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Understanding the Lightroom Catalog System

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Article Link: http://www.slrlounge.com/school/understanding-the-lightroom-catalog-system The Lightroom catalog is simply a container, or even better, a database of information that applies to the images contained within. What you are actually seeing in the Lightroom catalog are not the images themselves, but rather preview renderings of those images with whatever develop settings you have applied. Deleting a Lightroom catalog does not mean that you are deleting the images, but rather just the catalog information on ratings, keywords, develop settings, etc. Also, moving a Lightroom catalog file doesn't move the images along with it. For this reason, it is important to have a good organizational system for your Lightroom catalogs and the images therein. From here on out in this tutorial series, we want you all to work along with us. So, you can either load up your own working files, or you can download the exact working files that we will be using. In the next video, we will start by creating our catalog, then importing and working on our images. Note: These images have been provided to the SLR Lounge users curteousy of Lin and Jirsa Photography for educational purposes only. They may not be used in any other manner outside of these SLR Lounge learning videos without the express written consent of Lin and Jirsa Photography. Thank you.
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Text Comments (23)
Burnningsoul (23 days ago)
Unfortunately taking classes I have to deal with the catalog system. Problems with this video is I cannot find the next one. I go to their you tube main pages adn they have allot of different photography videos but they aren't very well set up to find what one needs. The "article link is linked to an image.
Tom Martin (2 months ago)
I still haven't figured it out. NOT USER FRENDLY. Why not the procedure that is so simple in photoshop.
Stephen Pomerantz (3 months ago)
Awesome tutorial Question. I have about 400,00 pictures organized by year and month on my hard drive(s), all backed up. I was actually using Picasa to organize (but not edit). I have been urged to use Lightroom on my Mac.. but importing is SUPER slow... and then opening up any file is super slow, even though I have a 2017 iMac with tons of Ram. It has been suggested that I use smaller catalogs.. but then I don't have access to everything if I search. Second, I used the face recognition on Picasa. Face recognition is amazingly slow on Lightroom and terribly inaccurate. But I use it all the time to retrieve photos. Google photos does it but over a certain number of pics (and I exceed), it stops facial recognition. Am I doing something wrong with Lightroom or is there a standalone program for facial recognition? Help me with these issues. Thanks
Jesse D. (4 months ago)
All I wanted to know was how create a catalog then go from one catalog to another.... I don't know what the point of this video is. Or how it could be helpful to anyone
Sigma Octantis (10 months ago)
I really wish Lightroom didn't have catalogues. Why can't it simply read files from where they are stored? If I want them imported off an SD card then by all means, but I don't want to be importing things constantly off USB drives and then having it get confused when my media gets swapped around different devices, different ports, or when I have to delete the files. My Lightroom "catalogue" is basically an enormous collection of non existent files which can't be cleaned up.
prashanth devangada (1 year ago)
Too Slow Man
Mark Whitfield (1 year ago)
Love the editing in LR, absolutely cannot stand the catalogue system. WTF should it take three hours of watching tutorials just to figure out how the hell to manage photos. Ludicrous and it pisses me off. (but I feel much better now, thanks)
brianminkc (1 year ago)
My God its hard to find a good video on Catalog usuage. Everyone wants to baffle us with bullshit and minutia. I just want to know how to load different catalogs and have one for each external drive. I do not want somebody to adjust vibrance.
cusco!
Francisco Santos (2 years ago)
LIghtroom had a really weird folder/catalog system..
Blackstar 1000 (2 years ago)
Much of lightroom is good,but the catalog system is a joke you will spend more time trying to fix it, when you should be out taking photos.
Ferenc Csordás (2 years ago)
Useless,real piece of... The program itself perfect,the catalog system is a joke
Stark RavenMad (2 years ago)
Lightroom and Adobe SUCK!  No way it should be so hard to sync your files between hard drive and LR.
Ola Saltin (2 years ago)
WAY too fast, man. Tutor does clicks and movements in milliseconds, without properly explaining or taking the time to understand how insanely unintuitive and complex the catalog in LR is. Three years on, I still don't get it...
Jossue R (2 years ago)
I was no able to download the catalogs, can somebody send me the files or a link where I can find them? Thanks
kurt lindner (5 years ago)
You need a pop filter -Seriously!
DaeRae2012 (5 years ago)
So, are you downloading your photos to your computer and then importing them {as DNG or whatever} from your hard drive into lightroom? Do you have them photos twice? Once once in lightroom and then another in your jpeg or raw folder?
30cmlinjal (5 years ago)
What happened to the video when ur talking about the meatadata??
Nate Creamer (6 years ago)
how do you add photos to a catalouge? everytime i import new photos it removes all the photos and adds the new ones I just imported
Garrett Gatlin (6 years ago)
So, what software do you suggest as an alternative?
vKarl71 (6 years ago)
The cumbersome organization and interface of Lightroom is partly the result of trying to make it do too many things, which is in turn the result of Adobe's vigorous anti-competitive buyouts of numerous superior technologies, most of which are never seen again in any product but some of which are implemented in Adobe products with mixed results. Formerly lean, fast, well-designed software is mixed into Adobe's ponderous, highly non-intuitive, Do-It-All programs. It shouldn't take so long to learn
vKarl71 (6 years ago)
As a pro photog with many hundreds of thousands of images, necessarily located on numerous hard drives, I find the Win/Mac folder system perfect for organizing. Lightroom ignores it, reinvents the wheel - badly. It has many great features but is a disaster for organizing unless you have few images. It is poor for quickly browsing/finding/editing images. For converting a few raw images quickly it is infuriating to have to go through the whole import/catalog nonsense when you're on deadline.
Ken Daubney (1 year ago)
im a novice how do you think i feel!

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