Lightroom: Saving in 'My Pictures'

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Hi there, I am still coming to grips with Lightroom and am confused about part of the 'Export' process. I am currently editing a lot of old film pictures which I scanned some years ago and no longer have. Essentially this involves white balance, a bit of exposure titivation and de-graining. OK so far, but when I export and save back to my second hard drive, Lightroom is also saving a copy in 'My Pictures', in a folder under the date of the original scan. How do I stop it doing this please....
Jeff
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Jeff Hodgson

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Posted 7 years ago

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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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Help me understand what is going on here:

1. You have a scanned file in My Pictures, stored in a folder named for the date of the original Scan.
2. You export to a second drive the 'edited' photo.

3a. You now have two copies (Original Scan plus Exported)
3b. or three copies (Original Scan, Exported on My Pictures, Exported on EHD)?

3a is expected behavior as LR maintains your original at all costs
3b is not expected behavior
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jdv, Champion

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3b is expected behaviour if you enable reimporting the rendition back into the catalogue on export.

But, yes. Lightroom is a digital asset management tool as well. This means an "import" is how you get your originals (think of these as "nagatives") into the catalogue. An export gesture is how you get renditions (think of these as "prints" or "positives") from those originals. This way, you can make multiple renditions tuned for specific uses.

There is a gesture to remove or drop originals from the catalogue, which is unrelated to this discussion. But, if you really want to remove the originals (or reimported renditions) you can.
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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3b should never result in three files. It should result in two files but both in catalog both in catalog.

3a should result in two files but only one in catalog.

I am hoping the original poster clarifies what is happening as I read he is getting 3 files total.
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Jeff Hodgson

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Thanks everyone.
I start with a scanned file on a memory stick, edit it and export it back to the memory stick, overwriting the original. I also end up with an unwanted file in 'My Pictures', saved in a folder presumably created by Lightroom named as the date of the original scan. I don't want the 'My Pictures' files and am deleting them manually but I'd rather find a way of switching the process off and just ending up with my memory stick files.
Jeff
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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In order to edit the file it must first be imported into the catalog. It is likely that when the file was imported it was imported via a Copy rather than an in-place import(Add). This is pretty standard for item handling on removable media to protect your pristine data. At that point you are editing one the imported version copied to your drive during import.

When you export, you may be overwriting your file on the memory stick but you are overwriting it with the imported version from your My Pictures folder.
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Jeff Hodgson

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Thanks Rikk, I think I understand what you're saying but I'm not sure it's the answer.
I'm importing via the 'Import' button in the Library module and the 'Add' option is highlighted in the toolbar. I should perhaps just confirm that I'm using v3.5.
Jeff
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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The easy way to check is to look for a file which has been imported but not exported. Does it exist on the memory stick and in the My Pictures folder?
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Jeff Hodgson

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I'll try that tomorrow, Rikk, and report back.
Thanks
Jeff
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Jeff Hodgson

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Hi Rikk, the 'My Pictures' folder appears when the files are imported. If I delete the 'My PIctures' folder, then try to edit, I get an error message saying 'File not found', though the memory stick is still in the USB port. It appears that te system is creating back-up files on the hard disc in 'My Pictures, and that is the file that Lightroom edits.
Any ideas how I can stop it or do I have to live with it?
Jeff
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Jim Wilde

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When you import from a removable device such as a CF card or a USB memory stick, Lightroom will NOT allow the files contained therein to be simply 'Added' to the catalog. Instead you can only 'Copy' the files to a more permanent device such as a hard disk drive, and you should not regard this as a 'backup copy' (there is an additional import option to 'make a second copy' which many may regard as a backup copy). As far as Lightroom is concerned, this 'copy' operation is putting the precious originals onto a more reliable device type, and from that point onwards Lightroom regards the 'copy' as the new original.

Next, the destination for these 'copied originals' is entirely up to you, as you have full control over this aspect (as well as the ability to automatically generate sub-folders in accordance with several pre-determined templates) in the Destination Panel in the right-hand column of the Import Screen. Clearly in your case this is currently set to 'My Pictures', but as I say this can be altered to a location of your choosing.

Hopefully you can now see that when you delete the My Pictures folder you are in fact deleting the only images that Lightroom knows (or cares) about. Hence the problem with editing, as the files are no longer available to edit.

You need to go back to the import process, understand how it works, import your files to a hard drive location of your choice, edit them, and when you are ready to use them outside Lightroom (e.g. web, slideshow, photo frame) you would Export them (as derivatives of the original).

Hope that helps....
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Jeff Hodgson

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Thank you Jim, that was a great help. I understand what's going on now and can manage accordingly.

I'm new to Lightroom, having got the program as a 'freebie' with a new Panasonic G-series camera I bought. I've been using Elements 9 and had assumed the two would be similar, plainly not!

I only deleted the 'My Pictures' folder as an experiment as I was beginning to come to the conclusion that Lightroom needed to work from a file on a hard disc, as you've explained this is a more 'reliable' source for it to work from.

I'm sure I'll get my head round it: I don't want to set up Catalogues until I've got the structure clear in my mind as I'd like to avoid a lot of rework if I can. As far as my specific query is concerned your reply makes the issue crystal clear.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

Jeff
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Jim Wilde

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No worries. A suggestion would be to look at some of the free Abobe TV Lightroom video tutorials (see the link on the right-hand side of the main page here). They are a great help.