Getting Organized

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Matthew Stevens 1 year, 11 months ago.

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    Lewis Family

    After viewing the teaching video on how to organize your photos, I am left with a few questions.
    1. Do you save all the photos you take? If not, when do you clean them out?
    2. Do you store all of you photos in LR?
    3. Why not backup your photos on the cloud like Apple does automatically for all photos? (Or does LR already do this?) This seems to make sense as it is very safe and makes all my photos immediately accessible on all my devices: iPhone, iPad and laptop.
    4. Finally, do you save edited photos in a different location/folder than the huge amount of unedited photos? If so, is the numerical filing scheme (year/month/day) different than for the unedited photos?

    As I am getting deeper into photography, these questions become increasingly important since I will live with this process for the foreseeable future.


    James Staddon

    Excellent questions!

    1. While photographing an event, sometimes I’ll delete obviously bad photos from straight off the camera. I usually don’t do this because often first impressions can be misleading, there may actually be some beneficial elements to an image that may seem bad initially (ie. not cropped in perfectly….this makes a picture look bad initially but may provide room for cropping later), I’m usually thinking about way too many other things to make a good judgment, and sometimes I won’t really know if it’s bad without looking at it at 100% on a computer. So, generally, I don’t delete many pictures off my camera.

    I will generally import all photos from a card into Lightroom. This saves me the time and hassle of choosing which pictures to import in the Import Area which isn’t designed for sorting through pictures or viewing them.

    After importing, I generally go through and flag the good ones, reject the bad ones and all the others I leave as is. I edit the good ones and have found myself just moving on to the next job…..

    Often, at the end of a project, month or year I will sort a folder by rejected flag and select them all and delete them. The non-flagged ones generally just sit on my hard drive. I’ve often come back and been grateful I hadn’t deleted all my non-flagged photos because I’ll be pulling a picture for an STS or something, where the crop or subject isn’t what I would have normally used the picture for.

    If I had the time, I would go back over my years and years of photos and reject many non-flagged photos and delete all those rejects too. At this point I haven’t done that yet.

    2. All photos that I have taken are all stored on hard drives. All those photos are visible in Lightroom catalogs. I do not have any photos on my computer (that I have taken) that are not in a Lightroom catalog. I do have lots of pictures in my Pictures folder that I have not taken that are there for reference or posterity.

    3. Lightroom doesn’t automatically back up photos in the way that Apple does. With Lightroom CC 7, though, this is changing. I do not like backing up my photos on the cloud because of slow Internet and monthly costs of cloud storage (I have TBs of pictures backed up on harddrives). @mrstevens may have some light to shed on this topic.

    4. This is a topic of great debate! I DO NOT store my edited photos in separate locations other than what can be directly linked via Publish Services in Lightroom (ie. Facebook, Adobe Stock, Zenfolio, 500px). If I want to view or use a picutre for any other purpose, I go back to Lightroom. Often, when I go back to Lightroom, I’ll tweak the picture again before exporting it specifically for the purpose I want to use it for.

    When I export an image, I export it to a temporary folder on my computer. I then use it for whatever it’s purpose, and then delete it.

    There are a few exceptions, like desktop background images that I like to keep a folder of on my computer, and when a picture is directly connected with a design project, in which case the picture is stored with the regular project files.


    Matthew Stevens

    for #1 and 2, I pretty much do what James describes.

    As far as cloud backups, I don’t use any sort of live cloud backup system like photostream on an iphone, or like the new Lightroom CC that was just announced today. That’s largely because of a) slow internet, and b) cost. It’s just not practical for me with my relatively limited internet bandwidth to be constantly uploading and downloading images to Adobe cloud etc., no matter how convenient it may be. I also like to know that I have total control over my image files, and that my only copy isn’t floating around somewhere on adobe’s servers, where I have to pay a subscription to access them. Plus, if I’m going to edit my pics, I’m going to do it on my color calibrated monitor at home – not on my ipad. While it would be neat to be able to view them on the ipad wherever I was, for my workflow I just don’t see the real benefit of Adobe cloud.

    The other problem is cost. Adobe CC Photo includes 20GB of cloud storage. My photos folder is 320GB… if I wanted to upload all those to the AC, I would have to either give up Photoshop and switch to the Lightroom-only CC plan, which includes a TB of storage, or else pony up $20/month for Lightroom Classic CC + 1TB. There currently are no cloud photo services that offer unlimited storage for raw files, although there are several (Smugmug, amazon photo, for example) that are unlimited for jpg/tif/etc. It’s just not worth it for me to pay extra for something like Adobe cloud, that won’t work well on my internet, and locks my originals away somewhere that I have to pay to access.

    That said, if you’re mainly concerned about straightforward backups of your originals (rather than live-photosyncing), one option is Google Drive. I have a 1TB account (not just for photos), which allows me to store a copy of my entire originals collection offsite. Dropbox, etc would work similarly. I run backup software every night that updates the Drive copies with any changes I’ve made to my local originals. Add to this the regular hard drive backups I do, and I feel pretty secure about not losing any of my work.

    And I don’t separate my edited files, they stay in the folder with all the other raw images from that shoot. Instead, I use the lightroom catalog to organize my favorite images into collections, which are the ones I’ll normally take the time to edit.

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