The Power of Catalog Re-organization

by Ken Milburn

One of the very few annoying things in my Lightroom Experience has been what I perceived as the awkwardness of storing and moving my photographs to different media and drives as my work moved along. Often, in fact, if I was shooting a big job for one client, I'd just do all the "Lightroom" processing for that job in Camera Raw and store those files in their own folder. After all, I'm not usually going to use those photos to submit as stock or sell as fine art. To boot, not having hundreds of 16MB files in the Lightroom Library speeds everything else up quite a bit.

Export as Catalog.jpg

I knew that Lightroom 1.1+ makes it a lot easier to create separate catalogs for different purposes, but I was just lazy enough to stick with the system I had. The irony is, now that I'm working in a foreign country with only one computer at my disposal (my laptop, of course), working with one catalog is getting to be more, rather than less problematical. The main reason for that is that there just isn't enough room on my laptop hard drive for the library of pictures I want to have at my disposal;especially since I'm wanting to spend a lot of my time here creating collections for submission to various stock agencies.


Richard Earney
2007-11-08 08:24:18
With multiple Catalogs you can't search across them, which negates DAM. Other than performance problems with extremely large catalogs (I mean those with 50-60,000 images) there is little benefit to splitting them up. And for those with performance problems maybe try the optimize function.

The real benefit of other Catalogs is for traveling with a laptop on a location shoot, and reimporting to the main Catalog at the end.

I'm not sure this advice is that useful

2007-11-08 09:39:37
That's precisely why we would need a kind of 'meta' catalog, allowing us to browse through different ones. It could store catalogs previews only and still let us perform searches within metadata.
The catalog concept is interesting and convenient but we need something above, storing references to catalogs and their pics (online and offline).
Tim Broyer
2007-11-09 07:12:41
I sort of agree with Richard, but I have felt obligated to create different catergory catalogs based on Ken's comments above.

One issue I have is wanting to move an image from one category (catalog) to another.
Remove from catalog and then open the other and re-import.

2007-11-29 07:13:22
This is bound to create more problems down the road. What will happen when a picture is an Exhibit and Landscapes?
On the main computer, keep one large catalog, but when moving away for a limited time, just export a subset as an independent catalog. When coming back you can reunite them quite easily (I do keywording on my laptop when I'm away).