Lightroom: Improved catalog and file handling

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This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Lightroom: Catalogs within Catalogs (or Master Catalogs)

I would love to see better catalog handling in Lightroom. I would like to be able to create a catalog for a single client and have several "sub-catalogs" for that client. Selecting a sub catalog will only show the relevant photos, but selecting the "main-catalog" will display all. Adding filters to photos is too much of a pain to try and organize photos.

Having a "master-catalog" displaying ALL photos would be great if there were tools like face detection etc. Looking for that one great photo taken sometime at some event might just be easier to find if you could view all photos.

Network support for mapped network drives... PLEASE. Maybe a "check in / out" option for working on a shared catalog to give a person read only access if someone else is working on a catalog?
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Heinrich Helmbold

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Posted 9 years ago

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Rob Cole

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Why not use folders instead of catalogs?
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Heinrich Helmbold

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I'm not 100% sure what you mean by using folders instead? The way I understand catalogs is that Lightroom create a "main" catalogue folder (which can be user specified of course) when you import your photos. So when I import "sub" events into that folder I can specify my own folders.

The folder side is working fine behind Lightroom, but it would be great if there was a beter catalogue interface inside of Lightroom. When Lightroom starts up, you can set it to display all catalogues so you can select one, or the last one can automatically be opened. The window displaying all catalogues has no real value exept to list all the catalogue folders (not even in a specific order) By just enhancing this window so you could structure catalogs better, sort them by name or date, have sub catalogs, would already be a big improvement.

If I am missing something on using folders, PLEASE help - I would really love to structure things better.

Oh - And I know you can point one catalog to multiple folders, which is great - but how do I isolate the photos from one folder in that catalog?
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Rob Cole

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Heinrich,

I don't know if I don't understand what you are needing, or whether you don't understand the "normal" way Lightroom's catalog and folders work. But, I'll take a shot:

Most people use as few catalogs as possible: Me? I have only one catalog for all my photos, and I may create a temporary catalog for a trip to use until I get back home and import from it into the main catalog. Or I may create a special catalog for testing a plugin...

When you need to "organize photos", instead of creating a new catalog, just create a new folder in the same catalog.

To view photos from a folder, just click on the folder.

Some people also use collections to further refine their organization, but the basic unit of organization in a Lightroom catalog is a hierarchy of folders.

Summary:
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the reason Lightroom's startup catalog menu is primitive, is most people only have one main catalog or maybe a few catalogs... Keeping photos for multiple clients in the same catalog, either in separate folders or separate collections.

There are also some people who have a separate catalog for each client, or each year, or each event..., but I think they are a small minority, and in my opinion they are kinda going against the grain...

Rob
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Jim Wilde

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Unless I've misunderstood, collection sets (which can contain both static and smart collections) are the obvious tool to use here.
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Heinrich Helmbold

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Rob,

Thanks for the time in replying. I must admit that I kind of got a bit fixated on catalogs that I forgot about Collections. I used them a while back but I just cannot recall what the issue was that I stopped. Thanks Jim for just highlighting this again :-)

I THINK I might have a new view on things here and it is going to take a while to sort my life out, but once done it might just work.

But I would still like to leave my one point... I would like to see a little bit more functionality in the "Catalog Selection Window". Having as little as possible catalogs makes sense, but having them displayed alphabetically or by date will help. Also maybe the option of removing catalogs.

Thanks for the help and putting the lights on :-)
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Rob Cole

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Good luck with it Heinrich - it is doable, me-thinks...

btw - I agree that a bit of "love" could be given to catalog management, and one day it may happen - just hasn't been a priority yet I guess...