Managing Images in Lightroom®
Managing your images. We've kind of talked about this quite a bit already, but like I was saying, putting all of your images on one folder or one hard drive or on the hard drive on your computer if it will fit. It depends on how many, how big your archive is. We'll talk a lot more about this tomorrow in terms of archiving and cataloging images, but just make your life easy. Don't mix your photos with, if you have lots of photos don't mix them with all your other documents. Keep that separate, and it'll make your life really easy because you know, it'll make it easy to back that catalog of photos up. It'll make it easy to know where they're at. There's no question about where my images are, and if you're organized in terms of the file and folder naming, you're feeling good about life. You're, you know, your hard drive's nice and neat and tidy, and you've got it backed up, and you know everything's solid and secure. And in Lightroom, I mean even if you move a folder in Lightroom, you can...
actually, you know, Option click or right click on something. Hello, there we go. And you can actually update folder location within Lightroom if something gets untethered somehow. So there's all kinds of these little hidden menus if you Option click on stuff or right click on stuff. And it should keep, you know, this'll mimic this folder structure over here will mimic whatever you've designed outside of Lightroom. So you'll know if you have a rat nest outside of Lightroom. It's gonna look like a rat's nest inside of Lightroom. So, just be aware of that.
So I guess one of the users has asked, do you have the ability to go, kinda go backwards? Do you ever go backwards like in time, and like, rekey word or images where you felt like you just kinda rushed through it and didn't keyword them as much as you would like.
Definitely. That happens often in that I'll forget. I'm so excited to, I mean, we're all excited to go look at our images. That's kind of the painful part of like stopping and adding keywords to your images, like, oh I just wanna get to the fun part of seeing what I got. You know, bigger on my monitor. So sometimes, you know, I'll get too excited and forget about the metadata or forget to add all the metadata I need to for a certain client or whatever I usually do, and I'll go work on the images and I'll even start exporting them, like, ah I forgot to put captions in this or this or that. And so then I gotta go back in, you know, and this is regardless of Lightroom, whatever software you're using, this could be a possibility. And all of this stuff, just so you, backing up for just a second, if you're in Photo Mechanic, if you're in Bridge, whatever software you're using, this all the same applicable. If you're in Capture One Pro, you can add metadata. So it's not universal to just Lightroom. Or it's universal but not just specific to Lightroom. But yeah, often I'll go back. Sometimes years later I'll go back, you know, and some of these shots of athletes, especially if it's surfing which I keep coming back to surfing, but I don't necessarily know every single surfer, and there is a hundred surfers out there catching the wave, and I may have to go talk to some friends to figure out who that surfer actually is to put that in the caption.
So, often, but hopefully I get it mostly right when I'm doing the metadata.
In, when you first brought your images in from the camera, you put a folder right on your desktop.
I did, oh, this is a good question.
So, did you impart with Lightroom into that folder or did you--
I did not.
I dragged and dropped.
Right, that's what I thought.
But that's not where it's gonna end up.
Exactly, and so will Lightroom follow that folder to whatever location.
The desktop, yep, exactly.
All right, great.
'Cause I'm adding them to Lightroom without moving them. So there's, there are actually a few options in the import feature when you import images, and this is something to be very clear about. The default is add photos to catalog without moving them as you see here in this upper workflow. From the source to my catalog. The first one's copy is DNG, so it makes a copy of it, and converts it to a DNG file which may be a good option for you. Copy, if we choose copy, it copies the photos to a new location, but leaves 'em wherever you download 'em. So that's option two. Move means it actually moves photos to a new location, and then it, and then puts them in the Lightroom catalog. So there's, I would just stick with the default. Add photos to the catalog without moving them, and referencing those photos from wherever I download them too. I think somebody had a question earlier over lunch though about well I have a travel laptop, and then I have my main working computer at home which is for most professionals, definitely an issue or even, you know, a lot of us have more than one computer or we have an iPad and a computer or whatnot. And you'll notice that what I typically do on the road is I will actually put the images directly on my desktop like this, and I'll actually create a new Lightroom catalog for every shoot on the road, and the catalog'll sit here right underneath the images. So there's no confusion as to were that catalog is. And then we I get back to the office, what I do is I copy all of the images and the catalog to an external hard drive from my laptop that's on the road, plug it into my computer at home, and then I drag and drop those images over to copy them to my main working hard drives, and what I do in Lightroom is I'll come in here and I'll go File, Import from Another Catalog, and I'll choose that catalog I created specifically for that shoot, and basically I'm morphing that catalog into my main working catalog that has everything else. So that I keep everything together and organized, and then at some point, I delete this off my travel worktop because it's over there on the home computer and backed up. Cool, that went off in the weeds, but that's a really good thing to know 'cause that's a major question for tons of people and something that working pros do all the time.
Just a quick question regarding the DNG files. It has like the raw information and something else to mention before like it's a blend--
The DNG files?
Uh huh, a blending of two things, kind of thing.
The XMP files are within that wrapper, so if you don't convert to DNG, you're gonna have two separate files. If you do convert to DNG, that XMP file is within the DNG file itself. So if I actually have DNG files here which I think I have a few, and I actually save the metadata out. Let me Shift Tab so you can see that. Just select All Save or if I change something, it's not writing that information out to an XMP file, it's just writing it into the DNG file. And to be clear, changing the name of a file is not injuring it in any way. 'Cause there's the old saying. Like, Lightroom works off the basis that it doesn't alter the original raw file in any way. It's just adding adjustments to that file. Do you have a question Jeff?
On the DNG specifically, is that easily read by other viewers other than like Lightroom and Photoshop?
So they have to have Lightroom or Photoshop or some software that can read a DNG file. I think most Macs can actually, they might open in Preview, but they may not be able to manipulate it. It just depends. I haven't explored it fully like what can open it, what can't. So it's a little limited, but in NEF, any other raw file, may or may not be able to be opened in any software either, so that is an issue.