly told not to count jpegs as alter egos of raw files, and has to be told repeatedly to check for new file​
    I'd recommend a good introductory book on Lightroom, sounds like you could use it if this is what you are experiencing.
     
  24. So I use the following organization for my files. Topic (e.g. Tokyo) 1. Raw Files (these are scans and/ or digital captures) 2. Clean Files (these are files that have been cleaned from scanned) 3. Print Files 4. Web Files​
    If you can make that work for you, more power to you. Over the last many years I've tried a variety of different approaches myself and the only one that seems to work well long-term is to store files in a chronological folder hierarchy. You lose nothing by storing raw image files chronologically, because you can still create a variety of additional organizational structures using keywords, tags, and collections (a.k.a. albums in some programs).
    My photos are organized on my hard disk under two top-level categories: MASTERS and EXPORTS. Under these headings, the substructures are nearly identical. But all of my master files are stored in the MASTERS hierarchy. These are mostly raw files but I do shoot some jpeg masters these days and they go in there too. The MASTERS folder system is the one that I can't afford to lose, the one that I make sure I keep well backed up. And because I keep ONLY master files in the MASTERS hierarchy, I don't get confused about whether a particular file is the master/original or not. All of my output files go into the EXPORTS hierarchy. So it looks something like this:
    MASTERS
    —2011
    ——2011-04
    ———2011-04-16
    EXPORTS
    —2011
    ——2011-04
    ———2011-04-16
    Let's say I shot a wedding on April 16 (I didn't, but just pretend). The folder for that date in the MASTERS hierarchy might contain 500-800 raw files. When I'm done processing those files, I export medium-res jpegs to upload to my service so the bride can view them and order prints. Those would go into the April 16 folder in EXPORTS hierarchy. That folder might end up containing 150-200 files (the ones that I picked as best from the shoot, the ones I'm going to give the bride). These exported files will also get burned to the DVD that is sent to the bride. If the bride places an order for prints, I will review and probably reprocess (very slightly) the image files that were ordered. I do this in response to an order, because things like cropping and output sharpening are best done after you know the details of the order (paper type, etc.).
    The basic deal here is that everything in the EXPORTS hierarchy is derivative and could be erased. It's the MASTERS hierarchy that is the key, and I do not want to mix up the irreplaceable with the derivative files.
    I would add that my use of the EXPORTS hierarchy has changed slightly in the last year or so as it's become easier and easier to export directly from Lightroom to online services like Zenfolio (where I put my client files) and Flickr or Picasa (where I put personal photos or photos that weren't done specifically for clients). Truth to tell, I'm using the EXPORTS hierarchy less and less these days.
    I'm getting confused about using Lightroom in that I'm not certain what happens to the files as I work on them. I understand that if I have a capture from my Canon, that I can "import" it from the file it is in, say the 1. Raw Files folder, and have it convert to a .dng file. But what happens once I work on it? Does it stay in the same place? What about files for printing? Does Lightroom segregate them? What if I want a file for 8x10 print and a file for 11x14 print? How are those two files presented in Lightroom?​
    As others have already mentioned, Lightroom does non destructive editing. It doesn't modify your master file at all. Rather it takes the editing choices you make — increasing exposure 10%, a little sharpening, etc. — and stores those choices as a separate set of instructions. Every time you view the file in Lightroom, those editing choices from the past are quickly applied once again to the image that you see.
    Now, when you want output, Lightroom generates the output based on those stored editing instructions PLUS an output options that you specify. So if I ask Lightroom to export a medium-res version of a photo, with a watermark, to Flickr, that's what ends up on Flickr's servers, while my raw original file stays on my hard disk wherever it's stored (inside the MASTERS hierarchy).
    Will
     
  25. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    So I use the following organization for my files. Topic (e.g. Tokyo) 1. Raw Files (these are scans and/ or digital captures) 2. Clean Files (these are files that have been cleaned from scanned) 3. Print Files 4. Web Files​

    In terms of an organizing structure, there are many ways to keep track of these items. LR ‘knows’ if a document is a raw vs. a DNG vs. a TIFF etc and you can easily find these items using the metadata browser or better IMHO, a Smart Collection. Then as you import this kind of data, the SC will auto populate these “folders” (Smart Collections) for you. You do not need to structure how they fit in a folder structure on your drive.


    Files to be cleaned (or printed etc). Here I use color labels because its likely throughout the life of your documents, that will change (need to be cleaned today, cleaned tomorrow). Again, a Smart Collection will deal with these items automatically for you. As you clean the image, and change its color from Red (to be cleaned) to Green (cleaned), each image will automatically populate the SO on the fly. This would work assuming the colors are used for one task of course.


    So I think its important for you to separate how you think about where the images reside on your drive, within folders and how LR can show you these items. You could in theory have one big folder will all your images and LR would easily separate them for you in these smart collections which for all practical purposes look like folders. That said, I would NOT put all the images into one big folder, folders on your desktop are useful as organizing tools all by themselves. But that’s another dicussion.
     
  26. It's taken me a while but I think I finally worked out the LR Catalog concept.

    For years I used Mr Porter's style stucture but now use Catalogs.

    The problem was I was used to the Adobe Bridge style and just couldn't figure out Catalogs and Collections.

    If you are like me and have 50,000 plus images split over say 10 main catagories (Catalog in LR speak) then start
    planning now and move away - slowly - from the date hierarchy.

    It may take a while but it will eventually make sense.
     
  27. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    move away - slowly - from the date hierarchy.​
    This may make sense for you, but it is hardly a good strategy for everyone. I shoot a lot of events. A lot of events and participants have the same name over time. I get a lot of requests for photos I've shot, and all I have to do is ask the date. I use Collections to span categories, names, places, and events. That's what they are there for.
     
  28. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Date hierarchy is important, no question. And its easy to gather this in so many ways outside using it for folder structures and the like. The date created and modified is burned into the document, you can search for this easily in LR, build smart collections, sort via a finder window etc as Jeff suggests.
    Having multiple catalogs makes this all so much more difficult to track.
     
  29. One thing to bear in mind here, for me at least, is that I'm archiving about 15 years of negatives and the date isn't a readily apparent piece of information.
     
  30. One thing to bear in mind here, for me at least, is that I'm archiving about 15 years of negatives and the date isn't a readily apparent piece of information.
    I was in the same boat and I just guessed and got it in the ball park, Andrew. I really like my files appearing in chrono order.
     
  31. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    One thing to bear in mind here, for me at least, is that I'm archiving about 15 years of negatives and the date isn't a readily apparent piece of information.​
    But you scanned them right? The date created should be part of the metadata that LR can use to sort by date.
    I really like my files appearing in chrono order.​
    Super easy to do in LR without having to organize them that way in the Finder. You can sort within the Grid of all or some images in date Capture Date, Date imported, and Date Range (from X to Y) with Smart Collections as well.
     
  32. The import function has options. You can copy the original files to a new location or leave them where they are.
    Output goes wherever you decide when you Export a file.


    You mentioned scans and clean scans. How do you clear the scans? Do you import after cleaning or before?


    You can use snapshots in the develop module to tag various stages of the development process.


    Whatever you do, make backup copies of your original files onto another disk before you start. Also, back up your Lightroom catalog periodically onto another disk drive.
     
  33. So I think I'll stick to having a "raw file" for each topic. Then I'll have a file where I'll put the files as they are cleaned (if they are scans) or converted to dng if they are digital files. Then I will tell Lightroom to put print files in the print files folder and web files in the web files folder. All the while bearing in mind I want Lightroom to retain control over the print and web files also. And I can tag the photos as "unprocessed" in some way so when I'm done archiving (SOME DAY!) I can work my way through various folders. Sound good?
     

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