tk_images's profile

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

Sat, Jun 4, 2011 12:13 AM

28

Lightroom: Delete Images on Card after Import

I would love to get an option to let LR automatically delete images from the card after they have been successfully imported. Images on the card that have not been imported, are let alone, of course.

It would serve two purposes for me:
1. It would save me deleting the images manually.
2. It would dramatically improve the experience of importing images from one card into different catalogs.

An incremental import of subsets of images on one card into a single catalog (but e.g., different folders) is well supported by the "New Photos" filter in the import dialog. However, when I switch catalogs while downloading images from a card -- because some subset of images on the card needs to go into a different catalog -- the "New Photos" filter no longer works. As a result, I have to remember and wade through a lot of images I already imported into a different catalog.

I realise that deleting images from the card is a sensitive issue. It must not happen prior to having verified that the image indeed has been copied (or converted) to a new location. Picasa supports this double checking.

As a safety net, Lightroom could offer a "restore deleted images" feature that would resurrect deleted files from cards. Users will find such a feature tremendously useful for other occasions as well.

I'd be happy with the following compromises as well:

* The option to delete images after import is available only if one activates a second backup location.

* Images are not deleted but the tracking of which images have already been imported is extended to work across catalogs. A record of what images still need to be imported could be associated with a currently inserted card.

Responses

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

10 y ago

Hi TK,

It never ceases to amaze me the different needs people have around importing. I created a related thread to support import actions, so people can take advantage of Lightroom's import infrastructure, but have hooks for special needs/desires. Deleting imported images could easily be one of those import actions.

In the mean time, you may want to consider an import plugin which does what you want. Please send me a private message if you want details.

Champion

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6.7K Messages

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111.8K Points

10 y ago

I could see a use for this, but with one huge proviso - I'd want byte-for-byte verification to go with it. Just confirming that a file had copied wouldn't confirm that corruption hadn't been introduced in the transfer.

1.3K Messages

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22.5K Points

10 y ago

I'm completely against removing this important safeguard. No doubt we'll get a few jumping up and down demanding Adobe give them the silver cutlery to get on and play harakari, and I imagine some will find better reasons than fragmenting control of their workflow across multiple catalogues. The verification would have to pass nuclear industry standards, for what they are worth, before I'd even think it was a half-baked idea.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

10 y ago

TK, I went ahead and voted for this FR/Idea for your sake and those of others with similar needs/desires, even though I don't care about it one way or the other for my own sake...

I'm willing to let you cross the train track as long as there's no train coming, and your shoes are tied, and you promise to be very careful...

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

10 y ago

John, Jim, can you please tell me how such an option increases the risk for a user to lose images?

What is the normal procedure after images have been imported into Lightroom?

Are you telling me that you are assuming that all users currently run a byte for byte comparison before they manually delete the images from the card?

I argue that currently the chances of losing images is *higher* because you might manually delete some images on the card which haven't been imported yet. An automated deletion process should *reduce* the risk, not increase it.

What is the safe procedure that would be undermined if that option became available?
The only advantage for the current situation is that Adobe / you could say "Lightroom didn't delete your images, you did". But I don't see the increased safety.

If you are saying users are too dumb/tired to be allowed to tick that option, you should really deny users to remove / delete images in Lightroom by any means. Deleting an image from within Lightroom can lead to its permanent loss. Are you for removing this feature as well?

130 Messages

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2.1K Points

10 y ago

Do you seriously not see the potential for a user to import from card, have the card cleaned, then have a problem on the computer which loses those imports? Or does something stupid to cause the loss of the imports? Plenty of examples over at lightroomforums.net of users having these kinds of issues, and their only recovery is to go back to the card and re-import. Oops!

As for the 'normal procedure after images have been imported into Lightroom', I would respectfully suggest there's no such thing. Plenty of different workflows in use: some good, some not so good, and some plain awful. Personally I do NOT reformat my cards until after I have imported (taking a second copy backup on import to an external drive), then got the imports and updated catalog into my normal backup process, which includes getting a copy off-site. Plenty of different approaches, for sure, but deleting the images from the card during import just seems like asking for trouble.

130 Messages

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2.1K Points

10 y ago

Between import and first backup cycle the newly imported files are vulnerable: software corruptions, catastrophic hardware failures, or plain and simple user error. Take your pick, we've seen them all. Because of that vulnerability I maintain that it makes no sense at all to give an unsuspecting user the ability to take away his/her ultimate fall-back. That is my opinion, you can disagree all you want but it isn't going to change that.

Do I have concrete links to a lightroomforums.net thread....not easily to hand, but there are threads over there that I have participated in where the card was the only recourse...you are more than welcome to come over and trawl through my posts looking for them. Or you could just take my word.

Thank you for your final 'note', though I did actually state in my earlier post that I use that facility every time I import. Yes it offers some protection, but still not sufficient in my view to justify wiping the card during import.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

10 y ago

If Lightroom can generate a successful preview of the imported images and backup validates, they should be safe to delete, and in the rare case that the user would have been able to discover a problem before deleting that the software couldn't before deleting, there's always card recovery software.

So it really should boil down to personal preference, in my opinion.

Delete manually if it makes you feel safer, or otherwise works out better for you, or have software delete if it is a pre-requisite to optimizing your workflow, and you are willing to take what are really very small chances.

Summary:
=======
It may actually be safer to let the software decide when to delete, rather than the user. But both options should be supported, in my opinion.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

10 y ago

TK said: "As a safety net, Lightroom could offer a "restore deleted images" feature that would resurrect deleted files from cards. Users will find such a feature tremendously useful for other occasions as well. "

Might even be worthy of a separate FR/Idea, although since I already have a 3rd party utility for it, I shan't bring it up. I'll just say they do work extremely well. They can simply recover recently deleted photos, or even recover files from many shoots ago, *after* dozens of reformats - amazing really...

1 Message

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172 Points

10 y ago

I'm not sure I can add much to this lengthy debate here and elsewhere, but from my perspective:-

  • I have never (that I am aware of) lost an image from a faulty import or disk crash immediately after import.

  • I have, however, accidentally deleted images I thought were imported but weren't.

  • whatever the pros and cons of doing it one way or another, I cannot understand why Adobe insists on treating users of a piece of professional software like they need to be hand held like this. Allow the option (with warnings if really necessary) and let people do their thing and take the consequences.



For people who do want to delete after import, there is a reasonably straightforward way to do this (at least on LR3.4/MacOS).

  1. set up and save an import preset the way you want it, but importing from e.g. files on your main disk so you can select 'move'

  2. when you want to import from a memory card, select the DCIM folder in the card under 'files', not in 'devices'.

  3. the import preset will probably show (edited) after it - reselect the original preset

  4. none of the copy to dng/copy/move/add buttons show as selected, and you still can't click on 'move', but underneath it should say 'move photos to new location... etc'

  5. click on 'import'



There may be other permutations of this principle which will work, but that's what worked for me.

Hopefully Adobe won't flag this as a bug and 'fix' it.

242 Messages

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9.1K Points

10 y ago

I've always heard the mantra that rather than deleting the card on the computer, you should format it in the camera instead for various safety-related reasons. That's what I do, after I've verified that the images have been copied to two locations on hard drives.

That said, most other import programs have the function you're asking for. I think Nikon Transfer has it. I don't think the omission from Lightroom is a safeguard; it is simply that Adobe probably has a different workflow in mind than the one you propose (and this time they agree with me; maybe it's just a bug that will be "fixed" soon).

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

10 y ago

Mark, you write "...he wants to import a subset of the images into one catalog, and a different subset into another. Many photographers solve this by using a different card for each shoot,...".

It is not always possible to solve this problem by using different cards. Say you have a day out with the family and take photos of family members and also macro shots of flowers for your photography group in an interleaved fashion. It is not practical to change the card every time you see a different photo opportunity.

242 Messages

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9.1K Points

10 y ago

Try importing the card in a single step into a master catalogue and then farm the pictures out to different catalogues. Would that be more work? It seems like it would be exactly the same amount of work but safer.

2 Messages

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114 Points

10 y ago

I've read many of these discussions on about 9 different threads over the years and understand other's points, but still am looking for a true MOVE (with delete) option in Lightroom.

Personally I prefer the convenience (and trust automated proceedures) in having LightRoom copy images to two separate drives (with verification) and then mark the source images as deleted (i.e., possible to restore with some hassle) over a manual human process. Provide warnings, sure, but don't prejudge my workflow!

Manually deleting images and formatting cards is laborious and error prone for me. (I could easily miss partial success, such as a full hard drive, whereas software wouldn't mistake this.)

Rob Cole, you mentioned a way to create this functionality at the start fo this thread. I'd love to hear more details.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

10 y ago

Just a reminder: If ImportActions are implemented, a simple action could be implemented to delete files post import (after thorough validation). Code for deletion would not even exist if user did not explicitly install/wire-up the action. No option, no code, no possibility to oppsidentally authorize deletion, except for people who want it. And, Adobe would not have to do anything more, nor take any responsibility...