We need Lightroom tree / folder structure export function

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  • Updated 3 years ago
Some of us shoot little league, dance studio and school photos, which means hundreds and sometimes thousands of photos arranged in nestled folders by class/team/routine names, with kid name folders inside those. And we shoot in RAW, tethered to Lightroom. It just took me 8 hours of mind-numbing repetitious exporting to export these folders into JPGs at low and high resolutions for my clients, replicating the folder structure and evoking the correct export presets every time. The tedium is immense, and the opportunity for human error is incredibly high, and, well, computers are really good at this exact sort of thing...

We need a simple "replicate tree/folder structure" or "maintain and duplicate tree folder tree structure" checkbox in the export dialogue that would do this for us. Users have been noticing this omission since at least Lightroom 2 in forums online. The Hard Drive Publish service does not achieve the result, since it seems only to reference Collections, rather than actual, on-the-drive folders. Jeffrey Friedl created a couple of workarounds, but they also use collections instead of drive-based folders. (http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-good...)

Please, Adobe, build this in. Simple. Easy. So important. It would also be wonderful, while you're at it, to give us the option to export multiple resolutions/formats at the same time, per original file.
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James Miles

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Posted 3 years ago

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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I think the Folder Publisher plugin you referenced does exactly what you're looking for. From its Web page:

'This Lightroom “Publish” plugin allows you to export copies of your Lightroom photos to disk in a folder hierarchy that mimics the folder hierarchy in your Lightroom catalog.'

What leads you to think it doesn't mirror the original folder hierarchy?
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James Miles

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The Friedl plugin would only export from Collections, not actual Finder-referenced folders. I had 4500 photos in about 200 nestled folders, and to have recreated all that structure in a Collection, just to export automatically, was as much work as just exporting everything manually from the existing folders.

Tried repeatedly to make it work with Folders, but couldn't. Am I wrong? I'd be glad if I were! The rub is in the difference between Folders and Collections... Friedl's page references Folders, but then demands Collections, I think...
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Hmm, I just tried the Folder Publisher plugin and it exported the folder hierarchy intact. After clicking Set Up... and choosing an destination folder, in the Folders pane, I selected a parent folder to display all the pics within that parent folder. Then I selected all the visible pics and dragged them to "photos to include" under the "jf Folder Publisher" service in the left column. Finally, I clicked Publish, and the all the selected photos were exported to the destination folder, maintaining their folder structure.

If that's not happening for you, I think you need to contact Friedl for support -- in the past he's been pretty responsive.