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Lightroom: One Big Catalog or Many Small Ones?

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Thread started 01 Nov 2009 (Sunday) 19:58   
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gnnbtrn
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Some times my LR really slow, the sliders are stuck or it just locks on loading preview.
I know the upgrade to better processor or at least to 64bit system which can use more memory will help.

But for time being, is it better to keep all images in on e big catalog, or create more smaller ones to speed things up?

thanks!


My PC is
Pentium 4 3.2GHz
RAM 4 Gb

Post #1, Nov 01, 2009 19:58:54


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tonylong
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This recently came up and a member had a great system, I just don't remember who it was to give proper credit to.

The system was to have a "master catalog" which contained all your images for quick reference, and then to have smaller "working catalogs" for importing and working on particular shoots by category. At some point, you are done with the short turn work on the shoot and you can export it into the master catalog, do a backup, and delete it from the working catalog so that your working catalogs will be lean and quick. Your master catalog will be where you can find any picture any where from any time.

I've been too lazy to implement this but it sounds quite nifty to me.

Post #2, Nov 01, 2009 23:08:33


Tony
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gnnbtrn
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That's exactly what I was thinking about!

create a small catalog for each big project, like wedding and work on it separately and then move it into master catalog where all completed projects are stored.

Post #3, Nov 01, 2009 23:14:28


[o]Canon 1Ds Mark II = My Flikrexternal link
(o) EF 24-70mm f/2.8L; EF 70-200mm f/2.8L; EF 85mm f/1.8; Sigma 12-24mm f/3.5-4.5
|*| Canon 580EX II; Nikon SB-26; CRT-301
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tonylong
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gnnbtrn wrote in post #8938303external link
That's exactly what I was thinking about!

create a small catalog for each big project, like wedding and work on it separately and then move it into master catalog where all completed projects are stored.

I'd say that's the best compromise I've heard of -- large catalogs can slow you down, but small catalogs lose your keywords and such. Have the best of both worlds!

Post #4, Nov 02, 2009 00:41:31


Tony
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S.E.V.
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I have one for Motorsports, another for animals and wildlife and a third for general. I might make one or two more. I find it easier to locate shots when searching in designated catalogs.

Post #5, Nov 02, 2009 01:13:20


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Victoria ­ Bampton
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tonylong wrote in post #8938287external link
The system was to have a "master catalog" which contained all your images for quick reference, and then to have smaller "working catalogs" for importing and working on particular shoots by category. At some point, you are done with the short turn work on the shoot and you can export it into the master catalog, do a backup, and delete it from the working catalog so that your working catalogs will be lean and quick. Your master catalog will be where you can find any picture any where from any time.

I'd generally narrow that down a bit further, to avoid the issues that come with multiple catalogs, and suggest a single 'working' catalog and an archive catalog, so all working stuff goes in together. It's just easier to track.

Post #6, Nov 02, 2009 03:26:24


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tonylong
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Victoria Bampton wrote in post #8938939external link
I'd generally narrow that down a bit further, to avoid the issues that come with multiple catalogs, and suggest a single 'working' catalog and an archive catalog, so all working stuff goes in together. It's just easier to track.

You know, that's how I have my file system organized -- a "current shoots" folder with individual shoots folders, then I move them into a bigger system, but I haven't separated them into "current catalog" and "master catalog". I may do that, because I've noticed that working with a smaller catalog is speedier.

Post #7, Nov 02, 2009 11:49:09


Tony
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hollis_f
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For slow PC problems it's a good idea to try to identify the bottleneck and fix that first. 4GB ram should be enough - but your 32-bit OS isn't going to be able to use it. Might be an idea to do some research to see just how much of your ram is actually available to LR. LR really does make good use of multiple-core processors, so you could find that would make a huge difference.

Post #8, Nov 02, 2009 11:54:35


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basroil
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hollis_f wrote in post #8940865external link
For slow PC problems it's a good idea to try to identify the bottleneck and fix that first. 4GB ram should be enough - but your 32-bit OS isn't going to be able to use it. Might be an idea to do some research to see just how much of your ram is actually available to LR. LR really does make good use of multiple-core processors, so you could find that would make a huge difference.


Yup, LR does like to use all eight threads on my i7 920, makes batches very quick.

Post #9, Nov 02, 2009 12:33:51


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boog69
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Tony or Victoria, I have had lightroom since the begining and I've never really had any troubles. Since my upgrade to 2.5 My sliders have froze up some but I have several keywords with other subfolders inside. Is the master catalog located inside ligtroom and when I finish pics move it to master catalog and back up and delete the "working folder". Is this correct? I've heard of people with this problem before. I believe I have gotten to a point where it's affecting me. Thanks for your help and any other clarification you can give me or may need.

Post #10, Nov 04, 2009 15:51:46


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GrizzlyMan
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I was making small catalogs then watched the napp dvd's and switched to one catalog. Much nicer and if you import and set everyting up correctly you have no lag time. Now with key words I can find anything. I also flagged all my favorites and get them all at a click. I also changed all my raw files to dng files.. To learn this program you really need to watch the tutorials.. Well worth the time..

Post #11, Nov 04, 2009 18:58:05


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tonylong
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boog69,

I you do decide to go ahead and try a separate "Master" catalog, I'd first take the time to map out how you want the new catalog to look and how you might want to set up your file system (as in, if it was me, I'd have the Master and the Working catalogs on separate drives or at least in a separate folder structure). You could start by creating the new catalog, and creating the new master/parent folder within that catalog, then you could experiment with using the Import From Catalog function and also the Export To Catalog function from the working catalog. See how they behave, and decide what's right for you.

Be careful of doing any deleting from your working catalog until you are sure that things are working as you wish. You might want to try importing folders in their "current location" and then removing them from the working catalog, then going back to the master catalog and moving the folders into the Master folder. I'm just guessing here because I haven't done all this myself, but you can experiment and see what works for you.

I have two catalogs on my system, one with about 35,000 shots and another with my daughter's collection of a few thousand shots. The smaller one does run a bit faster (my system is a 2-3 year old duo core). I haven't tried moving things between the two -- I've just imported some separatly so the shots are in both catalogs -- let me know how it goes!

Post #12, Nov 04, 2009 19:26:57


Tony
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keitaro
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this is a very good thread to read and follow. Catalog management in lightroom, is a powerful tool. I am trying to figure a good way of catalog management as well.

I've found some articles regarding what others are doing for their own workflows.

http://blog.ericscoute​n.com ...log-and-why-2009-edition/external link

http://thomashawk.com ...graphy-workflow-2009.htmlexternal link

and there are much more when you google it.

Post #13, Nov 04, 2009 22:57:44


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