Lightroom: Managed Catalog for image management macOS

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  • Idea
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
I’d really like the option (not the only option as I’m sure the current method works for quite a few although I find it frustrating and alarming when things are a not where they should be) for my Lightroom photo library to be kept in one folder similar to how Apple does it regarding Aperture/iPhoto/Photos etc. That way if I move to a new machine and decide to manually transfer my library I can get everything in one convenient go and if I really wanted to dive in and go through my library I could right-click to “show package contents” Also this would prevent photos from lurking in other locations where they really aren’t meant to be.
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Filip Remplakowski

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  • OCD Panic

Posted 2 years ago

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J Alley

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I understand for that one reason (transferring to another computer) you'd want this. However, you have some options I think.

Select your images or folders in LR and Export to Catalog. This will pull the images into a catalog, and a singular separate folder.

You can see where all the drives are and images and even missing files should be in library module. Export them as originals (xmp sidecar included) and copy the catalog to a new location.

See for me, with a very large library spanning multiple drives, LR's ability to use folder structure instead of aperture or iphoto package is crucial. It's literally saved my life! Before you would have to copy entire aperture library's....Now I back everything up and have my originals in the catalog. (I would advise to backup after renaming....) And if I need to disconnect a drive they go 'offline' which is fine. In fact, if you have previews -- you can edit them still while being offline.

When you get into files that are 50...100...500mb tiff (phase one) it's a lot of data and that would be a really heavy catalog if it held the actual files in the package as well.

Anyways, LR and library catalog management has come a long way....I should add that if you use Capture One -- they have a sort of catalog system you're talking about where you have to show package contents (depending on if you bring them into catalog in preferences).

Good luck either way!!
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Filip Remplakowski

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I completely understand why it might be suitable for someone with your requirements and obviously what I’m suggesting is for it to be another option for those who need complete order in their file management . I updated Lightroom and for some reason  my previous meticulously tidy file management decided to shuffle things around and I had missing photos from this year and I think if things were a bit more ordered and simply executed within a packaged file it wouldn’t have happened. I guess I just can’t deal with disorder... it feels like the software is working against me at this point :( ...
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Just Shot Me

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There is nothing stopping you from having all your images in one folder on one of the drives that is connected to your Mac, internal or external. That is a User Choice and has nothing to do with LR. In the LR import dialog there is an option to copy images off a memory card to a folder. That folder is USER selectable. Sure LR has a Default location, the Pictures folder under your User Name, but that can be changed and saved as a preset. You don't have to place them in subfolders of any name or with the date. They can all go into one folder that you have already set up or created when you did your first import.
Your Suggestion, Idea, is already included in LR. It just so happens you don't see it that way.
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Filip Remplakowski

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I know it’s just not as ordered and out of the way as I’m accustomed to. I’m probably having a shock as I have been transitioning from Aperture (which had it’s faults but at least the file system was out of the way). I think it’s because I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time as I’d like over the past four months and it’s a shock to my previous way of working and the update hasn’t helped. I’ll take a deep breath and get over it after a few days working through it. 
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Just Shot Me

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What Apple does to your images is not Ordered and out of the way. It is Hiding YOUR files from "YOU". Why do you want the File System out of the way.
In the Destination are of the LR Import dialog window "YOU" can chose where your images are stored. Not have someone somewhere in California make that decision for you and then not allow easy access to your own files.
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Butch_M

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Simply store all your subfolders of images in a master folder. You can even apply a custom folder icon so it is always obvious which folder contains your images.

A managed system does offer a more simplistic approach ... from a visual sense ... in that your Finder view of your system is may appear less cluttered, but a managed system also has its own issues if you ever achieve enough data that will no longer fit onto a single drive or you ever wish to access files outside of Lightroom.