Lightroom: Is there a way to delete just unwanted photos off memory card?

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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I would like to know if it is possible to use Lightroom to delete photos off a memory card. Note: I don't mean "Delete Images on Card after Import" http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

For example, when travelling, I always like to keep at least two copies of the photos I want to keep. But at the same time, I want to keep the card with as much space as possible.

At the end of the day, I import (copy) all photos from the card to my library on my computer. I then go through and mark the really bad photos, duplicates, etc, for deletion. This removes the files off the computer disk, but not the card.

Is there a way to delete photo's off the card AS WELL using Lightroom?
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Shaun Hooper

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Posted 7 years ago

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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No. LR is not a backup utility nor a general-purpose file-synchronization utility.

Instead of leaving the photos on the card at all, get an extra USB-external hard-drive and copy ALL the photos from the card to this external HD and once you get home just delete all the photos on the external HD since the ones on the normal HD are what you want. Of course you copy go a step further and copy the photos from your HD back to the external HD after you've sorted through and deleted the ones you don't want and use this as a permanent backup.

A 1TB external HD is only $100.

You can use LR's backup while importing feature to do this automatically make the copy to the external HD as you import to your main HD so all you'd have to do is delete things off the card.
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Shaun Hooper

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Thanks for the idea Steve, but whilst travelling I'd rather not have something else expensive/heavy to carry, lose or have stolen.

However what I'm asking I think Lightroom is capable of. You say it's not a backup utility, but it has the ability to make a second copy. You say it's not a file synchronization utility, but it has the ability to detect which photos are in the catalog and which aren't.

So the Lightroom import dialog currently has the ability to;
-detect which photos are already in the library,
-flag those that aren't,
-has the option to copy, move or add to library,
-make a second copy to somewhere else,

But it can't have the option of deleting photos of the card?
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Rob Cole

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Consider making this a feature request (Idea).

I mean the answer to the question "Is there a way..." is "No".

The answer to the question "Could there be a way..." is "Yes".

Rob
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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Lightroom has long adopted the stance (and very rightfully so in my opinion) that memory cards and other capture storage devices are not-to-be-touched. I don't believe you can even use the Move option on a card unless you spoof it as a drive.

Camera manufacturers recommend you don't even use the Operating System to cull images.

If you think about it, allowing casual access to the card is going to create situations where people are going to loose images which have never been displayed at adequate size to make an informed judgement as to their quality and longevity.

Lightroom is about preserving your data, images and subsequent work. Deleting an image while still on-card is probably not key nor recommended to that core mission.
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jdv, Champion

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Never, ever, *ever* trust your memory cards. Get your pictures off of them as quickly as you can, and onto duplicate media.
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Rob Cole

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I don't think anyone is suggesting the memory card be used as the only copy, but as a backup when traveling. This does not seem like an outlandish idea to me. Not a good solution for a month-long tour, but for those 2-3 day'ers...

Memory cards are as reliable as any storage media, and smaller than most.

I mean, so far Lightroom has not ventured to delete photos from cards, but maybe its high-time for it.

I recently switched to an import workflow that includes deleting all imported photos from card after import/backup verification. - it was like getting a pebble out of my shoe - wondered why I didn't do that a long time ago... I never need to reformat my card in camera, or forget to, or remember to, but then delete stuff that hadn't been successfully imported.

A computer is much more qualified than I am to say when the files have been securely transferred, imported, and backed up.

I think TK is 100% correct - you don't need to reformat in camera despite manufacture warnings about that - nothing special going on there... Granted, its still no-doubt best not to take them into the bath tub with you...

Bottom line:
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As Shaun Hooper pointed out, Lightroom has all the information it needs to do the job, and the job would be welcome by short-jaunt travelers with high-capacity cards, but low-capacity luggage. Why not make this an option for people who would make use of it - the rest need not be bothered...

Plugin?
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A plugin does not have access to all the information it needs to do this right, e.g. http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh... (somebody please correct me if there is a loop-hole...). I could build this feature into 'RC Importer', but then you'd have to use it exclusively (while traveling anyway) in order to take advantage of the feature.

Shaun? - are you sure you don't want to make this into an 'Idea'? (once its an "answered" question, Adobe may not give it more consideration...).
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Rob Cole

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Lightroom can know which photos have been imported, so it would never delete a photo that had not been imported.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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LR forgets a photo has been imported when it is removed from the Library and cannot tell if a photo is new or just deleted from the Library.

Try it and see. Import a photo. Remove the photo from the library. Import the photo, again, with Add New and Don't Import Suspected Duplicates enabled and the photo will be presented as a never-Imported photo.

Sure, LR could be programmed to do anything a computer can do, but Adobe is unlikely to go through the effort just to accommodate a few stubborn users that are following "worst practices" of using a memory card as semi-permanent storage.
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Shaun Hooper

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Steve, seriously, what is your problem? You have already pointed out that this is easily doable. If the title needs to change, then fine, but we are asking for the same thing.

Also, I who made you the authority to call my idea "worst practices". Not everybody wants to buy more equipment that can be stolen/broken/lost etc. Perhaps I should call that worst practises?

Everybody uses Lightroom a little differently. We all pay for it, so we should be able to suggest changes (some which would require very little programming).
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Having to repeat myself is frustrating when someone is not reading what is written and insisting LR does things it demonstrably does not, and I am being more direct and less diplomatic than someone at Adobe would be so the message is more clear.
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Rob Cole

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Perhaps we should move this discussion here: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

Since, as Steve has pointed out - Lightroom is presently NOT capable of deleting unwanted photos from memory card.
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Rob Cole

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The answer to the question is "No", but the 'Idea' to "Make It So" is here: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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Pa4k

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When importing photos to LR I wish to select the option to move selected photos not only ADD. Because I must after photos was imported formating memory card or deleting imported photos one by one.
Thank you. Patrik

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Import from Digital-Camera with MOVE photos not ADD photos.
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Pa4k

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this is not what I meant. Please do not merge my topic. OR merge it with Delete Images on Card after Import : http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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Rob Cole

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TreeSyncPublisher supports publishing back to card with option to delete from card. Using card publishing services, the workflow would be:

While traveling, with laptop, optional 2ndary external storage, and a few cards:
* Import all photos from card, and make 2nd copy to external device, if in tow.
* Publish all or selected photos back to card - originals with xmp could be published back to card for starred photos; jpegs for all (other) picks...
* Delete all photos imported from card (do not reformat).
Upon returning from trip, incorporate photos into more complete catalog, make more permanent backups, and then reformat cards.

The idea is to avoid optional 2ndary external storage for short trips where leanest baggage is desired (yet still have protection against loss of primary hard drive), or have tertiary copy in extra space on cards, for added security against photo loss.

http://www.robcole.com/Rob/ProductsAn...

Rob