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The Lightroom Catalog and File Organization

706 ratings | 86493 views
Adobe Lightroom Zero to Hero Training Series. Learn the ins and out of Lightroom for organizing and processing your images. In this video we talk about what Lightroom is and the importance of having a good organization structure before setting up your Lightroom Catalog.
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Text Comments (68)
Barb Davis (1 year ago)
Thanks for the info Mark, at the beginning you said "basically" a TON of times, very distracting.
Jodi Cook (1 year ago)
Help. I'm a newbie to LR, PS and creative cloud..... Right now I use a mac and all my photos are stored in iPhoto. I always shoot in RAW format..... Am I able to get those RAW pics from iPhoto to light room? A little kore background about me. I'm also a newbie with photo shooting (photography). In the past, I've taken "snap shots". I'm ready to get serious! I purchase the adobe suite yesterday but have no idea where to start or how and you talk about backing up in this lesson...... I'm just wondering how that's done? Signed, desperate newbie who really needs some help getting started on the first steps. Which is importation, and organizing properly! I worry about editing later!
100hundert (1 year ago)
Thanks for the detailed and in-depth explaination! I´m still a bit traumatized by iPhoto simply importing pictures and leaving a mess of weirdly organized folders, so I wanted to really make sure LR leaves all my manual folder structures intact. You´re a great teacher!
P. J. Hunter (1 year ago)
Really informative and well presented video covering what very often other presenters skip. This is the essential first step to all else that we do in lightroom and my files are a mess cause I didn't have a clue how to do this. I hope you will do more. Thank you.
GreenStorms (1 year ago)
Thank you for your work and posts!!! :)
* Jamil * (2 years ago)
you are hero, mark. this is the best LR tutorial i've seen. thank you Mark.
You're welcome!
Great Video! I have a few thousand photos on my iMac but they are all on iPhoto. How can I stop using iPhoto and move all those photos to a folder?
Wahab Dilawar (2 years ago)
No posts from you on YouTube for a long time. I hope you are well. Please keep posting your photography tutorials. You are one of my favorite online tutors.
Rukesh Shrestha (2 years ago)
Do we need to make catalog everytime while import other pictures later?
No you can use the same catalog for everything but ultimately it's up to you.
André Cruz (2 years ago)
I always import my RAW files at their own location in LR 5, but sometimes when I go back to a folder that a previously spent time making post processing adjustments, I notice that changes were not saved to LR catalog or database and I only see the original imported RAW file, any tip to fix that problem? Thanks in advance! Great video by the way.
André Cruz (2 years ago)
I originally wanted to rely on LR catalog, but this was the only working solution I found in the end. Thank you!
Wahab Dilawar (2 years ago)
You should check the xmp option in the preferences and then all your future changes will be saved in a sidecar file automatically, which while present...will contain all the changes made in Lightroom and those will be visible in other programs like Photoshop also.
Annono Mowz (2 years ago)
Incredibly helpful video, you're a very good teacher.
Sandji F (2 years ago)
Hi, thank you so much for your detailed tutorial, with various examples. I now have a clear idea about different ways of importing images and the various destinations, and the differnce between folders and 'the' catalogue. But I'm still a bit muddled about the catalogue. For example when you created a new catalogue, 'LR training catalogue', it becomes a subfolder withen the 'Training photography' folder. And then all the images you add into the catalogue, via LR actually sit in theTraining photography folder, not the LR CATALOGUE subfolder. So what goes into the LR catalogue that you created, in the Training photography folder? And why do you create it?
Still Moments (2 years ago)
Thanks your information was very valuable and still relevant for the newest version of Lightroom.
Rose Kerin (2 years ago)
Thanks enjoyed your easy to understand explanations. Liked the way you presented info about how the Catalogue works.
Nahuatl CeAcatl (2 years ago)
Ok Thanks
Shirley0850 (2 years ago)
The cursor is driving me crazy...slow it down and I would have viewed the whole vid.
Pianopod (3 years ago)
great tutorial!
Laura Longfellow (3 years ago)
so are ALL of the photos you take used in the same single catalog?
tutone316 (3 years ago)
Thank you for this video! I am just starting converting my hobby to a small (very small) business. Your video has been essential in setting up my organization!
Moses Tan (3 years ago)
Fantastic tutorial for a beginner like me :)
Paul Boyer (3 years ago)
This is the information I was seeking!  What a great, clear presentation.
+Paul Boyer Thanks!
Tom Simpson (3 years ago)
Hi Mark, Great series and easy to follow, my question is this, I have photos on an external storage called Passport do I add them or copy them to Lightroom? Tom.
Morgan Grosskreutz (3 years ago)
geeluv2000 (3 years ago)
You're awesome!!!!! I appreciate that you are taking us STEP BY STEP and understanding the fundamentals FIRST! Wish I would have watched your video prior to making a huge chaotic mess in my computer with my pics everywhere. But now I know to start fresh. Thanks again! 
Mark Boulton (3 years ago)
Very helpful introduction - many thanks  Mark
dwightemannetje (3 years ago)
great tutorial for a beginner like me. i think you are a wonderful instructor, regards from the netherlands, dwight
+dwightemannetje Thanks!
Magnus Lien (3 years ago)
Great introduction vid! Thanks.
quang chen (3 years ago)
hi when i delete my photo in Lightroom 5 (i don't need the image )why the image is still in lightroom catalog but missing photo  can you please tell me how to delete photo i don't want in hard drive and Lightroom  thank you mr mark warren 
+quang chen It sounds like you deleted the photo outside of Lightroom. The Lightroom catalog is a database and if you delete the file in Finder or Explorer you break the link to the file in the Lightroom catalog. It then shows the image in Lightroom as missing! You should always move/delete/rename files inside of the Lightroom program so you don't have missing photos in the catalog.
Thomas L (4 years ago)
Hi, can I save my catalog and photos on an external hardrive? If so, how
Memet Sabir (4 years ago)
how do i convert photos from RAW to JPEG with lightroom
trumbaron (4 years ago)
Hello, thanks for your video. One thing I don't get: For example when you duplicated one file "in the catalog" as you said, you actually did it under "folders". Shouldn't folders show the same thing as in windows explorer/finder? You said that ...you have two in the catalog, but there is still only one in explorer. You duplicated this image under "folders", not under "catalogs". I'm confused.
D800Lover (4 years ago)
Just starting with Lightroom 5 and the first thing to master is importing images into a catalog. So far so good and then I hit a really weird: I am having a strange problem in Library view. I have imported the NEF files and it has obviously created previews I can see in the film strip. Also I am using NEF files with XMP turned 'on'. The problem I have is that I click on the image in the film strip, the clouded view comes up on the main screen and also it says "Loading" and I assume it is loading the NEF file for the higher resolution required. But when it is finished loading, I can see that the picture turns dull and likewise in the film strip version, it too goes dull looking, even a bit darker it seems and colours have lost vividness. What is going on here? I am at lost to figure out what is going on, is there a setting that I need to apply. Any help appreciated as I feel I cannot move on until this is solved.  
Andreas Nordström (3 years ago)
+D800Lover It's probably because Lightroom, when loading the RAW-file, shows the JPEG-version (with some basic corrections done).
D800Lover (4 years ago)
It also seems to do some lens correction - like barrel correction, is it looking at some embedded information and aplying it and from where. I have reset any possible presets, I think. Can somebody help?
roundballrolls (4 years ago)
Thanks Mark. Finally, an easy to follow tutorial on setting up  the actual file system . I totally dig it. Cheers.
thedamon (4 years ago)
Hey Mark - Thanks for making the video.  Would you apply this same methodology for organizing 30,000 images and having 1 database to hold all the adjustments? 
Short answer, Yes! I work part time for a photolab and I'm often working with catalogs that contain more than 40,000 images. Lightroom can handle it just fine while keeping all your adjustments.
hbrookes (4 years ago)
Great speaking voice!!
Hi Mark ! I tried to organise  my photos in Lightroom 5 earlier. However, I had little knowledge about organisation at that time. What I did was to Add most most my images which were scattered on t different external hdds  and put them all all sub folders into one master folder. Of course, this process could be completed on three different hdds with a master folder in each. I did not edit any photos at that time. I just tried to get them into this structure. Now  I want to edit them, rename file within the subfolders and also rename the subfolders. When I plug in these hdds they do not show up the details on the left panel until I hit Import. How do I get see what content of each hard drive ? Is it necessary to Import all files and sub folders again ? Of, course, now the Import option shows Copy instead of Add. My goal is to be able to edit all these images over time, rename the files and sub folders and keep them organised in one master folder in each Hard drive. Please help. Thanks a ton, Arunjeet
George Torres (4 years ago)
I have LR3 and I just join Creative cloud with LR5. I took a folder from LR3 and exported it as a new catalog to my HD and I want to open it by itself in LR5. For the purpose of showing some clients the photos during a face to face sale consultation. I am very scared to do so because I don’t know how to get back to the LR5’s Catalog. How do I know where it is before I do so. I see the you mention the name of the catalog on top but is that also the file name with the file extension?
Beatrice DeMitte (4 years ago)
I am so confused. I have like 22,000 photos. I believe they are on my hard drive and on an external drive. How to I eliminate the majority of these photos? Can i start clean? I am trying to better understand cataloging and and how I should have done it originally
You can start clean with a new catalog by click file and new catalog in LR. When you do this you can specify the location of where the new catalog is to be saved.  Then it's a matter of importing images into the new catalog.  If you do this none of your changes from your old catalog will transfer to the new catalog. unless you use the import from catalog option under file. This can be complex if you haven't done it before so starting with a clean slate may be your best bet.  There is no one right way to organize your catalog. However, I have learned over the years what works best from my workflow so I can track and know where everything is even if lightroom's catalog were to become corrupt. I hope this helps and if you have any other questions just ask.
neta gafni (4 years ago)
Hi,  Great video. I have my catalog and pictures on C drive that is already full.  I want to transfer them to D Drive. if i transfer them to another drive does lightroom recognize that? Thanks
If you transfer/move the images in LR all will be fine. However if you move/transfer outside of LR that's when LR will get confused and lose association with your images. Always always/move images within LR's Library module!
EMHmark7 (4 years ago)
Thanks. I do not catch why all big software companies do not catch that it is the basic we want to know. But the big question I have is: If I move my main folder that includes all subfolders on another disk, will LR naturally scan database files in them and be able to use all my stuff ans metastuff from there?
Not automatically! If you move your main folder to another disk, do it inside LR! If you do it outside of LR then all your images will show as missing in the catalog. LR will give you the option to locate the images. If it finds 1 image it will typically find the rest with no problems but I have seen where it doesn't always get it on the first try. Moving via LR is much easier and safer.
Lucy Alice Whitten (5 years ago)
You have been brilliant - thank you :)
Hélio Fernandes (5 years ago)
Hello Mark. I´m from Brazil and I´m learning a lot with you. Thank you very much. I really like your videos. .
billzharley (5 years ago)
Excellent! Thanks Mark! Bill
They're are actually numbered and in order in the playlist I created, but I don't have them numbered in the video title. The playlist can be found on my main channel page. Numbered series don't come up in search very well from what I've seen. When I get a chance I'll go back and update the numbering in the video descriptions. Enjoy!
ocubex (5 years ago)
Another brilliant video, thanks...
You're welcome!
Aliya Ashraf (5 years ago)
so well explained. Thankyou!!
Chas Knight (5 years ago)
Thanks Mark, very clear and helpful
Leonard Kinsey (5 years ago)
Organization is a major problem for me, so I would like to thank you in advance for this series.
Lloyd Christy (5 years ago)
Hi Mark, I really enjoy your videos...you teach very practically, and I need that. I am still a little confused though on setting up a catalog. I find that I have those question marks you talk about in my catalog, which means that LR can't locate my images. Can you tell me how to correct that. Thanks much
allen4505 (5 years ago)
I was so happy when I seen you are doing this series Mark. I've just yesterday started to try to organise my Lightroom catalogue properly - we must be on the same wavelength.No I won't go any further until you post further info. Well done. One thing I'd like to see you cover is that I like most people have a stack of photographs on the computer already, how do you handle organising and cataloguing them ? Cheers Gerry
Phil Kane (5 years ago)
Thanks for easy to follow information.
I'll try my best! :-D
david martin (5 years ago)
Thanks Mark, I'm chaotic by nature so I'm hoping that you'll be able to kick my backside into organizing my photos better.

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