One Big post
I suppose I could do a write up on each of these. (And really milk you for your attention)
But it’s August and I have 9 weddings to take this month… including later today.
But I’ve changed up how I’m doing a few things and thought I’d write a little bit about each one and make it one power packed post
Instead of stringing you along and milking the marketing aspect of several posts.
Keep in mind this is a changing science… some of this stuff I just come up with out of thin air.
Sometimes its info I’ve gleaned from other sources and then changed it to fit my own needs.
I’m sorry I didn’t put in pretty pictures or reformat it to look nice… did I mention 9 Weddings (one today)
I’ve bought a device that holds 8 hard drives inside of one unit.
On my computer I have enabled it to show up as one drive.
For me that’s a life saver because I’ve always struggled with buying new drives and moving files around
Lightroom wants it’s files in the same place or I have to reconnect.
So now they’ll be in the same place all together.
It may or may not seem like a big thing but it’s already been a huge thing.
Calmed my soul at the very least.
It’s like doing spring cleaning where in the end your house is so much more in order it’s re-vitalizing.
I counted all the drives I had before my DroboPro lying around
80GB external (with it’s ugly power cord and USB cable)
80GB external same (huge for it’s day)
250GB external (A beast of a drive back when, had firewire too)
160GB small stand alone drive (at least it didn’t have a power cord and got it’s power from USB… I bought in a pinch in Mexico)
500GB external (I bought after returning from 3months in Europe in 2006 to hold the 450GBs of pics I took)
500GB small/tiny stand alone (my traveling drive now)
Then I moved to only buying internal drives and using swappable external inclosures for the speedier e-sata
Internals from over years:
125GB, 160, 300, 320, 320, 500, 1000, 1000, 1500, 1500
30GB SSD, 160GB Fusion IO
Count it that’s like 18 drives scattered around the place… Crazy stuff.
It’s a pain to go back to and old project and have to find the drive it corresponded to and plug it in etc.
That doesn’t count the 5 – 1.5TB drives in the drobo at the moment
I will continue to use drives 500GB or larger to back up all those files on the drobo in case something happens or the file system on the DroboPro goes corrupt.
The DroboPro handles the discs themselves in the cases they go bad. – I like the comfort of knowing they’re on a second drive (even if I never use that drive)
- In the end I also put ALL my final JPGs in original format on SmugMug (I guess that’s why I have over 180,000 files uploaded to SmugMug
My organization of files
Seeing that all my files are on the same “Drive” (combo of 8 drives)
I’ve organized the files into years starting with the 7000 i took in 2004 when I bought a point and shoot and went to Europe for 3 months.
Inside of those year folders are folders labeled “yyyy-mm-dd (description)” - This method keeps them all in order and helps me find them on computer and in lightroom.
Labeling folders by date and then description is something that I started doing a while back, so most all my folders are like that. Now it’s a matter of putting them all into one big huge year folder.
Organization of LCATs
LCAT is the extension for the lightroom catalog files…
I’ve put them all into one place because I have almost 30 LCATs from over the years.
Not only are they in one folder call LCATs I have taken them OUT of their subfolders…
I saw no reason for them to remain inside their subfolders.
So now inside the main directory you can see all the LCATs right off the bat!
All the folders containing those previews are also in that same folder… but it’s simple to determine which is which and you never have to go into those preview folders anyway so it’s like they’re not even there.
Even though they can get super huge since they contain previews for tens of thousands of pictures (and I do my previews at 1:1)
Where I store and where I process
Though my DroboPro operates at approx 50-60MBs it is still Slow in comparison to internal drives
Lightroom Editing accesses the files and slows down when it has to access anything external (perhaps exception to e-sata connected drives)
Therefore I have chosen a process where I’ll edit the files while they are on my fastest HD and then when done put them back in the fold on the DroboPro
I can do a few edits later on while they’re on the external drive but when I’m editing hundreds or even dozens I want them on the fastest thing I have.
Which so happens to be the fastest Hard Drive in the world the FusionIO … which blows any other drive out of the water. SSDs a handful of super fast 12,500RPM HDDs raided together.
For that matter I have lightroom installed to that drive and I put my catalogs that I’m presently using on that drive as well.
For some people DNG is an investment in long term thinking. (Because file formats are known to die over time)
For some it’s a “why not” decision
For some it’s a desire to free up space
Some like it’s ability to hold within it’s self many different things.
DNG users will point to these things and more.
I’ve used DNG for a while… but I haven’t been faithful per-se
I convert them upon importing files to the computer (as an option in lightroom)
But sometimes I forget to set the option and to me it was no big deal.
But now I’ve changed my thinking about XMP files and now converting them all to DNG is huge for me.
I don’t like having what are called “Sidecar files”
And when using DNGs the sidecar files are no longer side car… they are riding along in the Same car. all inside the DNG
Sometimes it’s those small things that make you happy.
When I edit in lightroom it saves all that information and history of what I’ve done in the LCAT
Loose the LCAT and I loose all those edits.
Lightroom doesn’t change the file itself when you adjust one of those sliders.
It couldn’t change the Raw NEF file if it wanted to, if it wanted to change the raw file it’d have to create a new file in a format it could work on. (And changing files is more of a photoshop thing anyway)
Destructive vs non-destructive (like how they gave them such obviously biased labels?
What pushed me over the edge to starting to use XMP info?
Well I amassed all these countless pictures into one place.
Then I put my mess of Lightroom catalogs into one place.
My pics are nice and orderly and I like it… but my catalogs are a mess.
Sometimes I don’t know what is where.
Not long ago I renamed my lightroom catalogs (LCAT s) to state what is inside (ex. “08apr 08jul and mex cal.lcat ”)
So that helped a bunch to remember what was in that folder.
But now I kinda want to make some new catalogs. one for 2004, one for 2005, 2 for 2006, 1 for 2007, probably 2 or 3 for 2008 and same for 09
These aren’t necessarily my operating catalogs because they have already been edited. But they’ll be used for going back to old projects as I’m known to do from time to time.
And I hope to go back to more of these old projects even more during the fall winter when I hope that things slow down a little bit.
I test a HD first – Move instead of Copy
Like with all my HDDs I vetted my DroboPro first.
I transfered a bunch of files to it and used it for a little while to make sure it wouldn’t go out on me.
Meaning I COPIED files to it… i DID NOT MOVE them… they are all still on those old hard drives if something were to happen.
When I give it a little time to operate I start letting go of the worries and using it as my main drive.
I’m at the stage where the DroboPro has earned my trust but I’m still storing my HDDs off to the side for a while.
I’ll be the first to preach how much faster and easier it is to move folders around Inside of lightroom instead of finder/explorer and then reconnect in lightroom.
BUT… when you’re transfering 3TBs of Pictures (that’s 3000Gbs) that is an insane process that would take decades to do … seeing that you can only move one folder at a time.
So it was much smarter to copy them hundreds of folders at a time and then reconnect later. (Reconnecting though tedious only takes about 4-8 seconds a folder.)
In lightroom you can RT click on the folder of images and say “find missing folder” or if it’s already there but you’d rather have lightroom reference the files copied to a newer location you can still RT click and select the option which allows you to reconnect to a new spot.
What am I doing now
I already copied all my Z: drive (drobopro)
- They’re nice and organized in the folders
I put all the older LCATs in place.
I’m opening each LCAT in order and reconnecting to pics on the Z: drive
I’ll do a search to view all pics in catalog by File Type and I’ll see how many are Raw and not DNG
Over night or while I’m gone on a shoot I’ll convert them to DNG
When they’re all DNG I’ll go to catalog settings in Lightroom
- I’ll select “Automatically write changes in XMP”
But since this is an older catalog and I don’t have time to wait for it to gradually change the XMP info
- I select ALL files in catalog
- Then I go to Metadata drop down in Lightroom and select ” Save metadata to files”
- It will go pretty fast but when it’s 20,000 pictures that still means hours probably.
Later I hope to create new catalogs with a ton of pictures in one catalog…
still not sure what size i should go with
50,000 per catalog or up to 100,000 ??
So if you have a suggestion let me know. – I’ll probably only render small or perhaps standard previews.
Then I’ll be ready for some projects later this year.